UNDERRATED / OVERRATED

Underrated

OBAMA ART

Whether you support Barack Obama for president or not, he is inspiring some of the best political posters in years. Check out the offerings from Shepherd Fairey (obeygiant.com/post/obama), the Date Farmers (upperplayground.com/ 06/index.html) and Mac (upperplayground.com/06/ store_online.html).

MAGIC GAS

Perhaps the only gas station (1600 Echo Park Ave.) where you can fill up on unleaded and sip a fresh-made latte in the garden patio.

L.A.'S CHEAPEST THRILL

Grab the seat just behind the driver's compartment window on a Red Line train and watch as the twists of the tunnel turn your commute into Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

HIGHLAND 3 THEATRE

The audience can get rowdy, but you can't beat the $4 weekday matinees and historic ambience at this neighborhood classic (5604 N. Figueroa St.).

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Overrated

COEN BROTHERS' ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

Last Sunday's Oscar show was a flatline and the Coen brothers' too-cool-for-school acceptance speech for best picture didn't help. After three hours of mind-numbing boredom, a paucity of great (or even bad) fashion, and high school-worthy musical numbers, we deserved some tears, some stuttering, something.

DR. DREW

He's always been judgmental and relentlessly vanilla, but with his crass exploitation of strung-out attention junkies (excuse us, sensitively marketed "celebrity" rehab show), we're not sure how he still clings to that shred of moral authority.

LANG LANG

We're not questioning the classical pianist's talent, just his showboating persona -- the colorful outfits, levitating off the bench, those orgasmic facial expressions. His Tuesday solo concert at Disney Hall (111 S. Grand Ave.) will be a smash, but for us, a little bit goes a lang, lang way.

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