Look for Jack Neworth’s fine column tomorrow about my top HIGHLY RECOMMENDED show, below.


DIANE MICHELLE album release party for “BLOOD HARMONY” (OK let’s get this off the table straight away, yes, it is my wife using her professional name, she’s been an amazing, moving performer since way before I “discovered” her on stage at The Palomino, she sang with The Rhythm Kings at the first Pier concert, she opened for Rickie Lee Jones, sang “My Cherie Amor” to Stevie Wonder, her Andrews Sisters-style trio The Goils toured Japan four times and were treated like queens, they opened up New York, New York in Vegas when it was a really big deal and returned every month for a year, they spent five years/five nights a week in the beautiful art deco Observation Lounge of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, they were on Jerry Lewis’ telethon, performed for the Oscars technical awards show, their vocals were heard on Disneyland’s Bear Country Jamboree until it was euthanized, she sang in a duo at The Hollywood Bowl while still in high school, she’s been writing songs and performing professionally since she was 14 but it has taken this long to gather all her originals, 23, and record them properly in a great old-school studio with top-notch players, mostly SM locals, and it is a rare public performance with our daughter Nicole adding the harmonies she’s been practicing with mom since age 4 and finally, I ask you, would I stake my lifelong music critic’s rep on recommending something that wasn’t the absolute best, and could I possibly spend 37 years with a singer who wasn’t fabulous?), Sun 3-6 p.m.,  the Church in Ocean Park, SM, free. 

LA OPERA – LA TRAVIATA (it is the most popular, most performed opera there is but you must see this one, an LA Opera original production, Verdi’s classic tale of the fallen woman redeemed, almost, coming out of his personal experiences and longstanding resentment of authority, made into a dozen major films since 1911 including those featuring Sarah Bernhardt, Greta Garbo, and Isabelle Huppert, middle opera of the trilogy he wrote and premiered in the mid-1850s — three in less than two years! — leaving behind the mythic foundations of Wagner and his predecessors for realism, courageous and groundbreaking in its time, the censors deemed his previous very similar libretto to be of “repulsive immorality and obscene triviality” and after all the main guy gets a full-on, lip crushing kiss by the end of the first act, where in the previous production of “The Wildcat” the couple pledged lifelong fidelity without more than a formal back of the hand kiss at the very end, but the censors settled for changing the title — set in the Art Deco era, “[Marta] Domingo’s lavishly gorgeous settings and flamboyant costumes provide a feast for the eye” and when golden leaves come fluttering out of “the sky” it is exquisite, she also directs and that is just too much talent in one couple, and the dance number, walk like an Egyptian, is worth the price of admission), Sun 2 p.m., next Thurs 7:30 p.m., June 16, 19, 22, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA, $49-$374.


SAMOPRIDE (first ever, City-sponsored festival to celebrate the LGBQT+ community, continues through the whole month, check SMpride.com for events listings), Thurs-June 30, all over SM, free.

FATHER JOHN MISTY, JASON ISBELL and the 400 UNIT, Jade Bird (two of my favorite newish bands on the same bill, worth the drive), Fri 6:30 p.m., Santa Barbara Bowl, $40-$70.

SUDAN ARCHIVES, Oddisee + Good company – FIGfest, Figat7th (the downtown LA free Fridays music series features someone I’ve been wanting to see since I missed her on the Pier last year and now a couple more times since, self-taught electric violinist and electronics experimenter enamored of Northern African music, maybe this time…), Fri 6 p.m., Figueroa at 7th, free.

KITTEN, Iconique, Mood Killer, Blu Detiger (haven’t seen Kitten but once and that was about 8 years ago but a then-16-year-old Chloe Chaidez was wild, one of the most charismatic singers I had ever seen, I’ve read that she has “matured” a little but I’m betting she can still command a stage like Mick Jagger and now with a band more suited to her, definitely worth the gamble of 10 bucks), Sat 7 p.m., The Troubadour, West Hollywood, $10.

LA PHIL NEW MUSIC GROUP – ATLAS: An Opera in Three Parts (everything evolves, right? — except certain “religious” non-thinkers, and this column has moved from recommendations of only performances I have had some personal experience with to things I will list for your attention that I would bet on, sight unseen, and let’s face it, the LA Phil is not going to put up some raggedy-ass  production with their name on it, I’ve been attending and appreciating opera much more lately, done well it is excellent music, vocals and theater combined, what’s not to like, Meredith Monk’s “‘Atlas’ receives a staggeringly ambitious new production by the LA Phil’s Artist-Collaborator Yuval Sharon,” described by The New York Times as ‘opera’s disrupter in residence,’ this landmark work from one of modern music’s most influential composers weaving a tale of Alexandra’s metaphorical journey through her imagination, drawn into a quest through inner space, exploring the loss and rediscovery of our inherent wonder, incorporating visual art, movement, and innovative use of the Concert Hall,” sounds challenging and wonderful), Tues, Wed, next Fri 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA, $32-$164.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: DAVE ALVIN Celebrates The 25th Anniversary of “King of California,” McCabe’s, SM, Fri June 14; ALAN BROADBENT TRIO, Jazz Bakery, Moss Theater, SM, Fri-Sun June 14-16; MICHAEL FEINSTEIN performs at opening of his new supper club Feinstein’s at Vitello’s, Studio City, Sat June 15; LUDOVICO EINAUDI, Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA, Sun June 16; AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, The Art of Safecracking, The Start, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach, June 20; “DEATH OF A SALESMAN” by ARTHUR MILLER starring Rob Morrow, Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, June 21-Aug. 4.

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  therealmrmusic@gmail.com

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