Herbie Hancock Calls Next at the Bowl

Herbie Hancock: Next Generation
Hollywood Bowl, August 21, 2019

Herbie Hancock brought his current group and array of younger guest artists to the Hollywood Bowl on August 21st for a concert dubbed Herbie Hancock: Next Generation. R+R=Now, a supergroup helmed by keyboardist Robert Glasper, opened the night with a dense set of music that touched on many different styles of music. Those musicians would get an opportunity to play with Hancock during parts of his set as well, alongside guests Thundercat, Phoelix and Kamasi Washington.

Hancock has always been a leader in bringing new sounds to jazz and in crossing over into popular music, so the match between the septugenarian Hancock and players in their 20’s and 30’s never felt forced. Indeed, the juxtaposition and eventual collaboration between players who grew up with hip-hop and the keyboardist who first came on the scene in the era of hard-bop showed contemporary music catching up with Hancock’s ideas at least as much as it did his keeping pace with recent developments. Herbie Hancock’s set included music from all phases of his career, with the Headhunters era particularly well represented by an early set version of “Actual Proof” and a later all-star jam on the heavily sampled “Chameleon,” and generously included features for flautist-singer Elena Pinderhughes, guitarist Lionel Loueke and featured guests Phoelix and Thundercat, whose “Them Changes” was a crowd favorite. Hancock played a few different keyboards, getting sounds from funky to spacey from a Korg Kronos and a Keytar (his call and response on that instrument with sheets of sound soloing from saxophonist Washington was one of the highlights of the night), but he always returned home to a grand piano. Robert Glasper made good use of a Fender Rhodes on the closing jams of “Chameleon” and “Cantaloupe Island.” James Genus and Vinnie Colaiuta ably served the music on bass on drums, Colaiuta in particular driving it home with an approach that at times seemed to be part of a piece’s melody.
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Movies Till Dawn: More Thrills and Chills in Black and White

Note: films marked with an asterisk are included in Shout! Factory’s “Universal Horror Collection: Volume 1.

* The Black Cat” (1934) An accident on a desolate stretch of road in Hungary brings three travelers to the cavernous home of architect Boris Karloff: newlyweds David Manners (the ’31 “Dracula”) and Julie Bishop, and psychiatrist Bela Lugosi, who has a score to settle with Karloff. The first and arguably the best of six screen showdowns between Universal’s leading horror stars (two more are listed below, and “Black Friday” can be found here), and unquestionably one of the most morbid, doom-steeped horror films ever made. Director Edgar G. Ulmer, whose vast c.v. includes the delirious cult noir “Detour,” and cinematographer John Mescall (“Bride of Frankenstein”) layer the material – which bears no resemblance to the Edgar Allan Poe short story (save for a passing mention of Lugosi’s ailurophobia)– with towering and severe Bauhaus sets and slow-creeping camera movements suggesting a dream state that only partly obscures some truly horrible notions, including Satanic rituals, a castle built on a mass grave, fetishism, torture and even whiffs of necrophilia. Karloff, sepulchral in black pajamas and lipstick (!), and Lugosi, who shifts smoothly between Old World gentility and menace, circle each other like elegant panthers until the film’s frenzied finale; the result is truly unsettling, even after 85 years. Shout’s Blu-ray includes two commentaries (historians Gregory William Mank and Steve Haberman), and the first part of a Karloff-Lugosi documentary that’s spread over the four films in the set, and here details the actors’ careers prior to filming on “Black Cat.” An hour-long look at film adaptations of Poe (narrated by “Hellraiser’s” Doug Bradley) and a collection of promotional material round out the disc. Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to the Late Steve Soto of Adolescents

Photo by John Gilhooley

Happy Birthday, Steve Soto – Quick backstory on this photo – with his touring schedule, time was tight. With my OC Weekly deadline and having been fortunate enough to have done previous shoots with Steve, I said to him, “Steve, if we don’t have time to meet up I can just use one of our other photos.”

Steve says, “No lets do it – I just got my haircut – I’m ready.” We met up at our friend Alex’s Bar – I asked him to bring his Acoustic guitar to show him as a Singer/Songwriter – it worked out well – Really grateful to have known him – Respect.

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The Intown Report’s Gig Picks of the Week 8/22/19 – 8/28/19

Death on the Radio photo by Hilary Russell

Looking for cool live music this week? Here’s some show recommendations:

Thursday 8/22

Cafe Nela – Atomic Sherpas, The Wrinkling Brothers + Tune To Me

Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park – No Parents, Fatty Cakes & the Puff Pastries + The Witching Hours

The Observatory – The Nude Party + Spendtime Palace

Old Towne Pub – Failing Up, Animals and Children, Baron Bandini, CC Potato + DeadFSerious

Friday 8/23

Bootleg Theater – Shonen Knife + Me Like Bees

Cafe Nela – The Terpenes, Death on the Radio, Pedal Strike + Spare Change

Echoplex – Hank von Hell, Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, GayC/DC, + Against The Grain

Gold Diggers – Sunny War, Runson Willis + DJ Rhettmatic (of Beat Junkies)

Redwood Bar – The Hangmen record release party, Cornfed Project, Beggars & Choosers + DJ Johhny Witmer

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Peter and the Wolf at the Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl

The Los Angeles Philharmonic presented an entertaining evening of Russian music at the Hollywood Bowl on August 20th. The orchestra was joined by actor John C. Reilly and the puppet-based troupe Blind Summit Theatre for the program’s featured piece, a witty staging of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Conductor Ludovic Morlot ably filled in for Bramwell Tovey, who is battling cancer and had to withdraw. The concert also featured pieces by Tchaikovsky, Borodin and, as a change that came in with Maestro Morlot, Stravinsky.

The performance began with the Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty, Morlot’s graceful direction of the piece’s sinuous melodies showing right away that the Philharmonic was in good hands. Rielly came out next and, as is standard, introduced Peter and the Wolf and its central musical conceit, that the libretto is a children’s tale in which each of the characters a represented by a particular instrument or group thereof. Where he deviated somewhat was in making explicit, albeit lightheartedly, the work’s history and original intentions as a work of Soviet propaganda from the 1930s, the composer’s first commission upon return to his homeland from abroad. Director Mark Down would slyly undeline this with visual clues in the production–portraying the Grandfather as a fat Cossack, charting Peter’s virtues as a good Soviet boy as he planned the capture of the Wolf, and placing a sign reading “Capitalist” on the vanquished canine.
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Award winning Hollywood Actors, Composers, and Local Government Officials Gather at The Hollywood Bowl in Support of Jose Iturbi Foundations’ Sponsorship of “A Decade of Dudamel” in Commemoration of The Dude’s Tenth Year as Music Director!

Photo by Bill Dow Photography Courtesy of the Jose Iturbi Foundation; Charles Fox, Roslyn Kind, George Chakiris, Donna Pescow, Donelle Dadigan, Lainie Kazan, Lee Purcell, Mitch O’Farrell and Susan Olsen

It was a night of never-ending musical notes, nostalgia, and a bit of Knots Landing intrigue as Grammy, Emmy, Tony, Golden Globe & Academy Award Winners settled into the enchanted shaded patio, just a hair and to the left above the Hollywood Bowl Pool Circle. All this, in celebration of  the life and times of Jose Iturbi, and the foundation formed in his name, as a foreshadowing clarion call to the commemoration of the birth of conductor Gustavo Dudamel as the, now, decade-long musical director of the LA Philharmonic. The anticipated concert in question?: A Decade of Dudamel/10 Years – Bravo Gustavo featuring YOLA (aka Youth Orchestra LA) and piano Wunderkind Khatia Buniatishvili. But the dinner that preceded it was the perfect aperitif to the anticipation that was to herald Dudamel’s initial wave of the baton in honor of the imminent musical birthday cake festooned with fireworks in lieu of candles!

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Transatlantic on Livation Wednesday 8/21/19 – CANCELLED

Unfortunately, Transatlantic had to cancel for Livation this week, but we will have a replacement band.

Watch here for updates.

Livation is on every Wednesday night at midnight (PST) through to Thursday’s wee hours. Listen live at KXLU 88.9fm in Los Angeles or stream it live at kxlu.com everywhere! You can also listen on the KXLU phone app.

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Day Goth: A Carnival of Living Souls in Silver Lake

Day Goth brings out the sacred merch

Neither daytime, sunshine, heat or Echo Park Rising shall keep these Day Goth faithful from partaking in this monthly party at Akbar. Beautiful creatures and the vaguely human swoon and imbibe to their hearts’ content until called home, surely to return next month!

Day Goth takes place monthly on a Sunday at Akbar (in Silver Lake), 4356 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angele, CA  90029. Check website for date of next Day Goth event: Akbar.

© Photos by Judy Ornelas Sisneros. All rights reserved.

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Tiki Oasis: Poolside on Sunday

Tiki Oasis 2019 “Catch The New Wave” at the Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley San Diego. All photos by Billy Bennight.

Sunday at Tiki Oasis was a lazy one. The early afternoon was spent lounging and cruising the marketplace where we sampled another one of Mustache Mike’s Italian Ice’s treats with a shot of rum. I ran into Lee Joseph at the Dionysus Records booth, and then out of the clear blue yonder I ran into Tammi Sutton, Tim Polecat’s wife, at her Sunny Dunes Antique Mall booth inside the Crowne Plaza. We caught up from the last time we’d seen one another and talked about life in Palm Springs.

We then embarked on the “Scoops Ahoy” party for a boozy ice-cream float and early Rock and Roll jams. It was a lively party and a good excuse to drink even more.

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Tiki Oasis 19: Saturday Night Rockin’ and the Tiki-Stardust Party

Major Tom at The Patron Tiki Stardust party at Tiki Oasis 2019 “Catch The New Wave” at the Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley San Diego. All photos by Billy Bennight.

After a short recharging session, Pete and I met up with his sister, Liz H., at the pool as the early part of the concert had just begun. We grabbed some alcohol and soaked up the atmosphere. The sun was setting and the courtyard area of the Crowne was repopulating for all that the evening would entail from rocking set by Tim Polecat, Debora Iyall of Romeo Void and Josie Cotton.

Tim Polecat at Tiki Oasis 2019 “Catch The New Wave” at the Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley San Diego.

My interest in live music escalated when Tim Polecat entered the stage. He was livelily prowling the stage as he belted out tune after tune. I’ve known Tim Polecat for around 15 years. In that time I hadn’t made any of his live gigs. Saturday was the night I finally got to see him sing his signature song “Make A Circuit With Me” on Tiki Oasis stage. He put on a great show and he made an excellent subject to photograph. Up next was Debora Iyall of Romeo Void. “Never Say Never” is a personal fav. Debora performed a full set hitting the fans with “A Girl In Trouble”, the more popish and radio-friendly hit from the Romeo Void catalog before laying into a rousing version of “Never Say Never.” The crowd by this time was densely packed waiting Josie Cotton to close the night before the notorious Tiki Oasis room parties began. Josie played for around an hour with the biggest group of devotees wrapping around the stage for the show-stopping hit “Johnny Are You, Queer.” She had her full band and they were tight and energized completely rocking the Tiki house!

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