A lot of big things happening this weekend. Skating events that may lead to Olympic dreams; music festivals and album releases that, in one way or another, cast a grateful eye to the past and a world premiere event that will actually attract a lot of world attention.

And then there’s the usual menagerie of sharks and adults running around in giant bear heads.

Have at it!

1. ASI FUI, ALEX’S BAR (Friday)

When Ikey Owens died in late 2014 while on tour with Jack White, he left a void in Long Beach’s music history that will forever remain unfilled. As one of the city’s most successful touring musicians, the keyboardist, producer and all-around musical hustler was more than an international advocate for our diverse local scene; he was an encouraging mentor for Long Beach talent.

As Asi Fui singer/bassist Tatiana Velázquez said during this week’s “Can You Hear Me, Long Beach?” Arts & Culture podcast: “He saw things in people that they didn’t even see in themselves.”

In the nearly five years since Ikey’s untimely passing, Velázquez and her bandmates—keyboardist Jacob Connelly, drummer Ryan Reiff and guitarist Miguel Vasquez, all one-time Owens collaborators—have been jamming out in the name of the Long Beach legend, using his motivational influence to push them into a new sound all their own.

On Friday, Asi Fui celebrates the release of “Parallelogram,” a funky/jammy/psych-y/atmospheric of a debut full-length, with a show that would make Ikey proud.

Another great thing: Hometown Latin-alt hero Rudy de Anda and Long Beach rapper 2Mex open with DJ Nobody spinning between sets.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Should we just stick around for Glen Matlock the following night? And will he play “Pretty Vacant?”

Alex’s bar is located at 2913 Anaheim St. For more information or tickets, click here.


Jessica Mamey who plays the District Attorney, during a rehearsal of “The Central Park Five,” of the Long Beach Opera in Long Beach Saturday, June 1, 2019. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Saturday’s world premiere of the Long Beach Opera’s highly anticipated, much talked- and written-about production dealing with five Harlem youths wrongly convicted of rape and other charges will also be performed June 22 and 23 at the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro.

The convictions of the men, who were boys aged 14 to 16 at the time, were vacated after another man later confessed to the rape. DNA evidence proved he had committed the crime. LBO’s production, composed by Anthony Davis and directed by Andreas Mitisek, uses classic opera style as well as jazz and hip-hop to tell the story. Davis, who has penned five operas, including X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, says music undergirds the story of the Central Park Five. He wound Boyz II Men-type riffs and other split harmonies into the opera and does a P-Funk parody as the actors are going into the park.

“They were definitely the children of this movement,” Davis said. “They were putting them in prison, but they were also putting a culture in prison.”

The five youths, who said they were deprived of food and sleep by police interrogators, later retracted their confessions, which they said were coerced. They eventually won a $41 million settlement from the city after serving between five and 13 years in prison.

“This happened in 1989 but this is still going on today and a lot of the prejudice is still around now and seems to be resurfacing more in some regards,” Mitisek said. “We are not trying to do a documentary about these five people. That has been done really well. What we want to create is a work of art that is based on their experience.”

Another great thing: We’ll be discussing “The Central Park Five,” as well as LBO’s just-completed “Social Justice” season, with director Mitisek, next week, on “Can You Hear Me, Long Beach.” Please try it!

Giving us a moment’s pause: A bombastic, publicity-hungry real estate mogul who took out full-page ads in the Daily News, fanned anger against the boys and generally made the entire situation much worse. To this day, it’s kind of his thing.

The Warner Grand Theatre is located at 478 W 6th St., San Pedro. For more information or tickets, click here.


For the last 20 years, on the third Saturday of every month, rain or shine, Rudd and some hundred volunteers have suited-up with plastic gloves and bags to pick up trash along a four-mile stretch of beach on Granada Avenue. This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of Rudd’s 30-minute Beach Cleanup. To celebrate this milestone, he and his nonprofit Community Action Team (CAT) will be hosting their usual 10 a.m. cleanup on the Granada Launch Ramp but with a birthday cake and raffle prizes.

Since moving to Long Beach 22 years ago, the Belmont Heights denizen has been involved in nearly every community event the city looks most forward to, like the Bulldog Beauty Contest and the Turkey Trot. But despite all the parties, events, and competitions Rudd has brought to life in the city, he says he looks upon his 30-minute beach cleanup most fondly.

“I like helping people. I think when people come and volunteer they discover how good and satisfying it is to help,” he said. “People feel good and they come back.”

For those interested in joining in at 1 Granada Ave, you can RSVP here, although it’s not mandatory to participate. Students who want to earn an hour of volunteer credit are invited to come to the event early, at 9:30 a.m, and help Rudd set up. Those interested in confirming their volunteer work must bring their school’s appropriate paperwork.

Another great thing: While street parking is usually available, those using the kiosk parking can use code JR0615 to waive the fee.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Should I bring my own gloves and bags? No. Plastic gloves and bags, as always, will be provided.

For more information, click here.

4. DEW TOUR (Thursday-Sunday)

Skateboarder Jordyn Barratt at Dew Tour 2018 in Long Beach. Courtesy Dew Tour.

This is the fourth straight year the skateboard competition and festival celebrating all things skate finds itself in Long Beach. But this year is unique since it will serve as the first official global Olympic qualifying event in the U.S. for men’s and women’s skateboarding park and street competitions in 2019 and the final qualifying event in 2020.

If you didn’t know, skateboarding will be part of the Olympic Games for the first time in Tokyo in 2020 and has also been proposed as an additional sport in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. More than 300 of the world’s top male and female skateboarders, representing more than 40 countries, will compete in individual park and street events for a chance to win the Dew Tour title while earning valuable points toward their country’s Olympic skateboarding team.

Expected to compete at this year’s event include USA Skateboarding national team members such as Nyjah Huston, Jagger Eaton, Tristan Rennie, Mariah Duran, Lacey Baker, Jordyn Barratt, as well as international skaters Oskar Rozenberg (SWE),  Kelvin Hoefler (BRA), Pamela Rosa (BRA), Yuto Horigome (JPN), Leticia Bufoni (BRA) and Ryan Decenzo (CAN).

As in other years, there will also be the Dew Experience, a vibrant interactive sponsor village and Dew Tour on the Green, a festival of outdoor music, local food and drink vendors and lifestyle activations, including a public skate park. Various events incorporating the Long Beach community will also be featured throughout the weekend through local nonprofit partners.

Another great thing: Dew Tour is free and open to the public.

Giving us a moment’s pause: We struggle with street cred.

The Dew Tour takes place at the Long Beach Convention Center and Rainbow Park Lagoon. For more information, click here.

5. SMOKIN’ GROOVES (Friday-Saturday)

Anderson Paak at last year’s Smokin’ Grooves Festival. Photo by Asia Morris.

Yet another festival at the Queen Mary, this one headlined by Erykah Badu and Usher and honoring the famed ’90s festival which helped bring hip hop to the masses in a time when rock ruled the festival circuit. This new Smokin’ eschews a pure hip hop lineup and reaches back to legends that have helped define contemporary, neo-soul. Of course, Badu and Usher could have festivals all their own and pairing them with new school artists that have elevated the R&B scene, like Kali Uchis and Ella Mai is a brilliant move.

Smokin’ is another example of how the Queen Mary has become the region’s leading destination for live music festivals—Tropicalia, Once Upon a Time in the LBC, Just Like Heaven—after inking a deal with Goldenvoice in December of 2017.

Another great thing: If you haven’t, try yourself some Ari Lennox. You ‘ll be glad you did.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Again, street cred.

For more information or passes, click here.

6. SHARK SHACKS (Friday)

Starting at 10 a.m., at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Cal State Long Beach students and researchers will be available at “Shark Shacks,” filled with educational materials for the public. Their goal will be to educate beachgoers and fishing enthusiasts about the presence of sharks, stingrays and other marine life in local waters, and how to stay safe at the beach.

The pop-up tents will be found at Southern California beaches from Santa Barbara to San Diego, with the first event happening right here in Long Beach.

Another great thing: Visitors can learn how to do the stingray shuffle.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Kids can compare their height to an adult white shark’s length. Two words: Fun Size.

Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier is located at 15 39th Place.

7. ECHO IN THE CANYON (All weekend)

Ever notice that a lot of ’60s music, while not exactly sounding the same, gives off a similar vibe? That’s because a good deal of the people who wrote and performed the music that did define and continue to define a rather magical moment in musical history, we’re all neighbors—like, can I borrow a cup of sugar and a bridge to the chorus, neighbors—in Laurel Canyon.

This documentary, featuring Jakob Dylan, whose father is also involved in the music biz, explores the beginnings of the Laurel Canyon scene and its eventual and significant effect on popular music through acts like The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas, to name just a few that help gave birth to what came known as the California Sound.

Echo in the Canyon, playing at UA Long Beach 6, contains candid conversations and performances with Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, Michelle Phillips, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Roger McGuinn and Jackson Browne.

Another great thing: The film also has a good deal of contemporary musicians—Beck, Cat Power, Regina Spektor—influenced by Laurel Canyon, including Tom Petty, in his very last film interview.

Giving us a moment’s pause: How much screen time will Mike Love get?

UA Long Beach 6 is located in the Marketplace Long Beach at 6601 Pacific Coast Hwy. For more information and showtimes, click here.