It’s Always Reggae Time



SHELBY LYNNE (gifted, moving singer you should not miss, older sister of Allison Moorer, both sing from a life lived with pain, determination and triumph, this is the second of McCabe’s three 60th anniversary concerts benefiting the venerable Santa Monica acoustic music venue and instrument shop and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation which provides musical instruments for schoolchildren, two very good causes worth supporting as you experience a rare, memorable performance in this intimate little music hall), Fri  8 PM, McCabe’s, Santa Monica, $60, & $100 VIP includes preferred seating and meet and greet with the artist.

PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL (perennial early summer music treat, Saturday will be good but save your shekels for Sunday: Charles Lloyd & the Marvels with special guest Lucinda Williams featuring Bill Frisell should be just amazing — Lloyd by himself is amazing — Freddie Hubbard’s 80th Birthday Celebration featuring the phenom pianist Benny Green and other master players, the Ramsey Lewis Quintet, the Count Basie Orchestra, Tower of Power 50th Anniversary celebration, oh yeah, one of their most unusual line-ups in years, probably one of their best), Sun 3 PM, Hollywood Bowl, $22-$199.


TONIGHT! — GEORGE KAHN with Alex Acuna, Lyman Medeiros (financial advisor by day, ace ivory tickler by night, Kahn, with Santa Monica roots, has become a rising star on the local jazz scene, for his playing, his interesting musical conglomerations, and for his compositions, tonight featuring his new “Straight Ahead” album and the players who recorded it, in one of LA’s nicest jazz rooms), Thurs 8:30 PM, Catalina Bar & Grill, Hollywood, $20.

I SEE HAWKS IN LA plus Tony Gilkyson (sure, odd name for a band, shuffling  bluegrass, Americana, folk, country, a little rock, spare but brilliant, high lonesome three-part harmonies with lyrics musing on mortality, whales, and the geography of pre-apocalyptic L.A., they waste no notes but knock you out and leave you smiling, and Gilkyson is a local/NM treasure, son of Terry, brother of Eliza, who rocked hard for a decade with X but gives the most nuanced, affecting solo performances), Sun 8 PM, McCabe’s, Santa Monica, $15.

MIGHTY DIAMONDS (why oh why, Charles, do you keep recommending shows so far away? — only when I must, and isn’t a drive to Santa Ana easier than a flight to Jamaica? — this harmony trio, roots reggae with a strong Rastafarian influence, met in school in the ‘60s and have been singing and dancing together ever since, just year short of half a century, with more than 40 albums to their credit, I’ve seen them on big stages and in small clubs and I saw them quietly kill it at Reggae Sunsplash in’82, stealing thunder from three long nights worth of big stars), Sun 9 PM, the Observatory, Santa Ana, $15.

BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Taken by Canadians, Sticky Fingers. Brain Fragment, Egg Drop Soup, Sick of It All, Rats in the Wall, Still Woozy.

LYRIC OF THE WEEK: “Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights! Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!

Preacherman, don’t tell me, Heaven is under the earth, I know you don’t know what life is really worth, it’s not all that glitters is gold, ‘alf the story has never been told, so now you see the light, eh! Stand up for your rights. Come on!

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights! Get up, stand up: don’t give up the fight!

Most people think, Great God will come from the skies, take away everything and make everybody feel high but if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth, and now you see the light, you stand up for your rights. Jah!

Get up, stand up! (Jah, Jah!) Stand up for your rights! (Oh-hoo!) Get up, stand up! (Get up, stand up!) Don’t give up the fight! (Life is your right!) Get up, stand up! (So we can’t give up the fight!) Stand up for your rights! (Lord, Lord!) Get up, stand up! (Keep on struggling on!) Don’t give up the fight! (Yeah!)

We sick an’ tired of-a your ism-skism game, dyin’ ‘n’ goin’ to heaven in-a Jesus’ name, Lord, we know when we understand, Almighty God is a living man, you can fool some people sometimes but you can’t fool all the people all the time, so now we see the light. (What you gonna do?), we gonna stand up for our rights! (Yeah, yeah, yeah!)

So you better: Get up, stand up! (In the morning! Git it up!) Stand up for your rights! (Stand up for our rights!) Get up, stand up! Don’t give up the fight! (Don’t give it up, don’t give it up!)” — Bob Marley, Peter Tosh (from 1973’s “Burnin’” which really launched the Wailers worldwide, this song and “I Shot the Sheriff”)   

QUOTES OF THE WEEK: “Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.” — Bob Marley

“Reggae has a philosophy, you know? It’s not just entertainment. There’s an idea behind it, a way of life behind the music, which is a positive way of life, a progressive way of a better life for people.” — Ziggy Marley

“Music is creation. In reggae the lyric, the music itself, arrangement, that vibe, such melody, everything within the music moves the people, understand?” — Burning Spear

“I don’t think you can mix classical music and reggae. It’s not possible. But some producer in, like, Norway is going to put it together.” — B.o.B (Never say never when it comes to music. The Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra was not classical but was black classical musicians playing orchestral arrangements of popular songs from all eras. Put together in the late ‘80s by original Steel Pulse member Mykaell S. Riley, the RPO was a noble and bizarre experiment that crossed reggae rhythms with orchestral themes, despite the fact that Riley could neither read nor write music. It’s not bad, in small doses.)

“And there’s some Latino music I like, and some reggae music.” — Merle Haggard

“Reggae is vile.” — Morrissey

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