November 21, 2014

L.A. previews November 21-27: Marc Ribot, Brian Auger, Kenny Burrell, Jake E. Lee's Red Dragon Cartel, Dwight Trible, Nick Mancini, Joey Sellers.

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November 17, 2014

Record review: Exhausted Prayer, "Ruined."

Listen to Exhausted Prayer blind, and you might think you can instantly peg this brand of metal. Must be from the icy forests of Norway, right? No, the smoggy freeways of Los Angeles County. Satanic church burners? No, atheist stoners. Ritualistic blood slurpers? No, mostly long-haired vegans. But their grimness? Universal.

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November 13, 2014

Record review: Machine Head, "Bloodstone & Diamonds" (Nuclear Blast)

robb%20flynn.jpg Robb Flynn must have a lot to prove, because he sure does prove a lot, again and again.

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October 28, 2014

Review and interview: Electric Wizard, ancient and present.

A new classic album of sludgy riffology; an old interview and live observation from 2002 that finally sees the light/dark.

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October 16, 2014

DVD review: Ozzy Osbourne, "Memoirs of a Madman" (Epic/Legacy)

A career obituary?

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October 8, 2014

Live review: Angel City Jazz Festival featuring Arthur Blythe tribute at Barnsdall Park, September 28.

A spectacular array of the most adventurous jazz, some guy says.

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October 2, 2014

Live review: Anthony Braxton Trio, Wadada Leo Smith Silver Orchestra at Zipper Hall, September 27 (with Vinny Golia's 2004 comments on Braxton).

You could check off some common boxes between Anthony Braxton and Wadada Leo Smith -- their longtime connection with Chicago's AACM, their passion for abstraction, the nontraditional ways they diagram their scores/structures, their rumpled-professor mode of dress. But musically, they're almost strangers.

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September 13, 2014

R.I.P.: Gerald Wilson, 1918-2014.

On September 8, Gerald Wilson, one of the most casually impressive people I ever met, went up to lead the Eternal Big Band in the Sky. He had just turned 96. Read my 2004 L.A. Weekly interview here. Read my 2012 live review here.

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August 29, 2014

Live review: Billy Higgins tribute at the Ford Amphitheater, August 24.

Happy 25th anniversary to Leimert Park's World Stage, home to music, poetry and universal artistry since its 1989 founding by Kamau Da'aood and Billy Higgins. A lot of fine performers couldn't wait to pay tribute to drum legend Higgins, who died in 2001.

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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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