STOMPING FREEDOM OF SPEECH, FROM SANTA MONICA
Activision’s Blizzard Entertainment is located right here, at the far end of Ocean Park Blvd. One of the top gaming companies in the world (World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft), it might have been a point of local pride — until yesterday, when they made the wrong kind of headlines. They became the latest American company to buckle under to Communist China’s bullying over anyone speaking out about their brutal treatment of Hong Kong freedom protesters. Your freedom of speech, or our billions of dollars — take your pick.
Blizzard is partly owned by Chinese technology giant Tencent. When a winner in their big tournament in Hong Kong, home boy Ng Wai Chung, did a Taiwanese TV interview, he quickly whipped on a gas mask similar to what protesters are wearing. “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” was all he could yell out before being taken off the air, as his two interviewers quickly ducked out of sight of the cameras. Blizzard kicked him out of the tournament, banned him for a year and refused to give him his $10,000 winnings.
If you think maybe Blizzard should reconsider its pandering to brutal free speech suppression, you could email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or try calling at (310) 255-2000. Who knows? Maybe by the time this hits print they will have done the right thing.
The NBA got it right when they walked back their initial condemnation of Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting the Hong Kong freedom protesters. NBA commish Adam Silver said, “The long-held values of the NBA are to support freedom of expression. I understand there are consequences from [Morey’s] freedom of speech and we will have to live with those consequences.” China is basketball-mad and this could cost the NBA billions.
PHAROAH SANDERS (did Coltrane influence him, vice versa or both, this crazy cat is beyond legendary, a primal founding force of so much essential jazz, Ornette Coleman once described him as “probably the best tenor player in the world,” his association with Trane brought him attention but it was his early ‘70s albums for Impulse that grabbed the jazz public’s fancy, known for his overblowing, harmonic and multiphonic techniques as well as “sheets of sound,” playing this weekend with pianist Benito Gonzales only, this will probably be weird and wild and something you do not want to miss) Sat, Sun 8 p.m., Jazz Bakery, SM, $25-$45.
TERRY RILEY (just — never miss an opportunity to see Terry Riley, a progenitor of minimalist music and a great influence on all music after 1964, performing here as part of the Angel City Jazz Fest with his classical guitarist son Gyan) Friday, Oct. 10. 8:30 p.m., Zipper Hall, DTLA, $20-$35.
TONIGHT! — LEO KOTTKE (Leo Kottke’s still alive?! so is Peter Lang but the other two ‘60s Takoma American primitive acoustic guitar wizards John Fahey and Robbie Basho are not, so what am I tellin’ you, get on out to Pepperdine and bask in the singular wonder of how a guitar can be played like you may never have heard, I’m sure he’s picking and sliding as well or better than ever, and he sings too), Thurs 8 p.m., Smothers Theatre, Malibu, $23-$45.
TONIGHT! — LITTLE MISS NASTY (not everyone’s cuppa whiskey but they have a residency in Vegas and tour the area and boys and girls, young and old turn out, what it is is burlesque to loud rockandroll on Harvelle’s very good sound system, excellent choice of songs, mostly, that’s what I enjoyed but the four women are pretty sexy, not wearing a lot, bumping and grinding all night like a champion gymnast couldn’t keep up with), Thurs 9:30 p.m., $20-$30, Harvelle’s, DTSM.
TONIGHT! — LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE (wow, this music doc lasted way longer than anyone might have guessed, but it is good and will perhaps open your eyes to more respect for a woman who blazed early trails in male-dominated rock, advocated for human rights, shared a mattress on the floor of the Governor’s Mansion with Jerry Brown, lived life and her art on her own terms and succeeded wildly, and as Dolly Parton declares, “that girl could sing ANYthang!”), Thurs- ?, Monica Film Center DTSM; Thurs ONLY, Landmark Theater, Westwood.
NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS (they’ve been around 23 years? — they should be better known, this rockin’ blues band formed by the Dickinson brothers out of their home’s fertile north Mississippi musical mud, just across the line from Memphis, but McCabe’s knew and brought them and y’all certainly shouldn’t miss the opportunity), Fri 8 p.m., McCabe’s, SM, $29.
THE COTTON CLUB ENCORE (I know, this is a FF Coppola imagination of the famed Harlem club that I wish I could time travel back to — but I’d rather hit LA’s Central Avenue in its heyday — when released in ‘84 he was pressured to cut 30 minutes, now
has edited it to where he really wanted it and restored several “legendary musical numbers” featuring tap dance wizards Gregory and Maurice Hines, Gwen Verdon, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Bob Hoskins, Nicolas Cage, Fred Gwynne, Richard Gere, Jennifer Grey, Tom Waits), Fri-Thurs, Nuart Theater, WLA.
LIBRARY GIRL (10th Anniversary Show + Party, amazing, to keep a monthly spoken word series not only alive but vital, that long, kudos to the Ruskin, Mike Myers but essentially it’s founder Susan Hayden, tonight co-curating with S.A. Griffin, “Ford Drives America, A Tribute to Poet Michael C. Ford,” John Densmore will be on stage doing…something, you MUST start going to these but get on the waiting list for this one, sold out), Sun 6 p.m. party, 7 p.m. show, Ruskin Group Theatre, SM Airport, $10
TINARIWEN, Lonnie Holley (Tuareg musicians from northern Mali who became a band while fleeing war, in refugee camps in Algeria, 40 years ago, Slate calls the group “rock ‘n’ roll rebels whose rebellion, for once, wasn’t just metaphorical”), Sun 7 p.m., The Mayan, DTLA, $30.
CAL BENNETT (Cal’s been a respected smooth sax dude on the LA scene for years, and now you can catch him Wed evenings at an also cool venue, Pips on LaBrea, playing with his trio 7-10, they call it Jazz & Wine and all bottles are half off, but Cal is full on), Wed 7 p.m., Pips on LaBrea, LA, free.
ART & ACTIVISM (doc screening with discussion after and cake before, celebrating the birthday of local arts proponent Marissa Rubin, interviewed in the film with activist hubby Jerry, also anti-nuker Mary Kelly, and the Gangsta Gardener), Wed 6 p.m., Main Library, DTSM, free.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: Ace 20 Year Celebration with RYUICHI SAKAMOTO, Serpentwithfeet, Zola Jesus 10/18, Theater at the Ace Hotel, DTLA; LA PHIL – SALONEN conducts TCHAIKOVSKY and BARTOK 10/18-19, Centennial Birthday Celebration Concert & Gala with DUDAMEL and SALONEN conducting 10/24, MEHTA’S MAHLER 10/25, SALONEN & SIBELIUS 10/26, DUDAMEL conducts BEETHOVEN’S 9TH 10/27, Walt Disney Hall, DTLA; CACHE VALLEY DRIFTERS, Crary, Evans, & Barnick 10/20, McCabe’s, SM; TY WOODWARD 10/20, Jacaranda, First Presbyterian Church, DTSM; SMILE film and conversation with Brian Wilson and David Leaf, 10/20, Schoenberg Hall, UCLA; PHIL NORMAN TENTET 10/20, Smothers Theatre, Malibu; TOOL 10/20, Staples Center, DTLA.Octob
BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS: THELONIUS MONK (1917), JOHN PRINE (1946). GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813), IVORY JOE HUNTER (1914), CYRIL NEVILLE (1948), MIDGE URE – Ultravox (1953), DANIEL PEARL – American journalist kidnapped, murdered in Pakistan (1963), GAVIN NEWSOM (1967), ED WOOD (1924), BARON VON RICHTHOFEN (1895), CHARLES III (1486).
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