HAVE-A-GREATER-WEEKEND: DEEP JAZZ, SPACE ODDITIES, OCCUPY EARTH DAYBy Greater Long Beach
“Have a greater weekend!” we called out cheerily today.
“Don’t tell us what kind of weekend to have!” they shouted sharply back to us.
To which we replied:
TONIGHT: MAXI’S IN THE BASEMENT, MIXIN’ UP THE MEDICINE
Soulful stylist Jeff Robinson of New York and DJ Kelvin Anderson of V.I.P. Records are on the bill this week, but it’s those last four words—“the bill this week”—that are key to the 2 The Max series that longtime Long Beacher Maxi Viltz began several months ago. This city used to have a nice collection of wonderful jazz clubs, and for years that observation has been about as far as anyone has gone toward a resurgence. But the Seabird Lounge at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles is beginning to feel like a landmark, and Bliss 525 has pumped life into the old Gazella’s restaurant. Viltz did some booking at the Seabird before trying to give the Basement Lounge a series of shows as impressive as the space. Viltz has proven she can hang for the long hall; her African boutique and gallery, Village Treasures, is in its 11th year of business at 145 Linden, across the street from the Basement Lounge—a rare piece of retail permanence downtown. The question is whether a Long Beach jazz scene is something people want to relive, or just reminisce about.
JEFF ROBINSON, DJ KELVIN ANDERSON BASEMENT LOUNGE • 149 LINDEN AVE • LONG BEACH 90802 • TONIGHT 9 PM • $10
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A $5 ADMISSION CHARGE CAN MAKE YOU FEEL KINDA SPACEY
This is the penultimate weekend—that is, the second-to-last—for the Columbia Memorial Space Museum’s first first-ever traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution: “Suited For Space” which is about space suits. The museum is pretty much all that’s left of the aerospace industry in Downey, where they built things like the Apollo series of rockets that took people to the moon and the Space Shuttle, which … well there was that one that blew up … and then there were those sonic booms they always made when reentering the atmosphere. Anyway, “Suited For Space” scientifically presents the design and evolution of spacesuits, starting with the pioneers of high-altitude flying in the 1930′s and looking ahead to what kind of suits astronauts will use on manned missions to Mars. There are hundreds of images and artifacts that detail how astronauts were kept safe outside the earth’s atmosphere. The suits are referred to as the “ultimate life-support system.” Yeah, we get it. The Space Center, on the other hand, is referred to as “what’s gotta be the ultimate family-support system among Southern California attractions.” Admission is $5. Really. You give them $5 and they let you come in. Five. Yes, fiiiiive! As in one-two-three-four-and-what comes next. Dollars.
SUITED FOR SPACE COLUMBIA MEMORIAL SPACE CENTER • 12400 COLUMBIA WAY • DOWNEY • 90242 • 562.231.1200 • TUE-SAT 10AM-5PM • $5 (YES, YOU READ IT RIGHT: FIVE DOLLARS!)
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ADD PEOPLE PEACE SIGN TO EARTH DAY LANDMARKS
Some of us are old enough to remember the first Earth Day—April 22, 1970—and if we remember correctly … hmmm … it was less than two weeks before the Ohio National Guard shot dead four students at Kent State … two years after the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy … a few months before Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin OD’d … and, well, you get the idea—it was an era when a lot of important people were getting into the Earth. They say Earth Day triggered the modern environmental movement, and “triggered” is a good word for it. By the end of 1970 the Environmental Protection Agency was founded, the Clean Air Act was passed and the voting age was lowered to 18. In 1972, the Clean Water Act became law and in 1976, California voters approved Prop 20 to create the Coastal Commission. That’s a lot! And what are this era’s activists doing in Long Beach to make the 2012 Earth Day something memorable? Gathering on the beach to form a People Peace Sign, pose for photographers, then heading over to Bixby Park to party. See ya there!
EARTH DAY PEOPLE PEACE SIGN PHOTO ON THE BEACH AT THE FOOT OF TEMPLE AVE • NOON • FREE; PEOPLE PEACE SIGN AFTERPICNIC • BIXBY PARK • CHERRY AVE @ OCEAN BLVD • 2PM-8PM • FREE