Numero Uno reason I moved here nearly 40 years ago, and boy was I right: you never lack for great live music in LA.
RICK SHEA, I SEE HAWKS IN L.A. (hooray! two of my favoritest California country groups, together, just outside SM, at a cool little watering hole, no cover charge and sanely priced drinks, The Cinema Bar is so tiny you should get there early if you want to snag a seat but you will want to stay all night, dance a little longer), Fri 9 p.m., The Cinema Bar, Culver City, free.
CUNLIFFE, OLES AND ERSKINE (can’t miss this, so I will catch the early show then boot scoot over to The Cinema Bar and by 11 I should have a head, heart and soul full of great music, I’ve known the rep of GRAMMY-winner Cunliffe for decades but don’t think I‘ve ever seen him, he played and arranged for the great Buddy Rich, was 1989 winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk piano competition, performed with the Clayton Brothers and the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra for 10 years, I became an instant fan of bassist Darek Oles when I saw him play not long ago with skins magician Peter Erskine, right here, longtime SM denizen Erskine loves this club because it’s in his backyard and is such a terrific jazz room, this is a rare opportunity in a small, cool venue, don’t miss it), Fri 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m., Sam First, LAX, $20.
TONIGHT! — LA PHIL – GERSHWIN, RAVEL (met each other at a New York party in 1928 and expressed deep mutual admiration and passion for jazz, this concert bookends two Gershwin compositions with two Ravels, starting with the “Cuban Over-ture” and ending with “An American in Paris”), Thurs, Fri 8 p.m. — “Casual Fridays” drops one 17-min. Ravel, and ticket prices, no intermission BUT free drinks in the garden beforehand and an apres-concert meet with orchestra members and more drinks, alllright — Sat, Sun 2 p.m., Walt Disney Hall, DTLA, $76-$229.
TONIGHT! — LA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Barber’s ADAGIO FOR STRINGS (moving into its second half century, proclaimed “America’s finest chamber orchestra” by PRI, sure you’ve heard that adagio a thousand times but you will certainly enjoy #1001, and it is being presented in its original form, a string quartet, also Prokofiev and Bartok), Thurs, Moss Theater, SM, Fri, The Huntington, San Marino, both 7:30 p.m. $49.
TONIGHT! — SOUNDWAVES (Pianospheres preview with Susan Svrček, chamber arrangements of Schoenberg, crazy as usual, can’t wait), Thurs 7:30 p.m., Main Library, DTSM, free.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (the music is so good, the story so unusual and creepy-funny-sad, haven’t seen it yet but it’s one of my faves so I‘m just telling you it’s there, through Apr. 16), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Morgan Wixson Theater, SM, $23-$28.
UNKNOWN ROMANTIC MASTERPIECES by DELIUS an REGER (back to MLK Auditorium for more invigorating classical programming, early 20th Century sonatas from violinist Paul Stein and pianist Leo Marcus), Sun 2 p.m., Main Library, DTSM, free.
LA PHIL – (how cool is this? the Phil brings “Springtime in Watts” to the Macedonia Baptist Church of LA, a free neighborhood concert featuring four brass, four strings and one big ol’ choir, the Voices of Macedonia, the combined adult voices of all the local Macedonia Baptist Churches’ choirs, Beethoven, spirituals), Sun 6 p.m., Macedonia Baptist Church of Los Angeles, free.
FISHBONE (oh sure, Galactic headlines, and Con Brio, no disrespect but I’m gonna go because it’s Fishbone, an LA institution of 40 years, I caught them in their infancy after I moved to LA in ‘80 and couldn’t believe I was seeing these insane black kids from the Valley running madly all over the stage and table tops blasting rock and funk, ska and punk, Angelo singing mostly from the floor, with so much energy they actually de-stroyed clubs, believe me I witnessed it and it was beautiful, and here’s the thing, I saw them a couple years ago in MacArthur Park and the craziness has toned down but the showmanship and artistic energy remain, oh and they have very cool t-shirts so bring some extra cash), Fri 8 p.m., The Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, $38.
HR (what a character, HR, stands for Human Rights and he has stood and sung for that all his performing life, first as frenetic frontman for DC punkers Bad Brains from the late ‘70s on, my son Chris turned me on to them, and since in a solo career much more Rasta elder mellow, he seems to have recovered from brain surgery in ‘17, always a fascinating cat), Sun 8 p.m., Saint Rocke, Hermosa Beach, $15.
BERNIE PEARL BLUES BAND, WILLIE MACK CHAMBERS, Lee King, Job Striles (Bernie Pearl’s band is reliably down-home terrific but any time Willie Chambers is on the stage in LA it’s a treat and there’s a chance at least one other Chambers Brother will show up, and then you may get the “Time!” of your life), next Thurs 8:30 p.m., The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, Leimert Park, $20.
ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA, DANNY ELFMAN (sharing my birthday but no longer a lad, LA’s own Danny Elfman is no longer waiting for an invi-tation to arrive, Oingo Boingo enshrined him, Tim Burton put his music on the big scream and now he continues to conquer the classical world with his new violin concer-to, “Eleven Eleven,” plus you get Prokofiev and m’man Sibelius’s remarkable one-movement 7th Symphony), next Thurs 8 p.m., The Soraya, Northridge, $49-$109.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: MEAT PUPPETS, Troubadour, WHwd, Apr. 6; The RE-PETE SEEGER CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION with Peter Alsop, Ellen Geer, Ross Altman, Earnestine Phillips and others, Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, Apr. 6; I SEE HAWKS IN L.A., Grand Annex, San Pedro, Apr. 6; The VER-DI CHORUS, First United Methodist Church, SM, Apr. 6, 7; PETER ERSKINE pre-sents Daniel Szabo’s “Visionary,” Jazz Bakery, Moss Theater, SM, Apr. 13; LA Times Festival of Books, USC, Apr. 13-14.
BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS: LADY GAGA (1986) — There are a lot of things I appreciate about Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, but I think maybe I like the idea of Lady Gaga more than the actual music. Admittedly I’m not that familiar with it but it seems not bad and her social consciousness and activism is off the charts. She has spoken out, organized and raised money for countless good causes. She also has nine GRAM-MYS, two Golden Globes, an Oscar, fashion awards, made an album with Tony Bennett and performed convincingly with Metallica, and on and on, certainly one of the most multi-talented and influential artists of our time, and her $300M+ bank account proves… something. I remember the first time I saw her, on TV, dressed extravagantly but not too outrageously, dominating a grand piano with forceful but skilled pounding, straddling the bench at an angle like a mounted warrior, to face the audience/camera squarely, quite a first visual impression. Good on ya, Gaga, we need lots more like you.
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