Music: From the DUST TO DIGITAL archives. Courtesy image


Shows to go back to the endless delectable listings of the week’s must-see live performances — soon come — but here are a couple I do recommend.

I usually don’t go on someone else’s word. For myself, from the right person, I’ll sometimes take a chance, but not for publication, for others.

However, in this case, the person recommending was David Robaire, the musician who does such a great job, along with owner Paul Dolomon, of booking the acts that play LAX-area jazz club Sam First. Robaire and I were having a long discussion about our music likes and not-likes, and out of that he remarked, you know, I’m positive you would really like pianist Eric Reed, who we have here in a couple of weeks,

Well, he’s here, with a trio, Friday and Saturday, two sets at 7 and 9 p.m., $25. I’ll be there, with friends in tow, but if you hate it (very unlikely), don’t accost me that night. Write me a note. If you love it, tell the management I sent ya.

Friday at Harvelle’s, tight here in SM on 4th Street downtown, you can get four bands for 10 bucks, 9 p.m. but the one you don’t want to miss is Westerner, one of my favorite local bands. Hope they haven’t lost their leap over the shutdown.


How many times, how many hours, especially during COVID restrictions, have you been sucked down the youtube music rabbit hole? You snap out of it finally because you realize you are hungry, only to discover that the dog defecated all over your vintage Martin guitar because he hadn’t been let out forever, the cat shredded every good piece of clothing you had (cats can instinctively discern Halston from Haggar), and the kids graduated and your wife left you. Worse, you didn’t even like half the videos you sat through.

Here’s a music rabbit hole I can suggest where you will probably like everything that pops up, and you will actually learn from it, and perhaps have an enlightened realization.

I went to the FB page of a good friend and clicked the first video I saw, and as it scrolled to the next and the next, I was mesmerized and had no desire to stop. But I felt great about it all. I was being whisked around the world and through time, and left, from visual-audio experience, with an expanded sense of wonder for the breadth and excellence of musical and cultural traditions and master musicians of all stripes from faraway corners of the world. A table full of young Scottish women, led by an elder, all sang a song to accompany their hand-pounding of laundry — singing always makes odious tasks go by faster and easier, especially in groups, which is why the military has its marching chants. Then to a mystical Miles Davis Quintet number, then what looks like a Middle Eastern orchestra, men in urban dress of maybe the late-’30s, seated on chairs playing traditional instruments, then an Appalachian singer and picker, Cab Calloway at the Cotton Club, master Morrocan musicians gathered around a sacred tree in a mountain village — you get the picture.

Where did this amazing footage come from? The entry to this world music cultural rabbit hole is DUST TO DIGITAL. Nicole may have written about it in a past NICOLE RECOMMENDS, but it’s worth revisiting.

Founded by Lance Ledbetter in 1999, he and wife April now carry on its mission of “creating access to hard-to-find music by producing high quality books, CDs. DVDs, box sets and vinyl records. They have evolved to today’s format standards for computers and phones. By combining research with images, audio and videos, Dust-to-Digital continues to both entertain and educate the adventurous listener.”

I would disagree. I don’t think you really have to be adventurous. Sure, some of these folks look and dress differently than your average Sunset Park resident, and the sounds may seem at first exotic, but good music is good music, and this may blow your mind wide open as to how much you didn’t know was out there. Music enriches lives, and DUST TO DIGITAL shows us there’s gold in them thar hills.


OK, yes, I did try to trick you into reading this. It has nothing to do with Mr. Springsteen. In fact, it has nothing to do with music, or the other usual arts, but I am extending my NOTEWORTHY net of arts consideration to include the art of living, of creating a recognizable, well-known, consistent and persistent persona and daily deeds.

Others may be offended that I am labeling Jerry Rubin The Boss. That would probably be because they disagree strongly with some of his political stands, especially local, specifically on development.

Jerry and I couldn’t be further apart in that area. But we’re close friends, long time. You can count on Jerry to walk the talk when it comes to his friends. I just figure he’s mysteriously misguided in that area of overdevelopment in Santa Monica, but I so respect the thrust of his life, for the last 40 years, which is peace. Peace, peace. He doesn’t even hate Trump. (Just the things he does.)

Oh, and trees. Who can hate peace, and/or trees? And justice, equality, and the environment. People can find differences in how to honor these things, and they do, but Jerry’s roots are buried in that essence and he is immovable. That is making your word your life, and your lifestyle an art.

Rubin was a fixture for decades at his sticker table on the Promenade, until COVID hit. But now, he’s back. The constant continues. In a city that throws away its history like its stinky garbage and old news, I like that. No matter what your beliefs, you can probably find a sticker or button at Jerry’s table that fits you. And you may have an interesting discussion with Rubin himself over some issue he cares about, which is all of them.

“I’m officially coming back! I’m tan, rested and ready! I updated my Dump Trump sticker table sign. It will now be the DUMPED TRUMP sticker table! And I plan to set up again in the same location on the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade after 15 months away due to the COVID pandemic. Of course, we have a lot of work to do to stand up to all the cowardly Republicans who are still afraid of Trump and won’t even admit that Biden dumped him fairly and squarely!

Tentative date: Saturday, July 10! Don’t think it’s possible you missed me nearly as much as I missed all of you! Back by popular demand! Onward! Together!?


Was presented yesterday online. I’m a lot more interested in the lost murals of Santa Monica. They’re piling up.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 3,000 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