Charlie "Bird" Parker has been called the greatest saxophonist who ever lived, a jazz legend who not only spearheaded the bebop movement but also laid the foundations of modern jazz. He was also a party animal. In 1952, Los Angeles would play host to one of Parker's wildest exploits. The...
The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org
. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
The Santa Monica Pier is perhaps the most iconic beachside monument in all of Los Angeles, and as a designated city landmark more than 100 years old, it certainly deserves the attention. Not only does the manmade jetty boast a 1920s carousel, aquarium, trapeze school and arcade, it's nearly as attractive to tourists as the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In what has become a summertime tradition, the Thursday Twilight Concerts at the Pier invite visitors and locals alike to hit the sand for some of the best established and up-and-coming acts in town. Indie duo Cults, L.A.-based James Supercave and KCRW DJ Marion Hodges help kick off the festivities tonight. The 2014 season features a sizzling summer lineup, with headliners ranging from classic British rockers The Zombies to soul maestro Charles Bradley. World musicians include adult-contemporary artist Yuna (who was featured in L.A. Weekly's 2014 People issue), Syrian electronic artist Omar Souleyman, Latin band La Santa Cecilia and West African reggae artist Lee "Scratch" Perry. Then there are the straight-up rock musicians, such as Santa Monica's own Zach Yudin, aka Cayucas, and Australia's Jagwar Ma. An assortment of KCRW DJs spins throughout the season as well. So pack a picnic and sit back and relax on the sand while listening to the lazy, hazy, crazy tunes of summer. Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica; Thu., July 10-Sept. 11, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 458-8900, santamonicapier.org/twilightconcerts.More
Star-crossed lovers, two heavily armed families vying for political dominance — long before Game of Thrones, Shakespeare branded the enduring appeal of these elements with Romeo and Juliet. However luscious its language, it's the play's physicality that lends itself to dance — the lovers' passionate meetings, the deadly swordfights erupting between the families' armies, the doomed timing of the sleeping potion. Those physical possibilities and the timeless appeal of the love story have enticed choreographers to put their own stamp on the tragedy ever since Sergei Prokofiev composed the score in the 1930s. The latest to take on Prokofiev and Shakespeare is Alexei Ratmansky, the former Bolshoi Ballet director and one of the most important classical ballet choreographers working today. Now choreographer in residence at American Ballet Theatre, Ratmansky continues to work with other major international companies, including the National Ballet of Canada, which commissioned a new Romeo and Juliet in 2011. Southern California gets its first look at it this week when the company arrives for five performances. Unlike choreographers such as Angelin Preljocaj, who set the lovers in a militaristic, Blade Runner–esque future, or Mark Morris, who inserted a happy ending, Ratmansky's is steeped in the traditions of classical ballet yet tweaked to bring more individuality to Verona's populace. He also has Juliet awaken just after Romeo has taken the poison but while he still has a few moments to live — just enough time for one last pas de deux. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thu.-Sat., July 10-12, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., July 12-13, 2 p.m.; $34-$125. musiccenter.org.More
Nick Cave has numerous ways of delivering his fire-and-brimstone sermons from atop various pulpits and stages. He's written novels and appeared in films, and these days Cave has at least two ways of propelling his music forward — he splits his time between Grinderman, whose angular aggression evokes the junkyard clamor of his first band, The Birthday Party, and the venerable Bad Seeds, who back him tonight. On Thursday, July 10, he performs a (sold-out) solo set at the Egyptian Theatre for the local premiere of 20,000 Days on Earth, a pseudo-documentary focusing on a fictional day in his life. If Cave's creaky murder ballads and eternal lyrical obsession with God and the Devil occasionally become repetitive, pianist Conway Savage and the rest of The Bad Seeds pick him up with a compulsively moody, late-night allure. Also Saturday, July 12, at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.More
Every summer for three decades, the grassy banks of Echo Park Lake transformed into an enchanting promenade called the Lotus Festival, in honor of the blooming of the lotuses on the north side of the pond. Paddle boaters pedaled around fountains as crowds examined handmade crafts, snacked on delicious street food and listened to exotic tunes. But then the festival quietly disappeared. The paddle boats were grounded, Echo Park Lake was drained for a multimillion-dollar renovation and the lotuses wilted, seemingly refusing to blossom until the festival returned again, too. Fortunately, after the festival's three-year hiatus, the Philippines has stepped up to be host country of the 34th edition of the Lotus Festival and, just like the lotuses, the festival is back in full bloom. In its 2014 comeback, the festival features the signature dragon boat races as well as a range of cultural dances, martial arts demonstrations, a 1920s-themed drill-team routine and live music, including Latin jazz, rock and stress-relieving ancient sacred sounds. Since the lotus is a prominent symbol in Asian art and religion, the eastern continent's myriad cultures have always been the theme of the festival, but in practice, the summertime tradition appeals to all cultures. That's so L.A. Echo Park Lake, 751 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park; Sat., July 12, noon-9 p.m.; Sun., July 13, noon-8 p.m.; free. (213) 413-1622, facebook.com/lalotusfestival or cd13.com/2014_lotus_festival.More
In the very early hours of the morning on April 30, in a parking lot connected to Hollywood nightclub Supperclub, a patron was shoved to the ground and surrounded by a handful of hulking guards. One of the guards, wearing a jacket reading "Security," took a hop back, jogged forward...
When Alma opened in June 2012, it served as a beacon for the possibilities of the new food movement. Debuting with little fanfare on the quiet, scuzzy end of Broadway, it was a restaurant where you could taste the promise of one of the city's brightest young chefs, without a...
Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
On June 28th, more than 40 of L.A. and Mexico's hottest taco makers gathered at El Pueblo de Los Angeles downtown to showcase the best of Southern California's taco scene. Curated by the World's First Tacorazzo, Bill Esparza, Tacolandia attendees enjoyed music, drinks, a tequila tasting and of course, plenty of taco goodness. All photos by Anne Fishbein.
The most impressive thing about Drumroll by Steve McQueen, the video artist who became an Oscar-winning director with 12 Years a Slave, is the way in which it gives an almost omniscient view of a big city without making that city seem any less dense and unwieldy than it is...
Photographer Fred Lonidier made some of the images in his show at Michael Benevento gallery while still a student at UC San Diego, where he would later teach. He didn't know the term "male gaze" then but, in retrospect, thinks that might be what he was exploring. It was 1972 and he took photos of "parts" of girls on campus — a butt in corduroys, a chest through a turtleneck, an arm. These he paired with images of glamorized, sexualized women from men's magazines. He calls the project "Girl Watcher Lens" and it's creepy, imagining him with his camera, catching girls unaware, but that's the point: Any project that reduces people to parts should be unsettling. 7578 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; through July 12. (323) 874-6400, beneventolosangeles.com.More
"JonOne: West Side Stories" is the latest solo exhibition from this New York–based, L.A.-appreciating street art star — and the first solo show in Fabien Castanier's fancy new digs in Culver City. The gallery relocated after years of being the coolest thing in Studio City, so not only the artist but also the dealer has a Westside story to tell. In any case, you can expect plenty of the big, bold, bright, brand new and emotional from both of them, as JonOne has been making exceptionally vibrant compositions in his signature style, combining explosive, calligraphic abstraction with florid color fields and art-historical elegance. In his confident and zesty brushwork and mysterious almost-language, JonOne uses influences as disparate as his youth in 1980s New York City and later exposure to the less-mean streets of the Paris art world at the turn of the new century. And lately, to that cocktail of inspirations, the artist has added the unbridled freedom, sunny spirit and penchant for experimentation that Los Angeles famously affords to artists. How does that number go again? "The air is humming, and something great is coming…" Fabien Castanier Gallery, 2919 La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; Sat., June 7, 7-10 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through July 12. (310) 876-3529, castaniergallery.com.More
Ringo Starr's 74th Birthday celebration was held at Capitol Records Monday. The birthday boy, along with fashion designer John Varvatos, launched the #peacerocks campaign to raise funds for Starr's Peace & Love fund, which is a part of David Lynch's non-profit organization. Starr's wife Barbara, and countless musician friends, showed up to support Starr and his fundraiser by posting selfies galore on social media with #peacerocks hashtags, raising $1 per hit. After blowing out candles and greeting fans, Starr handed out bracelets and cupcakes for all to join his celebration. All photos by Michele McManmon.
The dream of the '90s was alive at the Anime Expo and we've got the photos to prove it. From Pokemon to Porco Rosso we tracked down some awesome cosplayers that celebrated '90s anime, video games and live action TV shows. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.
"It's the secret films you have to watch out for," Richard Linklater jokes about his new movie, Boyhood, a furtive experiment that he kept quiet for more than a decade. In 2002, he chose a first-grader named Eller Coltrane, the 6-year-old son of two Texas artists; cast Patricia Arquette and...
A mere 10 minutes of The Battered Bastards of Baseball will have you convinced that its namesake — the ragtag, minor league Portland Mavericks, active in the 1970s — must have served as the inspiration for the Bad News Bears.
The past decade has seen a boom in the number of marijuana dispensaries, with estimates placing the number within L.A. city limits at over 1,000. A recently approved ban by the city council could mean the end of marijuana dispensaries, though medical marijuana activists are fighting back. Our gallery of some of the marijuana dispensaries of Los Angeles. All photos by Susan Slade Sanchez.
Whether you think of 4/20 as a celebration for an oppressed minority or just another day for layabouts to get high, this weekend stoners across the country got baked. So from the east to west, from states with legal access to medical marijuana to states without, here are the highest people across America.
The sound of Frances-Marie Uittis cello resonates in the bloodstream. She would have it so; she has devoted considerable time and effort to enhancing the seductive throb of her instrument developing a cello with six strings, and a way of playing with two bows. Next fall she starts a years residence at Berkeley, working on interactive electronic systems. I have no idea whether she uses this advanced technical stuff when she plays Bach or Dvorák; mostly she has hung out with the composers who match her visions: John Cage, Giacinto Scelsi, Iannis Xenakis. Born in Chicago, to Finnish parents, she now lives in Amsterdam, the worlds best place for visionaries.
On a new ECM disc, There Is Still Time, Uitti plays her own music while Paul Griffiths reads his poetry. Griffiths, Welsh-born, a sometime music critic and the author of some excellent writing on new music, has a voice that sounds like Uittis cello dont all Welshmen? and he uses it the way she plays: intense, throbbing, now and then breaking off and darting in some unexpected direction. His poetry is darkly tinged with memory There it was, and it was, and it is gone. Single words and phrases seem to dissolve into cello sound, and just as often the process is reversed. Think of that day, the poet intones. Be there again, he and the cello join to implore. It was then ... now its then again. In Munich, where poet and cellist first performed the sequence live, Griffiths insisted on appearing barefoot.
Photo by Anne West
There are 17 poems in There Is Still Time, some of few words, some crammed with words and breathless. When its 55 minutes are past, it is nearly impossible to resist playing the disc immediately again. I have written before about the Korean composer Unsuk Chin, mostly abut her great Violin Concerto, which we havent heard here yet, and about her Alice in Wonderland opera, which was supposed to show up at the L.A. Opera next season but is apparently lost down the rabbit hole. One major work of hers that has been performed here is the delightful Acrostic Wordplay, which George Benjamin conducted at a Green Umbrella concert seven years ago, and which heads a splendid collection of her short works on a recent Deutsche Grammophon disc. There is a hint of Alice in this 1993 work, too; the text is drawn from Lewis Carroll and other authors, with narrative reduced to syllables or word fragments until only their significance remains. Text becomes music, music becomes text or so the program notes imply, although I think that the aforementioned cello and reader achieve a more satisfactory metamorphosis. On its own, however, there is some delight in this bouncy, perky piece, and in the performance by the Ensemble InterContemporain, under Kazushi Ono, with Piia Komsi burbling out the syllables.
On the same disc is the formidable Xi from 1998, with the EIC led by David Robertson; they played it here, at Royce Hall, that same year. Xi calls for large ensemble plus electronics, and multichannel processing, and sends the sound on a single broad arc around the performing space. The title in Korean, says the composer, means the smallest unit, the origin of all things ... thus, the idea of metamorphosis. The buildup is awesome, from the sound of simple breathing to a wrenching, percussive apotheosis. Dont make the mistake I did, hearing the music first on a car stereo in murderous Friday traffic on I-405 on my way to the Philip Glass concert Ill tell you about a couple of paragraphs down. The sense from the music, that the whole car was coming apart, was not, lets say, pleasant; it took further hearings to restore the realization that Xi is, indeed, some kind of sonic masterpiece.
So is the extraordinary Violin Concerto by Marc-André Dalbavie, which comes with two other works by him on a new disc from a label known as Naïve, which it is anything but. Pierre Boulez led one work by Dalbavie at a Green Umbrella concert in 1998; another is scheduled here next season. The three works on the new disc are vast soundscapes, with Debussy in their ancestry above all the sense of limitless space in works like La Mer and the Nocturnes. The Violin Concerto, stupendously dispatched by Eiichi Chijiwa with Christoph Eschenbach conducting, comes with voluminous program notes on relationships of music to space and the spatialization of sound objects. But the exhilaration of the music speaks for itself.
At Costa Mesas Segerstrom Hall there was Philip Glass, his ensemble, an international gathering of participants, and Orion, 90 minutes of the usual accompaniments-plus-riffs that pass as his music these days. The gadget this time there always is one was the celebration in Athens last summer of the Olympics. Musics of many lands performed by talented proponents Australia, China, Canada, the Gambia, Brazil, India, Greece were stirred into the familiar background of our old friends, the Philip Glass Ensemble. The outdoor performance in Athens last June a month when it never rains there was accompanied by a howling downpour. Times were when people were more adept at heeding warnings from the gods.
What am I missing in the ongoing fame and acclaim surrounding the Philip Glass
phenomenon? I watch in wonderment as large audiences greet, with whoops and hollers
and standing ovations, works large and small the Fifth Symphony, the new soundtracks
glued onto splendid old Cocteau movies, the insipid little Piano Etudes and now
this protracted venture in hands-across-the-seas patronization. I recoil at the
sheer tastelessness, not to mention the ugliness of sound, in combining the crystalline
elegance of Wu Mans pipa (even if amplified to satisfy the space of Costa Mesas
barn of a hall) with the bovine keening of the alto sax from the Glass ensemble.
I reach for earplugs as the needlepoints in the sounds of an Indian sitar become
crammed into Western rhythmic patterns. What is put forth as assimilation, of
a joining of musical styles under the night sky lit by the stars of the Hunter
Orion, I hear as mindless exploitation. I do not enjoy mindlessness in a composer
I once admired. Come back to the beach, Einstein; we need you. Philip needs you.
You can mark a new year with some drugstore bubbly, or you can try ringing in 2014 with a food tradition meant to bring good luck. There's plenty to pick from, whether it's enjoying a slice of vasilopita, a citrus-flavored cake, in Greece or pulling up a chair for media
Not long ago, I found myself in Western China, and met some dancers who talked with great reverence about a man named Stanly. They made him sound like a legendary figure; the "godfather" of Chinese hip-hop, some called him. "You don't go to Shanghai without seeing Stanly," said Pracat, a breakdancer...
There may very well be porn stars (or even likelier, other flavors of sex worker) who went to the same college as you. But unless you go to go to a prestigious school, being in porn isn't that splashy. Paint it as a salacious story, a feminist story, or a...
RADIO BROADCAST #266 05 - 04 - 14 Fanatics! Another Sunday, another great night of music. You know that thing we do each year, as the heat builds up, at least in the part of the world I am writing from, (our Australian and New Zealander Fanatics I guess are...