Long Beach went wild the past seven days, starting with Saturday's Long Beach Folk Revival Festival, transforming Downtown's HOPA district into a sprawling music fair with some great performances by a couple of dozen Southern California roots-rock, folk-rock, Americana and the like, all highlighted, as far as we're concerned by a brisk little four-song set by D.D. Wood with her band featuring her extravagantly talented son Dylan on drums, Peyjke Kramer on bass and us on the electric guitar. It was a true musical experience, complete with the band's truck breaking down on the way to the show.
That event was swamped by the preview bash that packed the new Arena-turned-Pacific Ballroom for the venue's preview party that showed off the versatility and techno-beauty of the place that comes right out of the gate at the No. 1 spot of the seven wonders of Long Beach (pushing our Barn off the list). Convention and Visitors Bureau boss Steve Goodling ramrodded the project perfectly. We'd like to throw his name in the hat as namesake of the new Gerald Desmond Bridge.
So, what do we have for you this week? We're just gonna lie around watching TV, especially "Getting On," a new HBO series that premieres at 10 p.m. Sunday. It's a comedy by the makers of HBO's "Big Love," and it's about the wacky life in a geriatric care facility called the Billy Barnes Extended Care Unit of Mt. Palms Hospital in Long Beach. It stars Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne,"), Alex Borstein (the voice of Lois on "Family Guy") and Niecy Nash ("Reno 911"). The filming, oddly, is in Pasadena, presumably because Long Beach looks too much like Miami.
What Long Beach really looks like is Christmas, or the holidays or whatever. Airing now or just about airing are a mess of TV Christmas ads filmed in the winter wonderland that is Long Beach.
Home Depot's ad pushing a special on Christmas lights was filmed at a residence on Cerritos Avenue in the Alamitos Beach neighborhood. You've got a Kohl's spot shot on little Burlinghall Drive in Bixby Knolls/Cal Heights. There's a Kmart commercial filmed off Bryant Drive in Park Estates. And Best Buy has a nice spot featuring a woman running out of her cozy home on Country Club Drive in the Los Cerritos neighborhood and out into her snow-filled front yard.
Our favorite Christmas scene set in Long Beach was the opening scene of "L.A. Confidential," in which copper Bud White, played by Russell Crowe, is called to a domestic dispute and ends up ripping the wife-beating husband's Christmas decorations off the roof of his house on Rose Avenue in Cal Heights.
FRIDAY PLAYLIST: Some tunes played and recorded at the Long Beach Arena:
1. "Stranger In a Strange Land," Leon Russell
2. "Going to California," Led Zeppelin
3. "Mary Jane," Rick James
4. "Day Tripper," Electric Light Orchestra
5. "Presence of the Lord," Eric Clapton
6. "The Number of the Beast," Iron Maiden
7. "Smoke on the Water," Deep Purple
8. "Death of Seasons," AFI
9. "Won't Get Fooled Again," Who
10. "Street Fighting Man," Rolling Stones.
Contact Tim Grobaty at 562-714-2116, email@example.com, @grobaty on Twitter.
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