I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. It’s something I first did back in college, in the UNM Daily Lobo, and it can be fun to participate in, and the results can be fascinating. I didn’t invent it, of course, but every audience you aim it at gives different, telling results.

What small selection of music would you choose to listen to, for the rest of your life, if, say, you were marooned on a desert island? (With electricity, or maybe a solar source.) Five discs. (Yes, this is old school. Albums, not downloads.) You can fudge by including The Complete Sibelius Symphonies by Esa-Pekka Salonen, or Woodstock Every Note, but what I’m looking for are single albums that have become part of your very soul. “Meddle”? Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller”? “Lady Sings the Blues”? “Kind of Blue”? “Blue”?

Send entries to my email at the bottom. Tell me where you live, and your age. (C’mon — I won’t tell, promise.) Gender might be interesting, but not necessary. I can’t wait.



BARBARA MORRISON (incredible jazz-blues vocalist), Tues 1/9, PIPS, LA, 7 PM, free.



TONIGHT! Great talent, long drive, pricey ticket. KRIS KRISTOFFERSON (damn, he’s 81! — you better go!), The Canyon, Santa Clarita, 9 PM,  $58-88

TONIGHT! COCO MONTOYA (not quite in the Pantheon of blues guitarists but pretty close), Saint Rocke, Hermosa Beach, 8 PM, $15. Also Fri 1/5, The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, 8 PM, $15, and Sat 1/6, Arcadia Blues Club, 7 PM, $20.

ADRIAN GALYSH (pretty hot guitar slinger, jazzy), Fri 1 /5, 94th Aero Squadron (very cool location, in the restaurant next to the Van Nuys airport, small planes, some vintage), 6 PM, free.

WILD WING (wild cowpunkish rockers, always a very energetic show) and five (or more?) other bands, The Smell’s 20th-Anniversary Celebration, Fri 1/5, The Smell, downtown LA, 7 PM, $20. The Smell is a vital resource for our young’ns, an all-ages, alcohol and drug-free, punk rock/noise/experimental venue, which is losing their lease and their home and trying hard to find a new one. Notable for its DIY ethic, The Smell is home to many of the area’s avant-garde performers and artists. They usually charge five bucks for bands all night, but this is a fundraiser. If you can’t go, or, not your cup o’ tea, just send them the money. Also Sunday.

EAST OF LINCOLN (never heard them but love the name!), Fri 1/5,  The Trip, east side of Lincoln Blvd., SM, 9 PM, $10.

PATO BANTON (veteran Jamaican star, spiritual reggae), Fri 1/5, Whisky A Go-Go, 10 PM, $20.

FARTBARF (see what I told you about them last week) plus three other bands, Sat 1/6, The Hi Hat, LA, 8 PM, $10.

ESPRESSO, LOS BOLOS and others. The Smell’s 20th-Anniversary Celebration, Sun 1/7, 7 PM, $20. See above, Fri,Wild Wing.

JOHNNY VANA’S BIG BAND ALUMNI, Tues 1/9, Las Hadas (where else can you hear a swingin’ big band in the morning and outstanding authentic mariachi that same evening, free, at a good Mexican restaurant in a Northridge shopping mall? — I Love LA), 10:30 AM (note: AM!) and MARIACHI TENOCHTITLAN, 7:30 PM.


BIRTHDAYS! 1/4, Eugene Chadbourne (out-there jazz guitarist and music critic), 1964, Michael Stipe (REM), 1960, John McLaughlin (spiritual jazz fusion guitar wizard),1942; 1/5, Marilyn Manson (well, you know…), 1969); 1/6, Syd Barrett (founder guitarist of Pink Floyd, gone mad, sadly), 1946, Sandy Denny (olde English-style folkie vocalist), 1947;  1/7, Paul Revere (and the Raiders), 1937, Jean-Pierre Rampal (classical flautist), 1922; 1/8, Elvis! (1935), Bowie! (1947); 1/9, Joan Baez (1941), Jimmy Page (need I say Led Zep?), 1944; 1/10, Max Roach (monster jazz drummer legend), 1924, Jim Croce (bad bad big moustache), 1943.

You can find this info lots of places, of course, but I love my Amoeba Music calendar so much that I drove across town to Hollyweird on a Friday afternoon just before Christmas to make sure I could snag a couple. They go very quickly. Also features photos from live in-store concerts from that year, and discount coupons good each month.


LYRIC OF THE WEEK: “When I woke up this morning, things were lookin’ bad, seems like total silence was the only friend I had, bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down… and won, and it was 12 o’clock before I realized that I was havin’… no fun. But fortunately I have the key to escape reality. And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile, it don’t cost very much, but it lasts a long while” — John Prine (chosen in honor of California’s no-longer illegal smiles).

Prine is an extraordinarily gifted and influential songwriter, whose first, eponymously titled album (1971) is chock full of memorable, evocative songs with compact, brilliantly-crafted lyrics (“Hello In There,” “Sam Stone,” “Paradise,” “Angel from Montgomery,” “Pretty Good,” “Donald and Lydia,” “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You into Heaven Anymore”). Dylan once commented, “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree.” Pink Floyd tunesmith Roger Waters said, “John Prine [moves me]. His is just extraordinarily eloquent music—and he lives on that plane with Neil Young and Lennon.” He missed only two shows four years ago for successful surgery for lung cancer, and survived  squamous cell cancer on the right side of his neck 20 years ago. That required major surgery, followed by six weeks of radiation, which altered his vocals, adding a gravelly tone to his voice. He’s on tour right now and will do three dates in California in May.

My daughter had recommended Frank Zappa’s “Heavenly Bank Account” (from “You Are What You Is,” 1981) — how does she find this stuff? — a song that was too true then but oh so tRumpian today. I would have to repost the entire lyrics, too long, but you should check it out. Frank was so out there, so far ahead, so right on. And never drank or drugged. I loved an early lyric, from “What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body?” — “some say your nose, some say your toes, but I think it’s your MIND.”

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