Thursday, December 7, 2017


[Art by Al Margen]

Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913 by Daniel Wolff

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us: Essays by Hanif Abdurraqib
Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z ed. by Jonathan Lethem & Kevin Dettmar

In the Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett by Tony Fletcher
Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green by Jimmy McDonough
Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music by Ann Powers
Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson
When the World Stopped to Listen: Van Cliburn's Cold War Triumph, and Its Aftermath by Stuart Isacoff

Shadowbahn by Steve Erickson
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
Late Arcade by Nathaniel Mackey
Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman

When Genres Collide: Down Beat, Rolling Stone, and the Struggle between Jazz and Rock by Matt Brennan
Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan

Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting by John Mauceri
Music after the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture Since 1989 by Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Toscanini: Musician of Conscience by Harvey Sachs

Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011 by Lizzy Goodman
Punk Avenue: Inside the New York City Underground, 1972-1982 by Phil Marcade

Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World by Billy Bragg
O Sing Unto the Lord: A History of English Church Music by Andrew Gant
Folk Song in England by Steve Roud
The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock by David Weigel

Complicated Fun: The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock, 1974-1984-An Oral History
by Cyn Collins
Dig If You Will the Picture: Funk, Sex, God and Genius in the Music of Prince by Ben Greenman

Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture (reprint) by Beth Lesser w/ Stuart Baker
Ghostnotes: Music of the Unplayed by Brian Cross, Greg Tate & Dave Tompkins
The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles ed. by Josh Kun
The Raver Stories Project ed. by Michael Tullberg

Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. from Bad Brains by Howie Abrams & James Lathos
Lou Reed: A Life by Anthony DeCurtis
David Bowie: A Life by Dylan Jones
Everything Is Combustible: Television, CBGB's and Five Decades of Rock and Roll: The Memoirs of an Alchemical Guitarist by Robert Lloyd

The Force of Listening by Lucia Farinati & Claudia Frith
Mozart's Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Personal Stereo by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow

Friday, February 24, 2017

ᐃ b α»Έ Υ§ ∑ s__N__b Ø b s ᐁ [UPDATED]

As was revealed by former Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra chief-of-staff Jesse Sharps at a PAFF screening last week, Mekala Session, son of Ark saxophonist Michael, had now taken over as concertmaster the Ark. He will lead the band (including dad, Roberto Miranda, Jesse Sharps, Bobby West, Vinny Golia, Steve Smith, Kamau Daaood, Dwight Trible, Maia and Isaac Smith) in a recital to be held Wednesday, March 1 at 8pm at CalArt's Roy O. Disney Concert Hall.

This Saturday from 5-8pm, the Mayme Clayton Library in Culver City will debut the last of three events surrounding their current exhibition entitled Rappin' Black History. The special guest will be Anthony "Father Amde" Hamilton of the Watts Prophets. Doors open at 4pm.

Also coming up at the Clayton on March 26th will be the latest installment of the Double M Jazz Salon. Azar Lawrence and his Quartet (pianist Theo Saunders; bassist Henry Franklin, drummer Tony Austin). The concert starts at 2pm, but make sure you make it an hour earlier for a special live interview with Lawrence courtesy of our friend, jazz historian Jeffrey Winston. Tix are $20.

On Sunday, March 5, at 7:00 p.m., Alex Cline and Will Salmon's Open Gate Theatre celebrates 20 years of its eclectic Sunday evening concerts with the fundraiser IMPROVIGANZA, described as "a select but still ultimately massive array of volunteer musical notables who have both played and listened to much of the music that has been presented at the concert series over its two decades, all of whom will be heard in a variety of contexts and combinations in the course of the evening. Artists other than Alex (drums, percussion) and Will (flute, voice) are planning to contribute to an explosion of spontaneous music-making" are: brass: Dan Clucas, Bobby Bradford, Daniel Rosenboom, Bruce Friedman, William Roper; woodwinds: Vinny Golia, Phillip Greenlief, Alexander Vogel, Eric Barber, Charles Sharp, Emily Hay, Peter Kuhn, Richard Wood, Gavin Templeton; voices: Dwight Trible, Bonnie Barnett, Kaoru Mansour; strings (guitars, basses, pipa): G.E. Stinson, Ross Hammond, Jie Ma, Scott Heustis, Steuart Liebig, Jeff Schwartz, Devin Hoff, Darryl Tewes; keyboards: Wayne Peet; drums/percussion: Garth Powell, Breeze Smith, Brad Dutz, Christopher Garcia, Jonathan Saxon. And there are still some musicians who are attempting to appear but have not been able to commit yet—could be more!" The concert will take place at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock,  2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock (one block west of Eagle Rock Blvd.). Admission is $10. Further information can be obtained by calling (626) 795-4989.

This Saturday at 2pm at the Far East Lounge (​353 E 1st St, Little Tokyo) there will be a concert to remember late composer and community activist Glenn Horiuchi (1955-2000). The brass ensemble Purple Gums, made up of Los Angeles musicians Bobby Bradford (cornet) and William Roper (tuba), and San Francisco-based Francis Wong (saxophone), and other SF guests Lenora Lee (dance) and Melody Takata (dance and taiko), will perform. Admission is free/donation.

Found this sobering but well-written 1993 Washington Post account of The Lonesome Death of a Jazzman. If that doesn't depress you enough, try this recent Salon article on The new, jazzless New York Times.

Superb new article by our blog bud Woody Haut about an obscure writer named
David Goodis and his travails on L.A.'s Central Avenue.

For a more updated take on how L.A. inspires its artists,
read this new piece on trumpeter Terrace Martin's Los Angeles.

Pianist/vocalist/provocateur Diamanda Galas will mount a rare U.S. tour, which will include L.A. 
Soul Amazing, an obscure but essential documentary about L.A.'s underground hip-hop scene has just resurfaced online.

Monday, February 6, 2017


Hi! Our brief preview of the new jazz documentary Horace Tapscott: Musical Griot (it premieres next weekend!) is now up over at the L.A. Weekly. Go here for the trailer. Go here for tickets and more info.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

be not so fearful

Do not despair -- they love it.
Do not be fearful -- they thrive on it.
Do not hate them -- it will make them stronger.
Do not let protest become violence -- it will make their case for them.

Conserve energy and outrage.
Pick battles carefully and with vetted info.
Collect evidence.
Remember the names. Say the names, over and over.
Pay witness.
Be cool and calm and focused and cautious.
Use ridicule and satire to cut them deep.

"And agitate. Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!"
Frederick Douglass

FROM SUSAN MILLER TWEEDY (FB post, 1/29/17):, Jeff and I went inside the airport and we were trying to go upstairs to the catwalks because I wanted to show him the view from above. We were walking by the area where people are waiting for the transport to leave the international terminal. There was a group of 3 kind of older white people we had to pass. One of the men said right in our faces "I wish I had my shotgun. I'd shoot every one of these people". (meaning the protesters of course) Then he says right to Jeff, "I'd definitely shoot you." Jeff said "Excuse me??? You don't even know me." Guy says "I don't want to know you. I'd shoot you anyway." A few other things were said back and forth that I can't even remember because of the insane adrenaline that was rushing through us. The woman was laughing insanely in my face after I said anything. Jeff decided to go and tell the police what was happening. Several police officers came over. They asked if anyone heard us get threatened and many people raised their hand and many people said "I heard it". And none of them were protesters. They were people of many different colors and nationalities, who had just gotten off an international flight and were willing to stand up to hatred. The volunteer lawyers saw something going on and stood by to see if they were needed. They were awesome and so were the cops. Jeff talked with the police for a long time and decided not to press charges. The police made the guy apologize. Sadly, I highly doubt if the experience will cause that group of people to think any differently at all. So depressing. All of it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

∞∞ B y T e S *n* b O b S ⚄ ⚄ [UPDATED]

all images by ge stinson
the main stem, an original dramatic script focusing on a young jazz saxophonist
who escapes denton, tx for l.a.'s central avenue in the 1940s is now making its way past some pretty big eyes in the movie-making industry, including a prominent showrunner-writer for at least two influential cable dramas of the 00s.

also: there is also word of a new central avenue documentary that has just wrapped production; the soundtrack includes local musicians from horace tapscott's fold, including jesse sharps and bobby west.

bobby bradford, roberto miranda, vinny golia + william roper comprise the silverscreen sextet, who will be playing monday, 1/16 @ the vortex dome. info here

also: bradford + golia will be going to europe at the end of the month.

the beast is working on a preview for the la weekly about horace tapscott: musical griot, a new documentary by l.a. rebellion filmmaker barbara mccullough, who just moved back to socal after six years teaching in savannah, georgia. the film premieres next month 2/12 at the 25th annual pan african film festival. check out the trailer here.

this saturday at the central library's mark taper auditorium will be a screening of jane cantillion's the other side: a queer history's last call, a documentary about the gay history of los angeles from the 1940s and centered around a legendary silverlake piano bar.

aman kufuhamu was one of the most influential underground jazz djs of the 1960s, introducing hungry ears all over the l.a basin to the avant-garde of the radical-chic era. the beast spoke with him recently and he told us he's thinking of bringing back his classic kusc show greg's refresher course for the satellite-radio era. πŸ˜ƒ

nels cline and yuka honda have a new new project called "cup"...and they already have a gig.

also: nels is a contributor to the new thurston moore oral discography out in march.

writer/dj michael davis, all-about-town gadfly of l.a.'s new music scene for the last 40
years, now has a website. check out his interviews with with nels cline and jim mcauley here.

jazz violinist michael white, who collaborated with john coltrane, rahsaan roland kirk, pharoah sanders and sun ra among many others, passed away last month. his widow, vocalist leisei chen, has written this moving tribute for the la weekly. there's also a tribute page if you'd like to add any memories or condolences.

kudos to bassist jeff schwartz, who just received new funding for soundwaves, his new music concert series at the santa monica library. the first show is this wednesday 1/18 with flautist emily hay and contrabassist steuart liebig.

also: schwartz also has a killer new cd with ellen burr and andreas centazzo

prolific nyc pianist matthew shipp has been on a roll lately with his facebook takedowns of the current political climate. he waxes further in a new aaj interview.

also: shipp has just announced his retirement from recording (!!!)

breakin' 'n' enterin' an obscure 1983 documentary about the burgeoning west coast hip hop scene (it wound up inspiring the breakin' films) has just resurfaced online.