July 28, 2015

Ponderation: Kamasi Washington at Grand Performances, July 25.

Jazz, hip-hop and the L.A. uprisings of 1965, 1992 and 201?.

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July 24, 2015

L.A. previews July 24-30: Sherinian-Aldrich/ballet, Joe Bonamassa, Kamasi Washington, L.A. Jazz Society fundraiser, G&G, Adolescents/Weirdos, Central Avenue Jazz Fest, Grand Mothers, Damned doc, Anthrax, King Jammy, Bassekou Kouyate.

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July 8, 2015

Culture clash: Fireworks vs. music at Los Angeles Coliseum, July 4.

American sport acts as a healthy yet zesty outlet for our aggression.

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July 2, 2015

Record review: Trashbeat, Chrome, Tripp Kulture, The Shades, "Bubbling Up From Underground: The State of the Art-Rock Pt 1 (Rock & Roll, Art-Rock, Dance-Punk, Post-Alternative)" (Major Records)

Walking through Hollywood on a Sunday morning, I spied a fella in Spandex pants, lying in the gutter. He rolled up bloodshot eyes and proposed a choice in exchange for a $10 donation: He would either blow me or give me a cassette.

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June 23, 2015

Snapshots: Warped Tour at Ventura Fairgrounds, June 21.

Never got to a Warped Tour event before; had not been young enough.

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June 22, 2015

Live review: Partch at REDCAT, June 19.

Words vs. music: As the Wicked Witch said, these things must be done delicately, and here they kinda weren't.

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June 11, 2015

Eulogy: Ornette Coleman, 1930-2015 (with comments).

Ornette Coleman was a musician, a magician and an oracle.
(With a poem by Richard Meltzer and thoughts from friends.)

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June 3, 2015

Ponderation: The Wrecking Crew vs. pop stars playing their own damned instruments.

I finally got around to watching "The Wrecking Crew," Denny Tedesco's 2008 documentary about the studio musicians who played on all those '60s hits by the Beach Boys, the Mamas and the Papas, the Monkees, the Grassroots, the Association, the Tijuana Brass, Nancy Sinatra and a pile more. It made me trickle tears of nostalgia for my days as an ignorant young snob who loved pop/rock music and hated inauthenticity, two passions that danced poorly together.

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May 20, 2015

Kamasi Washington, "The Epic" (Brainfeeder)

"The Epic" can make you smile, breathe, feel optimistic. It unfolds with boundless generosity, as if we can relax past doomsday to receive inspiration after inspiration, and as if we deserve the gift.

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May 5, 2015

Live review: John Zorn Triple Threat at Royce Hall, May 2.

"Triple Threat & the Hermetic Organ," the title of the Royce Hall evening concluding a full day of Zorn presentations in Los Angeles, carried a connotation beyond run, pass and kick.

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