MEASURE LV (Land Use Voter Empowerment) — looks like a lot of big names are lining up against it. Even men of the cloth. Why? Oh, the reasons for that are the tangled web of Santa Monica politics. But don’t be deceived, get the facts not the scare tactics.

Ask yourself who is standing up for the residents? Mega housing developer NMS, funding the opposition to LV to the tune of $225,000 (so far)? Just why do you think they’re spending that kind of money? Come on now, think it through.

HILLARY’S PNEUMONIA is worth talking about, because it’s the first time

Republicans have cared about a woman’s health. (– from the Internets)

A READER, praising my column, also accused me of being goofy, sometimes, as a writer. I always thought of myself more as Daffy. But I must be cartoonish, because I am married to Daisy Duck. No, really, I am.

PHIL BROCK must be elected to City Council as a write-in, something no one’s ever done before. But that’s OK. This is the year of the Impossibles, both good and evil. Brock has done more good for Santa Monica, gratis but with countless hours put in, than most have any idea of, all his life. No one is more knowledgeable, more qualified to be on Council. But he hasn’t decided yet to go that tough write-in route. Let him know you think he should. No, must.


Busy day in Santa Monica. I’ll give you just three events.

First, how old is our high school? 125! (How did you know?) That’s history, that’s tradition, and that’s what they’re emphasizing at this year’s All Class Alumni Picnic and Awards, in the Quad from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Food, drink, Samohi swag, and the chance to meet alumni from way back and just graduated. This year the current students are invited, to emphasize the continuity of the fabric of the community that our high school embodies.

Who knows? You might bump into Sean Penn, Amber Tamblyn, Robert Wagner or Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Tsing Loh, astronaut Randolph Bresnik, Ry Cooder, Rick Monday, Tony Alva, Don Bluth, Ronda Rousey or someone who can whip her, no doubt, our state Senator Ben Allen. All grads. Tours, music performances, awards, but just go for the food. BBQ, yum. Not free but goes for programs the district won’t finance.

Start your morning at the annual Lions Club pancake breakfast fundraiser at the Boys

and Girls Club, 7:30 – 11 a.m., 1238 Lincoln. Only $5 for pancakes, sausage, eggs, OJ, coffee, milk, tea, and a good feeling of helping our kids. Kids games on site. Jump! Run! Look out — urrp!

Then, that night, for the grownups of all ages, the Dream Orchestra presents its season opening concert at the Broad Stage, 8 p.m., performing two of my favorites, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Daniel Suk conducting. We are really fortunate to have three fine symphony orchestras performing in our small city. Take advantage. Featured soloist Ray Ushikubo, veteran pianist of Carnegie Hall and the Tonight Show, will make you wish you practiced more when you were a kid. He’s 14.


I guess I have to finally respond to the thousands who have besieged me to reveal my great day of music that I wrote about two columns ago. I knew I wanted to again go to the annual Venice Beach Art and Music Festival. This year it featured Willie Chambers, of the incomparable Chambers Brothers, the four-brother group going back 62 years. Their Baptist gospel upbringing took them into folk music, then rock, and now they are best known for their 11-minute 1968 psychedelic opus, “Time Has Come Today.” A brilliant accomplishment, on many levels.

I knew Willie on his own would be a treat. Right in front of the stage, I got to sing along with Willie Chambers on “People Get Ready”! But the best was saved for last as he brought his brother Joe to the stage. At 74 he’s Willie’s kid brother, tall, trim and elegant. They did several numbers, obviously having a great time performing together, but when Joe picked up a cowbell I “uddered” a happy expletive because I knew what was next.

I wouldn’t have predicted it, but by the time they finished at least 11 minutes of spot-on “Time Has Come Today,” complete with those unique drum patterns and psychedelic effects and of course ending with the famous gospel grunt, I was in heaven.

I went to the side of the stage afterwards and introduced myself to Joe, and while shaking hands said, “Joe, I’ve been a music journalist most of my life and have been to more than 2,000 live shows, and that ‘Time’ was one of the best things I have ever heard!” He gave a big grin and leaned his head back and laughed heartily and said, simply, “Thank you!”

End it there? I decided to carry on to Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey, to hear some of Eddie Palmieri and his big band. I’ll admit I’m not big on Latin jazz, but legends are usually legends for a reason, he’s almost 80 and I didn’t want to miss this chance. The crowd was yuuuuge but I wormed my way to within 10 feet of the stage and I’m so glad I did. A percussion machine. His 12-piece band was so tight and fast they made the Stones or the Berlin Phil look lazy and loose.

Last stop, one of my favorite joints ever, the tiny Cinema Bar in Culver City (since 1951). The band featured that night looked promising from videos, but beyond the lead singer’s great country voice (but too much stage patter), the band was disappointing. However — the group preceding them, the Neighborhood Bullys (“I named the band before I learned to spell good,” cracked leader Dave Meshell), was a relentless rock machine with four perfect parts, slightly countrified for the venue. I’m a fan. Mission accomplished, four hours, three great bands, all north of the Marina, west of Sepulveda and south of Ocean Park. I love LA.

Tomorrow night, Thursday, at the Cinema Bar, I highly recommend one of the best singer-songwriters in a country-folk vein you’ll ever hear, Rick Shea. Doesn’t often play this side of town.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Oh Donald — why do you always treat me that way?!” — Daisy Duck

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at