CITY GEM: July 4th Fireworks Spectacular America turns 237 years old in 2013, and there’s no better way to observe the country’s birthday than with picnics and fireworks at LA’s landmark summertime outdoor venue, the Hollywood Bowl. Whether you decide on Indian, Greek, Asian, Italian, Mexican, or straight-up American food, any kind of eats is guaranteed to help celebrate our nation’s enduring capacity to remain a “melting pot,” even after all these years. — Tanja M. Laden
FILM: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Wednesday, July 3
ART: Lunchtime Art Talks: Parmigianino Instead of just spending your lunch break hunched over your desk eating sad-looking leftovers while watching your Facebook feed in real time, use your daily mental-health hour to its full advantage and catch some culture instead. Every Wednesday, the curatorial team at the Hammer Museum invites curious participants to a different micro-lecture, with 15-minute discussions about the art on display at the museum and other museum collections. The best part is, it’s free — and it’s probably better for your spirit than sorting through your so-called friends’ bevy of food and/or baby pics. — Tanja M. Laden
FOOD/WINE: Annual 3rd of July Party
Thursday, July 4
FESTIVAL: Santa Monica 4th of July Parade Santa Monica is the place to be for a sizzling 4th of July at the beach, with the seventh-annual edition of the yearly event sporting the theme of “heroes.” Parade participants honor our own local do-gooders as watchers spectate along Main Street before hitting the beach. — Kenneth Hughes
PARTY: 4th of July Block Party
Friday, July 5
MUSIC: Linda Perhacs with Nite Jewel dublab brings some of the best acts from SoCal’s legendary hippie music scene to Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion, including Linda Perhacs, whose super-psychedelic album Parallelograms has discovered a brand-new audience since its initial release in 1970. The evening full of free tunes recalls the classic down-home Americana that kicked off the music of the ’60s, made all the more trippy with contemporary reflections on the cosmic kinship between humankind and the universe. The evening’s neo-folk fête opens with a DJ set from artist Ramona Gonzalez, LA’s own Nite Jewel, which you won’t want to miss. — Lola T.
Saturday, July 6
PARTY: Bootie LA Beach Party Bootie is America’s premier club devoted exclusively to mixing and mashing up bootleg tunes, dishing out nonstop high-energy fare for music lovers around the world. The soundtrack sets the stage for a crazy scene where there’s no escape from the Frankenstein-like monster of movement taking over the dance floor. (In the case of Bootie LA’s latest beach-themed edition, just pretend it’s sand.) Plus, in the spirit of fair use and ad hoc dance parties, Bootie has been known to make its unique music mashups available online for any future private parties at home or on the beach. — Tanja M. Laden
Sunday, July 7
MUSIC: John C. Reilly, Tom Brosseau, and Leslie Stevens Hailing from the Great Plains state of North Dakota, Tom Brosseau’s stripped-down, intense ballads have earned him a star-studded fan base including the likes of Miranda July and — as the name of this show suggests — a certain John C. Reilly. But Brosseau’s musical stylings, while occasionally mystifying and anomalous, contain many of the same underlying themes found in classical folk music, proving that he may indeed be classified as a minstrel of the many. Catch John C. Reilly, Tom Brosseau, and Leslie Stevens for a special Sunday-evening performance in Echo Park, presented by the always-amazing New Los Angeles Folk Festival. — Lola T.
ART/PARTY: FX Network’s The Bridge Mural Contest Block Party FX commissioned renowned muralist El Mac to depict its new thriller, The Bridge. Today, the mural gets a celebratory unveiling, complete with free food, drinks, music, and giveaways. RSVP and join the block party! — Leah Taylor