Haute Highlights

Venice Beach Art Crawl

Venice Beach Boardwalk

Every third Thursday, 6-10 p.m.

If you’re looking to kick-start your weekend on a different note, pregame thirsty Thursday with a taste of the arts.

Every third Thursday of the month, the eccentric Venice Beach boardwalk hosts an art walk to showcase the eclectic works of local artists, completely free of charge. What’s more, gallery owners and curators open their booths to attendees highlighting a vast assortment of artworks.

As if Venice Beach doesn’t display enough local art on a regular basis. This feature is amplified as it has become an official gathering place for artists and the connoisseurs who support them.

The Venice Art Crawl official website describes the event’s mission as such: “Our ultimate aim is to foster and reinvigorate the creativity that has historically made Venice such a vibrant and dynamic community.”

Ask for creativity and you shall receive.

Artsy or not, be sure to indulge in the splendor of this unique, L.A. experience.


Monster Jam

Dodger Stadium

Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.

Dodger Stadium: home to the Los Angeles baseball team.

The stadium is, however, more than just a sports arena — it also hosts the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam.

Motor sports fans, or even those of you whose curiosity is piqued, can expect speed racing, complete and utter demolition and high-flying action from these gigantic trucks of mass destruction.

United States Hot Rod Association Monster Trucks will include the likes of Grave Digger, driven by Charlie Pauken; Iron Outlaw, driven by Ben Winslow; and El Toro Loco, driven by Chuck Werner. Salivating yet?

Tickets run between $20 and $75 and can be purchased on the Monster Jam website.

If you love chaos, danger and crazy antics — a terrifyingly adventurous and intriguing triple threat at best — then Monster Jam is right up your alley.


The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942

Fort MacArthur Museum

Saturday, Feb. 18, 3-8 p.m.

The Battle of Los Angeles — not to be confused with the awful 2011 film Battle: Los Angeles — took place on the night of Feb. 24, 1942. For reasons still not totally clear today, U.S. military forces stationed in Los Angeles suddenly ordered a county-wide blackout and opened anti-aircraft fire into the night sky. Attributed to a false alarm based on reports of unidentified objects in the sky, the L.A. air raid resulted in more than 1,400 shells being fired and three civilian deaths from friendly fire.

The Fort MacArthur Museum is recreating the event on the museum grounds, complete with period-era tanks, weapons, uniformed officers and a re-enactment of the shelling. There will also be dancing and music, courtesy of Dean Mora and the Fort MacArthur Officer’s Orchestra. The event is a once-a-year opportunity, so don’t miss out. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door.


The Darkness

House of Blues — Sunset Strip

Sunday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m.

It’s been a while since retro British glam-rock band The Darkness has been in the limelight. After hitting it huge with “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” off its 2003 debut album Permission to Land, the band seemed to sink under the dark waves of mediocrity. The decline was fueled in part by a lackluster follow-up — 2005’s One Way Ticket to Hell… And Back — as well as internal problems, notably the departures of bassist Frankie Poullain and, shortly after, frontman Justin Hawkins, who ended up in rehab.

But now they’re back, reunited and ready to rock. Though The Darkness’ brand of dramatic, glammed-up rock might be a little — or to some, very — unfashionable these days, these Brits have always been noted for their ridiculously entertaining live performances.

So prepare to rock out this Sunday, but remember: Don’t forget the Aqua Net and leather pants.

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