August 21, 2014

L.A. previews August 22-28: Phil Ranelin, Michael Landau, L.A. Jazz Collective, World Stage 25th anniversary, Jeff Parker, G.E. Stinson, Lee "Scratch" Perry, CoC, Beat Music.

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August 14, 2014

Ponderation: Pope Kumbaya wages war on the Latin Mass.

When I was an altar boy in the mid-1960s, we said the Mass in Latin and liked it. Now, Pope Francis, like Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Frankie Valli and Frank Zappa before him, is trying to deal tradition a mystical and musical death blow.

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August 7, 2014

Poem: "Unsaved."


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July 29, 2014

Live review: Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy, Don Carlos & the Dub Vision Band at Hollywood Bowl, July 20.

Folks who consider reggae a peaceful monolith shoulda dug this year's Reggae Night at the Bowl. The stylistic divisions ran about as harsh as the Israel-Gaza border; we half expected rocket fire.

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July 15, 2014

R.I.P.: Charlie Haden, 1937-2014.

When we saw Charlie Haden at REDCAT in December, we knew the great bassist's time with us would not be long.

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July 11, 2014

Mini-history: "Black Night," Deep Purple's soccer chant.

I nominate the song for permanent inclusion in the repertoire.

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July 3, 2014

Philosophy: Why I don't stand for the national anthem.


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June 26, 2014

Poem: "Warrior"


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June 4, 2014

Mythology: "Maleficent," a very metal movie.

Disney's ambivalent relationship with Satan, paganism and heavy metal mirrors America's ambivalent relationship with itself. More evidence: the studio's new "Maleficent." Read my thoughts in the Op-Ed section of LA Times.
The piece generated a lot of comments on Anne Rice's Facebook page, among other places.

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May 27, 2014

Reviews of Ozzy guitarists Part 2: Joe Holmes, Jake E. Lee, Gus G.

Last month I noted the mini-torrent of current releases by guitarists associated with Ozzy Osbourne, and I began the survey with "Catacombs of the Black Vatican" by Black Label Society, the long-running project of Zakk Wylde (Ozzy 1987-1995 and 2001-2009). Now I'm gonna catch up with Joe Holmes (1995-2001), Jake E. Lee (1983-1987) and Gus G. (2009-present).

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