Best. Week. All year.
TONIGHT! — KRONOS QUARTET (perhaps America’s premier experimental string quartet, tonight they pay tribute to American composer Ben Johnston, who died last month at 93, a longtime friend and collaborator, since they don’t play LA all that often and ticket prices are usually $40 up and this is free and outdoors by the water, I’m bumping it up to HIGHLY RECOMMENDED despite not having heard them for a couple decades and never this particular material, but I’m confident and I will be there, you betcha), Thurs 7 p.m., Burton W. Chace Park, MdR, free.
“DEATH OF A SALESMAN” by ARTHUR MILLER starring ROB MORROW (Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play from the brilliant Arthur Miller, no Morrow on 8/16-17), Thurs-Fri-Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $20-$35.
RICK SHEA & The Losin’ End, TONY GILKYSON (oh boy, oh boy, I love this bill, two of SoCal’s very best country-folk-rock singin’ pickin’ treasures in the same tiny cool venue, free, cheap booze, friendly crowd, not far from SM, this is why I moved here!), Sat 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, free.
LIBRARY GIRL presents HAM ON RYE, celebrating CHARLES BUKOWSKI’s 99th birthday (what should I tell you first, that this looks to be one of their better shows and that’s saying something, or that it’s been sold out for weeks, but you can get on a waiting list and show up and who knows, lots of music people in the all-star lineup including troubadour-poet-Blaster Dave Alvin but the great writer Charles B’s words are the stars), Sun 7 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, $10, includes snacks and dessert.
TONIGHT! — LITTLE MISS NASTY (oh no! just saw this, must add, intended to recommend next time it came around, “high-energy burlesque-inspired rock and roll dance show” and that it is, on the stage, down the aisle, on your table, on top of the bar, “in your face,” unbelievable athleticism and stamina, R-rated but very sexy, last time the crowd was at least ⅓ women, for me the music had to be loud and great songs and sound beyond great and Harvelle’s sound system and Little Miss Nasty deliver, everyone should go once), Thurs, 9 p.m., Harvelle’s, DTSM, $20-$30.
TONIGHT! — ALEX CLINE’S LIMITLESS LIGHT ENSEMBLE (you can bet pretty confidently that either Cline brother will blow your mind and with this name for the band, well, hold tight, his nine-piece tribute to Joseph Jarman of the Art Ensemble of Chicago), Thurs 8 p.m., Hammer Museum. Westwood, free.
TONIGHT! — The Original WAILERS (a treat but at the fancy schmancy Rose, would Bob turn in his grave, probably not because when he was criticized for buying a new BMW he said it was God’s will, BMW stands for Bob Marley &…), Thurs, 8 p.m., The Rose, Pasadena, also Fri 9 p.m., The Canyon, Agoura Hills and Wed 7 p.m., The Canyon Santa Clarita; $28-$38.
TONIGHT!/ENDS TONIGHT! — “ECHO IN THE CANYON” (another first-person account of rock and roll history, of and by the creative denizens of Laurel Canyon), Thurs, Monica Film Center, SM;
TONIGHT!/ENDS TONIGHT! –“DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME” (coaxes Crosby of The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash and CSN & Young into unflinching candor as he confronts mortality and assesses the damage of earlier days with a redemptive journey back to music), Thurs, The Landmark, W LA;
TONIGHT! — “PAVAROTTI” (a reliable source said I must see it), Thurs-?, Music Hall, Beverly Hills;
“DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME” (coaxes Crosby of The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash and CSN & Young into unflinching candor as he confronts mortality and assesses the damage of earlier days with a redemptive journey back to music), Fri-?, Music Hall, Beverly Hills;
“ECHO IN THE CANYON” (another first-person account of rock and roll history, of and by the creative denizens of Laurel Canyon), Fri-?, Music Hall, Beverly Hills.
TONIGHT! — “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” (sure you’ve seen it a bunch, you were probably in it in school, but never by this troupe and never here, where you don’t have to imagine a forest from painted cardboard), Thursday 8 p.m., Thursdays in Aug, also Sept. 2, Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“MOBY DICK-REHEARSED” (based on Orson Welles’ 1955 adaptation of the novel, it sounds like it requires a lot of “acting,” no whales, no ship — cool!), Fri 8 p.m., and various Sat-Sun through Sept. 29, T. Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE” (check my previous CURIOUS CITY column for some description of this excellently acted, thought-provoking adaptation by Artistic Director Ellen Geer of a classic Ibsen about… a poisoned water supply, and racial tensions, topical enough for ya?), Sun 8 p.m., and various Fri-Sat-Sun through Sept. 28, W.G.’s T. Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH” (set in WWII-era New Jersey and the Ice Age — !?! — Thornton Wilder used humor, history and mythology, it’s oblique, mysterious, confusing, thought-provoking and wonderful and he acknowledges it with his trademark knocking down the fourth wall with lines like, “… that is the DUMBEST line I have ever had to speak in a play!”), Sun, 8 p.m., and various Fri-Sat-Sun through Sept. 29, W.G.’s Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42;
“TWELFTH NIGHT” (they’re known for their mastery of The Bard), Sun 4 p.m., and through Sept. 28, W.G.’s TB, Topanga Canyon, $10-$42.
THE DELGADO BROTHERS (terrific blues-East LA soul band, go hear ‘em, say hi for me, I can’t make it but wish I could!), Sat 9 p.m., Harvelle’s, DTSM, $12.
THE WARLOCKS (and 5 other bands I don’t know but all you need to know is The Warlocks and the fact that William Black will be there, of course), Sat 8:30 p.m., House of Machines, LA, $10.
ULTIMATE ELVIS CELEBRATION (with the cream of our local country players, bound to be good and the price is right), Sun 6:30 p.m., Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill, Burbank, free.
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD (oh man I‘m too tired and hot now to take the time to really tell you why you should see this psychedelic septet from Australia but if you do your life may be changed and you will definitely thank me), Tues 8 p.m., Greek Theater, LA, $25-$35.
STEVE EARLE & The Dukes (you should always go hear Steve Earle… really), Wed, Thurs 7 p.m., The Troubadour, W Hollywood, $40.
JOSHUA WHITE 6TET (San Diego rising star “steeped in classical, gospel, and modern jazz,” he is indeed “an improviser of startling versatility and intellect,” I saw him tear it up with The Gilbert Castellanos Quintet at Jazz Bakery last June, his own group should give us a better picture of his skills and vision, and guess who’s on drums? — Alex Cline, back at The Hammer from last Thurs), next Thurs, 8 p.m., Hammer Museum, Westwood, free.
FARTBARF, Numb.er (still tired/hot but I must tell you this, there is every description of this band that would make me run very fast the other way but I love love love them, so much fun, such good music, seen them four or five times and I don’t often do that) next Thurs, Levitt Pavilion, LA, free.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: ROY ZIMMERMAN, 8/16, McCabe’s, SM; Pacific Opera Project presents THE MIKADO, 8/16-17, 22-24, 28-31, Highland Park Ebell Club; films SUBURBIA, ROCK’N’ROLL HIGH SCHOOL with dir. Penelope Spheeris, 8/17, Hammer Museum, Westwood, free; BLUES TRAVELER, 8/17, Pershing Square, DTLA, free.
BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS: JOHN GUSTAFSON (1942), JOHN RENBOURNE (1944), two of my Brit faves, somewhat/very obscure, look ‘em up, Renbourne’s solo albums after Pentangel are so sweet, master picking, and the only thing I‘ll never forgive my ex-wife for is taking off with my Quatermass album featuring Gustafson, original, striking fold-out silver pterodactyl cover. Sniff.
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