He started off with Charles Mingus. Now maybe you thought Mingus was black. Garcetti will set you straight. He was "of mixed ancestry, like half of Los Angeles... He was part Chinese, part black, part Swedish, I think." (True.)
Garcetti's up first. It takes an ethnic coalition to become mayor, and Garcetti figures to have a leg up because he's a walking ethnic coalition -- half-Jewish, half-Mexican, half-Italian. (And yet still very white. He's an e pluribus white guy.) Sure enough, his playlist is like that too.
You know most Mexicans are mestizos, mixed, so part Indian and part European. And Los Lobos are kind of mestizos dobles, they're like doubly mixed.OK. You get the idea. But back to Mingus for a second, because Garcetti used him to illustrate another Garcetti theme: consensus-building.
I [tell young people] the most important thing is to learn how to listen and to learn how to follow.This is almost too perfect a metaphor for Garcetti's political style. And this also illustrates the big knock on him as well -- that's he's so interested in consensus that he doesn't actually lead. (Or, borrowing from Obama, he leads from behind.)
A bassist is supposed to be somebody in the background and Mingus showed how, by listening to his band, by learning how to follow his band, he could actually lead it as a bassist.
"Sweet Baby James," James TaylorHm. Well, it's hard to imagine Jason Bentley allowing Yaroslavsky anywhere near his studio. That's not a bad thing, necessary. Clearly this is not a guy who is straining to be cool.
"When I'm Gone," Phil Ochs
"Wing on Wing," Esa-Pekka Salonen
"The In Crowd," Ramsey Lewis Trio
"Di Quella Pira" (from "Il Travatore", Act III), Giuseppe Verdi
Is it PBS pledge week already?
The only composition written in the last 40 years is "Wing on Wing." This one requires little interpretation. It was composed for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which Yaroslavsky helped to get built. In the program notes, Salonen said the composition "celebrates the efforts of every man and woman whose dedication, skill, and faith made a fantastic vision into reality." Next.
Setting Verdi aside, we're left with the stuff from Yaroslavsky's teen years. Most intriguing of all, there's Phil Ochs:
Well that's a downer. But note how it uses the prospect of death as motivation. The refrain is especially resonant: "I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here."
Does Zev realize that time is running out, and if he's ever going to be mayor, he has to do it now?
Let's just say yes.
It's official. He's running.