By CHARLES ANDREWS

BRAND X

What a great name for a British jazz-fusion band that was anything but generic. Formed by Genesis drummer Phil Collins and Atomic Rooster guitarist John Goodsall as a side project from their regular groups, it turned into a real deal. Their mid-’70s work is their best, I think. Not usually a fan of the genre, this is kind of a guilty pleasure for me but I dug them from my first spin of “Unorthodox Behaviour” and got really hooked after the second album, “Moroccan Roll,” which actually had less rock and roll and more Eastern-style, softer textures. The opening song is the only one with vocals, sung in

Sanskrit by Collins, and some smokin’ sitar. Maybe it was part of the musical brainwashing that now has me going back to Morocco.

NOTE: There will be no NOTEWORTHY columns for two weeks whilst I hang out in the kasbah, or in Jajouka in the Atlas Mountains. You’re on your own, kiddies.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

TONIGHT!, Sun, Wed – LA OPERA: HANSEL & GRETEL (Engelbert Humperdinck ain’t no Puccini, Verdi or Strauss but H&G is considered his greatest work and Strauss dug him so much he conducted the premier, a smashing success, but don’t get too distracted from Hump’s superb Wagnerian-style score, by the 12-foot magical forest creatures, floating fairies, fantastical sets and special effects of this production, all the singers are superb and it’s also got laughs, now that’s entertainment!), Thurs, Sun 7:30 p.m., Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, downtown LA, $16-$294.

DICK DALE (are you kidding me?! the King of the Surf Guitar is going to be wailing in a Santa Monica Mexican joint and I’ll miss it? — of course I did see him on the Pier years ago but this is cool, I hope Casa Escobar does more of this, now in his 80s he IS still The King,  still squeezing torrents of magic out of that axe like he forgot he’s not a teenager with too much energy and talent), Sat 8:30 p.m., Casa Escobar, Santa Monica, $40-$250.

RECOMMENDED:

NINE INCH NAILS, the Jesus and Mary Chain (you are transformed by them, or their noise sends you out of the room so fast you drop your earplugs, why do you even have earplugs, that’s no way to listen to great roaring rock music and really get it, NIN can be unbelievable or possibly a misfire, Trent Reznor is an artistic gambler), Fri, Sat, Tues, Wed  6:30 p.m., Hollywood Palladium, $80-$100.

KRONOS QUARTET (for nearly five decades now, with rotating personnel, one of the most adventurous and groundbreaking of the the modern string quartets, they have had almost 1,000 pieces written for them), Fri 8 p.m., the Theatre at Ace Hotel, downtown LA, $29-$59.

DAVE ALVIN, JIMMIE DALE GILMORE (Pappy’s is a cool Old West rustic bar and restaurant, drinks served in mason jars, with some great live music but it is a long drive you’re probably not going to make so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this except to say that if you don’t know Blaster Dave Alvin’s solo career and heard in person his seductive baritone stroking simple but fully loaded word pictures you have missed out on life and don’t understand California, really, you should probably just move, and he often teams with Texan Jimmie Dale of the odd twangy completely captivating soulful voice, and it’s all ages, you can take the kids), Fri 9 p.m., Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, $25.

MASON’S NOISE PARLOUR #19 (here’s the deal, if you’ve been going to the monthly Library Girl presentations at the Ruskin Group Theatre, as I have strongly advised you to do, you have seen LG’s Mason Summit playing guitar and singing nearly every time for years and you have seen him develop quite nicely into a performer you would probably trust to curate a quarterly show of young local talent, I don’t know the line-up except for Patsy Grime, the duo of Nicole Andrews and Zoe Zelkind, whom I have not heard as a duo but with names like that how can you go wrong?), Fri 8 p.m., Beyond Baroque, Venice, $6-$10.

BONNIE MURRAY TAMBLYN, Michael C. Ford, Peggy Dobreer, Brendan Constantine (the Unurban is one cool hang of a coffeehouse, on the edge of Santa Monica, I love their huge painting on the outside wall that proclaims “Death Before Decaf” and yes their coffee is really good but they also have music sometimes and this Saturday afternoon show should be worthwhile if for no other reason than my neighbor Bonnie Murray Tamblyn, a folk rocker singer songwriter actress of some note who left her garage door open for a band rehearsal a couple years ago as I was driving home and I stopped then got out of my car then hung around till they finished and had a great time, and yeah you see that last name, her husband is West Side Story-Twin Peaks Russ and her daughter is actress-writer-poet Amber, a great testament to our local schools), Sat 4 p.m., UnUrban Coffee House, Santa Monica,  free.

LIBRARY GIRL – I Have Loved the Story of My Life (East meets West in a whirlwind of words, very personal words, about their own life stories, noted writers from David Rocklin’s Roar Shack, an Echo Park writers collective, and our own Westside talent gathered once a month right here in Santa Monica under the banner of Susan Hayden’s Library Girl, this month with a theme taken from a Zander Schloss song title and yes he will be there to sing it and others, a whole set, also featuring the music collaboration of Mason Summit and Irene Greene, but oh yeah the wordsmiths, will feature Mary Woronov who’s been famous since before I moved to LA in 1980, one of the longtime LA Times-Rolling Stone-Creem rock crits I coulda been if only Robert Hilburn had read my stuff that day before his, Steve Hochman, who has quite the interesting story of his life I’m sure but what to choose, that is always the writer’s first dilemma, also Henry Mortensen, liz gonzalez and Tanya White), Sun 7 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, Santa Monica Airport, $10 (includes snack + desert).

LYRIS QUARTET (I don’t know what’s on the program, they usually mix up the classics with the young bucks but doesn’t matter, I’ve seen them bunches of times here under the Jacaranda Music umbrella downtown and at shows at the  recently shuttered but soon back somewhere I’m sure Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Gallery on La Cienega, what fun to hear them in the setting of a well-curated, world class exhibit but now they’re just next door, in Pacific Palisades and I’ll bet that church has great acoustics and if I weren’t 6,000 miles away you would see me there, being marvelously entertained and probably also learning something), Tues 8 p.m., St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Pacific Palisades, $30.

BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Narrow Head, Nine Inch Nails, Yip Yops, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Hear Kitty Kitty, Cosmic Kitten, Which One’s Pink?, Lunch Lady, Pylon Reenactment Society, Lower Class Brats, Japanese Wallpaper, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Adobe House, Forest of Tongue, Scurvy Kids, Delphic Sybil, the Jesus & Mary Chain.

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  therealmrmusic@gmail.com

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.