R.I.P. HARRY BELAFONTE – It’s always hard to lose an icon, someone so undeniably talented that they can never be replaced. One of a kind. Belafonte was that, in multiples. But he always felt that his most important role was that of social activist, and at that he was legendary. I loved his response in an interview to the question, when did you become an activist? Without hesitation he replied, “the day I was born.”Along with the sadness of loss, I will be grateful that we had him for so long, 96 years. That’s an awful lot of Day-o’s.


WILLIE NELSON 90 – Not sure how much I have to say at this point. I have written of this show since I heard about it in Jan. “Concert of the Century,” I’ve dubbed it. It’s LA, Hollywood Bowl, who doesn’t want to do a Willie song for him? (See previous columns for stellar guests.) For all the affection, let’s not forget his prodigious talents: as a songwriter (“Crazy”/”Night Life”/”Funny How Time Slips Away” – all written during the same week!, “Blue Eyes Crying,” “On the Road Again,” “Georgia,” “Hello Walls”), his inimitable, emotion-packed vocals that owe as much to jazz as country, and his still-amazing pickin’ on that beat up ol’ gee-tar. JUST IN! More great guests just added! JAMEY JOHNSON ,KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, STEPHEN STILLS, BOOKER T., GEORGE STRAIT, EMMYLOU HARRIS, GARY CLARK JR., DWIGHT YOAKAM, JACK JOHNSON, DANIEL LANOIS, DAVE MATTHEWS, and more. They couldn’t have held these concerts indoors, and you know why. Sat, Sun 7 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $325-5,000.

THE HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES – Hot Club’s brand of virtuoso, sometimes breakneck Django-style 1930s gypsy swing jazz is found nowhere else and even if it was, it couldn’t possibly be better than this. These guys are masters, individually and collectively. They manage to record and play high-profile gigs and still show up every Monday night here, for years. Aren’t we lucky? Mon 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover.

EM – You may have noticed one of my perennial HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDs MIA. I’d have to research it but I know I have been recommending this unusually talented performer for more than a year, every week, conveniently at our own Harvelle’s downtown, on 4th Street, and with a very cheap cover charge. Did I overdo it? Did it seem too good to be true? But didn’t I always advise, go now, while you can? She is now “on hiatus, expected to return in late May.” Those are not guarantees. So if she does return, I hope you will do yourself a favor and catch her show. You don’t want to live with regret, do you? And while you are at it, TOLEDO DIAMOND is still there at Harvelle’s every dang Sunday night, for more than 20 years. Two uniquely talented performers at the same venue every week for years, is rare.


TODAY! – BOB MARLEY ONE LOVE EXPERIENCE – OK, I still haven’t seen it, busy, out of town, but I will, and my recommendation stands. Bob Marley was one of the greatest performers and musicians (his compelling, hypnotic, otherworldly vocal instrument) … ever. And his Wailers were musically phenomenal, and his songwriting was unique and remarkable. Silverlake’s Roger Steffens, the world’s foremost authority on Marley, if not reggae itself, is leading tours every weekend at 1 and 3, and he would not do that if it wasn’t up to snuff. This covers only “the Island (record label) years,” but that’s what most people are familiar with. It looks as though this has been extended through May 20, but you had better call to make sure. Thurs-Sun-Wed 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. -10 p.m., Mon-Tues 11 a.m. -5:30 p.m., Ovation Hollywood, $20-70.  

TONIGHT! – IGGY POP – If you know his history you will be thrilled to see him still going crazy, if not you won’t even think about going. Um, that’s too bad. Who knew he could have such longevity and influence, one of the most interesting and enduring volatile rockers, credited with giving birth to punk. But he is much more than that. Sun 8 p.m., Hollywood Palladium, $20-230.

BOHEMIAN STRINGS, LA PHIL – Members of the LA Phil playing Janacek, Martinů, Dvorak, rare and yummy. If you are not familiar with these, go and find a whole new world. Tues 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, $20-64.

“PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE” – Read carefully. It’s an “absurdist comedy.” By the inarguably absurd comic Steve Martin. I laughed, but it is not intended to have you in stitches the entire time. It is the absurd and thought-provoking fantasy that Picasso and Einstein may have hung out together in a Paris cafe in the early 20th century, before either was famous. What might they have been like? Who else might have passed through? No one knows so Martin could go anywhere. One place he went was to make the “ordinary” women involved sound smarter than those two wise guys. Wow! People are diggin’ this show – it’s been extended through May 21. But some shows are selling out, so… Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, Santa Monica Airport, $20-35.

TOLEDO DIAMOND – Unique, riveting, first class act. There’s nothing like it, it is high performance art and great fun. Degeneracy is rarely so well disciplined. Could be the most memorable 12 bucks you ever spent. Sun 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $12.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: BOB MARLEY ONE LOVE EXPERIENCE, Ovation Hollywood, 5/4-21; DVORAK, BRUCKNER, Disney Hall, 5/5, 6, 7; “PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE,” Ruskin Group Theatre, 5/5-7; DANIEL SZABO TRIO W/ PETER ERSKINE, Sam First, 5/5; TOLEDO DIAMOND, Harvelle’s, 5/7, 14, 21, 28; LA CHILDREN’S CHORUS, Disney Hall, 5/7; HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES, Cinema Bar, 5/8, 15, 22, 29; ZIGGY MARLEY, Disney Hall, 5/9; “OTELLO,” LA OPERA, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 5/13, 17, 20, 28; VAN MORRISON, Shrine Auditorium, 5/14, 15; EMMYLOU HARRIS, DWIGHT YOAKAM, Greek Theatre, 5/18; DUDAMEL, LA PHIL, “BEETHOVEN 7TH,” Disney Hall, 5/25, 26, 27.

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 37 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at Charles Andrews