Column: Record Store Day is music to fans’ ears

Saturday is Record Store Day, with local shops offering special releases (most of them on vinyl), giveaways and a festive atmosphere. Friday’s column has more details as well as relevant links to the RSD website and release list. I also plug my Hitchcock series at Ontario’s library and present a few nuggets from Monday’s Upland council meeting that I cut from Wednesday’s column.

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Column: Suspense only beginning as Hitchcock titles announced

Two Hitchcock-related columns in one week? Only the top item this time, not a whole column like Wednesday. I’m programming the movies at the Ontario library in April and my Sunday column gives the titles and dates.

After that come a couple of literary items and three Pomona items (two of which have sat around for a few weeks, waiting for their moment in the spotlight). And I end by mentioning that I’ve been on vacation. But you blog readers knew that all week, right?

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Column: ’20 Feet From Stardom,’ but getting closer

Claudia Lennear was one of the backup singers featured in the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” which won the Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary earlier in March. Back in the day, she sang with the greats. These days she lives in Pomona and teaches at Mt. San Antonio College. We sat down for an interview about her life and career for Friday’s extra-length, Page One (!) column.

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A ‘Bohemian’ choice

For its 20th anniversary concerts Saturday and Sunday, Upland-based Mountainside Master Chorale performed its 20 favorite past songs, chosen by its members. These included Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum,” the gospel standard “The Battle of Jericho” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of the wackiest pop songs ever.

I filmed the performance from the balcony on my phone. You can’t really see anything, but you can hear the chorale let down its hair. Watch the 45-second video here. (The lyrics, meanwhile, can be read here.) The concert was at First Christian Church in Pomona, the same arts-lovin’ congregation that hosts the Repertory Opera Company.

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Column: Comic book exhibit bursts into Upland museum

jughead

An exhibit at the Cooper Regional History Museum in Upland is devoted to comics and Pop art. It’s the subject of my Wednesday column.

Above, a 1966 Jughead comic on display has a commentary on Pop art, neatly tying the two threads of the exhibit together.

One thing I left out of the column was a crack about the exhibit’s name, which appears to be “Let’s Have Some Fun at the Cooper Museum Pop Art Exhibition.” Gosh, let’s. If the exhibit finds another home after its May 31 end at the Cooper, a new name should be a priority.

Two short videos that I shot feature co-curators John Atwater and Anthony Ghosn.

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Favorite films of 2013

In 2013 I saw 28 new movies — maybe fewer than you, but more than the average moviegoer’s six or eight — and as usual at this time of year, I’ve ranked them. (I’ll include a 29th, “Inside Lewyn Davis,” which I saw Jan. 5.)

Plenty of high-profile movies passed me by during the year, including “The Butler,” which looked too corny, and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which is too long, and I haven’t made it to “Her” or “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” yet. I’ve listed everything, letting you see what I watched and what I didn’t. Our tastes may differ radically, or they may be close enough that some title here will appeal to you. Feel free to comment either way and to list your own favorites.

My top 10, in roughly descending order: All is Lost, Much Ado About Nothing, Frances Ha, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Before Midnight, 12 Years a Slave, The Way Way Back, Inside Lewyn Davis, Fruitvale Station.

11 to 20: Machete Kills, Enough Said, Don Jon, Captain Phillips, The World’s End, Gravity, Blue Jasmine, In a World, Zero Dark Thirty (a late 2012 release), American Hustle.

21 to 29: Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 42, This is 40 (a late 2012 release), Django Unchained (ditto), Oblivion, Iron Man 3, When Comedy Went to School, Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel. (It was cinematic Kryptonite.)

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Column: Supporting the LA Philharmonic from the 909

Sunday’s column is about the Foothill Philharmonic Committee, a venerable nonprofit that raises money to support the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The committee, a community affiliate of the Phil, was founded in 1958 at the behest of Dorothy Buffum Chandler herself and shows we’re not all a bunch of low-culture slobs out here (although most of us are, admittedly).

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