By CHARLES ANDREWS
SOMEONE RECENTLY INQUIRED about my writing, wondering how politics and music could be combined. I had to explain that there are two different columns, but sometimes it can happen. Earlier in the week respected journalist LESTER HOLT, longtime NBC evening news anchor, did an interview with CCR founder JOHN FOGERTY, who claims to be a longtime fan of Holt’s, on the occasion of finally gaining control and ownership of all his songs, an incredible catalog of American music, with a ridiculous number of hits. Holt is a bass player and he and Fogerty jammed in Holt’s Manhattan office after they talked, then Fogerty invited him onstage to perform with him. “Proud Mary.” Holt is very close to the vest, but he must have been over the moon hitting those famous notes.
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.
TODAY! – BOB MARLEY ONE LOVE EXPERIENCE – Planning to finally catch this travelling exhibit about one of the most incredible performers ever, this weekend (the run has been extended), but my recommendation stands nonetheless. 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. Better go ASAP. 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.
LA PHIL, DVORAK, BRUCKNER – I dig most of what Dvořák wrote, but this violin concerto is royalty, straight out of the traditions and excellence of Beethoven and Brahms. And since we are in the “B”s, I will add to my anecdote of a couple columns ago about the two classical specialists we hired as clerks in the Odyssey Records store I assistant managed in Albuquerque in the late ‘70s, who first turned me on to Brahms (1st Symphony), then went a few LPs deeper and pulled out Bruckner’s 7th, still considered his best. So this is going to be a great ride. Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, $40-209.
“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. 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.
LA CHILDREN’S CHORUS – Grammy winners, nearly 300 voices from six ensembles, material spanning four centuries from Bach to Sir Paul, Osuna to Purcell to Kodaly, Taiwan to Scotland to Korea Sun 7 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, $20-50.
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.
ZIGGY MARLEy – I’m tentative on this recommendation, but, Ziggy is more than just Bob and Rita’s eldest, he’s an eight-time Grammy winner, Emmy winner, activist, producer, musician, humanitarian – he has cut a singular path in the world, bringing the sounds of reggae together with funk, blues, rock and more, and he loves to make music for children, so who knows what he will be up to on the elite Disney stage, but it’s worth the gamble.. Their track record on booking non-classical has been really good. Tues 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, $73-87.
LA PHIL, BEETHOVEN, STRAUSS – Ludwig’s 4th Piano Concerto is, as you might guess, lucious and powerful, and the Strauss is from “Der Rosenkavalier” and is less sweet and cliched than some Strauss I don’t care for (but there are waltzes here), and more heroic. Should be a great evening. Next Thurs 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, $70-190.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: BOB MARLEY ONE LOVE EXPERIENCE, Ovation Hollywood, 5/4-21; LA PHIL, BEETHOVEN, STRAUSS, 5/11, 13, 14; “PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE,” Ruskin Group Theatre, 5/12, 13, 14, 15; LA OPERA, “OTELLO,” Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 5/13, 17, 20, 28; VAN MORRISON, Shrine Auditorium, 5/14, 15; LIBRARY GIRL, Ruskin Group Theatre, 5/14; TOLEDO DIAMOND, Harvelle’s, 5/14, 21, 28; HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES, Cinema Bar, 5/15, 22, 29; EMMYLOU HARRIS, DWIGHT YOAKAM, Greek Theatre, 5/18; LA PHIL, SALONEN, BARTOK, STRAVINSKY, Disney Hall, 5/18, 19, 21; DUDAMEL, LA PHIL, “BEETHOVEN 7TH,” Disney Hall, 5/25, 26, 27; DUDAMEL CONDUCTS MOZART, 6/1, 2, 3, 4.
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