watt’s picture of the week – thursday, november 20, 2014

angels-gate-lighthouse-141119

yesterday down at the l.a. harbor I noticed some boulder re-arranging going on at the angels gate lighthouse and was hoping when I brought my kayak “zaby” through they might be done w/that but nope, not the case and I don’t wanna bumrush or get in the way so I’ll try paddling through the breakwater opening saturday…

photo by mike watt

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“Kurt Cobain: The Last Session” at Morrison Hotel Gallery

cobain_frohman

This Saturday, November 22nd, the Morrison Hotel Gallery in West Hollywood will host a book signing by photographer Jesse Frohman for his new book “Kurt Cobain: The Last Session” (Thames & Hudson) from 6 to 8pm. Frohman shot Nirvana for the London Observer’s Sunday magazine in August 1993 while they were in New York for their concert at the Roseland Ballroom, and this turned out to be the last formal photo session before Cobain’s death.

According to the gallery’s website, “Over the course of ninety photographs, Cobain seems an almost feral creature, by turns gentle, playful, defiant, suffering, or absorbed in his music. There’s a diverse range of shots of Cobain with fellow band members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl and on his own, posing, performing, and greeting fans.”

The book, which will also be for sale at the gallery, includes the original London Observer interview with Cobain by Jon Savage (“England’s Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock”) and commentary by Glenn O’Brien.

Image courtesy of The Press House

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CD Review: The Moorings – Andrew Duhon

andrewduhon_themoorings_coverartAt this time of year there is a tendency to look backwards; to think back on all the year’s discoveries. So, it comes as a bit of a shock to stumble across one of the best things I’ve heard all year.

The Moorings by New Orleans singer songwriter Andrew Duhon came at me out of nowhere. Duhon is a new name to me. He may be a new name to you too but he won’t be a new name for long. If the songs on this album are anything to go by, Andrew Duhon will be a big name before long.

The Moorings is rooted in folk music but is no way stuck in the past. The opening title track echoes an old Scottish tune “The Bonnie Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond” but Duhon sets it to a shuffling rhythm and sends it sailing. And the lyrics also deal with sailing away; from the refuge of love to whatever unknowns lie ahead.

Songwriters strive to find new ways to tell old tales and only the best succeed. The songs on The Moorings may deal with familiar themes: love found and love lost, mistakes made and lessons learned; shared joys and solitary sorrows but Duhon brings the craft of a master short story writer to his songs and in doing so creates a series of skilfully rendered vignettes.

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Movie Review: “Haemoo” Screening at AFI FEST Presented By Audi

Haemoo

“Haemoo” is well written, a carefully crafted drama and character study in human nature of various personality types when they are placed under exceptional and stressful circumstances. The story starts with the fishing boat fresh out at sea with a crew of mostly familiar faces who are expecting to catch fish, but unbeknownst to them that Captain Kang Chul-joo, played by Kim Yoon-seok, has made different arrangement for this expedition for fast cash to save his boat he fears will be taken away from him. Shortly after they are out to sea the crew becomes aware of a clandestine rendezvous that had been previously arranged by Kang to pick up ethnic Koreans from China who are illegally migrating to Korea. This activity is a high risk and illegal endeavor put all 5 crew members on the boat at in great jeopardy with prison as an obvious outcome. The saga of Haemoo, which translates “Sea Fog”, is a story that details the maddening downward spiral that goes strangely askew when the most unexpected situation befalls the illegal migrants that test the crew and the boat’s Captain.

Nested in the horrifying story line is the romance that becomes the emotional core to this story. Dong-sik, played by Park Yu-chun, the youngest and newest member of the crew who rescued Hong-mae, played by Han Ye-ri, after she fell into open rough seas during the clandestine transference of these illegal immigrants from boat to boat, while being buried in the dark night’s fog. Once Dong-sik successfully rescues Hong-mae, he falls into the role of nurturer: eventually, he becomes her lover and provider. In his efforts to win her over he found a special place for her in the engine room, outside of his official domain, where she dries out. After a certain amount time and Dong-sik efforts to please her Hong-mae put away her misgivings. She discovers Dong-sik offers earnest security form the other members of the crew, who seek opportunities to exploit the situation to their advantage. The Captain Kang tries to manage the ever disintegration of morale of his crew, while the crew fragment into self-interest and bickering competitiveness. Dong-sik stands alone as the high moral figure in the movie and Kang holds sway over the ever-increasing disintegrating of civility among the crew.

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Blowin’ Smoke R&B Band With The Fabulous Smokettes Returns to Harvelle’s This Saturday Night

Lyrica  Garrett CU. Photo by Edward simon for The Los Angeles Beat. The Blowin’ Smoke Rhythm and Blues Band featuring the Fabulous Smokettes, by popular demand, will be performing a return engagement at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica on Saturday, November 22. The group, led by singer/bass player Larry “Fuzzy” Knight, who formed the band 17 years ago, will perform R&B standards, an assortment of electric blues from artists such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Willie Dixon and Stevie Ray Vaughan as well as a selection of stunning originals. As “Fuzzy” says,  the others “are all re-written arrangements to accommodate the horns and the Fabulous Smokette’s sound”.

Of special note at this performance is that it marks Lyrica Garrett’s (one of the Fabulous Smokettes) first show with the band since recording the title track for the Lifetime Network Movie, “Seasons of Love”. The movie will debut on Sunday, November 23rd on the Lifetime Channel. Lyrica’s dynamite voice, along with fellow Smokettes Dwanna Parker (also known as Madam Dee) and La Quita Davis, combine to form one of the hottest vocal combos around these days. Between the three of them, they can go from Aretha Franklin to Janis Joplin style vocals, never failing to maintain their own unique sound too.

Harvelle’s in Santa Monica is a great place to accommodate this 11 piece band. Between a nice dance floor for shakin’ those hips and a full bar and comfortable seating, the Blowin’ Smoke Rhythm and Blues Band featuring the Fabulous Smokettes makes Harvelle’s a perfect place to be this Sunday night. And with the powerful driving bass and vocals of Larry “Fuzzy” Knight, this clubs going to be one place that’s full of lots of great music.

Blowin’ Smoke Rhythm and Blues Band with the Fabulous Smokettes                      Saturday, November 22 at 9pm

Harvelle’s 1432 4th Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 395-1676

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Liquid Kitty Punk Rock BBQ November 2014

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Crappy Classics: Eyes without a Face

If you feel like trying the Hulu Plus site for free for a month you can catch all sorts of creepy stuff on the Criterion Collection. This artistic and classy chiller was not only very morbid and gruesome for its time, but spawned a slew of illegitimate copy cats using the main theme of doctors who will stop at nothing to restore a disfigure face of a loved one. This is very good stuff

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“Torso” Book Signing at La Luz Thursday

LaLuz TorsoTattoos used to be taboo in the United States unless you were in the navy. Heavily tattooed men qualified for the circus sideshow, and a woman with a tattoo was loose if not an outright criminal. In contrast, the people of the Pacific Islands have always held tattoos sacred.

In the last few decades of the 20th century, the stigma all but disappeared here, and by the new millenium tattoos were everywhere.

As tattoos began to be seen as an art form in the United States, people became interested in the tattooing rituals of other cultures. The Pacific Islands have been particularly fascinating because of their elaborate designs on the face and torso, as well as the distinctive tapping method of dye application using a sharp bone comb.

For 16 years photographer Markus Cuff has traveled around the U.S. and Pacific Islands documenting the changing styles of tattoos. His slick photographs are often featured in tattoo magazines, and his shots of rock’s biggest names dominated Rolling Stone’s book “Tattoo Nation.” Fun fact: Cuff also played the drums for Emmylou Harris.

Thursday, November 20 at 8pm, La Luz de Jesus will celebrate the release of “Torso,” a hardcover collection of Cuff’s “darkly addictive” images. Featured works include the detailed back pieces of Japanese artist Jill Bonny, the colorful designs of Khalil Rintye, fantastical, exotic sleeves from Nate Bunuelos, and Aaron Coleman’s cartoon and horror influenced tats. Markus Cuff will be signing copies purchased from Wacko. Reserve a copy today.

Wacko/La Luz De Jesus Gallery4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90027  (323) 663-0122.

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Middle-Aged Rebel: Touring

touring

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Southland Tales: Todd

Photo by Lucas Essington

Photo by Lucas Essington

I have always loved living in L.A., the good, the bad and the smog; I’ll, probably, always live here. Whether it’s running out of gas in a bad neighborhood or asking a black guy for a jump-start on the day of the Rodney King verdicts, L.A. has always had an interesting adventure for me. Throughout high school I would venture further and further into L.A for no other reason than to see what’s out there.

My father used to work in City Hall, and back when I was a kid he took me downtown to the jewelry district. We found an alley to park in, and as we’re leaving the car I hear a real loud ruckus down another alley, as we walk by I see an old man screaming by a dumpster and throwing trash, screaming “And don’t come around here again mother fucker!” I looked up and down the alley . . . there was no one there, I look up at my dad, and he says, “Walk in front of me and keep moving.” I was in shock, I saw a man having a very intense fight with . . . no one, and my dad was unfazed. As the weeks and months went by, the more fascinated I became with the incident. Anyone living in L.A. now is probably unmoved by the incident, with the homeless situation now, this probably happened in your backyard this morning, but in the early to mid ‘70’s this was wild stuff.

Fast-forward twenty years to 1995; I was working the late shift at Kinko’s in their computer department. This guy Todd, is bored and calls me at work and says “I want to go somewhere tonight, if you’re up for it I’ll pick you up from work, can you sneak out before midnight?” I tell him I’ll get somebody to punch out for me, be here at 10:00 or 10:30 pm. Todd picks me up, and as he backs up he says, “So, where do we go?” I thought he had a plan, so I say, let’s go to Hollywood, and go to a coffee shop or one of the weird little shops on Melrose. Todd looks a little spooked, and says “it’s late and isn’t there too many weirdo’s out there?” Too funny! I tell him I’d hold his hand, and protect him; little did I know he’d hold me to that.

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