Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan's American Journey Exhibit at the Skirball

Ugly Shoe Boy and I journeyed through Bob Dylan's American Journey at the Skirball Cultural Center the other night. The exhibit had been on our to-go list since its opening in early February, but with the recent discovery of the Skirball's Thursday Special (open late until 9pm and free admission & parking all day!), there really was no excuse not to check it out.

The Skirball Center (off the 405 just South of the 101) is the 4th pit stop for the exhibit hosted by the Experience Music Project, after making its way through the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, New York City and Minneapolis. Speaking just as a casual fan (I like the songs Bob Dylan's famous for but he lost me a little during his Soy Bomb/incohorent mumbling/singing phase) I found the exhibit comprehensive and interesting. While maybe not unveiling any new revelations about the man, the exhibit threw in enough surprises (young Robert Zimmerman's hand-written poetry from a high-school english assignment, a cheeky letter to Joan Baez's mother signed by Joan but penned by Dylan) and gems (never-released recording of Dylan's first concert performed at Carnegie Chapter Hall, journalists' scribblings documenting Bob's infamous electric guitar debut at Newport Festival; "on at 9:25", "wearing a black leather coat", "electric") to impress hard-core fans looking to find more traces of the person behind the persona.

The exhibit is organized chronologically, focusing on the Poet Man's formative years between 1956-1966 and showcases influencing events in Dylan's life and his country/folk/rock/ blues/gospel phases alongside corresponding memorabilia; highlights from the collection of 150+ artifacts include a Martin guitar inscribed by childhood hero Woody Guthrie, side-by-side headshots of Guthrie and early Dylan replicating the same stance into the camera, rare posters from his Greenwich Village concerts with Joan Baez, signed album covers with quirky comments and song lyrics, candid moments caught on camera and drafts of lyrics to 'Blowin' In the Wind' and 'Mr Tamborine Man'.

For those all about the music, there are private listening and & viewing stations cued with tracks from his first 7 albums and looping in hours of documentary, interview and performance footage. And, while I found this a bit too much audience participation, if your American Journey of Bob Dylan isn't complete until you've sung a mile in his shoes, there is an interactive section where you can live out your rock star fantasies remixing Dylan ditties, playing drums along with Dylan tunes or even singing along with Bob.
Thankfully, headphones are provided so the rest of the museum-going audience is spared hearing your duet of 'Like A Rolling Stone'.

Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966 exhibit runs through June 8, 2008
For more info, check out: Skirball Cultural Center
$10 General Admission
Tues-Fri: 12pm-5pm
Sat-Sun: 10am-5pm
Thursdays: Extended hours 12pm-9pm, free!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sally Sells Seychelles By The Sea Shore - Seychelles Warehouse Sale!

Try saying that 5 times. Or better yet, just buy 5 pairs of new shoes.

You'll have to excuse the liberal use of the exclamation points but I just got back from the warehouse sale--with 10,000 pairs of Seychelles and BC Footwear Shoes to choose from!! Shoes for $30! Boots for $50! Cheap enough to revamp your entire shoe wardrobe for under $200!--and am still experiencing post-shoe-purchasing euphoria!! Especially because I'm already a big fan of Seychelles Shoes!! In fact, it's been over a year of non-blogging laziness but the warehouse sale (and one of my new years resolutions made 4 months ago) has compelled me to start writing about my sunny days a la mode again.

The two day warehouse sale started at 10am. I arrived at the warehouse at 10:22am to see two women already leaving the building with 12 shoeboxes each. Although alarmed that meant there were 24 less pairs of shoes to choose from, I also took that as a good sign that the selection mustn't be half bad.

After a 10 minute wait (and about 25 people in front of me), I was in. And Seychelles heaven it was! Row upon row of their signature suede roundtoe pumps, platform Mary Janes, funky knee-high boots and leather flats greeted me, each glowing with a "buy me for only $30!" allure. Kitschy style names such as "Don't Waste My Time" (leather Mary Janes with a triangular 3" heel) and "One Night Only" (ankle boots with buckle detailing) only adds to the appeal.

Not much one for pushy claustophoby crowds nor bloody catfights over the last gotta-have 7 1/2 heel, I'm not a frequent warehouse or sample sale goin' gal so I have no idea if this was typical but I was impressed with:

A) The orderly classification of all the shoes (no digging into bottomless bins here).

Each row was highly organized with all of the available sizes in their respective shoeboxes stacked underneath each sample shoe. Differing colors were arranged by columns. Each style of shoe was where it was supposed to be and inside each shoebox was the right size, style, color and one left and right shoe. For those who say "But duh! That's simple!"...have you ever gone to a Shoe Pavillion or DSW? Disorderly. Nightmare.

B) The grand selection of styles and sizes.

Not just an excuse to get rid of last winter's stock, the warehouse sale included styles which are currently on the Seychelles website and at Urban Outfitters for triple the price. Sizes weren't just reserved for the tiny and the behemoth...amongst the size 5-12's, there were just as many sizes in between. I am a size 7 1/2 or 8 and I found my size for every shoe I tried on.

C) The other Seychelle Warehouse shoppers.

Although everyone had a steely 'woman with a mission' focus in the eyes, this was the most civilized group of warehouse shoppers I've come across. No squabbling over who grabbed the shoebox first, no fighting for the two mirrors in the entire warehouse. Instead, we all patiently waited our turn to scour through the shoeboxes or for a glimpse in the mirror, unwanted shoes were returned back at their proper place as opposed to the nearest pile of shoes, females gave each other unsolicited "ooh, those look cute" and "there's more shoes on sale for only $10 over there" comments. many called their friends to describe and buy shoes for them over the phone, and I even asked a random stranger to try on a pair of flats to see how they looked with jeans, which she happily complied even though she was carrying 5 shoeboxes in her hands and was a size 10. It was as if this best warehouse sale ever also brought out everyone's best behavior.

The pay line goes fast and they accept cash or credit card. I left with 5 pairs of shoes--for a mere $150, that's $30 each with tax included!--and a new dilemma of which new pair to wear first (hhhmm my purple "Happily Ever After" faux croc heels or my shimmery "Starter Husband" ballet flats?")

The two day warehouse sale goes on until 5pm today and starts up again tomorrow from 10am-4pm. Those looking to build on their Imelda Marcos-inspired footwear collection should there early to avoid the lines and before everything gets bought out. On average, most shoppers walked out with about 6-8 pairs of shoes each. For more info on the warehouse sale, check out Daily Candy's weekend guide