I’m only a Gemini – I’d need multiple personality disorder to get to all these great shows.
TONIGHT! — Brazilian guitarist CELSO SALIM (“a rare performer who can cross genre boundaries to create something personal and compelling, mixes deep blues with hints of jazz, soul, honky-tonk and even touches of classic rock”), Thurs 9 p.m., Harvelle’s, DTSM, $10.
TONIGHT! — 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 invitation 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 concerto, “Eleven Eleven,” plus you get Prokofiev and m’man Sibelius’s remarkable one-movement 7th Symphony), Thurs 8 p.m., The Soraya, Northridge, $49-$109.
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.
The RE-PETE SEEGER CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION with Peter Alsop, Ellen Geer, Ross Altman, Earnestine Phillips and others (sing along to songs he wrote, “Turn Turn Turn,” “If I Had a Hammer,” “Wimoweh,” “We Shall Overcome,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “Kisses Sweeter than Wine,” or just bask in the event, in the gorgeous outdoor theater in the woods, 100 years after his birth, Pete was introduced to Woody Guthrie by Will Geer, “Grandpa Walton”), Sat 1 p.m., Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$25
I SEE HAWKS IN L.A. (if you didn’t see them nearby for free last weekend now you have to go far and pay, but they are an LA country-folk treasure, love their “Highland Park” song), Fri 8 p.m., The Coffee Gallery Backstage, Altadena, $25; Sat 8 p.m., Grand Annex, San Pedro, $20-$30.
VERDI CHORUS (remember the old Verdi Ristoranti di Musica here in the ‘80s, at 1519 Wilshire, with the singing servers, only they were really good and did legit opera, mostly Verdi, well after the restaurant closed in ‘91 they kept singing and here they are, 35 years later, no saltimbocca but throwing in a little Donizetti, Bizet and Delibes), Sat 7:30 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., First United Methodist Church, SM, $10-$40.
MEAT PUPPETS (in from AZ, not often — yes, go, they’re still good), Sat 8:30 p.m., Troubadour, West Hollywood, $20-$22.
OSCAR HERNANDEZ QUARTET (don’t know much about this one, he’s a recognized four-GRAMMY Latin jazz pianist-composer-arranger-producer-musical director, and bandleader of the estimable Spanish Harlem Orchestra, I do know his sax-flute man Justo Almario, and if he’s good enough for Paul Simon and Tito Puente I’m in), Sat 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m., Sam First, LAX, $20-$25.
METRO ART presents: DTLA JAZZ TRACKS AT UNION STATION (Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Sara Gazarek, Ryan Cross’s Jazz Eclectic, Aaron Shaw & Black Nile, OK so I know even less about this except what I just read and you should check it out too because this sounds like it could be great and it’s free and at beautiful Union Station and you can take the train, don’t have to drive, also a jazz legends photo exhibit, jazz-inspired poetry, tarot readings merch and more), Sat 4 p.m., Union Station, DTLA, free.
PACIFIC OPERA PROJECT – MADAMA BUTTERFLY (my brother-in-law hipped me to these opera-off-the-cuff cats and they’re worth knowing, go to their website to read the fascinating history, in the beginning the idea was POP-UPs, putting together an entire costumed, orchestrated, well-sung opera with only a couple of rehearsals in a couple of weeks and in six years they have gotten a lot of critical praise and quite a following, most of their first shows were at Miles Playhouse here in SM, all over LA including Forest Lawn Cemetery and the South Pasadena Library, this one is at the beautiful Aratani Theater in the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center and the beloved “Butterfly’ will be presented bilingually, with Japanese-American artists singing their parts in Japanese alongside the English roles, with translations of both), Saturday 7 p.m., also Apr. 13, 14 , Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo, $15-$75.
CAMERON CARPENTER (“one of the rare musicians who changes the game of his instrument … a smasher of cultural and classical music taboos, technically the most accomplished organist I have ever witnessed … and, most important of all, the most musical” — Los Angeles Times; “on Monday Carpenter played in the Philharmonie and what he did there was so disconcerting that it could probably only be compared to what Liszt must have evoked 170 years ago” — Berliner Zeitung; “the audience’s response was raucous… everything he touches turns fantastical and memorable” — The New York Times — and you know how amazing the Disney Hall french fries organ sounds), Sun 7:30 p.m., Walt Disney Hall, DTLA, $76-$229.
THE SUNSET JAM – THE VIPER ROOM (maybe you should catch one of these since Johnny Depp’s famous Viper Room is going to disappear soon beneath a silly-looking huge hotel, built to accommodate all the tourists who come to see the famous Sunset Strip except, along with the venerable House of Blues and others, developers are destroying all the things that people would come for, smart, smart developers), Mon 8 p.m., The Viper Room, West Hollywood, free.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: LA PHIL – SALONEN, various Stravinskys, Disney Hall, DTLA, Apr. 12-14, 18-20; PETER ERSKINE presents Daniel Szabo’s “Visionary,” Jazz Bakery, Moss Theater, SM, Apr. 13; LA Times Festival of Books, USC, Apr. 13-14; Laemmle Live presents cellist ARMEN KSAJIKIAN with host RICH CAPPARELA,
Laemmle Monica Film Center, DTSM, Apr. 14; CHRISTIAN McBRIDE BIG BAND, The Soraya, Northridge, Apr. 26; LA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – MOZART’s REQUIEM, Apr. 27, Alex Theatre, Glendale, Royce Hall, UCLA, Apr. 28; RED HEN PRESS: The Figure of Orpheus in Poetry and Performance, Broad Stage, SM, Apr. 28.
BODACIOUS BIRTHDAY: MUDDY WATERS (1913… 1915? ‘14?) — An absolute colossus, a pillar of modern blues, Chicago-style, and a progenitor of rock and roll. He began life literally dirt poor on a Mississippi plantation, but inspired by his father and local bluesmen Robert Johnson and Son House he took up guitar and harmonica and saw music as his ticket out. That ticket landed him in Chicago, where he discovered electric guitar, played it swampy dirty, and paired with his visceral growl, it transformed the blues. He wound up in the hands of the Chess men, Polish Jewish immigrant brothers Phil and Leonard and his son Marshall, a mixed blessing as it made Muddy famous but also produced some controversial albums. But that voice, grit, that timing, guitar and his songs could not be denied.
If young white America was oblivious the English kids were paying attention. “He limned a darkly charismatic, quasi-mystical, sexually masterful persona that was essentially a blueprint for the skinny white boys who invented the ‘rock star’ a generation later.” A 1958 jaunt through the U.K. had an explosive impact on musicians like John Mayall, Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton. “Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981” showed the Rolling Stones, who took their name from his 1950 song, drifting into Buddy Guy’s South Side blues club while Muddy played, getting on stage with him one by one, a fascinating cultural and music document, it was finally released in 2012.
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