YA WIN SOME, LOSE SOME
Man, I wanted to go to the Laurel Canyon Love Street Festival Saturday, for the lineup that will probably never be repeated, noteworthy musicians from the Doors, Love, the Monkeys, the Mamas and the Papas, Stephen Stills’ son Chris, Lili Haydn and others, and in that milieu that nurtured so much great music creation (and more than its share of drug casualties). No food trucks or craft beer, just organic Canyon lemonade, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, and “baked goods from Wonderland moms and supporters.” Sounded groovy as heck.
But this is LA, it was a gorgeous warm weekend and I wasn’t the only smart one who wanted to be there. So did lines of cars preceding and following me up “secret” routes (then back down) to try to come in the back door after they closed Laurel Canyon Blvd. First I followed the twisty, narrow path Google maps gave me, only to get close but stopped by a private road. Different twisty directions from Waze led me to a dead end. That’s a long way to go from Santa Monica and a lot of driving, for nothing. So I did the only thing that made sense on the way home: stopped by Versailles for some succulent garlic chicken and pork, plantains and black beans and rice. The world was made right.
That’s the gamble you take when chasing down great live music. Or, sometimes, it turns out to be not so great. Worth it? Always. The performances I’ve seen from my modest perch… Maybe I should write a book. Or at least a series of columns.
TONIGHT! — DAVE ALVIN, JIMMIE DALE GILMORE (this is one of those shows that reminds you, this is why I live in LA, Dave Alvin our own Blasters-Guilty Men-King of California treasure with a rich solo catalog, Gilmore sort of the Texas Panhandle equivalent, sort of, let’s just say his expressive tenor will pull you into the stories he unfolds, and what more perfect setting than the historic, intimate Troubadour), 8 p.m., the Troubadour, West Hollywood, $27.
TONIGHT! — CUT CHEMIST (I never go to hip hop DJ shows but if I did, I would certainly catch LA’s own Lucas McFadden, a big name who came up from big name bands, Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli, free at the terrific Hammer — shoot, maybe I will go, but early because I bet it will be packed), 7:30 p.m., Hammer Museum, Westwood, no cover.
ROCK AND ROLL LEGENDS: the LOST NEGATIVES of MICHAEL FRIEDMAN (what a story, from 1967 through ‘73 Friedman worked with dozens of legendary musicians as a publicist, manager and producer but was also an avid and skilled photographer, so with the intimate access of a friend he got candid, “no one was posing” B&W photos of the Stones, Janis, the Band and others, these 60+ photos seen for the first time in this exhibit, then to travel to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for permanent placement, because he misplaced the negatives, never printed, until last year, discovered in his attic — wish I could have seen the look on his face — my wife loved the show but I’ve procrastinated dropping by and we’re all lucky because it has been extended through Aug. 26), Th-Sun, Wed 11 a.m.-4 p.m., California Heritage Museum, Main & Ocean Park, Santa Monica, $10 admission, $5 students and seniors; members, children under 12, military, veterans and their families free, Fridays free.
FLAVOR FLAV (you either have no idea who he is or you consider him a joke, a public enemy whose time has long passed or you love his silly showman stuff with street cred and you will join the throngs who love him at MacArthur Park, but check your watch and don’t be late, hear?), Fri 6 p.m., Levitt Pavilion at MacArthur Park, downtown LA, no cover.
CENTRAL AVENUE JAZZ FESTIVAL with ERNIE ANDREWS, BETTY BRYANT, ROY GAINES, TIERNEY SUTTON, HARVEY MASON, PETE ESCOVEDO ORCHESTRA, more (23rd Annual, I went to the first four or five and sporadically after but there are always great performers to see in what was for a time, the ‘20s through the ‘50s, the hottest music street in the world, where the luxurious Dunbar Hotel was welcoming to black performers — Louie, Billie, Ella, Duke — and all the giants stayed there and jammed till dawn at great clubs like the Downbeat, the Last Word, Club Alabam, the Bird in the Basket, it will be hot, packed and hard to get to but so worth it, if you can only go one day, go Sunday), Sat-Sun, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Central Avenue between MLK and Vernon, no cover.
OZOMATLI (if you’ve never seen this 6-12 man Latin-hip hop-rock collective now’s your chance, for free, but again, get there early, saw them tear up a packed At My Place here years ago and when they played the Pier in the late ‘90s it was by far the biggest crowd I had ever seen there, and you will probably see and hear Cut Chemist, part of the band), Sat 7 p.m., Pershing Square, downtown lA, no cover.
MELISSA ETHERIDGE, TAJ MAHAL & KEB’ MO’ (knockout performers all, the recent pairing of bluesmen Mo’ and Mahal is perfect with both bringing different histories to the same place), Tues 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $1-$161.
LEANN RIMES (she’s been around forever it seems but is only 35, it’s been a long sometimes bumpy road for her since we first heard that incredible strong voice from a 13-year-old, now still so affecting but in a different way with years, experience and wisdom added), Wed 9 p.m., the Rose, Pasadena, $48-$88.
LUCINDA WILLIAMS, STEVE EARLE & THE DUKES, DWIGHT YOAKAM (the LSD Tour — get it? — not just a good moniker but a great package, of three stellar country stylists and excellent songwriters that Nashville wouldn’t touch), Wed 7 p.m., the Greek Theatre, Griffith Park, LA, $19.50-$99.50.
BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK:
Send Medicine, Dead Spiders, Courage You Bastards, One child Policy, Sabrina Is Not in This Chat, Harmless, Last Domino, the Blank Minds, Free Paintings, All That, Release the Bats, Tasty Face, Dirty Cakes, Of Mexican Descent, Wee Beasties, Mean Motor Scooter, Bee Bee Sea, Albert & His Dreamboats, The Bloody Brains, Electric Children, Mouth Painter, Radioactive Chicken Heads, Exploding Pintos, Functional Lunatics, Bones Muhroni, Confusing Mix of Nations, Harsh Armadillo.
LYRIC OF THE WEEK:
“May God bless and keep you always, may your wishes all come true, may you always do for others and let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung, may you stay forever young, forever young, forever young, may you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true, may you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong, may you stay forever young, forever young, forever young, may you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy, may your feet always be swift, may you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift, may your heart always be joyful, may your song always be sung, may you stay forever young, forever young, forever young.
May you stay forever young.” — Dylan (from “Planet Waves,” 1974, backed by the Band)
The best song ever written by a father for his child. My little boy was four when this came out and the song went straight to my heart. Forty years later I still usually tear up when I hear it. Thanks, Bob.
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