Hooray! It's Labor Day! Well, almost. We're already savoring everything about this three-day weekend... especially the "three day" part. And we'll take all the on-the-job appreciation we can get, even when it's nationally mandated.
Impetus aside, any break is a good one as far as we're concerned. And when it coincides with the LA Times food and wine festival, Rhonda's all-day poolside party, two Gilt City specials for our favorite spots in Santa Monica, and an outdoor screening of cult film favorite Pulp Fiction, all the better.
Read on for your guide to the best. Labor Day. Ever.
Those of you keeping it locked on the westside tonight should head to the Skirball Center for Into the Night: The Wild Side with indie-pop princess Jenny O, In the Valley Below, and Body Parts. Purchase tickets in advance to save $5 on cover.
Head to The Roxy to start off your weekend with Philadelphia-based band Work Drugs. While we don't usually associate those two terms, we can't deny the allure of their "sedative-wave/smooth-fi." Tickets, $11.50 - $13.50.
Foodies should instead head to opening night of The LA Times "The Taste," a much anticipated weekend-long celebration of our two favorite things: food and wine. One ticket gets you into five events spread across three days at the Paramount Pictures Studios, full of tastings, libations and panel discussions. The price is currently $65 but jumps to $85 tomorrow; LA Times members save 20%, and kids gain entry for $5.
Whether you're a big fan, a bandwagoner, or just there for the dodger dogs (two hands way up), the LA Dodgers take on the San Diego Padres with a weekend series. Also: Friday Night Fireworks. That is all.
Whirr, Nothing, SISU at La Cita in Downtown Los Angeles, $8; Them Jeans, Atiba & Steve Ree, Kelltronix, Dikembe Midtempo at Los Globos, FREE with RSVP.
Those of you who stayed in last night should consider walking or biking in the 232nd Birthday Celebration of LA's founding. The annual event traces the steps of the original 44 settlers and 4 soldiers from the San Gabriel Mission to El Pueblo (the city's birthplace) in 1781. This year features a brand-new 9-mile bike ride component, co-led by LACBC. Bonus? It's free.
Sometimes, just getting to downtown LA can feel like a Quentin Tarantino blood bath, but if you're set on a sunset movie in the park, Eat|See|Hear has you covered with a screening of Pulp Fiction. Los Angeles natives Torches play before the film -- expect mood-setting harmonies, tribal drums, and lush guitar riffs. At the LA State Historic Park, tickets $10-20.
Looking for less prep and a lower price point? Head to Funky Sole with Music Man Miles, Clifton aka DJ Soft Touch at the Echo. Free until 10:30 pm and $5 after, it's the best dancing you'll see in the admittedly coordination-challenged hipster haven. Grab a piece of Two Boots pizza at the bar -- $4 scores you a slice big enough to share with the cutie you spied earlier on the patio.
Paul van Dyk at the Avalon, $50; The Entrance Band, Beach Party, Church of Sun, Cherry Glazerr at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, $8-12.
Long weekends mean more opportunities to eat out, which in turn can mean mini financial ruin. Save your assets with this Gilt City deal for jazz brunch at The Charleston. $33 gets you a morning in the roaring 20's along with meals, pastries and drinks for two.
While you're ocean-side, consider also snagging this Gilt City deal and stopping off at Hip'tique. $30 gets you $50 in-store credit, which basically obviates buyer's remorse.
The rest of your day can pretty much be spent at The Standard Hollywood for A Club Called Rhonda. 3 reasons we love them: (1) Their parties are usually free and always affordable, with covers rarely exceeding $10; (2) They book a combo of rising stars and house and disco legends; and (3) They call the affair a "pansexual party palace" (which, oddly enough, was the name of our college dorm's wifi network). Celebrate the day away at Rhonda's Diva From The Deep pool party (1-7 pm), grab a bite next door at the diner, and keep it going with electronic artist Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs at the club (10pm-3am). Free with RSVP.
While we appreciate the enthusiasm behind The Fold's Summer Send Off!!!, personally we probably would have titled it "Summer Send Off?!?!?!?" That same sadness at the fast-approaching end of our favorite season also applies to the close of a long holiday weekend. Drown your sorrows about both at this all-day musical fiesta of soul, funk, and every interpretation in between -- featuring The Decoders, Mystery Skulls (DJ Set), and more. At The Bootleg Theater, 2pm-2am, FREE until 8pm.
Looking for something less, er, all-day? End Labor Day with School Night at Bardot. Let the sweet pop, soul, and jazz sounds of Sun Rai soothe your mind in preparation for the rest of the week. Full roster: Sun Rai, Jaymes Young, and We Are Twin DJ sets by GEM1N1SEVEN and KeyVon Pierre, 9pm, 21+ FREE with RSVP.
Zak Waters, Parade of Lights, Atomic Tom, and Baywood at the Satellite, FREE.