First Fridays - June 5, 2015 | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Once a month, the Museum stays open late, and the adults come out to play.
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Big Screen, Bigger Science

Thanks for making our 2016 First Fridays season a success.

Miss a night? Check out highlights here!

First Fridays Discussion Podcasts

Miss a First Fridays discussion? It's never too late to soak up the science!

Check out past discussions on iTunes HERE.

Fly Out to Our South Lawn!

Come to our Butterfly Pavilion and see 30 species of flutterers take flight daily! Open April 12 through September 7.

Members get a sneak peek and receive free tickets throughout the season!

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First Fridays: Previous Seasons

Over the past decade, First Fridays has introduced adult audiences to a new kind of museum experience.

Explore past First Fridays and see which of your favorite scientists and musicians were here at NHM!

Community Science and Cocktails

When researchers and the public work together, it's always a reason to celebrate. Join us at Community Science and Cocktails events to hear from researchers about their community science projects.
Learn More >


Indoor / Outdoor First Fridays: June 5, 2015

Tour and Discussion (5:00 pm - 7:30 pm)

Tour (5:00 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:00 pm): "Finding L.A.’s  Hidden Wildlife One Photo at a Time" with Richard Smart of the NHMLA Citizen Science Program

There’s hidden wildlife in Los Angeles but how do we find it? This wildlife has eluded scientists for years by either being too secretive, hidden in plain sight, or tauntingly out of reach on private property. Through citizen science we can begin to explore this uncharted territory, and everyday people can make extraordinary discoveries. This season’s First Fridays tours explore how citizen scientists are “Finding L.A.’s Hidden Wildlife One Photo at a Time.”

15-person capacity per tour. Tour tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Magic of Math with Arthur Benjamin (6:00 pm)

Using daring displays of algorithmic trickery, lightning calculator and number wizard Arthur Benjamin, mesmerizes audiences with mathematical mystery and beauty. A mathematician who is known throughout the world as the “mathemagician,” Benjamin mixes mathematics and magic to make the subject fun and easy to understand.
Copies of Benjamin's DVD will be available for purchase and signing.

Discussion (6:30 pm): "How Bird Watchers Can Save the World" with Rick Bonney

eBird is a citizen science project that collects data about bird sightings from bird watchers around the world. The millions of observations recorded each month, logged into a central database at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, are enabling a global understanding of the distribution, abundance, and movements of thousands of species of birds. The information is used by scientists, land managers, and bird watchers to document changes in bird distributions, pinpoint bird populations in need of conservation, and locate cool places to find new birds. Bonney will trace the origin, evolution, and current use of eBird and show how it is being used not only at the global level, but locally in the greater Los Angeles area.

Each discussion forum will be moderated by Michael W. Quick, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Southern California.


Hear all of the First Fridays discussions on Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - First Fridays

OUTDOOR: Performances (5:00 pm – 11:00 pm)

Performances in Nature Gardens:

5:30pm: KCRW DJ Raul Campos
7:30pm: Avid Dancer
8:45pm: Chicano Batman
10:00pm: Hanni El Khatib
*with DJ sets by Captain Planet

Hanni El Khatib
On his 2011 debut Will The Guns Come Out, Hanni El Khatib tried something he’d never tried before — making a bedroom-style recording of his then stripped-to-the-skeleton guitar-and-drums rock ‘n’ roll mostly for the sheer joy of making it. For his ferocious 2013 follow-up Head In The Dirt, he tried something new again, showing up at producer Dan Auerbach’s analog-dreamland Nashville studio with nothing but the clothes on his back and an open mind.

But after Head In The Dirt’s release and almost a year of relentless touring, Hanni knew he needed to go past "unpredictable" all the way to "unprecedented." He needed isolation, time and the chance to experiment. So after 30 days locked in hand-picked L.A. studio The Lair, the result is the album Moonlight—the rarest and most welcome kind of album, made at that perfect point in life where confidence, experience, and technique unite to help an artist do anything they want.

Chicano Batman
Chicano Batman (Los Angeles, CA) is your sonic outlet from monotony back into the soul. Ethno-musicologists in their own right, they are students of rhythm, globe-trotting on a quest to reclaim and represent the musical roots of their past generations. The band's sound draws from a broad spectrum of influences ranging from 60s Tropicalia, samba, spacey psychedelia, to slow-jam soul with a pinch of surf-rock cumbia. In homage to their favorite Latin American soul groups of the 70s, the quartet uniforms their act in retro ruffled-tuxedo shirts from a thrift store near you. Chicano Batman is more than a musical entity but an adventurous and opinionated group, who feeds off of community, afro-centricity and bolillos, on a mission to bring the overlooked to the forefront.

Avid Dancer
Jacob Dillan Summers has been many things. A sheltered fundamentalist Christian kid. A world champion drumline drummer. A marine. A lovesick transplant to icy Alaska. This is the story behind Avid Dancer, the nom-de-musique under which Summers is releasing Avid Dancer's debut EP I Want to See You Dance, out October 21 on Grand Jury. These songs are some of the most kaleidoscopic, distinctly individual—and above all, honest—pop music you'll hear all year.

During the songwriting process, Summers would start with rhythms he'd create on percussion. This process ultimately gave his material a righteous rhythmic heft across the board—from the highly danceable "All the Other Girls," which appears as a psyched-up drum circle on Dance, and the smoky torch-soul ballad "Stop Playing With My Heart."

OUTDOOR DJ (5:30 pm - 10:00 pm)

Raul Campos
The voice of pirate radio in the mid-‘90s and a native Angeleno, Raul Campos emerged from the underground to join KCRW, hosting a show on weeknights until settling into his latest time slot, Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 6pm. He’s been experimenting with sound mixing since he was a kid and is one of Los Angeles' favorite DJs – both on the radio and in the clubs.

Captain Planet
Fueled by an early love of Hip-Hop music, Charlie B. Wilder (the masked man behind Captain Planet) began DJ-ing and making beats in his teens. He soon developed an obsession with vinyl records and digging for samples which led to an expanded appreciation of Reggae, Latin and African music - which became the ingredients he used in concocting his trademark “Gumbo Funk” style. His 2005 debut 12” on Bastard Jazz Records sold thousands of copies and led to numerous remixes – not to mention placements on numerous TV shows such as Orange Is The New Black and Entourage. Since then the Captain has released 2 more successful EP’s and 2 full-length albums on Bastard Jazz. His cassette mixtape Mystery Trip Vol. 1 was included in Sasha Frere-Jones “Best Music of 2012”.

LA Weekly Spaceland Productions KCRW Amoeba Music