LISTENING LIVE IS BEST

And I try to make sure you don’t miss anything really good, because that can happen easily in the talent-rich, spread out LA Basin.

But there are other ways to have fun with music — even without listening to it! Like I suggested, last week. The responses I’ve gotten showed those who played definitely had fun! But I need many more responses before I can make any kind of pattern out of it.

It’s the old desert island discs game. What small selection of music would you choose to listen to, for the rest of your life, if that was all you could ever listen to? Five discs. Yes, old school, albums not downloads, you can fudge by including The Complete Sibelius Symphonies or Woodstock Every Note, but what I’m looking for are single albums that have become part of your very soul. “Rubber Soul”? “Blood on the Tracks”? “A Love Supreme”? “Love/Forever Changes”?

Send entries to my email at the bottom. Tell me where you live, your age, gender if you wish, and any commentary will be delightfully read.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

WANDA JACKSON (the Queen of Rockabilly from the ‘50s to the ‘teens, a rockabilly extravaganza also with the Blasters, Big Sandy, Rev. Horton Heat, Nekromantix, Delta Bombers, Rocketz, Black Rose Phantoms, Quaranteds, Grave Slaves, Knockout Kings, Gamblers Mark — long drive, low price, great lineup), Fri 1/12, Observatory, Santa Ana, 7 PM, $15.

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON (long drive, big price, but catch the legend, he’s 81!), Sat, 1/13, The Canyon, Agoura Hills, 9 PM, $58-$88.

STAN RIDGWAY (rare chance to hear Wall of Voodoo vocalist turned prolific soundtrack composer in a small club), Sat, 1/13, Don the Beachcomber, Huntington Beach, 9:15 PM, $15 gen adm (all the good, expensive seats are sold out).

RECOMMENDED:

DAVID ZASLOFF (comedy, music — who else can play “Flight of the Bumblebee” on the shofar?), Fri, Sat, 1/12, 1/13, 8 PM, Sun 1/14, 4 PM, Victory Theatre Center, Burbank, $25.

ANNA MJOLL, (Icelandic jazz singer, standards done her way, twisted humorous patter, great backing players, glamorous show in Herb Alpert’s stunning nightclub, great grub if you’re hungry), Fri 1/12, Vibrato, Bel Air, 8 PM, $20.

WENDY LIEBMAN (where has she been? I love comedienne Liebman, so funny, queen of the pregnant pause, if this were just her instead of her variety show of local talent I would make it a Highly Recommended), Sat, 1/13, Vitello’s Italian Restaurant, Studio City, 8 PM, $20-$30.

MARILYN MANSON (if you’ve never caught him, oh, why not?), Mon, 1/15, Hollywood Palladium, 7 PM, $50-$80.

JOHN PISANO’S GUITAR NIGHT (is back? — these were always nights of good jazz-pop, led by master Pisano and hand-picked friends, long drive but the price is right), The Mixx, Pasadena, no cover.

RICK SHEA and Jeff Turmas (don’t know Turmas but I’ll go see Shea anytime — if you pay attention and don’t expect to be rocked or rockabillied, you just may find his rich baritone and fine songs to a be a local treasure of country Americana), Wed, 1/17, Cinema Bar, 9 PM, no cover.

BIRTHDAYS! I still love my Amoeba Music calendar but there are only so many names you can put in a little box. I found a more complete online source, and since this is only the second installation of this feature, there are some people I just have to go back and recognize.

1/2, Chick Churchill, 1946 (because it’s Ten Years After, keyboards); 1/3, Victor Borge, 1909 (outstanding pianist, chose to make classical music fun/funny, hugely popular), Maxene Andrews, 1916 (because it’s the Andrews Sisters), Stephen Stills, 1945 (Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y), John Paul Jones, 1946 (Led Zep bassist, Them Crooked Vultures, King Crimson, songwriter-arranger-producer and instrumental whiz also on organ, guitar, koto, lap steel guitars, mandolin, banjo, upright bass, auto-harp, violin, ukulele, sitar, cello, continuum, recorder, still rockin’ hard), George Martin, 1926 (the ONLY Fifth Beatle); 1/6, Earl Scruggs, 1924 (invented three-finger banjo pickin’, at age 10!, bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs, and with his sons in the mighty Earl Scruggs Revue he brought RnR into bluegrass), Malcolm Young, 1953 (guitarist-force of nature of AC/DC, died two months ago of dementia but the band died when he had to retire in 2015); 1/8, Shirley Bassey, 1937 (“Goldfinger” and so much more), Robbie Krieger, 1946 (Doors guitarist); 1/10, Johnny Ray, 1927 (“Cry”), Ronnie Hawkins, 1935 (birthed the Band), Aynsley Dunbar, 1946 (under recognized drummer from so many great Brit bands, my phone interview with him years ago was a kick), Rod Stewart, 1945. There — all caught up. 1/11, Clarence Clemons, 1942 (gave Bruce’s E Street Band sax appeal) Slim Harpo, 1924 (swamp blues, “Scratch My Back”); 1/12, Long John Baldry, 1941 (pioneering UK bluesman, not a great singing voice though, even for the blues), Zack de la Rocha, 1970 (Rage Against the Machine frontman), Alexander Hamilton, 1755; 1/13, Joe Pass, 1929 (jazz guitar great); 1/14, Clarence Carter, 1936 (“Slip Away”), Grady Tate, 1932 (hard-bop soul jazz drummer, vocalist on “Schoolhouse Rock!”), Allen Toussaint, 1938 (Mr. New Orleans), T Bone Burnett, 1948 (Alpha Band, “O Brother,” now producing everyone, everything), LL Cool J, 1968 (“Mama Said Knock You Out,” NCIS:LA), Dave Grohl, 1969 (Nirvana, Foo Fighters); 1/15, Captain Beefheart, 1941, (avant-garde Delta blues free form jazz surreal rock, teen bud of Frank Zappa in Lancaster, retired in 1982 to the desert to paint, very successful as artist), Gene Krupa, 1909 (drums!), Martin Luther King Jr., 1929; 1/17, Mick Taylor, 1949 (made the Stones the best they ever were) Steve Earle, 1955, (exceptional country rocker singer-songwriter), Eartha Kitt, 1927 (just, Eartha Kitt), Muhammad Ali, 1942. Oh, and Betty White, 1922, still rockin’.

LYRIC OF THE WEEK: “And I looked to the stars, tried all of the bars, an’ I’ve nearly gone up in smoke, now my hand’s on the wheel, I’ve something that’s real, and I feel like I’m goin’ home… With no place to hide I looked in your eyes, and I found myself in you” — Willie Nelson (“Hands on the Wheel,” from Red Headed Stranger, 1975 — how many artists put out their genius opus 13 years in, their 17th album! — and are still creative 43 years later?)

Charles Andrews 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

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