Chicken Soup for the Prez

And the annual 2002 Puss award!

The opening of "Can You Take It" Saturday at the Bradford Gallery (he's the guy who used to do those really well-drafted pictures of celebrities you used to buy at swap meets) was overflowing with pretty much everyone we know, from morbid Laguna Canyon painter Jorg Dubin to jewelry maker Bill Gallagher to, oh, hell, lots of people. Really. The surprise of the evening was to see once-and-future OC boy-about-town Willie O'Leary (a.k.a. Cornelius) looking like John Walker Lindh and showing off his drawings, alongside faves Pat Sparkuhl, Constance Esposito, Frank Dixonand Tom Dowling. I once read a full-page article in the Times OC praising O'Leary to the heavens, which was odd because then-critic Cathy Curtis was pretty famous for being really mean and hating everything, just like Life cereal's Mikey. Yes, O'Leary's installations were fabulously obsessive-compulsive (four-foot high turtles, for instance, composed entirely of found cigarette butts), but the real explanation for Curtis' curious favor seemed obvious when one looked at the full-color photo of O'Leary himself: he was a babe! At the Bradford Gallery, O'Leary will show off his compulsive-obsessive behavior by being there all the damn time until the show closes Feb. 24.

Our homegirl Arrissia reports that Nikka Costa, who performed at the Mouse House of Blues Sunday, "can make love to a mic stand like she's fricken Mick Jagger and Janis Joplin humping Sly Stone." Arrissia continues: "She's got eight people backing her up like she's Kool and the Gang." Arrissia hopes you all will have the chance to see Costa for yourselves, which seems entirely possible: Costa is young and fresh and doesn't seem to be on heroin, so it's unlikely this will be your last opportunity—provided she doesn't pull an Aliyah. Nikka Costa, please stay off heroin and overloaded airplanes. Thank you.

Finally, my boyfriend and I attended a performance of modern (in the 1920s sense of the term) Russian composer Shostakovich's second and third symphonies at the LA Philharmonic. They were fine—but pretty much only because they were love-drenched odes to Lenin and the Revolution, which had me positively tickled. Aside from that, they didn't sound very good. Truly lovely were selections from Borodin's "Prince Igor" and Liadov's "The Enchanted Lake," which were swirly and tinkly like waterfalls—and almost totally ignored by the Times reviewer who instead went on and on about Shostakovich. This makes me wonder: does our preference for music that's pretty make us the classical-music-world equivalent of people who are into, like, Impressionism? Should we just take our cheese-in-a-can and get back to the trailer park? Da. Thank you!
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