It was a brisk night as I made my way inside the festive Hotel. Francisco Aquabella was on the Biltmore Hotel's "Havana Nights; New Year's Eve Extravaganza." That last word is an understatement to the humble, exhilarating, mind-blowing approach to the percussionist's brilliance. With each song suited for dancing as well as conscientious listening. One could easily get lost in the jubilation of the evening. Francisco's soulful and passionate pulse presented the woodwind soloist with praise but Francisco was legendary throughout the night with mellow, vibrant, complex beats sailing melodically... Read More
Being signed by a major label is not the prize card it used to be for many struggling musicians and indie artists. It's no longer the Yellow Brick Road that leads to the Land of Oz where your dreams come true so to speak. Conventional radio airplay, standard brick and mortar distribution and being signed by a major record label are no longer the only means of getting your music noticed. Because of the massive appeal of digital distribution and the easy and fast access to the Internet available now to most people, unknown musical talent now has a real chance at real success. Additionally... Read More
I am sitting in a dark backyard in Venice on a warm autumn night, my hands turned unnaturally up, so as not to get the remnants of my first ever crawfish boil on my clothes. Someone from the Brian Jonestown Massacre has just finished spinning some tunes and I am licking my fingers and watching as a fellow arranges a motley collection of wooden crates, hub caps, number plates and other debris in what can only be described as a sort of drum kit. This, as it turns out, is seriously infectious, hip shaking, swamp stomping, local electro-punk band, "Restaurant." I am standing on the corner of... Read More
Although far be it from me to be a concert snob, let me just tell you, you haven't been to the Hollywood Bowl until you've sat up close and personal. My first show at the "Bowl" was Dave Matthews a few months ago - and not even the contact high I got from the copious amounts of weed being smoked in my vicinity could salvage the fact that the seats at the back of the Bowl, if you'll excuse the term, suck. But Tuesday night, I was close enough to Aerosmith and Motley Crue to read their tattoos (see picture), and I have to say that it was one of the best concert experiences of my life. That... Read More
Ian Anderson, frontman of the legendary band Jethro Tull, was Sunday night at UCLA's Royce Hall for an amazing show. For almost three hours, the mad one-legged long-bearded flutist accompanied by his band and a dozen of violoncellists played a mix of classical music and old Jethro Tull hits. Ian's skills at the flute are still incredible and it's a real pleasure to see him jumping around on stage, dancing on one leg, joking with the other members of the band. He seemed to have a little more trouble staying on pitch than during his youth, but his overall performance was still outstanding. The... Read More
It was no longer than a year ago that the American Supreme Court ruled in favor of the entertainment industry in MGM v. Grokster, a public indictment showcasing the classic battle between capitalist fascists and a general public refusing to pay for a pricey, yet poorly organized, product. Can you blame them?
I will admit that I am guilty of illegal downloading, mostly as a result of the ridiculously high prices that the record labels force me, the consumer, to pay for an album that has twelve tracks from which I might enjoy listening to only one or two.
The music industry is facing... Read More
Jazz in the Garden, is a musical journey that takes place during the summer months in the historical and cultural area of Leimert Park. It is hosted at the home of a most engaging Jazz Aficionada - Yvette Coleman.
This particular occasion was special for several reasons. One of the most crucial was that it was a benefit concert for the legendary "World Stage Gallery" in Leimert Park - Los Angeles, CA. The founders of this cultural oasis are the infamous Drummer, Billy Higgins and Poet and Community Arts Activist, Kamau Daaood. The mission and purpose of the World Stage to this remains... Read More
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