Archive for October, 2013

The 2013 Long Beach Zombie Walk Music & Arts Festival invaded Downtown Long Beach this past Saturday night. Following a similar method of operation as last year, this all-ages zombie festival took place over multiple blocks in Downtown Long Beach, completely closing Pine Avenue between 3rd & Broadway, and taking up much of the space of the Promenade. More of a Halloween festival than an actual walk, the $15 admission included many activities such as a movie viewing, costume contests, live music, food trucks, games, wrestling, and more. In 2011, this event cost nothing to attend, and featured an actual walk where zombies would march a predetermined route throughout Downtown Long Beach. Due to the rabid interference of Occupy Long Beach that year, the organizers revamped this festival into what you will see below.

The Zombie Walk zoned off three distinct areas that required paid admission to enter. Pine Avenue closed to traffic between 3rd & Broadway to make room for a music stage. The northern parking lot section of the promenade contained the main stage, food trucks, a few vendors & games, and the wrestling ring. Down south on a grassy expanse of the promenade, attendees could watch movies on the big projector screen. All other areas, such as the vendor row right outside the middle section, did not require paid admission to see. Although the official costume contests took place on the main stage, that did not stop hundreds from dressing up for this unique holiday.

An old friend found me at the Zombie Walk, where I discovered her dressed as Bride of Chucky. She made me realize how much non-costumed people wanted to take pictures with anyone in costume. As we walked around, many people, in costume or not, stopped us to ask for a picture. Naturally, I could not resist opportunities for photos as well!

On the main stage, I attended mainly to see three bands. I had arrived after The Maxies had played, so I had to progress without them. First though, I made my way to the stage to see the Radioactive Chicken Heads. Well, what can I say about these guys that pictures do not illustrate? Having existed as a group for over 20 years, this ska/punk parody band has garnered quite a cult following since inception, despite mainstream media exhibiting them as a foolish joke. They have appeared on syndicated television a few times, but the general public cannot possibly grasp the epicness behind the Radioactive Chicken Heads. I had not seen them in over a year, so I made it a priority to stay within the pit for their set.

After strolling around the Zombie Walk for a bit, I returned to the main stage for the headlining act, The Dickies. Sure I just saw them a week prior, but why miss out on such a fun show? As a band from punk rock’s first generation, The Dickies have historically influenced the entire punk rock community as we see it today. Their comedic performance coupled with relevant props makes for a show to enjoy for everyone, fans or not. Since I squeezed into the front row, I missed much of the action in the rest of the audience, so please enjoy these up-close photos of The Dickies!

This significant change in the Zombie Walk may have occurred for the better. As it operated two years ago, the festival did not require an admission fee, so anyone could simply walk up and mix in with visitors. This includes the many shady characters that loom around Downtown Long Beach. On a more significant level, as the actual walk started, Occupy Long Beach brought their protest from City Hall to where the walk would have marched through. All these problems plus the need for street closures brought about major changes that surfaced last year. The festival moved to Marina Green and started to require an admission fee. The organizers added more content within the festival, such as more music, food trucks, mazes, a beer garden, and more. In exchange, they did away with the physical “walk” part, as that meant leaving the festival area, subjecting anyone in said walk to the unpredictable nature of strolling through Downtown Long Beach. Folks wanting to participate in a physical walk may have to search elsewhere for such a thing. For now, the Long Beach Zombie Walk will operate as an all-ages Halloween festival catered to adults. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to receive updates on related upcoming events, plus information regarding next year’s zombie walk.

On a week filled with many great music performances in Southern California, Mad Caddies headlined a small show in the Constellation Room of The Observatory. Mad Caddies have played on bigger stages before, but they could not get the main stage at The Observatory on this night due to an Alkaline Trio show. Mad Caddies could not select a better date since they had to fly to Canada the following morning. Thankfully, they still decided to play this show, despite the time crunch on their end, and they invited two local reggae bands to play the show with them.

Opening the night, from Los Angeles comes Arise Roots, a roots reggae band. They played a mellow reggae set that lasted about 40 minutes, enough time to get everyone settled in and to feel the vibe of the night’s music selection. No real surprises occurred during their set – they played well, and held onto everyone’s attention the entire time.

Up next, True Press, another band from Los Angeles, played their reggae set. Just like Arise Roots, they played a set that lasted approximately 40 minutes with no real surprises. Compared to Arise Roots, True Press had a few faster songs to start pumping up the crowd for Mad Caddies. The sets played out fine, building up the intensity in the room and the energy in the crowd.

Understand the lack of size of the Constellation Room, and you quickly realize the intimacy of this room. That leaves Mad Caddies with a smaller stage than usual with a crowd directly at their feet. In fact, trombone player Eduardo Hernandez could easily reach the audience with his trombone, and occasionally hit a few audience members in the head throughout the set with his trombone. Their 75-minute set consisted of many of Mad Caddies’ well-known songs, such as Leavin’, Without You, State Of Mind, Silence, Drinking For 11, and more. Their set ran so late that the Alkaline Trio show had already ended, and audience members from that show tried to get into the Mad Caddies show, which looked relatively more exciting with the room-wide circle pit. Alas, the Mad Caddies show, which cost $12, never sold, whereas the Alkaline Trio show cost $30 and sold out a while ago. Too bad Alkaline Trio fans – you will have to see Mad Caddies elsewhere another time.

Miss out on this show? Mad Caddies do not plan to play any shows in the next few months, as they have returned to the studio to work on their next album, which they plan to release in February. Remember to like them on Facebook (linked above) and follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date on Mad Caddies and what they have coming up!

Swedish indie rock band The Sounds releases Weekend, their fifth studio album, today. Having performed since the late 90’s, The Sounds have made quite an impact on multiple genres of music, touching a little of everything throughout all of their songs. With elements of alternative rock, dance, pop, and even punk rock, The Sounds can truly appeal to a large audience, not to mention the undeniable breathtaking beauty of vocalist Maja Ivarsson. The Sounds currently tour across the world, playing shows at sold out venues wherever they travel. Check out their tour schedule on their website, and if they play somewhere near you, grab a ticket fast!

I originally had no intention of attending their Orange County show last week, as I rarely go to shows on a work night. However, I coincidentally spotted a tweet from OC Weekly, and thought it would not hurt to reply to it, so I replied and ended up winning a pair of tickets to the show. I could not pass up this opportunity to see The Sounds, but I would end up arriving just prior to the opening act, which resulted in me paying $10 for parking as the venue’s parking lot had already filled up. I also had not planned to go out immediately following work, and I did not have my normal camera with me, so I shot all of the below photos using my phone.

Speaking of the opening act, an indie-electronica band called Gemini Club opened the show. This funky band does not follow the typical rock band setup of vocalist, guitarist(s), bassist, and drummer. The vocalist would sometimes play a guitar, but two other members alternated between other instruments, which included keyboards, DJ sets, synthesizers, bass guitars, tambourines, and added percussion. They played for a good 45 minutes before closing out their set so The Sounds could set up.

Prior to this show, I had grossly underestimated the fan base of The Sounds. I recognized their popularity, especially with indie rock radio stations or music channels, but I did not expect to see fans go off-the-wall insane. So out comes The Sounds, and they immediately open with Living In America, their most popular song. By now, I understood that the nature of this music would generate an effect on the audience that I do not relate to. I typically partake in crowds that go in a circle, not up and down. However, the jumping fans and crowd-surfing fans still felt familiar, including one guy who managed to jump onto the stage to reveal a tattoo of Maja’s face on his abdomen. Again, I had grossly underestimated their fan base. The rest of the set continued to include more hits like Song With A Mission, Rock & Roll, Seven Days A Week, Painted By Numbers, No One Sleeps When I’m Awake, and Beatbox.

Miss out on this show last week? The Sounds continue to tour across the world, but many of their shows have already sold out, so look up the tour dates, and look for tickets fast! Even if you do not listen to this genre of music, I guarantee you will enjoy the show as much as your favorite music.

Halloween
October 31

Happy Candy Day! Have fun, and stay safe on this night.

Trick or Treat on 2nd Street
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, October 31
2nd Street, Belmont Shore, Long Beach
http://www.belmontshore.org/events.html

Trick or Treat with the family in Belmont Shore for free! Local businesses will participate by handing out samples and candy during the evening.

Dim Sum Costumed Crawl
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, October 31
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=426

Dress up in costume and explore local food in Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles. Pair the local food with local craft beer, and enjoy the nightlife that Chinatown has to offer. Admission costs $70, and includes tastings from four restaurants and four breweries. Guests can find free parking east of Spring Street.

5th Annual San Diego Beer Week
November 1-10
San Diego County
http://sdbw.org/

This 10-day festival celebrates the prominence of craft beer in San Diego County. During these ten days, restaurants, bars, breweries, and other businesses will host special events and hold special deals all pertaining to craft beer. Check the website for a list of all events and businesses participating in San Diego Beer Week.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 1
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, November 1
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 2
Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, San Diego
http://sdbw.org/guild-festival/

This beer festival coincides with San Diego Beer Week annually. This year, they have split the festival into two parts. On Friday, a special VIP reception will take place that will have brewers and business owners in San Diego meet together to discuss and enjoy beer. On Saturday, the standard beer fest will take place, which includes a souvenir tasting glass and 15 3oz beer tasters. Prices vary depending on attendance – the VIP reception costs $75, the Saturday beer fest costs $40, an hour early access to that one costs $55, and a two-day pass costs $100. No one under 21 may attend.

Blackmarket Cookie Throwdown
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, November 1
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/217218901735900/

Blackmarket Bakery needs your help in deciding what cookie they will add to their menu next. No purchase necessary – come sample four different cookies, then submit your vote.

The Avengers @ Los Globos
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 1
Los Globos, Silverlake, Los Angeles
http://www.clublosglobos.com/event/380109-gitbam-avengers-los-angeles/

Tickets to this local all-ages punk rock show cost $15. Guests should park in the neighborhood down Vendome Street.

Oppressed Logic @ El Corita
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, November 1
El Corita, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/508952282524464/

Tickets to this local all-ages punk rock show cost $5 before 9:30, and $6 afterwards.

Free Punk Show in Lomita
8:30 pm – 12:30 am, November 1
The Firehouse, Lomita
http://www.facebook.com/events/600901513302680/

Check out this free punk rock show in the South Bay this Friday night. No one under 21 may enter.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 1
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/148116

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

Fullerton Pumpkin Launch
10:00 am – 2:00 pm, November 2
Discovery Science Center, Cal State Fullerton
http://www.discoverycube.org/exhibits/event/pumpkin-launch-2/

At this FREE event (requires registration at their website), witness hundreds of pumpkins getting thrown, launched, catapulted, and more from the Discovery Science Center on the CSUF campus. Food trucks will open their windows to serve food to guests.

Fluff Ice – Costa Mesa Grand Opening
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, November 2
Fluff Ice, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/492516267528220/

The San Gabriel Valley’s favorite cold treat makes its way down to Orange County starting this Saturday! The first 100 customers receive a FREE Fluff Ice; after that, receive buy one get one free deals until 5pm.

14th Annual Dia De Los Muertos
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 2
Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood
http://www.ladayofthedead.com/

Celebrate this cultural holiday at this all-ages festival this Saturday in Hollywood. Attendees will find arts & crafts, art exhibits, costume contests, music, live entertainment, food, drinks, and more. General admission costs $15 per person.

Jughead’s Revenge @ Five Star Bar
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, November 2
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/631727850183476/

This local punk rock show only costs $8 to get in. No one under 21 may attend.

Glassjaw @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 2
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/glassjaw

Glassjaw returns to performing this Saturday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana. If they have not already sold out, tickets to this all-ages show cost $25. Arrive early and park for free in the venue’s parking lot. Arrive too late, and pay $10 for parking further down the street.

The Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque – Live at Malone’s
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, November 2
Malone’s, Santa Ana
http://www.facebook.com/events/564326036974719/

The sexy ladies of the Dirty Little Secrets will perform their burlesque routine this Saturday night at Malone’s in Santa Ana. The cover charge will range from $7 to $10, so have cash available for that. When entering, mention that you came to see the Dirty Little Secrets. Guests can park for free down Halladay Street.

Punk Rock Closeout
9:30 pm – 2:00 am, November 2
Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, West Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/410923645703418/

Local punk rock bands hit up Hollywood this Saturday night. Admission costs $5 before 10pm, and $10 afterwards, but costs $15 flat for anyone under age 18.

Subhumans @ Los Globos
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, November 3
Los Globos, Silverlake, Los Angeles
http://www.clublosglobos.com/event/373475-gitbam-subhumans-los-angeles/

Tickets to this local all-ages punk rock show cost $15. Guests should park in the neighborhood down Vendome Street.

10 Tips To Trim Down Your Body Fat

Posted: October 25, 2013 in Food
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Your stomach should never run full or empty. Between work, school, traffic, and/or lack of time, sometimes the speed at which we live our lives dictates how we treat our bodies. Our bodies mean the most to us, and if we do not treat it well, we will not live a healthy, nourished life. Read on for tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while trimming down on body fat.

Slow Down

When food tastes good, you naturally want to wharf it down as fast as possible. However, your body needs time to digest food and inform your body and brain on how full you feel. On average, it takes 20 minutes for your body to realize its fullness. Adequate chewing helps to not only better break down solid food for your stomach to absorb, but to prolong your eating duration. Studies show that taking twice as long to chew food reduces consumption by 15%.

Smaller Portions

Preferably, you want to eat smaller portions more often throughout the day. Instead of three big meals, considering taking six smaller meals. This trains your body’s metabolism for burn food more often, instead of burning food and resting until the next meal.

Smarter Snacks

Have some snacks between meals to prevent overeating at that next meal. Make those snacks count by having something that your body can actually use. Instead of pastries or chips, look for portable yet healthy snacks, such as deli meat, Greek yogurt, nuts, or fruit.

Drink Water

The simple act of drinking 12oz of iced water a day for a year will allow you to lose seven pounds over that time. Proper hydration means a lot to your body, and the list of benefits of proper hydration appears to have no limits. The standard rule of daily water intake sounds like “Drink half of your body weight in pounds, in ounces.” For example, a person weighing 140 pounds should drink 70 ounces of water a day, give or take some ounces.

Reduce Variety

When presented with many different food options, people tend to eat more than intended. This makes buffets a very dangerous place to visit, because the variety means that people will eat more than their bodies need. Maintain a lower variety of foods to reduce the amount of food you consume regularly.

Sleep Well

Lack of sleep presents a multitude of problems. You stay awake longer, meaning your hunger increases more. You have less energy the next day. Your metabolism slows down. Your body did not have enough sleep time to process nutrients from the previous day’s meals. Make sure you get adequate sleep everyday to treat your body well.

Increase Protein

Protein not only feeds your muscles, but helps you burn unnecessary body fat. It takes longer for the body to process protein, helping you stay full until the next meal. By increasing the amount of protein you eat, you also potentially reduce your calorie intake.

Increase Fiber

Start your day with a breakfast high in fiber to help your digestive system process your day’s food. People who eat a breakfast high in fiber often consume less calories at subsequent meals. Fiber also takes a long time for the body to process, allowing people to stay full longer.

Manage Stress

Stress not only places strains on the body, but people under stress tend to unnecessarily eat when their body does not need food. Stressed people usually make poor food choices, leading to the consumption of junk foods. Take some time to reduce stress with stress management, such as taking relaxed deep breaths.

Reduce Distractions

People often eat as a distraction or as a method to pass the time. From eating popcorn while watching movies to snacking while on the computer, food goes down too quickly when distracted. Calorie intake may increase by 50% when people eat while distracted. Make sure you focus all of your efforts on eating, and take time to enjoy the food rather than making food a side thought.

In the region that defined the West Coast IPA, craft beer lovers find it refreshing to see another style highlighted in the spotlight. Leave it to one of the west coast’s largest breweries, Stone Brewing Company, to handle the role of celebrating another beer style other than something hoppy. This past Sunday morning, Stone Brewing hosted the 3rd Annual Pour It Black, a beer tasting event that focuses on dark beers from around the world. Usually taking place within a few weeks prior to San Diego Beer Week, Stone Brewing featured over a hundred different dark beers to choose from, and placed them at stations spread throughout their botanical garden. For an event lasting five hours, guests could easily take their time sipping and enjoying their beer tasters. Admission cost $45, which included 15 3oz tasters that guests could individually select on their own, and souvenir glass used to sample the brews.

Eight different stations served beers for this event, spread out in a counter-clockwise circle around the botanical garden. The first five stations utilized taps, while the last three stations poured from bottles. A few beers never made it to the event due to issues with the suppliers.

In typical fashion, I started at the back of the event and worked my way to the front. Most people will start at the front and work towards the back, so I opt to move in the opposite direction to minimize queue times. The 15 beers I tried:

  1. Ken Schmidt/Maui/Stone Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter
  2. Jason Fields & Kevin Sheppard/Tröegs/Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout aged in Rye Whisky Barrels
  3. Deschutes The Abyss 2012
  4. Anchorage Darkest Hour Belgian-Style Imperial Stout
  5. Avery Odio Equum – Barrel-Aged Series No. 13
  6. Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon 4th Edition
  7. North Coast Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XV
  8. Port Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Santa’s Little Helper
  9. AleSmith Speedway Stout 2010
  10. Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY Imperial Stout
  11. Stone Suitable for Cave Aging – An Imperial Smoked Porter Tribute to Danny Williams aged in Red Wine Barrels
  12. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station Cimmerian Portal
  13. Ken Schmidt/Iron Fist/Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout
  14. Evil Twin/Stillwater/Stone “The Perfect Crime” Black Smoked Saison aged in Red Wine Barrels
  15. Rip Current Vanilla Storm Coffee/Vanilla Imperial Porter

In addition to all the wonderful beers brewed here, Stone Bistro makes excellent food on a brand new level that one would typically not expect to see at a normal brewery. However, Stone does not follow norms – they set norms. At Stone Bistro, guests receive amazing eats with top-shelf ingredients. For this event, they served a more convenient menu:

  • Stone Hemp Pretzel – served with Stone India Pale Ale whole grain mustard
  • Pancetta, Bleu Cheese, and Basil Arancini – served with Stone Smoked Porter arrabbiata sauce
  • Short Rib Wellington Empanadas – served with mushroom duxelles
  • Pretzel-wrapped Bratwurst – with grilled Arrogant Bastard Ale & smoked cheddar brats and onions
  • Bag of Chips – house-made and dusted with roasted garlic pepper
  • Bacon Super Brownie – with pecans, chocolate ganache, and chocolate mousse

As one of the nation’s top craft beer companies, one would expect no less from Stone Brewing. Their never-ending mission to break people out of common molds will transcend many boundaries, which will change the way people think about food and beer. Pour It Black exhibited a mere preview of the capabilities that Stone Brewing possesses. Pay close attention to Stone Brewing during San Diego Beer Week, which starts next weekend, as Stone will run events on every day of the nine-day period. In fact, pay attention to them at all times to discover what Stone has going on, which they always have going on.

Every holiday has some sort of secret agenda hidden behind it. Where a holiday like Mother’s Day has corporate marketing written all over it, the auspicious holiday of Halloween indubitably carries a punk rock agenda behind it. No other holiday has as many punk rock songs about it, and the themes fit so well with the messages behind punk rock music. Naturally, at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, terrifying mazes would mix very well with punk rock bands. This attraction of haunting mazes takes place at the Fairplex in Pomona, an features three ghoulish mazes filled with unnatural surprises and terror around every corner, all based on movies by Rob Zombie. In addition, every night features a killer lineup of music acts, from punk rock to metal to EDM and more. Despite no age requirements, minors should brace themselves for an event geared towards adults, where everything goes uncensored, and alcohol runs rampant.

This past Saturday night belonged to punk rock, as The Vandals headlined the music stage on this night. The other acts of the night included T.S.O.L., The Dickies, and Duane Peters Gunfight. I had arrived during the Duane Peters Gunfight set, and spent the first hour walking through the mazes, so I had completely missed their set, unfortunately. As a minor spoiler alert, in the first maze, the event staff puts a hood over your head, totally obscuring your vision. This takes Halloween mazes to a new level, as without sight, you cannot see things coming, thus intensifying the feelings of fear in your heart. For the next two mazes, attendees could see normally, albeit in the dark. This made these two mazes far less scarier than the hooded one.

I returned to the music stage during a set by The Dickies. Having not seen them since late April, I looked forward to hearing more of my favorite songs by them, such as Paranoid and Banana Splits. From what I recall, they played a similar set from that last show at this show. Nevertheless, they still entertained everyone present and stirred up tons of energy for the pit, which left me with a handful of bruises all over my body.

When T.S.O.L. made their way to the stage, they did not hesitate to start their set. As soon as the band members had picked up their respective instruments, they dove right into their music. Vocalist Jack Grisham decided to go along with the holiday theme by dressing up for Dia De Los Muertos, complete with face makeup and a dress. The audience only really seemed to crank up their energy during the more popular songs, like when they played Superficial Love early on in the set, Abolish Government/Silent Majority in the middle of the set, or when they ended their set with Code Blue. With just the headliner left after T.S.O.L., everyone still got crazy in the pit.

As one of punk rock’s most recognizable bands, The Vandals had garnered a huge turnout for this show that filled the space to capacity. With their signature goofy fashion, they kicked off their set with It’s A Fact, immediately inciting the biggest pit this venue has ever seen. Their set continued to include popular songs like Ape Drape, Urban Struggle, Oi To The World, My Girlfriend’s Dead, and Anarchy Burger. Towards the end of their set, guitarist Warren usually switches off with vocalist Dave in a reversal of roles. With this altered lineup, they played I Have A Date before Warren went into one of his “moments” that he always gets during this phase of their set.

Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare runs for two more weekends, both filled with more great music acts, such as Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger this Sunday, and Jello Biafra and Agent Orange playing on Halloween night. Check out the website for a full lineup of music acts, and if you see something you like, act fast to grab a ticket before it sells out!