Tag Archives: LA

‘La La Land’ Director Wants to Bring a Musical Drama to TV

After taking the Oscars by storm, Damien Chazelle, the 32-year-old filmmaker behind La La Land, is making a move to TV with yet another musical drama, according to the Hollywood Reporter

Along with making a Neil Armstrong biopic with Ryan Gosling, Chazelle is slated to direct The Eddy, a series set in modern-day Paris about a nightclub, its owner, and the house band. Jack Thorne—who's written for Skins and Shameless, and coauthored Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with J.K. Rowling—will write the script. 

Chazelle took home best director at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards for La La Land, making him the youngest in history to win that Oscar. He also directed Whiplash, a critically-acclaimed film about a young jazz drummer and his mentor that won Sundance's top audience and jury awards back in 2014. Also, James Franco loved it

According to the Reporter, Chazelle and his crew are still looking for a streaming outlet or a TV channel to pick up The Eddy. The songwriter who helped Michael Jackson write "Man in the Mirror," Glenn Ballard, is teaming up with Six Feet Under's Alan Poul to executive produce.

Chazelle's not the only Academy Award winner making a move toward the small screen. Moonlight's director, Barry Jenkins—the man Chazelle literally had to hand the Best Picture Oscar over to—has signed on to write and direct an upcoming TV adaptation of Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. Hopefully the two can avoid another Warren Beatty mixup the next time the Emmys roll around.

LA’s Most Iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll Bar Isn’t Going Anywhere

In the Rainbow Bar and Grill, you can never tell if it's night or day. Time doesn't pass, the patina of dust just gets thicker on the memorabilia-heavy walls. It's a living time capsule from a time when rock n' roll ruled the earth.

The Rainbow may not be old in the context of the planet, but it's ancient in the context of Los Angeles. It's so old, you wonder how it hasn't become condo fodder yet. Surrounded by high rises, it certainly looks not long for this world. When I visited this weekend to attend the bar's 45th anniversary party, an enormous, foreboding tower crane sat across the street, as if defying it to continue existing.

In a city not particularly known for its respect of history, the fact that the building which has housed the Rainbow for 45 years dates back to the late 1920s is remarkable. Originally opened as the Mermaid Club Café, in the '40s it became the Villa Nova restaurant—not only did the Villa Nova's co-owner, Vincente Minnelli, propose to Judy Garland there, Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe first met in one of its booths.

In 1972 the Villa Nova was sold to nightlife impresarios Elmer Valentine, Lou Adler, and Mario Maglieri, who renamed it The Rainbow in tribute to Garland. Due to its proximity to the Whisky a Go Go and the Roxy, Sunset Strip rock clubs also owned by the trio, it quickly became a haunt of the new Hollywood elite—rock stars like Elton John, Alice Cooper, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, the latter of which treated it as their own personal fuck den ("The first time I ever came into the Rainbow," Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister recalled in the book Straight Whisky, "one of Led Zeppelin's roadies was screwing some chick on the table downstairs.")

For almost five decades, the Rainbow has unrepentantly been a den of sin and vice. In the '70s, porn stars like John Holmes and Marilyn Chambers and teen groupies like Sable Starr and Lori Mattix were regular patrons. John Belushi ate his last meal, a bowl of lentil soup, at the Rainbow before overdosing at the Chateau Marmont down the street. His autopsy report showed it was the only non-drug substance in his stomach.

In the 80s, the Rainbow became a hair metal hangout; it is now frozen in and intrinsically linked to this time period. Its only recent addition has been a lifesize statue of Lemmy, the bar's most devoted patron. After his death in 2015, the outdoor patio was christened "Lemmy's Lounge" in tribute to the man's undying love of the Rainbow and its video poker machine, which he would play every day when not on tour while consuming an unfathomable number of Jack and Cokes.

Lemmy may be gone, but the Rainbow and hair metal will, in spite of it all, never die. That fact was more than evident at the restaurant's anniversary celebration, which featured an all-day party in the parking lot with performances by still-kicking metal bands Black n' Blue, Jetboy and Quiet Riot. From 2 PM onward, a line of people ranging in age from infant to elderly snaked around the block; upon entrance, they embraced their friends and banged their heads.

As I explored the permanent night of the Rainbow, I realized the 80s had never ended—there, Ronald Reagan was still the President of the United States, a thought I found harrowingly comforting. "We had good times back then!" a middle aged woman with big hair and bigger tits reminisced to her friend in the bathroom. "We did!" her friend replied. Outside, where it was a bright, cloudless Sunday, the only signs of modernity were ever-encroaching high rises and tents emblazoned with the Monster Energy Drink logo. A white man in a Deftones shirt shared a joint with a black woman in a Faith No More shirt. Two guys in leather took leave of one another by mutually flashing the devil horns. "You're gonna want to take a picture of this guy," a man told me, gesticulating toward another, shyly grinning, man. "He's Metallica's original guitarist." (The man in question, Lloyd Grant, played on their first demo, "Hit the Lights.") Everyone seemed to know one another—and not only know one another, but like one another.

As the party raged downstairs, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, Penelope Spheeris's legendary documentary about the 80s Sunset Strip music scene, played on tube televisions suspended above the empty dance floor of "Over the Rainbow," the upstairs bar. Gazing up at the television, I watched as W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes, floating in a swimming pool, drank himself into a stupor while his mother helplessly looked on. A lot has happened since The Decline of Western Civilization Part II. Most notably, the decline of western civilization. But Chris Holmes is still alive, and has been sober for over 20 years. Over the Rainbow now houses recovery meetings every weekday at noon.

The Rainbow was, is, a genuine community, a place where the passage of time and the horrors of the outside world can blissfully be avoided. Drinking plastic cups of Jack Daniels in the parking lot under the relentless sun, old timers commiserated like survivors because they were. Not everyone, after all, made it through the 80s. They stood as defiantly as the Rainbow itself, a place its current owner, the son of founder Mario Maglieri, once stated will close "over my dead body."

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Desus and Mero Talk About the ‘Choking Game’ with Jerrod Carmichael

Jerrod Carmichael may be in touch with his youthful side, but that doesn't mean the actor, comedian, and creator of The Carmichael Show knows everything kids are up to today.

"I want to hire a 16-year-old to just call me once a week and just tell me what the kids are talking about," the actor told Desus and Mero. "I want to know what they're talking about and how they're saying it."

That sparked up a conversation about the hottest teen trends, which according to Desus, includes the so-called choking game, a dangerous way to get high from, as Jerrod put it, "light asphyxiation." Along with talking about the teens, the three reminisced about being broke, read each other's auras, and pitched their own Titanic spinoffs. 

You can watch last night's Desus & Mero for free online now, and be sure to catch new episodes weeknights at 11 PM on VICELAND.

Matty Matheson Meets the BBQ King of Hollywood

On an all new episode of VICELAND's DEAD SET ON LIFEMatty Matheson flies out to LA to meet up with a personal hero: Adam Perry Lang, the BBQ king of Hollywood. Though the French-trained chef is pretty busy launching his new restaurant, he and Matty still manage to have a wild time—fishing, boxing, and lighting stuff on fire.

DEAD SET ON LIFE airs Thursdays at 10:30 PM on VICELAND.

Want to know if you get VICELAND? Head here to find out how to tune in.

Inside LA’s History of Chicano-Style Tattoos

On an all new episode of NEEDLES & PINSVICELAND's series following Grace Neutral as she explores the journey of tattoo art from subculture to global phenomenon—we head to LA to explore the history of Chicano-style tattoos, learning how they evolved from the prison cells and gang culture of LA to the wider world.

NEEDLES & PINS airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on VICELAND.

Want to know if you get VICELAND? Head here to find out how to tune in.