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Get Spun: LA County Natural History “First Friday” 1/8 is Spider-ful & Music too

January 6, 2010

LA County Natural History Museum’s First Friday music and art series runs from Jan. 8-June 4. This Friday, January 8 the series starts up again with a spider themed night; next month, when we’re on the Tweed Ride, the lecture will ask Where in the World Will Our Energy Come From? with California Institute of Technology professor, Dr. Nathan S. Lewis:

What would it take for the world to get away from fossil fuels and convert to renewable energy? The dirty secret is: It’ll take more than a Prius in the garage and solar panels on the roof. If we want to use wind, solar thermal and electric, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal energy, it will take planning and willingness on the part of governments and industry. It will take R&D investment, a favorable price per unit of energy to get anyone to produce alternative energy, and plenty of resources. Nathan Lewis will discuss these and other hurdles — technical, political, and economic — that must be overcome before the widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies.

A great topic, I know!  I just wish they’d hold the series on the SECOND Friday of EVERY month so we could go but no. They hold their event when we’re out on the First Friday ArtRide! Except in JANUARY! Which means we should all go THIS Friday, January 8, 2010 –tickets are only $9!

Tour and Lecture

Tour (5:30 pm): Meet the Silk Makers with Brent Karner: an arachnid tour Living Collections. Discussion (6:30 pm and 7:00 pm): Spiders: The Miracle Engineers with UC Riverside biology professor and MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Cheryl Y. Hayashi

In this talk, Hayashi introduces the basic biology of spider silk, and shares recent research on its genetics and biomechanics. Despite their gossamer appearance, spider silks have incredible mechanical properties, ranking among the strongest and toughest materials on the planet giving us directions on how to create biodegradable fishing lines, medical sutures, and protective armor cloth.

Performances (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm)

In the diorama halls are Tune-Yards and Atlas Sound: The Tune-Yards’ electronic folk nucleus is Merrill Garbus, who started as a one-woman show with ukulele, and a human beat box of a voice. Atlas Sound is the solo project of Bradford Cox, the striking and eccentric vocalist for experimental indie rocker act Deerhunter.

DJs (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm)

Resident DJ, Them Jeans (a.k.a. Jason Stewart) and headliner, DJ Spider:

Though his roots stem from a deep love for hip-hop, Spider has cultivated his sound to include an eclectic mix of cuts that transgress nearly every genre of music. He’s been known to take timeless hits such as “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye, mix in the newest club-banger, and blend into an Aretha Franklin classic.  It is this variety and originality that makes Spider one of the most coveted DJ’s across the globe today. With musical tastes spanning from hardcore punk to dancefloor-friendly hip-hop, post-rock to ambient electronic, Them Jeans never fails to deliver a set with the perfect mood for the gathering.

Art Installation

Art Installation: Gerard Minakawa

We’ve seen the work of bamboo artist Gerard Minakawa at Lightening in the Bottle and Burning Man. For this event, he’s created The Big Bamboo Spider.  The giant bamboo timber used in its construction comes from both the Amazon basin and the jungles of Indonesia. Bamboo typically reaches maturity between 5-7 years, does not require re-seeding, and is one of the planet’s top carbon sequesters. Gerard Minakawa, a New York City native and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, is a professional artist and designer based in Los Angeles, California. His first exploration into bamboo occurred in 2001 and, together with his company Bamboo DNA, he has since dedicated his career to creating large-scale bamboo structures and educating the public about the world’s most gigantic and versatile grass.

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