By CHARLES ANDREWS
DID I FEEL THE EARTH MOVE?
I’d be remiss to not mention an extraordinary music event I witnessed last weekend.
My wife Diane Michelle, a spellbinding singer when I met her performing at the famous Palomino Club in North Hollywood in ‘82, put the finishing touches on her recording, an album of all original songs, going back to when she was 14. A long wait. A dream come true.
She got to harmonize with our daughter Nicole, an accomplished singer in her own right, and they got nothing but high praise from all involved. After a few false starts over the years, this time everything lined up: the studio, Larry’s Lair, is completely pro and old school with stacks of vintage amps and monitors the size of a small truck, and the players, locals, half from Samohi, were absolutely top shelf. She even brought in a ringer from Austin who was passing through on tour, superb drummer Wes Starr, who was in her band in college in Santa Barbara.
I was so proud of both my girls. Nicole was spot on and as good as I’ve ever heard her, and Diane was an ace producer, having really done her homework and knowing where every player and note should go. They knocked out 20 songs in the first three sessions, about five hours each. Damn.
It’s being mixed now and a release party will be held, probably this summer, at the Church in Ocean Park (thank you, Rev. Janet). Keep hope alive!
LA PHIL: GUSTAVO DUDAMEL conducts MAHLER Symphony No. 9 (Dudamel has built his reputation partly on his affinity for and mastery of Mahler’s emotionally complex work, so this will be memorable, he conducted the entire Mahler cycle back in 2012 but I missed that so I’ve been waiting for this, Mahler’s official last symphony and it was indeed his masterpiece, he put every emotion in his soul into it but died two years after completing it and never heard it performed, don’t forget the informative and entertaining pre-concert lectures an hour before the performance), Thurs 8 p.m., Fri 11 a.m., Sat, Sun 2 p.m., Disney Hall, DTLA, , Thurs, Fri $79-$237, Sat $135-$158, Sun $79-$156.
LA OPERA: MOZART’s The Clemency of Titus (Amadeus’ last opera, rarely performed although considered some of his best opera music, tenor Russell Thomas says “the music is phenomenal, particularly the arias for mezzo-soprano, and the plot has everything from palace intrigue to betrayal and a scorned woman,” lucky me, Mozart and Mahler, two of my Big Three along with Sibelius, in less than 24 hours, you can too, this is one of the reasons to live in Los Angeles, isn’t it?), Sat, Thurs, 7:30 p.m., also Mar. 10, 13, 16, 24, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA, $23-$289.
MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION at Harvelle’s with THE DAMN WELL PLEASE ORGAN TRIO (grab yourself an Abita beer or a deadly Shark Attack cocktail and pretend you’re at the Tropical Isle in NO, some King Cake, a mask, creole food for sale out back, this is one of the few Mardi Gras celebrations in town and it will rock because of the rarely-heard Damn Well Please Organ Trio, with Darius blowing your mind at the keyboards, yeah he’s that good, plus maybe about a dozen friends sitting in, it’s enough to make a Catholic out of you, hello Lent, bring it on), Tues 7 p.m., Harvelle’s, DTSM, $5-$10.
THE JOY WHEEL (kudos are starting to roll in for this terrific, really funny, topical dramedy — did I just use that word? — directed by JASON ALEXANDER, another hit for those Ruskin people), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $25-$35.
VARDAN OVSEPIAN TRIO (I’ve never heard this Armenian-born pianist-composer but: he’s playing with two sidemen whose credentials are sterling, including absolutely the best drummer in SM, Peter Erskine, and, the new jazz club near LAX, Sam First, has shown a track record of reliably excellent bookings, so, yeah, go), Sat 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m., Sam First, LAX, $20.
THE BAR-KAYS, MORRIS DAY & THE TIME, Zapp, Cameo, SOS Band, Lakeside, The Dazz Band, Mary Jane Girls (lord, lord, lord, pull those platforms and those bell bottoms out of the back of the closet and get ready to BOOGIE, this lineup is a funked-up time machine, how many original members of these bands will be there, who cares, if they can play the parts and dance, if you’ve never seen Morris Day you will wonder what time or planet he came from and you will leave embarrassed to realize how uncool you are, and The Bar-Kays, mostly instrumental, 50 years on, were the nest best thing to Booker T & the MGs and that is saying something), Sat 8 p.m., Microsoft Theater, DTLA, $74-$260.
PUNK ROCK BBQ at Harvelle’s (the Liquid Kitty tradition lives on, through former barkeeps Jason and Damian from the lamented great Pico dive, now running our own great dive Harvelle’s with excellent stewardship and respect for its long history and tradition, Punk Rock BBQ is five bands, including Lawndale and Blood on the Saddle, cheap booze and free hot dogs, what more could you ask for?), Sun 1 p.m., Harvelle’s, DTSM, free.
STEVE EARLE (are you kidding, a free concert by the great Steve Earle, up close and personal at music wonderland Amoeba, if you don’t know him you can either school yourself on his long remarkable music and personal history or you can just go and hear what you’ll hear because he will make sure that you get it and make a believer out of you), Mon 6 p.m., Amoeba Music, Hollywood, free
COMING ATTRACTIONS: ALASH (Tuvan throat singers!), The Broad Stage, Mar. 8; ACADEMY OF ST. MARTIN IN THE FIELDS (Sir Neville made them the world’s greatest chamber orchestra, and now Joshua Bell leads? oh my), The Broad Stage, Mar. 9; LIBRARY GIRL, Ruskin Group Theatre, Mar. 10; CANTILENA TRIO, Laemmle Monica Film Center, Mar. 17.
BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Men I Trust, Ding dong Devils, Wait Think Fast, Can’t Swim, Peabody Southwell, Hurt Hawks, Yeah Buddy, Double D & the Skipper Quartet, EyeHateGod, The Dennis Mitcheltree Trio, Deaf Poets, The Hi Fi Honeydrops, Brook & the Bluff, Shark Toys.
BODACIOUS BIRTHDAY: BRIAN JONES (1942) — do you know he, not Mick or Keith or Charlie, founded the Rolling Stones? He drowned in his swimming pool 50 years ago, drugs and alcohol, some whispered murder but Brian ingested such mass quantities of drugs I say it’s no surprise at all. First rocknroller self-inducted into the 27 Club (don’t forget the great Robert Johnson, d. 1938). He led the Stones until the intersection of his bad habits and the ascendancy of Jagger and Richards as master songwriters, and they asked him to leave in ‘68 because producing a record session from prone on the studio floor because you’re so stoned you can’t get up is not ideal, and he died a year later.
He played slide, rhythm and lead guitar, upright bass, sitar, dulcimer, various keyboards, marimba, harmonica, wind instruments such as recorder, saxophone, drums and numerous others. He taught Mick to play harp.
Long-time Stones bass guitarist Bill Wyman said, “He formed the band. He chose the members. He named the band. He chose the music we played. He got us gigs… he was very influential, very important, and then slowly lost it – highly intelligent – and just kind of wasted it and blew it all away.”
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 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at firstname.lastname@example.org