WAKE UP, LITTLE SUSIE — LIVE MUSIC!
KING GIZZARD, TONY BENNETT, DICK DALE
TONIGHT! — PINK (though I’ve never seen her in person, and I can’t say I listen to her much at all, her live shows are legendary and what I’ve read and heard is that she is rapidly blossoming as a thoughtful artist and reviews of her shows here bear that out), 7:30 PM, Staples Center, downtown LA, $33-$2,831, also Fri, 8 PM, the Forum, Inglewood, $47.45-$504.95
TONIGHT! –KING GIZZARD & the LIZARD WIZARD (okay, I understand, you didn’t drive all the way out to Santa Ana last week to catch this innovative, ridiculously prolific, highly entertaining psychedelic rock septet from Down Under, but now, no excuses, Hollyweird — go!), 8 PM, Hollywood Palladium, $27.50
TONIGHT! — OLD-TIME STRING BAND ENSEMBLE (it’s graduation time and the ethnomusicology classes at UCLA are giving their final concerts, they’re really good, they’re free, they cover the world of music, literally, check for others besides this one), 7 PM, Schoenberg Hall, UCLA, no cover.
JETHRO TULL (one of those love ‘em or hate ‘em bands I guess, I still think “Aqualung” is a rock opera masterpiece, there will probably be only two original members but all you really need is Ian Anderson and some capable lads), Fri 8 PM, the Greek Theatre, $50-$150
TONY BENNETT (long drive, pricey ticket — Tony Bennett! what are you waiting for, he’s 91!), Fri 7:30 PM, Segerstrom Hall, Costa Mesa, $79 & UP
DICK DALE (Tony Bennett’s always seemed half asleep on stage but at 81 Dick Dale rocks like you won’t believe, King of the Surf Guitar, he invented it, his Middle Eastern lineage inspired him to incorporate those music scales and he experimented with reverb, worked closely with Fender to produce custom-made amplifiers, including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amp, he loved VOLUME, pushed the limits of electric amplification technology to produce distorted, “thick, clearly defined tones” at “previously undreamed-of volumes” and “the breakneck speed of his single-note staccato picking technique” and showmanship on guitar is considered a precursor to heavy metal music, influencing guitarists such as Hendrix and Van Halen), Sat 8 PM, the Viper Room, Hollywood, $35
BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Clan of Xymox, Men I Trust, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Wished Bone, Joe Finkle & the 7/10 Splits, Larry & His Flask, the Dead Milkmen, Brainchildren of Xenog, Dr. Dog, Neckbreaker, Defected Drones, Dead Babies, A Long Drive for Someone, His Eyes Have Fangs, the Swords of Fatima, Death Cat, 5 Seconds of Summer, Wango Tango, Blazing Eye, Agent Orange, Big Pig, Karma Vulture, Fei-Fei, Kid Cadaver, the Sloths, Leroy from the North, New Skeletal Faces, Now Now, Wild Evel & the Trashbones, Cautious Clay.
LYRIC OF THE WEEK: “Love hurts, love scars, love wounds and marks, any heart not tough or strong enough to take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain, love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain, love hurts, ooh love hurts. I’m young, I know, but even so I know a thing or two, I learned from you, I really learned a lot, really learned a lot, love is like a flame, it burns you when it’s hot, love hurts, ooh love hurts. Some fools think of happiness, blissfulness, togetherness, some fools fool themselves, I guess, they’re not foolin’ me, I know it isn’t true I know it isn’t true, love is just a lie made to make you blue, love hurts, ooh love hurts, ooh love hurts. I know it isn’t true, I know it isn’t true, love is just a lie made to make you blue, love hurts, ooh love hurts, ooh, love hurts.” — Boudleaux Bryant
Not sure if there’s another song that so simply, achingly captures the heartache that love can be. But this despairing ode portrays the bottom, the hurt and crushed place you can sink to when you’ve given up on love.
Sometimes the perfect words get in the way of singing them to best effect, but not here. The phrases are all short and perfect for dramatic effect when sung. And there have been plenty of stars who covered this song — the Everly Brothers originally, then Roy Orbison, Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, Heart, Rod Stewart, Cher, Robin Gibb, Leo Sayer, and perhaps the most heartfelt vocal of all, a bit surprisingly, from Scottish hard rock group Nazareth. It was their only US Top Ten hit, and went platinum.
Boudleaux Bryant and his songwriting partner wife Felice were quite a story, incredibly successful both professionally and romantically. Boudleaux trained as a classical violinist and performed with the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra during its 1937–38 season, but he had more interest in country fiddling and quit to join Hank Penny and his Radio Cowboys, an Atlanta-based western music band. He met Felice when he performed at a hotel (she was the elevator operator) in her hometown of Milwaukee. She was 19. They eloped two days later, and their marriage lasted almost 60 years.
Felice said that she “recognized” him immediately; she had seen his face in a dream when she was eight years old, and had “looked for him forever.” Boudleaux wrote “All I Have to Do is Dream” about her, a huge early hit for the great Everly Brothers, along with “Love Hurts.” (Their version is pretty straight ahead — they were more known for their gorgeous harmonies — compared to the anguish Dan McCafferty put into Nazareth’s. But that’s the sign of a great song, when so many can make it their own. But I love the Everly Brothers. Listen to their “Let It Be Me” for more emotion.)
The Everly Brothers may never have achieved their great success without the Bryants’ songs — “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Take a Message to Mary,” “Devoted to You,” “Poor Jenny,” many more. Other artists, across genres, who scored with Bryant songs: Little Jimmy Dickens, Buddy Holly, Sarah Vaughan, Roy Clark, Joan Jett, Ray Charles, Ricky Van Shelton, Simon & Garfunkel, the Grateful Dead, Count Basie, Dean Martin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Wyatt, Elvis Costello, Red Foley, Tony Bennett, Fairport Convention, the Osborne Brothers, the Beach Boys, Jim Reeves, Bob Dylan.
Boudleaux Bryant was the third most successful songwriter of the 1950s on the UK Singles Chart, and Felice Bryant the 21st. Wow. One final factoid: Boudleaux had a secretary named Bobby McKee. Yup. That one. Kristofferson changed one letter.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If music be the food of love, play on.” — Bill Shakespeare (“Twelfth Night”)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org