Music: Mariachi performers! Courtesy photo


Finally, there is enough in the way of live music (barely) to go back to the listings format.

But this deadly virus has taught us never to become complacent, and there’s no telling what the next few weeks or months will bring. Just a short time ago it looked like we were finally heading back to some normalcy, and then we quickly discovered how the willfully ignorant and misinformed among us can screw it all up and send us into our worst health crisis ever.

I swear, if I die of a stroke in a hospital parking lot because every bed is filled with some Internet idiot weeping, I should have gotten vaccinated, I was wrong, everybody, get vaccinated, please — I will come back and haunt every last one of them by planting that song in your head that you can’t get rid of, and what a playlist I will use:

“Brandy,” “Mandy,” “Horse with No Name,” “Achy Breaky Heart,” “We Built This City,” “It’s a Small World,” “MacArthur Park,” “Afternoon Delight,” “Macarena,” “Ebony & Ivory” (sorry, Stevie, you let Sir Paul’s saccharine side suck you in), “Knock Three Times,“ “Call Me Maybe,” and anything by Bread, Styx, Nickelback, Journey, Dan Fogelberg, Yoko Ono, Kei$ha, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Bieber, Brittany, JLo, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, Creed, Bolton of course, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Al Stewart, Ratt Poison LA Guns Dokken Warrant W.A.S.P. and absolutely Stryper, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Hootie +/- Blowfish, so many others I have no room for, and OK, here’s where you really get to hate me — Dave Matthews.

I will carefully match the music to the moron, it will get stuck on a loop for a few days then go away, but I will repeat it every two weeks. Sounds like Hell to me. So — get vaccinated.

DON’T MISS Nicole’s three show recommendations for TONIGHT!, Friday and next Wednesday, below, under NICOLE RECOMMENDS.


TONIGHT! DUDAMEL CONDUCTS THE LA PHIL — You want Dudamel? Camp out at the Bowl for a week. I know he’s young and we feel like we will have him for decades more, but you never know what’s around the corner, and by the time he joins that Philharmonic In The Sky I believe he will be recognized as a giant, an innovator, a passionate master musician, conductor and music director, and the perfect match for our world-class symphony in the 21st century. So — don’t wait. You can catch him conducting at the Bowl three times by next Thursday, and then only once more, in late September, for the rest of the season. Tonight he presents Beethoven’s grand “Triple Concerto” and Manuel de Falla’s flamenco-flavored comic ballet “The Three-Cornered Hat,” based on Andalusian folk music and designed for Spanish dance. 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $8-127.

THEATRICUM BOTANICUM presents SHAKESPEARE’S “JULIUS CAESAR” — Haven’t seen this one yet but TB is always solid especially with the Bard.. “JC” is a bloody dose of political reality, from Imperial Rome to Elizabethan England to Trump-traumatized America. Fri 7:30 p.m., TB. Topanga Canyon, #10-$26 general admission. Masks required.

“SOUND OF MUSIC” SING-ALONG — some people live for this I sure don’t but if you do well I thought I should remind you. Wear your leiderhosen. Sat 7:30 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $14-99.

THEATRICUM BOTANICUM presents SHAKESPEARE’S “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” — one of the best “AMND” I can recall (despite the flawed attempt to inject a little singing). Loved the inventive physical comedy and the fairies were really good; who could not be charmed by their little chirping sounds? Sat 7:30 p.m., TB. Topanga Canyon, #10-$26 general admission. Masks required.

32ND ANNUAL MARIACHI USA — OK, with fireworks but who needs it, this boisterous LA music tradition is always a treat, Missed Olvera Street for a year and a half? Get your fill in one night. Sun 5:30 p.mHollywood Bowl, $39-80.

THEATRICUM BOTANICUM presents “THE LAST, BEST SMALL TOWN” — this moving, timely original with themes of racism, small town life, economic disparity, stereotypes, youthful rebellion, the value of education, family expectations and dynamics, East Coast-West Coast, rural-city, marriage and tradition — in other words, the human condition. Sun 7:30 p.m., TB. Topanga Canyon, #10-$26 general admission. Masks required.

DUDAMEL CONDUCTS THE LA PHIL — Tchaikovsky’s passionate “Fifth Symphony” plus the world premiere of Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’ violin concerto, “Fandango,” inspired by the lively Spanish dance and performed by Anne Akiko Meyers. Tues 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $8-127.

EM THE MASTER — I know, sounds pretentious… unless you can deliver and she does. I wrote a couple weeks ago about how knocked out I was by her show. Her original songs are excellent, the arrangements masterful, the band killer. She is a non-stop ball of frenetic but focused energy. Tues 9 p.m., Harvelle’s, DTSM, $10.

DUDAMEL CONDUCTS THE LA PHIL — Tchaikovsky’s “Fifth’’ returns, paired with Piazzola’s tango vision of Buenos Aires, his violin concerto homage to Vivaldi, “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.” Next Thurs 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $8-127.


TONIGHT! REFLECTIVE DETECTIVES — The modern garage psych group led by frontman and local kid Ryan Gabrinetti are back for their first show in more than a year. They’ll be tearing up the Townhouse in Venice, which is a most fitting venue considering their ‘60s-Venice-reminiscent sound. Ryan and I go way back to high school days, and I have been a firsthand witness to his talent as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. If you want to hear some mind-bending freak-out solos, contemplative, socially conscious lyrics, and heavy blues jams, check this show out tonight. 8 p.m., The Townhouse, Venice, $7 presale.

Link to purchase:

MEDIA JEWELER — Back for their first LA show in three years, celebrating their record release with an excellent lineup of post-punk, jazz and experimental pop groups Traps PS, Belly Belt, and Patrick Shiroshi, Pauline Lay and Kern Haug. Having seen almost all of these acts at some point or another I can say with authority that this is going to be a great show. Friday, 8 p.m., Permanent Records Roadhouse, Cypress Park, $10. Must have proof of vaccination or negative COVID test 72 hours prior to event.

CENTRE OF LIGHT: A NIGHT OF LIVE AMBIENT MUSIC — If you’re looking for something a little more mellow, this will be a night to relax and unwind with several LA-based sound artists, Jacob Mann, Lesley Wheeler, Cherub Black (Teira), Karl-McComas-Reichle, Maam and North. The program has a limited capacity and will include plant-based tonics and footwear check-in. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to women in need at the East Los Angeles Women’s Center and the Downtown Women’s Center. Wed 7:30 p.m., Navel, DTLA, $20.

Link to purchase: (Discount applied with code “sound”)

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