ANDREW BIRD: BE PREPARED TO RECEIVE THE HOLIDAY FUZZIES

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Anyone familiar with the music of one man band Andrew Bird knows that with his poetic lyrics, multi-layered compositions and signature whistling, the Midwestern multi-instrumentalist, composer, lyricist and former college professor has a knack for making music both grand and charming. Now, in the midst of winter, Bird also wants to make audiences feel warm and snuggly with his annual holiday “Gezelligheid” shows. The Dutch term loosely translates to “cozy” and is thus the perfect adjective for this pair of intimate performances, (put on in a church, no less) that will concentrate mainly on instrumental violin pieces and be amplified only by Bird’s signature giant Victrola horns. Expect him to play songs from his recently released I Want to See Pulaski At Night EP, and expect to leave this performance feeling the warm holiday fuzzies.

Bird will be joined by singer Tift Merritt for both of these show. The duo also recently performed The Quietest Show on Earth, for which they and ten lucky contest winners hiked to an isolated spot on Quail Mountain in the Mojave Desert Land Trust for an ultra exclusive performance meant to bring attention to the need to preserve and protect our national parks. How’s that the for spreading good tidings?

Andrew Bird plays the Immanuel Presbyterian Church on December 19 and 20. Tickets are available here.

SNOW IS FOR SUCKERS: CLASSIC LA WINTER GEMS WITHOUT THE FROSTBITE

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Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before: LA doesn’t have winters and for Angelenos, the idea of cold falls somewhere at about 60 degrees. Beanies and layering may not be a necessity, but don’t count us out for winter-appropriate-slash-festive activities. Check out how we at LA CANVAS enjoy our city this season with the classics, holiday booze, quality scenes and choice people to indulge with  — true Angeleno style.

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SKYBAR’S BOOZY HOT CHOCOLATE
WHAT: Liquor in our hot chocolate isn’t usually our norm, but it’s about time we moved on from the powdered version to a more refined one. Our favorite is out of the Mondrian Hotel’s open-air lounge’s new winter-themed cocktails. Skybar’s boozy hot chocolate adds a kick to a classic, with Don Julio Anejo tequila and Grand Marnier but doesn’t shy away from the creamy, chocolatey goodness that we crave on these “chilly” LA winter nights. While you’re at it, try the other lodge-inspired cocktails — the Spiced Apple Cider and Irish Coffee — on your next visit. Nothing warms us up like a little alcohol | More Info
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HEN: Seasonal
WHERE: Skybar | 8440 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

LA DOWNTOWN ON ICE
WHAT: Let’s keep it real, going ice-skating is probably the closest we’ll get to having a real winter in Los Angeles – nothing freezes (outdoors) in downtown. While it’s not exactly be Rockefeller Square, you’ll be beneath the city’s skyscrapers. Our concrete jungle mixed in with a little ice is actually quite magical. | More Info
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HEN: November 14th – January 18th
WHERE: Pershing Square | 532 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

VOLUNTEER
WHAT: As much as day trips to the snow, hot chocolate, and ice skating are part of the winter holidays, so is giving back, and the notion always was: ‘giving is more rewarding than receiving.’ There are a number of ways to give back to the community, whether it’s donating money, goods or your time, volunteering at your local shelter is always rewarding. | More Info
WHEN: Always
WHERE: Fred Jordan Missions | 445 Towne Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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HOT TODDIES AT DOMINICK’S
WHAT: Lodi dodi, we like to party… and stay warm simultaneously. Perhaps next to the boozy hot chocolate, our other favorite hot cocktail is a hot toddy — think of your favorite tea, add some honey, lemon, cinnamon, and your favorite whiskey and voila! We particularly like the toddies conjured up at Dominick’s in West Hollywood, and with this drink in hand next to a fireplace, you have a “cold” night that is complete | More Info
WHEN: Seasonal
WHERE: 8715 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90048

LIGHT DISPLAYS ON RODEO DRIVE
WHAT: During the holiday season, our fair city’s beauty is magnified two-fold by the amount of light displays that go up: from the big tree at The Grove, the beach display in Long Beach, to the Tunnel of Lights in Reseda.  Our recommended display are the lights on Rodeo Drive. Not like Rodeo isn’t a vision all year around, but the lights make spending your hard earned cash on others that much more cheerful. The other upside to these lights are they make Angelenos actually appear merry and bright. | More Info
WHEN: November 24th – Mid January
WHERE: Rodeo Drive, between Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards

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BIG BEAR DAY TRIP
WHAT: Truth be told, Los Angeles weather is a gift and a curse — actually, it’s more of a gift than anything and the only curse is that those who enjoy having seasons, miss out. Luckily, for those that revel in anything other than beach weather, your white powder is only a two hour drive north. The peak is prime for skiing and hikers, and has several lodges for visitors to claim home for a weekend getaway | More Info
WHEN: Seasonal
WHERE: 43101 Goldmine Dr., Big Bear Lake, CA 92305

KOREAN DAY SPA
WHAT: Really, who is going to argue a day at the spa? The traditional Korean day spas — otherwise known as jjimjilbangs — takes guests through a thorough soaking, scrubbing and series of specific health-benefit treatments that include mineral saunas that contain natural elements and wellness properties. We know you have treated everyone around you, so what better way to treat yo’self than a day at the spa | More Info
WHEN: Always
WHERE: Wi Spa | 2700 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90057

NOT JUST FOR DRINKING: COFFEE, COFFEE, AND MORE COFFEE AT THINK TANK GALLERY

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Ditch the queue at Starbucks. Think Tank Gallery has transformed its space into a coffee bar in order to showcase the best coffee that Los Angeles has to offer. They’re proving what we already believed—that there’s no such thing as too much of it.

This Saturday marks the end of a three-week stretch of coffee-based events in an exhibit created with the legal stimulant. But before dregs are poured out, get down to the gallery to experience some of the city’s best cups while being entertained.  Yesterday, guests were surrounded by Avi Roth’s caffeine-filled artwork, and learned that there can be more to a morning cup o’ joe than its use as a legal stimulant, with LA Coffee Club hosting an Intro to Coffee class. Guests learned how a seed turns into your morning mug through a hands-on brewing class.

Tonight’s event is for the more experienced java artists who think they have what it takes to be crowned champion in a Latte Art Tournament. $5 gets you in to the winner-takes-all tournament, but we beg you, no more cats. Create something original, and the pot may be yours.

But while attending these and other events, remember that the art is what brought it together. Roth’s Coffeegraphs were created solely by using the drink in many of its forms. He describes the unique process on his site as “the process of applying coffee grinds and coffee by-products as organic pigment without a binder to solid and porous surfaces by way of staining, layering and water burning.” And it’s beautiful.