A happy couple walks through the Lucent L' Amour street festival held… (Stefano Paltera/For The…)
Valentine's Day comes every year in a dust devil of chocolates, heart-shaped cards, cupids, Necco Sweethearts and dread. But this year, it's so much more: in 2010, Valentine's Day and Chinese Lunar New Year happen on the same day. This is a rare convergence -- it's only the third time since 1900 -- and it won't happen again until after 2030. Added to that, it's the year of the Tiger, which traditionally symbolizes great passion. All of this can signal only one thing: No one should be staying home eating bonbons on the couch. It's time to paint the town red, which is the color of Chinese New Year, after all. So, whether you're going out with a loved one or just gone head-over-heels in love with yourself, Los Angeles is hosting plenty of parties for the fun-loving or romantic-leaning person over the Valentine's Weekend. Go get 'em, tiger.
-- Ramie Becker
Lucent L'amour at the Shrine
Lucent L'amour, presented by the Do Lab, is a festival that embraces the visual, architectural and performance arts as passionately as it does music and dance. Which is why any of its parties are guaranteed to rock a star-crossed lover's world. Their fifth annual event, timed so perfectly for Valentine's Day, brings together two stages of music (Bassnectar, Stanton Warriors and more) and performance (Lucent Dossier Experience) plus art galleries, live painters, interactive sculptures and elaborate stage and environment designs. The Shrine Expo Center, 700 W. 32nd St., L.A. 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday. $75 www .lucentlamour.com.
Love & Sex in the 4th Dimension at Royal-T Cafe
A Valentine's Day in L.A. just wouldn't be complete without a New Age-y seminar to contextualize it -- so head on over to the Royal-T cafe in Culver City to celebrate "Love & Sex in the Fourth Dimension." It's all about loving yourself, in or out of a relationship or somewhere between (it is the fourth dimension) and consciousness-raisers Jenny and Otis Funkmeyer will be providing a workshop on how to get it right. The Royal-T is a collision of art space and retail shop, bundled with a traditional Japanese cosplay cafe, and there's a Valentine's prix fixe menu featuring Asian and continental delights. Royal-T Café, 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City. 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. (310) 559-6300; www.royal-t.org.
Mortified LA: Doomed Valentines at King King
Love hits hardest and leaves its biggest bruises when you're young, so come relive those memories at the Mortified LA: Doomed Valentine's Show. Mortified's wildly popular formula for live comedy is simple: Ordinary people get up on stage and read excerpts from their genuine teenage diaries. Trust us, there's really nothing more healing on such a holiday than laughing at other people's pain. King King, 6555 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. 8 p.m. Sunday. $15 advance; $20 door. www.getmortified.com.
Valentine's Day Late Night at Aquarium of the Pacific
Families and sweethearts can enjoy a romantic night at the Aquarium of the Pacific after hours. Experience the ambience of the aquarium at night and enjoy a four-course gourmet meal in Cafe Scuba, plus short films will be shown in the Honda Theater throughout the evening. Guests will also be able to enjoy the exhibits and galleries until 9 p.m. Please note: The Lorikeet Forest Aviary closes at 4:30 p.m. Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach. 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. $11.95 after 5 p.m. (562) 590-3100; www.aquarium ofpacific.org.
My Bloody Valentine Nite at the Echo
Party like it's 1989! Part-Time Punks is hosting a Valentine's night named for our favorite shoe-gazers, My Bloody Valentine. L.A.-based band the Meek (led by sultry Amy Lee) and San Francisco noise rockers Weekend will generate live sounds and DJ Michael Stock spins some mutant disco post-punk indie-pop. Special guests are promised. The Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd., L.A. 10 p.m. Sunday. www.attheecho.com.
Skate for Love at World on Wheels Roller Skating Rink
Love driving you round in circles? Then take it to the roller-skating rink! Skate for love because love is all you need. Love and, of course, roller-skates. The $20 includes skate rental; advance purchase only, so if you're going commit, commit early. You can always decide which lover to bring later. Wheels Roller Skating Rink, 4645 1/2 Venice Blvd., L.A. 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. $20 www.spex perience.biz.
Saint Motel's Second Annual Zombie Prom at the Roxy Theatre
Agree love is a sick and twisted thing? Then spend Valentine Day's Eve much like people would Halloween: at a zombie prom. Hearts are meant to be broken and here they can be celebrated with bloody drink specials. Dress up in resplendent gothic best and you might wind up being crowned Zombie Prom King or Queen. Roxy Theatre, 9008 Sunset Blvd. 8 p.m. Saturday. $10 advance, $12 door. (310) 278-9457; www.theroxy onsunset.com.
'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change'