John Beasley and Monk'estra


Bad enough when you go to a website to get details or even buy tickets for something you’re just DYING to see and then… SO.

But I’ve learned, especially from my buddy Joel, that “sold out” doesn’t mean you can’t get in. And I’m not talkin’ ‘bout sneaking through the back door.

Joel has been to hundreds of great shows and usually doesn’t go with a ticket in hand. There are always people selling their tickets when you get to the venue. Some are professional scalpers looking to make a killing but many had a friend cancel last minute or otherwise got stuck, and if you wait until the right moment — Joel usually arrives when the opening act is well in or almost finished because by that time people are desperate to get anything for their investment — you can not only get in but usually for less.

It’s a gamble but in all the years of doing it Joel will tell you that there was only one time — one time — when he couldn’t get a ticket. It was when the Stones played little old Wiltern Theater a few years back. He could have had a ticket, on the spot, but for $1500 and even though he had that in the bank, it was beyond the pale for the guy who usually gets a discount.

The worst part about that one exception? It was the one time — the one time — that I accompanied him on a ticketless concert adventure. Thanks, Obama.


HERBIE HANCOCK, LA PHILHARMONIC (opens with Gustavo and the LA Phil playing a piece they commissioned from John Adams, “City Noir,” followed after intermission by jazz giant pianist HH playing with and without that big band, sounds pretty amazing), Sat 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, downtown LA, $66-$146.

LIBRARY GIRL presents That’s What You Get for Loving Me (oh I do so regret having to be out of town and miss this particular LG because it is a true wedding of words and music, a tribute to the pen, voice and guitar of country outlaw Waylon Jennings featuring readings, and Waylon songs performed by Lisa Finnie, Dan Navarro, Irene Greene, Amelia K. Spicer, Mason Summit, Bliss Bowen, Chris Mulkey, JD Hinton and coming all the way from Memphis just for this, Dan Montgomery, it is sold out but I do often list exceptional shows that are “sold out” because if you show up and are resourceful, persistent but nice you may find a way in, see above, they do have a waiting list, and big congrats to LG Susan Hayden on her 9th anniversary show of this now leading literary light in LA), Sun 7 p.m. (tacos, gorditos and open bar at 6! and one intermission where food/drinks will still be served, all this art and dinner and desert too for 10 bucks, oh my soul!), Ruskin Group Theatre, Santa Monica Airport, $10.


TONIGHT! & Sunday, TOM MORELLO (if this time around the revolution is televised, Morello will crunch and wail the soundtrack but you better have some capitalist bucks in your pocket for this gig, the former axeman of the great late lamented Rage Against the Machine is in high demand and still raging, both shows sold out but… see above), Thurs, Sun 8 p.m., Lodge Room, Highland Park, $50.

TONIGHT! — GRAHAM NASH (that distinctive tenor was coming out of your car radio in the mid-’60s on Hollies hits like “Carrie Anne,” “Pay You Back with Interest,” “On a Carousel” and of course all the amazing CSN/Y songs. he wrote “Our House,” “Marrakesh,” “Teach Your Children,” the latter two rejected by the Hollies, and don’t forget “Immigration Man” as he was always and remains a social activist, but I think his greatest life accomplishment was shacking up with Joni Mitchell for two years, ah, Laurel Canyon days), Thurs 8:30 p.m., the Theatre at Ace Hotel, downtown LA, $42-$66.

TONIGHT! & Sunday, PLACIDO DOMINGO, Ramon Vargas, Ana Maria Martinez – LA OPERA – “DON CARLO” (talk about musical treasures, the fabled Spaniard buddy of Pau Gasol lives here, has directed and elevated our opera company to world-class, doesn’t often perform a star singing role on stage so jump on this, dramatic fiery Spanish Inquisition set, Verdi’s epic, ), Thurs, Sun 7:30 p.m., Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, downtown LA, $27-$324.

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM (extremely gifted guitarist, extremely artistically and maybe personally unstable but that’s OK if you are willing to take a chance because the solo Buckingham, cut loose from Fleetwood Mac restraints, is liable to take you anywhere and it’s liable to be amazing… or a dud, but hey, the 1926 Orpheum is gorgeous), Fri 8 p.m., the Orpheum Theatre, downtown LA, $40-$250.

John Beasley’s MONK’ESTRA (Beasley is a local boy who has risen to the mountaintop in jazz, via Miles, Steely Dan, James Brown, Chakha Khan, Sergio Mendes, Ivan Lins, Freddie Hubbard, another stellar local boy, drum magician Peter Erskine, he’s music director for Jazz at the White House, oh the lineups there, and with this big band project takes some modern flights from the home base of Thelonious Monk), Fri 7:30 p.m., the Broad Stage, Santa Monica College, $55-$85.

DESERT DAZE featuring King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Tame Impala, Mercury Rev, Warpaint, Ty Segall, DAKHABRAKHA, Shellac, many others (it’s a three-day festival, it’s about an hour and a half from here, it’s not cheap, are you gonna camp out, how many mediocre bands among the good and great will you put up with but the seven I featured above I would all like to see, so, your call but now you know), Fri-Sat-Sun 12 noon, Lake Perris,, $20-$1999.

LA SANTA CECILIA (I love, love, love this group, so talented, so full of life, loco videos, LA Mexican-Americans who play the heck out of cumbia, bossa nova, boleros, a little weak when they switch to pop songs in English — why bother? — vocalist Marisol Hernandez can sing circles around big name stars and so emotionally that I laugh and cry even though I don’t understand a word, usually four musicians playing but sometimes they add a violin or harp or whatever’s called for, Jose “Pepe” Carlos is in the Yepes-de Lucia-Liebert class on his requinto guitar but rocks equally on accordion, I just love these guys and didn’t I tell you to go see them in the park at Marina del Rey FOR FREE a few weeks ago and now look what it will cost you), Sun 7:30 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, downtown LA, $55-$123.

JD SOUTHER (Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, penned countless hits for the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, James Taylor, Don Henley, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, many others but only modest success as a solo artist, maybe because his singing voice and style are so similar to theirs, but is that such a bad thing? ha) Sun 7 p.m., Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, Malibu, $20-$40.

SPIRITUALIZED (they — he, Jason Pierce, really — can legitimately be labeled a space rock band, formed 18 years ago in cosmic olde England and still going where no man has gone before, I love their every exploration and how cool a launch pad is the Orpheum?), Mon 8 p.m., the Orpheum Theatre, downtown LA, $40-$90.

BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: We Were Promised Jetpacks, Nai Palm, Guerilla Toss, Ben Katzman’s Degreaser, Ego Death Trip, Sonic topia, Tequila Mockingbird, Forced Identity, 5 Seconds of Summer, Bullet for my Valentine, Kitten Forever, Screaming Females, Soft Sailors, the Hula Girls, Three Bad Jacks, TV Broken, Festival of Disruption, the Evangenitals, Alien Ant Farm, Third Eye Blind, Painkiller Kim, Soccer Mommy, Ringworm, Funky Dick, Poisonous Member.

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

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