THE HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES – from their website: “Hot Club’s brand of virtuoso, Django-style 1930s gypsy swing jazz is found nowhere else and even if it were, it couldn’t possibly be this good. These guys are masters, individually and collectively. You will find it hard to stop smiling all night. – Santa Monica Daily Press” And may I add, 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/tonight – “Have You Got It Yet? The Story of SYD BARRETT and PINK FLOYD” – Sorry I just caught this, I don’t often check movie listings, but you can still catch it three times today, either here or in North Hollywood. Syd Barrett being a founding member of Pink Floyd, and their main songwriter and guitarist in the early days, until he decided he didn’t want to be a pop star anymore. Also, the rest of the band boots him because they thought he was mentally ill. His first acid trip seemed to open his creative door, but he dabbled a bit too heavily, perhaps. You will learn fascinating things, like, he said his strongest influence was Bo Diddley (??), bandmate Roger Waters’ mother had Barrett as a student in school, he was an adept painter admitted to a prestigious art school, where he met David Gilmour, later longtime, influential Floyd guitarist. This should be a fascinating portrait of a legendary, mythical figure in rock. Thurs only, Monica Film Center 1:10, 4:50, 7:30 p.m., NoHo7, North Hollywood 1:20, 4:45, 7:30 p.m., $7-13.
Tonight! – LA PHIL, “PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION” – Outstanding, unusual program – also a John Williams composition and a Billy Childs violin concerto – more than makes up for no Dudamel (guest conductor Stéphane Denève is no slouch, read his credits). Thurs (Invitational Rehearsal, 9:30 a.m.), 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $6-139 – yes, not a typo, 6 bucks for a cheap seat, and they are all good.
“A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” – TB specializes in Shakespeare, and they do “Midsummer” every single season, 50 years now. If it ain’t broke, and the people love it, don’t axe it, but they do tinker with it a little every summer, and that means if you saw them perform it last year, or 10 years ago, you will see something a bit different, but still Will’s welcome warhorse. Who doesn’t love it? Puck, yes! Fri 7:30 p.m., Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $15-60.
“A PERFECT GANESH” – Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is celebrating its 50th year of operation – amazing! – and while their forte is Shakespeare they always throw in one other unusual play per season, to make us think. This Terrence McNally play finds humor within the self-searching American abroad. Two friends travel to India with heavy baggage, reeling from loss and personal demons. The Hindu god Ganesha manifests in their fellow travelers, and the idea that sometimes, the greatest journey is just, life. Sat 7:30 p.m., Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $15-60.
“MACBETH” – In this bloody, depraved corner, M’Lord and M’Lady, reigning still as the unchallenged monstrous couple of political pushiness, gruesome greed, absolute ambition and murderous mayhem. Some things never change. No wonder this one by Will (Shakespeare, not Geer) remains perhaps his best-known work (but hardly beloved). Sun 3:30 p.m., next Thurs 7:30 p.m., Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $15-60.
STEVE EARLE & THE DUKES – He’s been through do many changes it’s hard to frame the recommendation, but for sure you will get his real deal, a life of country and rock lived high and low and coming through his songwriting and dynamic delivery so authentically that if you walked in knowing nothing you would be only half a step behind everyone else at the Troub, and by set’s end you are all Dukes. Solo and acoustic. Sun 7 p.m., Troubadour, West Hollywood, $45-50 (or, one price, $255, for a resale ticket, if you accidentally go to the Ticketmaster site).
“QUEEN MARGARET’S VERSION OF SHAKESPEARE’S WAR OF THE ROSES” – This Theatricum production encompassing Henry VI Part I, II, III, and Richard III, is stitched together in a way that becomes a bit confusing, and as far as it “centers on the women and children of this UK civil war saga,” well, a whole lot of them wound up dead, and it became commonplace to hear, Oh so you killed my husband and two children and now you want to wed me? … where exactly is your castle, sir? The acting is, as always, top notch, but – nearly three hours is just a bit long despite the fantastic sword fights. Sun 7:30 p.m., Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, $15-60.
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, $12.
Next Thurs – LA PHIL Live Presentation of “2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY’’ – OK, maybe the screen isn’t overwhelming you from your way back cheap seats, but… the LA Phil playing live the thrilling crescendo of “Also Sprach Zarathustra”? With the celestial voices of the massive LA Master Chorale? And you can bring your own popcorn? Hal? Hal? Next Thurs 8 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $6-69 – yeah, that 6 bucks again, half what you would pay in a theatre, without nearly 100 voices and instruments on stage.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: “MACBETH,” Theatricum Botanicum, 8/3, 11, 20, 26; DAKHABRAKHA, Ford Theater, 8/4; “A PERFECT GANESH.” 8/4. 13, 25; “HANSEL & GRETEL,” Pacific Opera Project, 8/4, 5, 6; WILL GEER 50TH ANNIVERSARY GALA, Theatricum Botanicum, 8/5; ACTORS GANG, “MUCH ADO ABOUT POOH, Media Park, 8/5. 6, 12, 13, 19, 20; I SEE HAWKS IN LA, Cinema Bar, 8/5; ZIGGY MARLEY and TROMBONE SHORTY with MAVIS STAPLES, ROBERT RANDOLPH, Greek Theatre, 8/5; TOLEDO DIAMOND, Harvelle’s, 8/6, 13, 20. 27; HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES, Cinema Bar, 8/7, 14, 21, 28;YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, GLENN HUGHES, Saban Theatre, 8/8; RICK SHEA, Cinema Bar, 8/10; LA PHIL, SIBELIUS, GRIEG, Hollywood Bowl, 8/10; LUCINDA WILLIAMS, Ford Theatre, 8/10; “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM,” Theatricum Botanicum, 8/10, 17. 24; ROY ZIMMERMAN, McCabe’s, 8/11; “QUEEN MARGARET’S VERSION OF SHAKESPEARE’S WAR OF THE ROSES,” Theatricum Botanicum, 8/12, 18. 27; LIBRARY GIRL, Ruskin Group Theatre, 8/13; “A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE,” Ruskin Group Theatre, 8/18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27; MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD, Greek Theatre, 8/20; JEFF “SKUNK” BAXTER, Troubadour, 8/22; HERBIE HANCOCK Celebrates WAYNE SHORTER, Hollywood Bowl, 8/23; “SING OUT!” Theatricum Botanicum, 8/23; SUDAN ARCHIVES, Bellwether, 8/25.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (the real mr music…)