HAPPY 11TH, CAINE: Few people launch a successful venture, then gain thousands of fans, and then throw a retirement party, all by their 11th birthday. But few people are Caine Monroy, the beloved proprietor of Caine's Arcade. While there are plans for the Boyle Heights playspot to live on, Caine is ready to move onto new adventures. Want to wish him good luck and get a few games in? Swing by on Saturday, Aug. 3 (but be sure to RSVP first). It's a birthday party and retirement party and the very last day "he'll be selling Funpasses before heading to Jr. High!" Love. Best wishes, Caine!
SUNSET STRIP MUSIC FESTIVAL: If the club-laden-iest boulevard on the planet is partially blocked off, it must be time for this huge street concert. The shows start ahead of the weekend, at the Whisky, Roxy, and other nightspots, but the mondo Aug. 3 concert is the one that'll close off a chunk o' Sunset (from Doheny to San Vicente, yep). Who's playing that day? Linkin Park, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and rockin' loud thrummin' jumpin' bands galore.
SONGS IN THE KEY OF LA: The sheet music archive at the Los Angeles Public Library is a big one, as you might imagine, and important stuff: It helps tell the story of early LA. Now our city's house band -- that's Ozomatli, of course, right? -- will be bringing those wayback tunes to life at a free California Plaza concert. It's like LA, on all levels, times a hundred. Date? Friday, Aug. 2.
FREE TV COSTUME EXHIBIT: Very high on our scale of "really, this is free to see?" scale is the annual television costume show at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising downtown. The outfits are always starry -- "Downton Abbey" and "Game of Thrones" are two of the several series featured -- and the details often dazzle. It's closed Sundays and Mondays, note. But: free!
VENTURA COUNTY FAIR: It's weekend No. 1 for this ocean-close, ride-filled, pig-sweet, treat-o-riffic, concert-nice hoedown. Highlights? Hall and Oates will perform, there shall be rodeo, and you can buy bacon and raisin oatmeal cookies AND cream cheese on a stick. Please. We never thought Pacific breezes would play second fiddle to so much good stuff. Nah, the breezes have to come first, and they're complimentary. The fair itself? It's $12. End date? Sunday, Aug. 11, which, coinkidinkily, is the final day for the OC Fair, too.