By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
But if you're going to stick to Armenian, you're better off visiting PE-KO (730 S. Central Ave., Glendale), where cherished classics from composers Khachaturian and Armen Dikranian, Komitas' mass music, and the national Sardarabad ensemble loom large. Hollywood's Parseghian Records (4900 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood) is a small, unassuming store (also a record label of the same name) that encompasses everything Middle Eastern, but if we're talking popularity alone, Harout Pamboukjian and Paul Baghdadlian have crafted the L.A. Armenian music scene for so long you'd have to apply for financial aid to get either one of them at your wedding.
Indian and Pakistani
Long before becoming part of '60s psychedelic rock, Indian music's incantations and recitations -- the heart of Hindu ritual -- were and have remained an unchanging force as both ancient art form and beguiling influence. Its roots are historic and religious, its centuries-old ragas serving as a means to a higher spiritual plane. Qawali(qawal in Arabic means "one who speaks well"), which dates back to the 10th century, is a form of extended improvisation of wailing and octave-leaping outbursts, usually by a "party" of 10 or so musicians and singers. Qawalihas been dominated by a long line of Pakistani male singers, the greatest being the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and others, including the Sabri Brothers.
With 24 states in India, and numerous languages, there's a bewildering array of national Indian styles, including Punjabi, Rajasthani, Bengali and Pakistani. The carnatic style, another form of improvisation based on folk melodies, is dominant in the south, while classical instrumentals come mainly from the north. Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar is the ambassador of Hindustani music, wielding an incalculable influence on Western musicians. Equally vital outside India, sarod master Ali Akbar Khan blends technology and Rajasthani folk. And Zakir Hussain has given the tabla a major spotlight in the percussion family, weaving rhythms from India, Africa, Cuba and the Middle East into haunting new forms.
Music courses through the veins of Artesia's Indian community, as inviting as the smell of burning incense and curry, and as plentiful as the wonderful sari shops. Raaga (18625 S. Pioneer Blvd., Artesia) has the L.A. area's largest inventory of regional folk, instrumentals, carnatic, pop, and soundtracks from the prolific Indian film-music industry. A short walk away, Ziba (11806 E. 186th St., Artesia) even sells a few musical instruments. Though they're not in the best condition, the manager advises, the tamburas and dholkis(drums) are as close to the mother country as you can get.
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