Live in L.A.

Billy Bragg to Perform Beethoven in Santa Monica??

Comments (0)


Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 7:00 AM

West Coast Sound first stumbled across the information that respected British songwriter Billy Bragg would be covering Woody Guthr -- Ludwig van Beethoven when we were picking up an order of lentils at the Curious Palate restaurant and grocery in Mar Vista. A pile of fliers sat on a table next to a basket of tomatoes. It was a head-scratcher, some weird non sequitur on a couple levels. On the flier, there's a photo of him wearing a flannel shirt and playing a Fender guitar.

The flier read, in part:

Bragg MEETS Beethoven

A New Interpretation of Beethoven's 9th for a new era

U.S. Premiere

Featuring BILLY BRAGG, Live Orchestra & Chorus

Plus Performances Inspired by the 9th,

from Jazz to Blues to Indian Raga and More.

Weird. Billy Bragg first gained attention in the 1980s by walking around London with an electric guitar, an amplifier strapped to his back like a a backpack, and playing treble-heavy post-punkish protest songs. He's best known Stateside for his work with Wilco; in 1998 they released two volumes of the fantastic, totally epic Mermaid Avenue, which featured unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics set to the musicians' new music. He's always been a blue collar kinda guy is what we're saying, no more likely to cross the Great Divide between rock & roll and classical music than the Ramones.

But then, a lot of musicians have crossed the Great Divide and lived to tell. The secret is to no be too precious about it, to do what you're going to do to the music without posing, co-opting or taking yourself too seriously.

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Cannibal Corpse's Frontman Talks About His Nightmares

    The seventh annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival goes down Saturday at San Manuel Amphitheater, featuring Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, and others of the extreme music persuasion. None, however, are as extreme as death metal horrorists Cannibal Corpse, who will also be appearing. Vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher spoke to us...
  • The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend

    Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Friday, July 11 Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds SHRINE AUDITORIUM 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...
  • Henry Rollins: Diving Off the Jersey Shore

    A few days ago I was at the Jersey Shore. It was evening, and I had a few hours for sleep before my 0430 wake-up call, for a dive class that would allow me to go deeper than I was certified for. I had just finished a long day of location...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets