This week’s list of things to do was tough to place in any particular order.
1. KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND (TURN) TABLE (Thursday)
Up for discussion and easy listening will be Carole King’s chart-topping album “Tapestry” during the 11th gathering of Knights of the Round (Turn) Table Thursday evening. For nearly a year these folks have been getting together to discuss historically significant albums of all genres. We asked Knights host Derik Larson, who said it was a 2015 Glee episode that prompted him to buy “Tapestry,” a little bit about his taste in music and what attendees can expect.
What are a few little-known facts about the album you think some might be surprised to find out?
Carol had been a successful songwriter with her then-husband Gerry Goffin since 1960. She had a minor solo hit [as a performer] in 1962 with “It Might As Well Rain Until September,” but didn’t have any more solo success until “Tapestry” in 1971. In between, she formed a band called The City (featuring guitarist Danny ‘Kootch’ Kortchmar on guitar and second husband Charlie Larkey on bass; both played on “Tapestry” as well) that recorded one album in 1968 and released her first solo album, “Writer” in 1970.
“Tapestry” was No. 1 on the Billboard album charts for 15 weeks and won 4 Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year.
“Tapestry” was the best selling album of all time until Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” (which was the first album I presented for Knights) and the best selling solo album until Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It was the best selling album by a solo female until Whitney Houston’s “Bodyguard” soundtrack.
Carole made the tapestry she’s holding on the album cover—it says “thank you” and was given to the producer Lou Adler.
What’s your personal experience with Tapestry? When did you first hear it and how did you feel; when do you listen to it now and why?
I can’t recall the first time I heard the album, although I do remember hearing “I Feel The Earth Move” and “It’s Too Late” quite often in my early years. Honestly, the “Glee” episode featuring music from “Tapestry” (aired in 2015) prompted me to immediately purchase the album on iTunes. After listening a couple of times, I was so impressed by the intimacy of the music. I felt like Carole King was a friend singing directly to me and that I had known her for a long time. The album still gives me the tingles and goosebumps. I often listen when I’m feeling down—songs like “Beautiful” and “You’ve Got A Friend” are perfect for reminding me that everything will be OK. While doing research for this presentation, I procured an original vinyl copy of the album and have listened to it at least 30 times. I gotta say, this album sounds so fantastic on vinyl and I’m so happy to be able to hear it in that manner. One of the best things about the Knights event is hearing the music on vinyl and sharing the listening experience with everyone.
Another great thing: Attendees get to fill out an index card with a memory they have of a song from the album. Said memories will be read aloud in between songs by Larson.
Giving us a moment’s pause: Feeling feelings in a dining room with a bunch of strangers (depending on if you’re a regular or not). Actually, maybe that’s a good thing.
Knights of the Round (Turn) Table runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Phil Trani’s Fine Food and Spirits; 3490 Long Beach Blvd. For more information, visit the event page here.
2. PACIFIC VISIONS OPENS TO THE PUBLIC (starting Friday)
You can purchase tickets to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific and its brand new Pacific Visions wing starting Friday. Check out the ocean-themed art, a movie on sustainable solutions in what feels like an IMAX theater (yes, the seats vibrate), and a culmination gallery expanding further on innovative methods to better take care of our planet.
Another great thing: For early risers, the public is invited to the grand opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. when a fancy ribbon will be cut to mark the occasion and taiko drummers will perform. More info on the opening can be found here.
Giving us a moment’s pause: There’s a touchable coral sculpture wall in the new Reefs & Drifters installation. Beware of germs.
Tickets to visit the aquarium as well as the new wing can be purchased here or by calling 562-590-3100; 100 Aquarium Way.
3. BURLESQUE AT HARVELLE’S (Sunday)
Alright, so after spending a day with the kiddos at the aquarium, it’s understandable that you might feel like doing something a little less kid-friendly. Well, call the babysitter and head to Harvelle’s where the Sultry Sweet Burlesque & Variety Show has two showings Sunday night. It’s expected to be a “titillating” performance, one with a live 8-piece orchestra, aerial performances, gyrations, not much clothing, you get the idea. I’m not sure what’s more cring-y than the word “titillating,” though. But if you’re into that kinda stuff, you do you, as they say.
Another great thing: Mild sexual excitement.
Giving us a moment’s pause: Mild sexual excitement.
There are two showings, one at 8 p.m. and one at 10 p.m. For tickets and more info, visit the link here. Harvelle’s is located at 201 E. Broadway.
4. 4TH FRIDAYS ON FOURTH STREET (Friday)
I always forget about 4th Fridays until I’m caught up in the foot traffic it brings on my way somewhere else, and then end up kicking myself for missing yet another chance to take a stroll under the romantic lights strung across the blocks between Cherry and Junipero, where there’s usually a live band outside of Salud Juice, people watchers sipping booze out of the patios of Lola’s Mexican Cuisine and The Social List and artists selling works up and down the sidewalk. I swear, I won’t forget to go this time! This month’s event is bike themed for National Bike to Work Month, so riding is encouraged but there’s also a free trolley that will take you up and down the stretch.
Another great thing: At 4th Street Vine, DJs Eusebio Akasa & Desirable D will be spinning and winning and playing funk, soul, hip hop and world music from 8 to 11:30 p.m. More info here.
Giving us a moment’s pause: Nada.
4th Fridays is located on Fourth Street between Temple and Cherry avenues from 6 to 9 p.m. For more info, check out the event page here.
5. “HEART IS WHERE THE HOME IS” ARTIST WALKTHROUGH (Saturday)
Artist Emily Babette has never really had a home, at least not in the typical sense of the word. Constantly on the move with her family between Canada, the U.S. and Australia, her artwork reflects her unsettled upbringing and the notion that the feeling of home is not limited to, say, the coziness of your mom’s kitchen or your childhood bedroom. To Babette, home is more of a “state of mind or a place you carry inside yourself.”
You can learn all about Babette’s work at Flatline Gallery on Saturday, where the artist herself will be there to answer questions and talk you through the concept of “Heart is Where the Home is” versus the more commonly used phrase, “Home is Where the Heart Is,” most often found engraved on decorative wooden panels in gift shops and hanging above the sinks and doorways of doting grandmas and moms who lovingly nag their grown children that they don’t visit enough (shit, I need to call my mom).
Another great thing: The main work in the small North Long Beach gallery is a giant, intricately implemented paper-cut piece. I can’t imagine how many hours and actual paper cuts it took to make, but maybe that’s a question worth asking Saturday.
Giving us a moment’s pause: If you have a complicated sense of the word home, this exhibition will likely trigger some buried feelings.
6. RIDE THE AQUABUS AND AQUALINK (Saturday, Sunday, ongoing)
There’s nothing more summer season-y and potentially relaxing than taking a Long Beach Transit water taxi to and from Alamitos Bay and the aquarium (with multiple stops in between). The 7-day service starts this weekend and runs through Labor Day, Sep. 2 and seems like a great way to experience Long Beach’s shoreline, escape having to carpool with randos in a Lyft, hurried and honking drivers of land taxis and, well, general traffic anxiety, that is if you’re not on a time crunch.
Another great thing: If you download the LBT app you can purchase mobile tickets and even a ride-all-weekend package for $15.
Giving us a moment’s pause: I understand what LBT’s marketing team meant when they wrote on the website that their water taxi service is back and “this time it’s not going anywhere,” but… c’mon.
For the full schedule, ticket info and dock locations and to download the mobile app, check out Long Beach Transit’s website here.
7. 100 DAYS OF SUMMER KICK OFF CONCERT (Friday)
“100 Days of Summer,” a partnership between the convention and visitors bureau and the city’s parks and rec department, is essentially a Squarespace website ensuring visitors and residents know that there are hundreds of things to do in Long Beach between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The kick-off concert to the start of this slew of summer events is Friday evening and features a cover band, the aptly named “Under Cover” outfit, playing pop, rock, funk, soul and Top 40 hits from the 50s to what’s making the charts today.
Another great thing: There will be food trucks and a kids’ zone before the concert, starting at 5 p.m.
Giving us a moment’s pause: Itchy grass.
The concert runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at Marine Stadium; 5255 E. Paoli Way. For more info and upcoming events, visit the website here.
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