I like spontaneity. Many’s the time I’ve left the house at 10 to hit some show I just decided I should or had to catch. Get home at 1 or 2 a.m., a bit difficult for you 9-5 working folks, I know, but c’mon — don’t get old at 30, you can sleep when you’re dead.
But normal folks plan in advance. They buy their tickets, mark their calendar, it’s an event, they decide when to leave and even what to wear, dinner maybe, and anticipate. Anticipation is juicy, an important part of any event you expect to be memorable.
And, of course, sometimes that ship sinks, that show stinks. But then, that anticipation is all the more worthwhile — you enjoyed what it could have been for days or weeks, and only one night of disappointment.
THESE NOTEWORTHY COLUMNS
Have been my attempt to alert you to shows in the coming week that I think might appeal to you, and to give you clues as to why they might. Sketchy, I admit, because I don’t keep up with it all the way music journalists who are full-time paid to do so do. But I’ve seen a lot of live shows, I still go out pretty often, and I have a mid-20s daughter who is very tuned in and makes often exasperating attempts to keep dad a bit informed.
So… that means I probably know more than you do, and that makes me a good source for you who have not calcified by your 30th birthday and still make the effort to go out to hear live music sometimes because you understand that it is one of life’s greatest joys and privileges, to stand or sit in front of musicians creating in the moment and delivering to your ears and eyes, something unique, and perhaps for the ages. Sometimes, often enough, it is exquisite, something you may remember for a lifetime.
HERE’S AN EXERCISE
You might find fun and rewarding. Think back and write down the Top 10 concerts you ever enjoyed in your life. Or Top 5. Could be last week, could be 50 years ago. Remember. Savor. I promise you you will go there, like it was yesterday.
I would love it if you would send me those remembrances. Maybe I will share it in an upcoming NOTEWORTHY column. But if you do that, you will understand how important such experiences are. Photographers, writers, painters, filmmakers, sculptors, other artists create in a vacuum, a solitary space, for later judgement. But musicians in live concert throw it out there, moment by moment, for the audience and the world to judge. Mediocre? Banal? Genius? They create, you receive, you judge, all in an instant. But when transcendence hits you, you know it. And you remember, for a lifetime.
So for those of you who are less spontaneous than I and pick and choose your upcoming concerts so you don’t get left with bad seats or no tickets at all, I am now going to include COMING ATTRACTIONS, at the end of the week’s picks. Get your tickets, mark your calendars, don’t miss out. Anticipate.
THIS WEEK? L.A PHIL, BABY
Hey it’s usually like this around the holidays, takes a while for musicians to get over those world class hangovers and lethargy and get out there again, so not much shakin’ this week — except you can always count on the discipline and reliability of classical players. Dudamel does not diddle. And lucky you, in Santa Monica, just drop into Harvelle’s any night and odds are really good you will walk out with a smile.
TONIGHT! & Fri, plus Sat-Sun, Tues, and next Thurs-Fri, Sun: LA PHILHARMONIC – ZUBIN MEHTA conducts Brahms Symphony No. 3 featuring PINCHAS ZUCKERMAN (Zube? Zuck? Bowie? Glass? the Phil is rockin’ through mid-January, starting with two by Brahms, who’s on my Top Ten classical composers list, the 3rd tonight and tomorrow with legendary violinist Zuckerman, you’ll all recognize the third movement but listen for the darkness, then the immense 4th on the weekend, followed by another cool dude in my Top Ten, Dvořák, two chamber pieces, then next Thurs, three nights with Renaissance man John Adams conducting the world premier of his buddy Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 12, Lodger, from the music of David Bowie and Brian Eno, featuring Angelique Kidjo, vocalist plus two sopranos and a mezzo, preceded by Adams’ over-the-top Grand Pianola Music, whew!), Thurs-Fri, 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, downtown LA, $66-$209
MARY WILSON (“of the Supremes!” is how they bill her, so you’ll know it’s not just any Mary Wilson, worth a listen no doubt, and you’ll surely get to hear her Diana Ross dis “Time to Move On,” oh girl you did NOT just say that about Diva Diana!), Fri-Sat 8:30 p.m., Catalina Bar and Grill, Hollywood, $35-$45.
NOEL PAUL STOOKEY, PETER YARROW (Noel? this is not really a recommended but you know this is what’s left of Peter, Paul and Mary, right, we lost Mary a decade ago and these two guys are 80 so if you love you some PP&M this is as close as you’re going to get so hike on out to Cerritos ‘cause the only other thing much going on this week is classical, not that that’s bad), Sun 7 p.m., Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, $45-$85.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: another LIBRARY GIRL, hooray! at the Ruskin at the airport, Sun Jan. 13; two extremely talented DAVIDs, BROMBERG and HIDALGO, together at the Regent Theater, Thurs Jan. 17; the great jazz bass master STANLEY CLARKE will be at the Broad Sat Jan. 19; THE FLESH EATERS (their best line-up: 3xBlasters, 2xX, Chris D) new album release plus Seattle grunge legends MUDHONEY, Echoplex, Sat Jan. 19; the incomparable DEREK SMALLS (Spinal Tap) will bring his exquisite music to a venue that fits it, the gorgeous Palace Theater downtown LA, Wed Jan. 23; I love love love this event, WHISKY X LA, last year was great this year will be even better because the band is ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES, food and 60 whiskies to taste and again at Barker Hangar, I can walk home and probably should, Fri Jan. 25; and yeah yeah yeah the Rolling Stones will be at the Rose Bowl May 11, I’m going to wait until Mick turns 80 before I go again.
BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Dancing Tongues, Neverland Ranch Davidians, Tartar Control, Slut Island, Dangerously Sleazy, Very Be Careful, Genetic Nobodies, Jly, Lasers Lasers Birmingham, Still Not Dead, Whole Damn Mess, Girl Failure, Ickybaby, Retox, VerBS, Super Lunch, Tokyo Lucky Hole, Illuminati Hotties, Atomic Sherpas, Blame Candy, Modular Sound Bath, Boinkasaurus, Jack Sh*t, Zander Schloss, Body Fluid, Warthog, Exploding Pintos.
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 email@example.com