Saturday, June 2, 2012

June, Un-Gloomed (Or: Music for the Coming Z. Apocalypse)

What with all the talk of the ongoing cannibal zombie apocalypse that seems to be breaking out all over last week, we'd thought we'd outline what will make June a delightful diversion from prowling/shuffling/limping through the streets of L.A.consuming human flesh. (Last night alone would have sufficed for the whole month: Xiu Xiu in Eagle Rock; Walter Smith III & Ambrose Akinmusire in Little Tokyo, Dr. Vicki Ray in Pasadena, Alphonse Mouzone at LACMA, the Krautrock Tribute at the Ford and Cut Chemist at the Natural History Museum.)

Here's our picks:

June 2 Fancy Space People (w/ ex-Germ Don Bolles), Narwhal Party & Bella Novela @ The Homeroom....Liam Mooney and Friends presents "music for brass chimes, assorted triangles, dry ice, plastic bottles, and electric fan" at The Wulf....Medeski, Martin & Wood's Billy Martin & Wil Blades duo at The Mint....June 3 Open Gate Theater presents Sunday Evening Concerts w/ the duos of Thollem McDonas/Alex Cline & Michael Vlatkovich/William Roper....June 5 OHM at the Baked Potato....June 8 Ernie Watts Quartet at LACMA....June 9 Alan Pasqua, Darek Oles & Peter Erskine @ Vitello’s....June 10 EX IM OT Series ("a free performance of EXperimental, IMprovised, and OTher music ") at the Homeroom....A Tribute to Henryk Gorecki @ Disney Concert Hall....June 12 Nite Jewel w/ Paradise & Nicholas Krgovich at The Echo....June 14 Trio Various @ Battery Books & Music....June 15 Los Angeles Jazz Quartet at LACMA....Morris Tepper at TAIX....June 16 DâM-FunK @ the Levitt Pavilion....Mike Watt & The Missing Men / Biblical Proof of UFO’s @ the Redwood Bar....Billy Childs Quartet at The Blue Whale....June 21 Chord Four at the Blue Whale....June 27 Herbie Hancock hosts A Celebration of Miles Davis with Jimmy Cobb, Marcus Miller & the Miles Electric Band....June 28 Kenny Burrell Quintet at Catalina’s....June 29 The SAVE CHINATOWN/NO WALMART Benefit with No Age, Tearist, L.A. Fog & Afterhours @ Oooga Booga....June 30 Quarteto Nuevo @ the Glendale Moose Lodge...Dwight Trible and the Cosmic Band at The World Stage....The World Famous Beat Junkies 20th Anniversary Show with J.Rocc, Rhettmatic, Melo-D, Babu, Shortkut, Mr. Choc, D-Styles & more @ the Echoplex.

Now that summer is here and the weather is perfect for hunting for brains you can eat out of people's skulls with with a spoon, drag your useless left leg down to the four separate Wednesday concerts held to celebrate 35 years of Vinny Golia's still-kicking-beyond-anyone's expectations indie jazz label Nine Winds Records. Since so much has already been written about Golia in the local music press over the years, the elder statesman has cagily taken the spotlight off himself and declared the theme of the fest to be 'New Blood' of creative and improvised music now percolating in the Southland. And where else would he be doing this? Why the sunlight-averse environs of The Blue Whale of course, whose owner Joon Lee was just profiled in a recent issue of the L.A. Weekly?

The Schedule:
6.06 Slumgum / Music for Woodwinds, Percussion and Strings by Vinny Golia
6.13 Walsh Set Trio / Gavin Templeton Quartet
6.20 Daniel Rosenboom Septet / Vinny Golia Sextet
6.27 Vinny Golia Medium Ensemble


MicroFest, the annual L.A. celebration of microtonal music, concludes in slam-bang fashion (not a term usually used for this music, but still...) with two events. First, on June 14th, is actually a CD release party REDCAT-style: the first complete recording of the iconoclastic Cali composer Harry Partch's epic Bitter Music, a sort of abstract, found-object opera based on the seven months Partch spent as a wandering hobo who didn't wind up getting his face eaten off. The evening also includes a newly discovered 1969 interview with Partch and the first performance of the long-lost 1942 version of his classic Barstow. A week later, on June 23, the festival's assistant director Aron Kallay will oversee a trippy program at Beyond Baroque in Venice called Beyond Twelve: The Re-Imagined Piano, which the premiere the work of ten of American composers that was commissioned with two ground rules: 1) Re-tune the keyboard, from extended just intonation to 88 equal-divisions of the octave and everything in between. 2) Re-map the keyboard, left can be right, high can be low; pitches need not be linear. " Setting aside the debate over whether microtonal music calms Z's flesh-eating jones or actually drives it to become more intense, this should prove to be an ear-opening -- and not eye-eating -- experience. And for only $10!


The Beast just isn't about weird, obscurantist music that may/may not drive Z.s into a blood-frothy frenzy. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait til the end of the month to see what the outcome of the Z. apocalypse will bring to our ruined land, but for one night you can forget it all with the return on June 28th of L.A. sons Grant Lee Buffalo, the neo-psychedelic folk-pop trio who seemed poised on the edge of greatness with their 1994 album Mighty Joe Moon and its attendant single "Mockingbirds" (which took the falsetto back from Bread and Leo Sayer); hell, they were even featured in Rolling Stone's "The Future of Rock" issue! Then, "poised" turned into "perched" as the band became one of the lynchpins of the Largo scene of the mid-1990s and got to watch compadres like Eels, Jon Brion, Aimee Mann and Fiona Apple achieve a success they much deserved. (This despite frontman Grant Lee Phillips' recurring role as a wandering folkie on the WB dramedy Gilmore Girls.) Didn't happen, but they remain influential cult miniaturists whose aping-of-Brian-Wilson-before-it-was-cool aesthetic in turn lit upon the ears of future sunhiney-pop outfits like Best Coast, Dawes, Wavves, Beach House and Lavender Diamond.

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