The answer of course is, I’m both. And country-reggae-jazz-North African trance. But I do lean certain ways, and if Mahler and Mozart got some short shrift in this column it is no indication of how astounding those performances were/will be, but… I can’t not write about Love’s Arthur Lee on his birthday now, can I?


ALASH (Tuvan throat singers! — the world is a big place with some music traditions you may never have heard of, “Outer Mongolia” produced the throat singers and if you’ve never heard it you won’t believe your ears but you will never forget, never mind that most Tuvan songs are love odes to their horses but these cats have also taken the ancient art into new modern corners), Fri 7:30 p.m.,  The Broad Stage, SM, $40-$65.

LA PHIL: GUSTAVO DUDAMEL conducts MAHLER Symphony No. 1, JOHN ADAMS “Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?” – world premiere (excuse me while I catch my breath from catching Dudamel and the LA Phil shaking the planets last weekend with Mahler’s 9th, this is after all his 1st but this is after all Mahler, one of a handful of artists in history who changed our world and the 1st Symphony offers trademark thrills and familiar melodies and songs with renowned Yuja Wang on piano, and a John Adams commission/world premier, do you really need me to remind you not to miss this?), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Disney Hall, DTLA, $94-$253.

ACADEMY OF ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS (just stay in your seats after being amazed by the Alash throat singers and wait for probably the most exquisite chamber orchestra in the universe, founded 60 years ago by Sir Neville Marriner in London, now directed by virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell, guest conductor virtuoso pianist Murray Perahia, joined this tour by American virtuoso pianist Jeremy Denk, what are they playing? — doesn’t matter, they will kill it), Sat 7:30 p.m., The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, $89-$149.

LA OPERA: MOZART’s The Clemency of Titus (oh lordy, I will have to wax poetic longer next week on this fantastic work and performance, you have another few chances to not miss it, do NOT miss it I’m telling you, inspired music-singing-sets-book, oh lordy it’s good, thank you LA Opera, Mozart wrote it at the same time as “The Magic Flute” and used some of the same music on both, definitely one of the best opera performances I’ve ever seen), Sun, Wed 7:30 p.m., also Mar. 16, 24, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA, $23-$289.


THE JOY WHEEL (really funny, topical play directed by JASON ALEXANDER, don’t assume it will be here forever, go now), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $25-$35.

KROQ Locals Only Fest with KITTEN, and, uh, others (go for Kitten, moved to Brooklyn years ago BTW, KROQ, once a band but now just the absolutely fascinating Chloe Chaidez, when I saw her eight years ago she was 16 and one of the most charismatic performers I’d ever laid eyes on, she has left her wild teen years behind, somewhat, dressed up a little, several different bands since but from what I read is still that arresting singer who takes over a stage with no doubt), Fri 8 p.m., The Teragram Ballroom, DTLA, $10.67.

LIBRARY GIRL (two memoirists, Richard Heller has such an interesting bio I won’t even touch on it, but I do expect to gain some insight into blacksmithing, sculpting in steel and stone and horse whispering, and the other reader, Marie Pal-Brown, German-born and educated, is just what we need at this moment in history with her tales of her father killed in WWII and the German legacy of a lost, wrongful war and the slow, painful steps forward from post-war Holocaust denial), Sun 7 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $10 includes snacks and dessert.

ANDREW BROWNING & THE NINE POUND HAMMERS (never heard the band, never even met Andrew but we’ve been chatting for a while  over items in my NOTEWORTHY music columns and he knows a hella lot about music and with good taste to boot — he agrees with me most of the time — so I’m gonna mosey on over Sunday evening to hear what he calls “Greasy, Whisky Driven, Hell Raisin’, Honkytonk” music, take a chance, join me, it’s free), Sun 7:30 p.m., The Trip, Santa Monica, free.

JAMEY JOHNSON (simply the baddest-looking, biggest bearded, baddest country bass singing, monster guitar playing when he wants, kick-ass band leader and insightful, wise, sensitive songwriter around, ain’t no Nashville wuss in this guy), next Thurs 7 p.m., The Wiltern, Mid-Wilshire, $19.50-$80.

COMING ATTRACTIONS:  CANTILENA TRIO, Laemmle Monica Film Center, Mar. 17; DUSTBOWL REVIVAL, HOT CLUB of COWTOWN, Pepperdine, Mar. 19; SOUNDWAVES, Main Library, Mar. 20; Ocean Park Library, 100th Anniversary Party, Mar. 23; JACARANDA – Flying Dream, 1st Presbyterian Church, Mar. 23.

BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Spear of Destiny, Cobra Man, Sapphic Musk, Dancing Tongues, Meow Meow, Pink Sock, Total Heat, You Me at Six, Whaja Dew, Perfection, Dynasty Handbag, Spookey Ruben, Lower Class Brats, The Comet is Coming.

BODACIOUS BIRTHDAY: ARTHUR LEE (1942) — I could write a book about Arthur Lee so I‘ll just try to pick out some personal stuff. Not that well known outside of LA for decades, his band Love is now recognized as one of the quintessential LA bands from the ‘60s, standing right there with The Doors, Beach Boys, Byrds, Buffalo Springfield. Oh, to have been cruising the music clubs here, then. Maybe you were? I was dying in the desert and it took me another decade to get out here, too late for that era.

But I did have introductions to the great LA bands from half a world away when I was in the Army in Germany in ‘68 with a bunch of bad boys from SoCal, who got all the latest music and drugs mailed over from home. Probably my most memorable first spin (LPs, you know) was Love’s “Forever Changes” album. It kind of changed my life. I had trouble describing it but I knew, this was different, and so good, and the 50 years since have only enhanced that first impression.

In between his drug detours and prison stays, I got to see Arthur lead a band, Baby Lemonade, through that classic album, at Club Lingerie in Hollywood around 1989. I didn’t expect much, how could he even come close to the recording? I didn’t even expect him to show up. But I was stunned how closely they nailed it. Still today, original co-founder and guitar player Johnny Echols leads Baby L through those same paces, and while no one could replace Arthur, Rusty Squeezebox does an amazing job on vocals. Along with guitarist Mike Randle, they both work at local music store Truetone, on Santa Monica, last I knew. A few years ago they played that entire album live, with string section, at the Moose Lodge on Ocean Park, and no one who was there will ever forget it.

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

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