Most of the time nepotism is a recipe for disaster. Take the Trump children. Please.
But sometimes a relative really is the most qualified person for the job. When your daughter has been hauled to great concerts since in utero, has been working as a music curator for three years since graduating UCLA with a degree in Ethnomusicology, is coming close to matching your seven-decade lifetime concerts total of 2500+ at only age 26, and knows most of what you know plus a whole lot more about world music and modern not dinosaur tunes, you’d be crazy not to use that resource to make your column ever more relevant. I’m sure there are dozens of great shows every month that I haven’t recommended because I have no clue who these people are. So now Nicole can fill in some gaps, to even more illuminate the incredible music hotbed that is Los Angeles.
NICOLE RECOMMENDS: LISTEN TO MUSIC OUTSIDE IN THE DAYLIGHT UNDER A TREE AT TIERRA DE LA CULEBRA (bi-weekly series put on by Leaving Records, still one of the most memorable events I attended in 2019, exactly like its name, it is wonderful with kids, dogs, friends, strangers all appreciating good music of considerably varying genres in a most chilled out, welcoming environment, surrounded by greenery and public art, featuring very good jazzy-psychy Brainstory, beautiful Indian classical music from Paul Livingstone Raga Soundscapes, also Dntel, Gemma Castro, Pan + Misty, food and beverages by Anandamide, bring a picnic blanket), Sat 1 p.m., Tierra de la Culebra community art park, Highland Park, free (“donations appreciated”).
THE WORLD IS MY HOME — THE LIFE OF PAUL ROBESON (OMGosh, we’re so lucky this is back, when I saw it recently I thought it was a one-off here and such a shame because it was so freakin’ good but it’s back, this world-touring one-man show about the towering, so multi-faceted Paul Robeson, written and performed by Stogie Kenyatta), Sun 7 p.m., Santa Monica Playhouse, $30.
TONIGHT! — SOUNDWAVES/Pianospheres: Richard Valitutto (LA Times calls Valitutto a “vivid soloist…quietly dazzling…vigorously virtuosic,” with a program of his own work plus Messiaen, Poulenc, Sciarrino, Scriabin, the Pianospheres series is always challenging, engaging, creative music and you walk out afterwards thinking, why don’t I always come to these?), Thurs 7:30 p.m., Main Library, DTSM, free.
SOUNDWAVES (co-founder Daniel Rothman’s music is performed by Slovenian guitarist Mak Gergic, hailed by the NY Times and the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Saxophone Ensemble, now how much fun does this sound like?), Wed 7:30 p.m., Main Library, DTSM, free.
JASON ISBELL (solo acoustic but you won’t miss his powerhouse band The 400 Unit because his voice is so rich and expressive, as are his lyrics and he’s a fine picker and danged funny too so this should be a treat), Fri 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA.
BAD HABITS (haven’t seen it yet but when does the Ruskin Group do anything less than terrific and this is a family affair starring Orson Bean and wife Alley Mills of The Wonder Years and The Bold & the Beautiful, written by master Steve Mazur of Liar, Liar fame who gave us the unforgettable Sneaky Ole Time at the Ruskin, and it’s full of nuns, I just don’t think you can go wrong), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SMO, $20-$35.
MEHTA conducts WAGNER, SCHOENBERG, WEBERN (our venerable old conductor is still visiting and you shouldn’t miss his genius baton, exploring this unusual program), Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA, $76-$232.
DAVID LINDLEY (long drive but only 20 bucks and, it’s David Lindley, one of the best pickers of several instruments on the planet), Fri 8 p.m., The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, $20.
WAR (the only kind you want), Fri 9 p.m., The Rose, Pasadena, Sat 9 p.m., The Canyon Montclair, $48-$78.
GUITAR SHORTY (a legend — check his amazing bio), Sat 9 p.m., Harvelle’s, SM, $12.
GATES OF THE WEST – Celebrating 40th Anniversary of CLASH’S “LONDON CALLING” (benefit for Joe Strummer Foundation with MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Jakob Dylan, GNR’s Duff McKagan, Butch Walker, others, these things are tricky but danged good elements here), Sat 8 p.m., Roxy Theater, WHwd, $30.
LIBRARY GIRL – Lover Man Oh Where Can You Be? (now in its 11th year, congrats! and sometimes, like this time, you also get made-on-the-spot delicious tacos and gorditas to die for plus the usual desert and I suppose I should mention this one is Billie Holiday-themed so I’m in heaven and you should be too, co-curated by LG Susan Hayden and new hubby, isn’t that an atrocious word, Steve Hochman, featuring some real lights of our poetry landscape and, of course, music), Sun 7 p.m., taco party at 6, Ruskin Group Theatre, SMO, $15.
FISHBONE (the cover is a little steep but they deserve it, it’s a bit of a drive to LB, it’s in the afternoon but Alex’s is very dark, and you should never miss a chance to see these legendary funk punks), Sun 2 p.m., Alex’s Bar, Long Beach, $25.
KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE (terrific San Diego band up to bless us with their very large universe, is it rockin’ funk or vice versa, who cares, listen to the trumpet man blow crazy and Karl plays flute and sings it sweet…but not simultaneously), next Thurs, 9 p.m., Lodge Room, Highland Park, $25.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: LED ZEPAGAIN 1/17, Harvelle’s, SM; CHRISTONE “KINGFISH” INGRAM 1/17, 18, Lodge Room, Highland Park; TREY ANASTASIO 1/17, 18, Wiltern, LA; TOWER OF POWER 1/17, JOHN MAYALL 1/25, ENGLISH BEAT 1/31, The Rose, Pasadena; SOUNDS OF SIBERIA: YULIYANA KRIVOSHAPKINA with NACHYN CHOREVE 1/17, DAVE ALVIN & FRIENDS: A Tribute to Chris Gaffney 1/18, ERIC ANDERSEN, SCARLET RIVERA, 1/25, McCabe’s, SM; STANLEY CLARKE BAND with LYRIS QUARTET 1/18, Broad Stage, SM; THE WAILERS 1/18, JOHN MAYALL 1/24, The Canyon Montclair; TOWER OF POWER 1/19, WAR 1/24, The Canyon Santa Clarita; LAURIE ANDERSON & CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE 1/21, BEETHOVEN with EMANUEL AX 1/24, 25, 26, Disney Hall, DTLA; JOHN MAYALL 1/23, The Canyon Agoura Hills; ROBBIE BURNS NIGHT, 1/25, The Daily Pint, SM; MARCUS KING BAND 1/31, Fonda Theatre, Hwd; LA OPERA – EURYDICE 2/1-23, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA; PHAST PHREDDIE & THEE PRECISIONS Reunion! 2/1, Burbank somewhere; ELTON JOHN 2/1, Forum, Inglewood; JACARANDA – PAX AMERICANA I & II, 2/2, First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica; MAVIS STAPLES, 2/13, The Soraya, CSUN; NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS 2/13, Teragram Ballroom, DTLA.
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 34 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at firstname.lastname@example.org