And that’s why I moved to LA nearly 40 years ago. You might get an off time like last week but it won’t be long before the sunny skies rain marvelous music all over this town and your big problem is sorting out the nights that have more than one must-see show. I love it.


TONIGHT! & Fri, Sun: LA PHILHARMONIC – PHILIP GLASS (Renaissance man John Adams conducts the world premier of Renaissance man Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 12, Lodger, from the music of Renaissance man David Bowie, and Brian Eno, Glass’s third symphony based on Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy, preceded by Adams’s “over the top” Grand Pianola Music, more proof LA is the best live music town in the world and has been for decades, no not NY or Austin, London or Berlin, don’t argue), Thurs, Fri 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, downtown LA, $25-$174.

BECK (yes, Beck, at lil ol’ McCabe’s, but they are famous since the days of legendary booker Nancy Covey in the early ‘80s for luring arena rockers to their small room to play acoustic and connect with an immediate audience like they probably haven’t in years, an audience that listens and is willing to let them go where they might, I remember being new in town and going to catch hot shots Los Lobos for the first time there, around ‘81, and they played all Central and South American folk songs, all acoustic, all en español, and it sure wasn’t what I went for or expected but I was transported and still think back fondly to that show, who knows where chameleon Beck will go but it is sold out, yes at $200 a seat, part of the continuing very successful fundraising series for the 50th anniversary of their concert series, 60th anniversary of McCabe’s Guitar Shop on Pico, you should show up anyway and see if a spare ticket has shown up, bring several Franklins, it’s a good cause), Fri 9 p.m., McCabe’s, Santa Monica, $200.

JERRON “BLIND BOY” PAXTON (but if you’re shut out of Beck don’t despair, sit on the sidewalk overnight and you will thank me in 50 years when South Central’s Paxton is a living blues legend and you can say I saw him in his 20s way back when, of course I’ll be in my 120s but if I can still hear I will appreciate the thanks and ask you to take me again to see him because he is the real deal, riveting blues guitar and vocals, also plays great piano, banjo, fiddle, Cajun accordion, bones and harmonica — look ma, no hands! — and gives me hope that not all the very best of the bluesmen are soon or already in their graves), Sat 8 p.m., McCabe’s, Santa Monica, $20.


I SEE HAWKS IN L.A., Romance Fantasy, Heathen Apostles (always, always catch the Hawks, as at home in a Sunset Strip rock club as on a folk or bluegrass stage), Sat 8 p.m., the Viper Room, West Hollywood, $10.

LIBRARY GIRL (Santa Monica’s, and LA’s literary light, shines again, starting their 10th year and as usual this one is sold out but go to the web site to get put on a waiting list, themed “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?” and co-curated by founder Susan Hayden and Punk Hostage Press’ Iris Berry, featuring writers Berry, Annette Cruz, Dennis Cruz, Jack Grisham, Joel Landmine, Michael Marcus, Richard Modiano, Pleasant Gehman, Razor, Rich Ferguson, Yvonne de la Vega and S.A. Griffin, music by Mason Summit), Sun 6 p.m. party, 7 p.m. show, Ruskin Group Theatre, Santa Monica Airport, $10 includes taco cart, dessert, commemorative souvenirs, such a deal!

THE BROTHER BROTHERS, CONNOR AND ARIANNE VANCE (OK I caught a couple videos, the brothers are good, that blood harmony slightly reminiscent of the Everlys but the real reason I recommend this show is the opening act, Santa Monica’s own how can one married couple be so nice smart good looking AND so ridiculously talented Vances, she of a pure, emotional, joyous voice and he the multi-instrumental essential of the Dustbowl Revival — they’re opening, don’t be late!), 8 p.m., McCabe’s, $20.

BECK, ST. VINCENT, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS (which is the real Beck, the one at McCabe’s Friday or on the big loud Hollyweird rock stage here, I like St. Vincent, and will the RHCP reinvent themselves back into our hearts and feet?), Sun 6 p.m., Hollywood Palladium, $200-$248.

THE FLESH EATERS (ah halcyon LA punk days, revisited with their best line-up,

3 Blasters, 2 from X and Chris D, new album release), Tues 6 p.m., Amoeba Music, Hollywood, free.

FOO FIGHTERS, METALLICA, RYAN ADAMS plus members of Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog (“I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” will no doubt rock like a mothertrumper), Wed 8 p.m., the Forum, Inglewood, $480-$1,440.

DAVIDs BROMBERG and HIDALGO, LARRY CAMPBELL (two extremely talented Davids together, spanning decades, from the Village to East LA, along with Campbell all collaborated with Dylan), Thurs 8 p.m., Regent Theater, downtown LA, $45.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: Crazy talented funny LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III, McCabe’s, Fri, Sat Jan. 18, 19; Icelandic jazz bird ANNA MJÖLL, Vibrato, Fri Jan. 18; LA PHIL, MESSIAEN: Turangalîla Symphony, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Fri, Sat Jan. 18, 19; bass master STANLEY CLARKE, 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; SANTA MONICA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, SGI-USA World Peace Ikeda Auditorium, Sat Jan. 19; Southern California SLACK KEY FESTIVAL, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Sun Jan. 20; the inconceivable DEREK SMALLS (Spinal Tap), Palace Theater, Wed Jan. 23; the BRANFORD MARSALIS QUARTET, the Soraya, Thurs Jan. 24; 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, Fri Jan. 25; Miles Davis cohort, trumpeter WALLACE RONEY, Vibrato, Tues, Wed Jan. 29, 30; ELTON JOHN, the Forum, Feb. 1, 2; hot hot TRAVIS SCOTT (how often do I recommend an arena rap show? I’ll tell you more as it gets closer), the Forum, Feb. 8.

BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Tragic Radicals, Smut, Blazing Eye, Gouge Away, Melted Bodies, Zombie Eating Horse, Dee Skusting & the Rodents, Winnetka Bowling League, Lantz Lazwell & the Vibe Tribe, The Hi Fi Honeydrops, Judas Priestess, Cowgirls From Hell, Confusing Mix of Nations, Reagan Youth.

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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