You think this week is full of tough choices? Summer concert season is just about here. Look out. Get a bigger calendar. And read this column! I will never steer you wrong! (Unless I do…)
TONIGHT! — DEAD BOYS, KILLING JOKE, The Roxy Suicide, Robbers, Time Out, The Pink Slips (KJ fans will be there but DB fans will be beside themselves, no Stiv Bators but plenty Dead others, sometimes called America’s Sex Pistols, they were loud and snotty and no doubt still are), Thurs 9 p.m., The Roxy, W Hollywood, $50-$55 (that’s a pretty snotty ticket price).
ALAN PASQUA TRIO (I saw Pasqua recently teamed with bassist Derek Oles and they had great synergy, so I expect this to be an excellent evening), Sat 8 p.m., Jazz Bakery, Moss Theater, SM, $40., Fri, $30.
SANTA MONICA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Spring Gala Chamber Music Fundraiser, Mayor Riordan’s Brentwood estate, Sat 5 p.m., $300-$325.
KOTO & SHAKUHACHI: Japanese Traditional Music Concert, Fairview Branch Library, SM, Sat 1 p.m., free.
JOHN BEASLEY’S MONK’ESTRA SEPTET (former SM now SM-adjacent Beasley has a resume and schedule that would amaze you, he got an Emmy nom for “Jazz at the White House” — remember when Obama had knockout performances there of all kinds of music with regularity, not a Kid Rock or Toad Nugent in sight? — I’ve seen him perform in the garage studio of favorite son drum wiz Peter Erskine, just the two of them soaring and it was exquisite, but this is a septet lineup of his pet project playing Thelonious Monk-style music, I’ll see you there), Sat 8 p.m., Jazz Bakery, Moss Theater, SM, $35.
LA PHIL, DUDAMEL – HAYDN, BEETHOVEN Masses (growing up in Catholic schools — well, that explains a lot, I hear my Jewish friends muttering — I attended lots and lots and lots of masses but if they had been like these two instead of boring me out of my skull I might not be the heathen who writes these words today, this Beethoven “Mass in C Major” is no “Missa solemnis,” with a delicate haunting tone while, surprisingly, the oft-soft Haydn goes dramatic in this “Lord Nelson Mass” with some dazzling vocal pyrotechnics), Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Disney Hall, DTLA, $71-$215.
JACARANDA BENEFIT CONCERT – Varsovia by the Sea, Sun 4 p.m., First United Methodist Church, DTSM, $75, $400.
SANTA MONICA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA – Annual Memorial Day Weekend Concert (a delicious menu, a Verdi overture, rockin’ Rachmaninov piano concerto and one of my favorites, Brahms’ 4th, great acoustics in Barnum, terrific players and conductor, and it’s free, not there? — ya crazy), Sun 7 p.m., Barnum Hall, SM, free.
ORCHESTRA SANTA MONICA – “Bohemian Rhapsodies” (oh boy I love it when those Eastern Euro composers dress up folk melodies and this has two of my faves, Kodaly and Dvorak, with a Shostakovich sandwiched in, I’m there!), Sun 2:30 p.m., Moss Theater, SM, $10-$30.
PARKENING INTERNATIONAL GUITAR COMPETITION, Tues-Sat, Pepperdine University, Malibu.
THE HIVES, Refused, Bleached (I know, Pomona, but if The Hives are still the swingin’-est rockers in Sweden it will be worth your investment of time and $$), Tues 8 PM, Fox Theater, Pomona, $35.
THE STRANGLERS, Wed 8 p.m., Regent Theater, DTLA, $49.
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, Wed 6 PM, Amoeba Music, Hollywood, free.
LA PHIL, DUDAMEL – MAHLER’s 8TH (be still my racing heart, nothing in the world of classical grandeur can match The Dude giving us Gustav’s “Symphony of A Thousand” with every stray Phil player they can dig up, that mighty French fries organ and the LA Master Chorale, the Pacific Chorale, the LA Children’s Chorus and the National Children’s Chorus, let’s see… yup, that’s 1,000, problem is this is such an event, the first time ever for the 8th to be performed in Walt Disney Hall, that — well, look at the end where I usually list the ticket prices), next Thurs 11 a.m., 8 p.m., Fri 11 a.m., Sun 2 p.m., Disney Hall, DTLA, long ago sold the heck out but, you know, go and beg a spare ducat, wear your tux, especially Fri morning, people will stare and some will stop to talk and one may have that extra ticket to paradise.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: LA OPERA – LA TRAVIATA, Dorothy Chandler, DTLA, June 1, 9, 13, 16, 19, 22; LA PHIL – Noon to Midnight FLUXUS FESTIVAL, Disney Hall, DTLA, June 1; THE SPECIALS, The Novo by Microsoft, DTLA, June 1; DAVID ZASLOFF – THE RELUCTANT JEW, Beyond Baroque, Venice, June 1; LAWNDALE, THE NEPTUNAS, Desi Ramone, Glitter Trash, Brainspoon, Harvelle’s Santa Monica, June 2; The LOVE Band — yes, that LOVE, because — JOHNNY ECHOLS, The Federal, N Hollywood, June 2; DEAD & COMPANY, Hollywood Bowl, June 3, 4; MIGHTY DIAMONDS, Dub Club at Echoplex, Echo Park, June 5; FATHER JOHN MISTY, JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT, Santa Barbara Bowl, June 7; DIANE MICHELLE and all-star band album release party, The Church in Ocean Park, SM, June 9; YELLOWMAN & ALBOROSIE, Regent Theater, DTLA, June 9.
BODACIOUS BIRTHDAY: Ignoring Bob Dylan’s birthday tomorrow (and Patti LaBelle and Rosanne Cash), and Sun Ra and Richard Wagner’s yesterday — I’m not writing book chapters here, y’know — let’s just mention ROBERT MOOG (1934), whose computer-keyboard mashup in 1970 revolutionized music. He became fascinated with theramins and built one from science magazine instructions when he was 14. He learned piano but said, “My training as an engineer has enabled me to design the stuff, but the reason I do it is not to make music but for the opportunity to work with musicians.” Before his Moog, synthesizers were the size of a small room, but his Mini-Moog, priced not in six figures like others but barely five figures, allowed anyone, of some means, to get one. My friend Rhonda Lehr did, mid-’70s, and put it in her substantial playroom basement in Albuquerque. But Rhonda, I argued, you don’t even play piano. “The kids will love it,” she said and they did and so did any adult lucky enough to get their hands on it. What a toy. Turns out it was also a plus when she occasionally hosted celebrities passing through, especially musicians. Rhonda was beautiful and brilliant but musicians like John Hawken (Nashville Teens, Strawbs, Spooky Tooth, Renaissance) may actually have been more enticed by that Moog in the basement.
And at the end of this Thurs – Wed music week I’ve concocted, we must give a special mention to May 29, loaded with incomparable stars born that day: DANNY ELFMAN, MELISSA ETHERIDGE, GARY BROOKER, PELLE ALMQVIST, BOB HOPE, JFK, PATRICK HENRY, AL UNSER, TENZING NORGAY, CHARLES II and Charles Andrews (thanks, Mom and Pop, for everything).
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 email@example.com