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Working the Room

The Lonely Island Drop Semicolons on La Brea

Given how much wordplay fun Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone like to have as The Lonely Island, it’s fitting that the LA listening party for “The Wack Album” Thursday night took place at Sonos Studio on La Brea. That’s a palindrome, ya’ all; Sonos backwards and forwards spells out the same double-S, double-O, single-N way.

During the Q&A moderated by Extra correspondent (and regular recent ESPN 710 AM fill-in host) Ben Lyons, Samberg reminded just how effortlessly he can take anything and make it funny. For example, when Lyons asked the gang to list their high-profile collaborators on their third album, arriving June 11 but already all over YouTube, it quickly led to a riff about fictitious rap star Ted Twobottoms. Apparently, Ted T was too busy this time around to participate.

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Mediabistro Course

Get a Literary Agent

Get a Literary AgentStarting August 6, learn how to find the right agent for your book and write a query that will get the deal done! Taught by Barbara Clark, a book agent and publishing consultant, you will learn the best methods for finding a literary agent, the proper protocol and etiquette for seeking literary representation, how to send queries and more. Register now!

BuzzFeed LA Launch Party at Mondrian’s Skybar

FishbowlLA braved the harsh L.A. drizzle on Thursday night to hit Skybar, where BuzzFeed staffers and friends were celebrating the launch of the website’s new Los Angeles bureau. Top BuzzFeed brass was in attendance: CEO and founder Jonah Peretti, president Jon Steinberg, editor-in-chief Ben Smith, executive VP of video Ze Frank, and probably more we didn’t recognize.

We spotted Nate Silver in the crowd, as well as Julia Boorstin of CNBC, comedian Chelsea PerettiLA Times VP of Communications Nancy Sullivan and former Good magazine editor Ann Friedman, who tolerated some gushing on our behalf over her delightful Tumblr and column, #Real Talk.

But we don’t have pictures of any of these lovely people, because we forgot our camera. We only managed this one grainy cell phone picture before giving up and hitting the open bar:

That’s Ann-Marie Thomson of SYCO television, Grantland editor Emily Yoshida and BuzzFeed’s Los Angeles bureau chief Richard Rushfield being blinded by my cell phone camera.

KCRW Hosts Private Patti Smith Concert

Rock star, punk poet and bestselling author Patti Smith played a private show Wednesday night as part of KCRW’s Berkeley Street Sessions, and FishbowlLA was lucky enough to score an invite. We rocked out with a crowd of approximately 175 public radio supporters including Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Ellen Page, Tim Robbins, Amy Madigan and Jason Bentley‘s mom. We sat next to Bookworm‘s Michael Silverblatt, who was getting his groove on, and watched Ed Harris bark like a dog during Smith’s performance of “Banga.” Magical.

Halfway through the show the music stopped and Smith was joined onstage by KCRW DJ Anne Litt for an interview that touched on a number of topics, including music, motherhood and Smith’s award-winning book, Just Kids. When Litt mentioned how much she’d been enjoying the audiobook version, narrated by Smith, the author revealed that publishers had so disliked her South Jersey accent that they told her to re-record parts of the book speaking “normally.” Thankfully, Smith declined, and her drawl remains on the audio version.

The event was recorded for Morning Becomes Eclectic and will air on November 14. The full recording of the event will become available in the station’s archives that same day.

Photo by Larry Hirshowitz

Vanity Fair‘s Pre-Oscar D.J. Party

Saturday night found FishbowlLA in Hollywood at Vanity Fair‘s D.J. Night, co-hosted by Fiat and L’Oreal Paris. The event was held in honor of The Pablove Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to funding pediatric cancer research. But it was also the last of Vanity Fair‘s long week of pre-Oscar parties. Geared toward Hollywood’s younger crowd, the event had a club-like atmosphere, with D.J.s Daisy O’Dell and NERVO rocking the dance floor into the night.

The highlight of our evening had to be meeting actress Shanola Hampton, pictured right. We’re huge fans of Showtime’s Shameless.

Also spotted in the crowd: Actress Alicia Witt, James Valentine of Maroon 5, Vanity Fair publisher Edward Menicheschi, Bitsie Tulloch (The Artist, Grimm), Janina Gavankar (True Blood), Kathleen Robertson, Jorja Fox, and a bunch more hot actresses.

More pics after the jump:

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Henry Rollins Will Bless Your Unborn Child

 

If punk rock is your religion, a papal blessing is pretty much out of the question, as it was for the knocked-up Rita Neyter of KPFK. Fortunately, Henry Rollins was willing to set aside his DJ duties at MOCA’s opening party Friday night for some fetal ministrations.

According to Neyter, the blessing Rollins bestowed upon her unborn child mostly involved advice for avoiding jail time. Ah, if only Rollins had got to us while we were still in utero.

Celebrating ‘Under the Big Black Sun’ Exhibit with MOCA

“Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980″ officially launched over the weekend, and FishbowlLA kicked off the six month exhibition series with an opening party at MOCA for “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981.” The series takes its name from the album by the L.A.-based punk band X.

Guests had a chance to preview the exhibition, which centers around a particularly turbulent, experimental period in the city’s art scene. Appropriately, the turbulent, experimental Henry Rollins DJ’d the party.

A wall of Black Flag concert flyers, drawn by Raymond Pettibon.

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Gunfight, the Biography of Guns in America, Isn’t Taking Sides

When UCLA law professor Adam Winkler first began to promote his new book, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, he spoke to a booking agent about appearing on television news programs.

“So which side are you on,” the agent asked, “far-right or far-left?” Winkler explained that neither he nor his book came down hard on either side of the gun debate, to which the agent replied incredulously, “Have you ever seen a TV news show?” Nuance, it seems, doesn’t get booked on FOX or MSNBC. So without an extremist stance, Winkler’s career as a talking head was over before it began.

This anecdote was shared with guests by the author at his book party in Beverly Hills Thursday night, held at the home of his parents, Irwin and Margo Winkler, and co-hosted by Arianna Huffington and Ron and Kelly Meyer. But the history of guns in America, Winkler explained, doesn’t correspond neatly with extreme ideologies.

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Slake Launches New Issue With a Bang

Lit journal Slake throws a big to-do every time they launch a new issue, and the events are becoming something of a staple with the local literati. Friday night the mag took over the Atwater Crossing courtyard to celebrate issue #3, and FishbowlLA braved the weekend’s heatwave to work the crowd.

More pics from Friday’s festivities after the jump.

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‘Blogging While Brown’ Conference Comes to Los Angeles

The annual “Blogging While Brown” media conference drew more than 250 journalists and bloggers of color to Los Angeles over the weekend. Conference organizer Gina McCauley spoke with Maynard Institute’s Richard Prince about the turnout: “Traditional journalists made a strong showing this year and were a lot more prominent. We had about 250+ ppl. . . . we were bigger than last year. We had 4 times as many panels as last year. An NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists] blogger/Tweeter tweeted the entire conference and the awards show.”

Highlights of the conference in the video above.

Jeff Bridges Premieres New Songs at Private LA Concert

Actor-turned-musician Jeff Bridges has an album coming out in August, and he was good enough to share a few tracks Tuesday night at the Troubadour. FishbowlLA managed to score an invite to the private concert, and arrived just in time to hear Quincy Jones introduce Bridges as “my baby brother.”

Bridges proved as charming and affable on stage as he is on screen, and his country-folk ditties were a hit with the crowd. The Bridges family was in attendance, and the highlight of the night had Jeff singing “The Man in Me” to his wife Sue. Pierce Brosnan and album producer T Bone Burnett were spotted in the crowd, and standing just behind us were actors Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde, looking cozy.

After the show we chatted with Rachel Reynolds of KCRW and rock critic Laura Ferreiro, both of whom confessed to being uncharacteristically starstruck. “I think he’s the world’s most likeable guy,” said Reynolds. Agreed.

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