GRAB YOUR HARP, BOBBY MCGEE, HIT THE STREET CORNER

That is the spirit of Make Music Day, one of the best gifts from the French since the Statue of Liberty. Vive La France!

NOTEWORTHY is mostly a music column but I do stake out the entire arts world (I consistently recommend the “Library Girl” series of poetry and spoken word at the Ruskin Theatre, the second Sunday of every month) — so, considering the French connection, injecting just a smooch of current events, let us revisit Emily Lazarus’ poem written in 1883 for fundraising for the installation of our Statue of Liberty, titled “The New Colossus”:     

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.

“From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she with silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’”

For some perspective, this sonnet was written in 1883 and, according to Walt Hunter in The Atlantic, “The year before Lazarus’s poem was read… in New York in 1883, the Chinese Exclusion Act became the first federal law that limited immigration from a particular group. Though set to last for 10 years, various extensions and additions made the law permanent until 1943. The year after Lazarus’s poem was read, the European countries met in Berlin to divide up the African continent into colonies.”  

(Belgium’s — yes, Belgium’s — King Leopold II made Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot look like amateurs for what he did in the Congo.)

Hunter continues, “‘The New Colossus’ stands at the intersection of U.S. immigration policy and European colonialism, well before the physical Statue of Liberty was dedicated. The liberal sentiments of Lazarus’s sonnet cannot be separated from these developments in geopolitics and capitalism.”

THESE DEFINING WORDS

Are both an ideal of this country’s soul, and an indictment of our history. It is for many a statement of the values of our nation. It’s a recognition that our strength is in our diversity, that the revitalization of America comes from our immigrant population. Nationalism, populism and exclusion are just so… 19th century.

We sometimes make fun of the French but we probably would not exist as a nation if it were not for their backing during our fight for independence. 200 years later they came up with another good idea, Make Music Day, Fete de la Musique, now active in more than 800 cities in more than 120 countries, every June 21. Independence, diversity, music, sounds great to me.

The philosophy is to promote music two ways: amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in the streets that day, and many free concerts are organized, making all genres of music accessible to the public.

It’s a little tricky to find the schedule for Santa Monica. The one at the Make Music Day LA is very incomplete. So, here ya go:

MAKE MUSIC DAY SANTA MONICA 2018

HOTCHKISS PARK, 3-7 p.m.

Alice Austin – rockabilly/country swing

Kristin Center – jazz vocalist/keyboardist

Dogtown Originals – alt rock/post pop

The Cheesebergens – hard rock

Presented by Ocean Park Association

PALISADES PARK @ Georgina, 5 – 8:30 p.m.

Captain Dan & Friends – children’s music, variety jazz

Maurock – classical guitar

ABC’s – Beatles sing-along/classic rock

Larry Covin – troubadour/Great American Songbook

The Wilde-Hartmans – classic rock and beyond

Presented by North of Montana Association (NOMA)

VIRGINIA AVENUE PARK, 4-8 p.m.

DJ SoulReal – hip hop

Sonora Ultima – Latin

Tom Nolan Harmonicas – blues

Hillel: Mr. Balloon Man – comedian

Presented by Pico Neighborhood Association

COLORADO CENTER, 4-8 p.m.

Edward Yeo – acoustic classical/blues/jazz

West Coast Rhythm & Jews – blues/jazz

Daniel Shust – Americana/bluegrass

Svnzevs – indie/folk

Presented by Mid City Neighbors

REED PARK, 3-7 p.m.

The Wilmonts – acoustic rock ‘n roll

David Sparrow – folk singer/rock ‘n roll

Folks and Company – rock ‘n roll

Presented by Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition (Wilmont)

It would also appear from the Make Music LA website that our ubiquitous local singer-songwriter indie-folk world music guy TEE-M will be performing at the Gelson’s on Lincoln, 11 a.m.; not otherwise confirmed.

*** There’s not that much else this coming week that I would (HIGHLY/) RECOMMEND, except this —

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Arroyo Seco Weekend (with LOS LOBOS, JACK WHITE, KAMASI WASHINGTON, THE SPECIALS, NEIL YOUNG, PHAROAH SANDERS, NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS, THE PRETENDERS, BELLE & SEBASTIAN, SEU JORGE, SHAKEY GRAVES, MARGO PRICE, DWIGHT TWILLEY, GOMEZ, MILK CARTON KIDS, and several more including, well, Jeff Goldblum — the first day, one of the best lineups I’ve ever seen anywhere, and Sunday is very good too, LOS LOBOS, GARY CLARK JR., AARON NEVILLE, ROBERT PLANT, IRMA THOMAS, FANTASTIC NEGRITO, KINGS OF LEON, ALANIS MORISSETTE, VIOLENT FEMMES, BANGLES, THIRD EYE BLIND, several more), Sat-Sun, 12 noon, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, $154-$1699.

ALSO RECOMMENDED: but — same day, Sat, as DON’T MISS at the Rose Bowl, so, whaddaya gonna do? —

Mariachi USA Festival at the Hollywood Bowl; KJAZZ Summer Benefit with Dianne Reeves, Walt Disney Concert Hall, downtown LA; 10 bands extravaganza at the Observatory, Santa Ana; Long Beach Bayou Festival (Sat-Sun ), the Queen Mary; 3rd day of 4-day BET Experience, Staples Center, downtown LA.

BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Every Mother’s Nightmare, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Panic at the Disco, Carla Bozulich’s Bloody Claws, Japanese Breakfast, Violent Femmes, Stellar Corpses, the Casket Lottery, Lydia Lunch, Point Doom, Trampled by Turtles, Third Eye Blind, Sons of an Illustrious Father, Father John Misty, Oh My Muu, Pissed Regardless, Shit Giver, It’s Butter, Blood Candy, Object as Subject, Trashcan Sinatras, Carothers Brothers (no brothers: Bruce Carothers plus guests, but it sounds good), Surely Lorraine-Earth is a Death Star-Cheekface-Lost Anyway (lineup at The Smell on Sat).

LYRIC OF THE WEEK:Before you slip into unconsciousness, I’d like to have another kiss, another flashing chance at bliss, another kiss, another kiss.” — James Douglas Morrison, our local poet-filmmaker-rock star, from the Doors’ “Crystal Ship” — is “unconsciousness” sleep or drug stupor, maybe overdose? I heard it on the radio the other day and like many things I’ve heard 100 times, was struck anew by the power of the poetry, 20 words, such an image to interpret.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at  therealmrmusic@gmail.com

Print Friendly