Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Passing Though The Nickel Whilst Fishbonin'

The Beast has just published a new installment of our series The United Sounds of Los Angeles, whereupon we wax nostalgic about one of our fave L.A. bands: Fishbone.

JUST ANNOUNCED! This Sunday (Oct. 26) at 7:30pm,  Filmforum will be presenting the L.A. premiere of Alina Skrzeszewska's documentary Songs From The Nickel. The Nickel is an area of downtown L.A. (centered around Fifth Avenue, hence its nickname) that houses a lot of transient hotels; indeed, the importance of The Nickel to L.A. music history involves free-jazz godfather Ornette Coleman. In the early 1950s, Coleman lived for a brief period at The Morris Hotel on Fifth Street and Ruth Avenue, which housed many rank-and-file black entertainers, from dancers to showgirls to musicians. Sammy Davis Jr. and the Will Mastin Trio had stayed at the Morris in the mid-1940s; Davis used to dance on the corner for extra change, laying his hat on the sidewalk or entertain sick comrades at their bedside.Despite its dodgy location near L.A.'s Skid Row — "Everywhere I looked were the dregs of Los Angeles," Davis remembered, "as if every pimp and dope peddler in town had moved onto Fifth Street." In fact, the father of Fishbone guitarist Rocky George (as well journalist/essayist Lynell George), was a policeman who used to walk a beat on the Nickel back in the 1950s.

JUST ANNOUNCED! MOCA will present a special screening of Larry Clark's iconic film Passing Through on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 12:00 noon. This is a rare opportunity to see this film made in 1977. Horace Tapscott, Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq & Jesse Sharps appear in the film. Go here to read the Beast's 2008 preview of the film here.

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