HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY, JONI!
Her BD was Tuesday, 11/7, a lucky number. She suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015, that left her unable to walk or talk. Or know how to play guitar. Miraculously, and after much hard recovery work, she made a surprise appearance at the Newport Folk Festival last year, and again at Hollywood Bowl last summer at the Wayne Shorter tribute (he was a friend), with a touching rendition of her “Circle Game,” a few registers lower but full of emotion. She got a standing O, as soon as she came on stage. An astounding assemblage of jazz greats, a concert for the ages, but Joni stole the show with one song.
Tonight! – ROSSINI’S “THE BARBER OF SEVILLE,” LA OPERA – I haven’t enjoyed going to The Barber this much since I was a kid. Is opera all serious and fatal and dense? No, especially not comic opera, and Rossini was the prodigious master, and “The Barber of Seville” perhaps the shining epitome of opera for laughs. You have only two more chances to catch it. Thurs 7:30 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, LA, $59-374.
“A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE” – I’ve done my job. Reporting how exceptional this production is, how often it is selling out, extended a second time now, to Nov. 19. Superb cast top to bottom, with Ray Abruzzo of “The Sopranos” killing the lead. Words by the great Arthur Miller. Don’t wait any longer. Fri 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Ruskin Group Theatre, SMO, $20-35.
LA3C (COMMUNITIES CREATING CULTURE) – This sounds very cool, with something for everyone including gourmet food, film, flea market, vinyl fair. A three-day festival downtown (LA), with events at The Orpheum Theatre (ERYKAH BADU, Sudan Archives), The Theatre at Ace Hotel (HERBIE HANCOCK, FLYING LOTUS), Los Angeles Theatre (KAMASI WASHINGTON), The Palace Theatre, and in the streets with a Marketplace on Main (QUESTLOVE, DJ) and Bazaar on Broadway. Fri, Sat, Sun 2 p.m.-1:30 a.m., various locations downtown LA, various prices.
THE HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES – Looking for something different? But really good? And on a Monday? EVERY Monday? – “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.” Mon 9 p.m., Cinema Bar, Culver City, no cover.
LIBRARY GIRL: “Streetwise – The Poetry of Murray Mednick” – 14 years of LG! Amazing! A gift to Santa Monica, and beyond. Mednick was a playwright, poet, and founder/artistic director of Padua Hills Playwrights Workshop/Festival. Should be fab, but, I hate to be a broken record – sold out. Begging and luck now required. Sun 7 p.m., taco truck at 6, Ruskin Group Theatre SMO, $20 (includes dinner, dessert, free parking).
JAMES MCVINNIE – Piano and the Mighty Disney French Fries organ? A lotta Bach and then all Phillip Glass after intermission? That sounds like a pretty entertaining night to me, and you might even get in for a mere 20 bucks, because there is not a bad seat in the house for this one. Sun 2 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, $20-64.
TOLEDO DIAMOND – Unique, riveting, first class act. There’s nothing like it, it is high performance art and great decadent fun. Degeneracy is rarely so well disciplined. Toledo may have his trademark ciggy, but it’s the band that really smokes! Sun 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $12.
SOUL ASYLUM acoustic, VICTORIA WILLIAMS – It’s only half of Soul Asylum, and it’s acoustic, but what an event Wayne snagged for the venerable stage at McCabe’s. Yes it is of course sold out, but you can always show up and beg an extra ticket from someone in line, or pray that someone cancelled and let McCabe’s know they could release the ticket. Have you figured out yet, that a big reason for my COMING ATTRACTIONS listing at the bottom is so you can buy tickets in advance to shows you dearly want to see? This particularly applies to such a small venue as McCabe’s. Sun 8 p.m McCabe’s, Santa Monica, sold out.
THE HIVES – I’m always leery of recommending a group that hasn’t done much for a while, but I can’t forget how The Hives hit LA like an atom bomb when they played The Troubadour in the early 2000s. Who was this ballsy rock band from… Sweden? With a skinny lead singer named Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist?? Who prowled the stage like he was giving Mick Jagger lessons on how to be a rock star. And the band just kicked the roof off from note one. It’s been 10 years since they’ve played LA, but they have a new album and have booked small shows only in LA and New York. The band has changed only the bass player, so, I expect high octane, still. Can the Swedes conquer America again? Only one way to find out. Having something to prove can make for great shows. Tues, Wed 7 p.m., Belasco, LA, $37-200
NATHANIEL RATELIFF – One of the best-kept secrets on the scene. Been around a long time and have hit B-level stardom, but, maybe that’s enough. An accomplished, polished, energetic large band, equal to Rateliff’s compelling growl. If he doesn’t do “S.O.B. – Get Me a Drink!” – beg. And get him a drink! Tues 8 p.m., Orpheum Theater, LA, $56-202.
DEVO – “The Farewell Tour – Celebrating 50 Years” – if you can remember when these guys popped up and blew minds musically and thematically, you may need wheelchair access. But roll on down to Inglewood because this is it, the end of an error, finally fully devolved, but with two Mothersbaughs and a Casale in the band, I’ll bet they can still whip it, whip it good. Next Thurs 8 p.m., YouTube Theater, Inglewood, $42-715.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: “A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE,” Ruskin Group Theatre, 11/17, 18, 19; TOLEDO DIAMOND, Harvelle’s, 11/19, 26; HOT CLUB OF LOS ANGELES, Cinema Bar, 11/20, 27;DEVO, YouTube Theater, 11/16; PETER ERSKINE TRIO with ALAN PASQUA, DAREK OLES, Sam First, 11/17, 18; STEVE HACKETT, Orpheum Theater, 11/18; NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS, The Regent, 11/19, 20; KASABIAN, Belasco, 11/22; RICK HOLSTROM BAND with STEVE BERLIN, McCabe’s, 11/26; KODÁLY, DVOŘÁK, Disney Hall, 11/28.
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 email@example.com(the real mr music…)