HOT TUNA – When Jefferson Airplane co-founder (1965) Jorma Kaukonen and childhood buddy and JA bassist Jack Casady released an album in ‘69 of acoustic blues they had recorded in New Orleans under the name Hot Tuna, few thought it was anything but a one-off, even though it hit #30 on the charts. Two white dudes from DC indulging themselves on the shoulders of their now-famous psychedelic rock band. But – the goods were in the grooves and it turned out they liked being HT better than JA (which soon took a nosedive as Jefferson Starship, an absolutely horrid band despite JA members and gold/platinum success for a decade, ”We Built This City”? – Grace, you should go and take up painting). Hot Tuna has sometimes added a lot of side men but the core duo has proven themselves not only credible bluesmen, but exceptional. Right now, with so many past masters passed, I’d rather see this blues show than any other. But – it is sold out, both nights, weeks ago. So why am I HIGHLY RECOMMENDING it and giving it so much ink? Two reasons. To remind you that if you see some show you would really like to go to, especially in such a small, intimate venue as McCabe’s – (that’s the purpose of my COMING ATTRACTIONS section at the bottom of each column. Grab those tickets early. The other reason is that if you are desirous enough you can always go to the venue that night and try to beg a ticket. Sometimes, that works. Fri, Sat 8 p.m.,McCabes, Santa Monica.
THE HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES – Breakneck, virtuosic 1930s Django-style swing music in the cozy Culver City dive (almost 75 years old) with live music almost every night and never a cover charge. It’s gigs like this that make putting up with the bad side of Santa Monica worth it. Mon 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover.
EM – She’s still amazing. But nothing good lasts forever, you know. Don’t push your luck. So why not go this Tuesday night? Betcha, you’ll thank me. Tues 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $10.
MARIACHI SOL DE MÉXICO – OK, true, I have never heard this particular group but their photo shows 12 sharp-dressed dudes with very large sombreros, behind their leader, and I do love mariachi and this is a big band so I’m guessing, hoping, that their musical skills match their fine outfits. There is bound to be a lot of horns and if they can manage to play together, that’s a thrilling sound. And the hall is fine. And it is a “NEW ROADS WORLD MUSIC CONCERT presented by THE DA CAMERA SOCIETY” (two reliables) and others, so I think it’s worth a chance. Fri 7 p.m., New Roads School, Santa Monica, $25, students free with valid ID.
MISTY COPELAND – As far as I know she will be speaking only, not dancing, but what a story she has to tell, becoming a hugely successful prima ballerina despite the barriers she broke of being the “wrong” race (she was once told to lighten her skin if she wanted to get a role), “not having the right body,” beginning ballet way too late (13), and growing up really poor. After hearing no, no, forget it, you’re dreaming all her life, she became the first African American principal ballerina eight years ago of the very prestigious American Ballet Theatre. And my Pedro wife is proud to claim her as a hometown girl, San Pedro born and bred. Sun 8 p.m., Saban Theatre, $210-660 – I know! – way too pricey! And their Distinguished Speaker Series has some other goodns too, like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Ken Burns. Also – if you plan on going, call the theater, because while the Distinguished Speaker Series website has all the info, the Saban Theatre site doesn’t mention Misty at all. Yet another slight.
TOLEDO DIAMOND — The true hipster (when that sobriquet meant something way cool), choreographer to the stars, smoky Svengali, showman supreme. Toledo and his unquestionably unique show always pleases, if you are ready for the very different. Every Sun 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $12.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: TOLEDO DIAMOND, Harvelle’s, 10/23, 30 ; HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES, Cinema Bar, 10/24; 31; EM, Harvelle’s, 10/18, 25; JACARANDA, “ARKHIPOV,” Kirk Douglas Theater, 10/21, 22; SUDAN ARCHIVES, The Lodge, 10/21, 22; GRAND AVENUE ARTS, ALL ACCESS, 10/22; LA OPERA, “OMAR,” Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 10/22, 30, 11/2. 5. 9, 13; PETE ESCOVDO & Family, Catalina Jazz Club, 10/22’ GEORGE KAHN Large Band, Catalina Jazz Club, 10/23; “SHADES OF DJANGO,” Pepperdine Smothers Theater, 10/23; Tribute Concert for AIRTO, The Lodge, 10/25; GERALD CLAYTON & Friends Jam Session, with Gerald Clayton (??), Sam First, LAX, 10/25; DANNY ELFMAN Halloween Shows, Hollywood Bowl, 10/28, 29; SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR, The Soraya, 10/29; RICK SHEA, TONY GILKYSON, CINDY BERRYHILL Songwriters Showcase, McCabe’s, 10/30; CHAKA KHAN, Disney Hall, 10/30; HERWAY TO HELL, Harvelle’s, 10/31; THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI with organ, Disney Hall, 10/31; PONCHO SANCHEZ, Canyon Santa Clarita, 11/4; JEFF BECK, Orpheum Theater, 11/6 (also Thousand Oaks, Anaheim, Temecula); LYLE LOVETT, JOHN HIATT, The Soraya, 11/9; BRET MCKENZIE, Theatre at Ace Hotel, 11/11; RHIANNON GIDDENS, Disney Hall, 11/12; ALBERT LEE, McCabe’s, 11/12; NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, Saban Theatre, 11/13; ELTON JOHN, Dodger Stadium, 11/17, 19, 20.
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 36 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at firstname.lastname@example.org