watt’s picture of the week – tuesday, march 26, 2024

back on sunday raul morales, tom watson and myself started recording the next missingmen album at casa hanzo in my pedro town w/peetzo on the knobs. “static” is its name and also the title of the first tune, written special for me by john devries – we played it live for the first time ever tonight at the ‘dine.

photo by mike watt

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Masters of Taste Returns to the Rose Bowl on April 7

Photo courtesy of Masters of Taste.

Regarded by many as one of LA’s best food events, Masters of Taste returns to the field at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl on Sunday, April 7. 

Attend Masters of Taste and you’ll help raise major funds for Union Station Homeless Services as you stroll along the iconic stadium’s 50-yard line savoring food, drinks, and sweets from over 100 of LA’s best creators of culinary and beverage experiences. 

Now celebrating its 7th year, Masters of Taste has already raised nearly $3 million to help homeless people find housing and dignity. The event offers food from dozens of culinary masters and restaurants. This year’s participants include Pez Coastal Kitchen, Saucy Chick Goat Mafia, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Santa Monica Seafood, Pez Cantina, Yuca’s, Casa Cordoba, Rice Balls of Fire, Cerda Vega Tacos, Celestino’s Ristorante, Yardbird, Lunasia, Alexander’s Steakhouse, and many more.

Sip exquisitely crafted cocktails, along with wine, sake, and beer, from the likes of The Raymond 1886, Mezcal 33, Knox & Dobson, CRU Winery, Native Son, Empress 1908, Arts District Brewing Company, Hitching Post, Que Padre, Sake High, Dulce Vida Tequila, Sake Akagisan, and more. You’ll also find plenty of non-alcoholic choices from PH Alkaline Water, Sunright Tea Studio, Koe Kombucha, and more.

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Movies Till Dawn: Family Movie Night

* indicates that the film is also available to rent, purchase, or stream from various platforms. Please note that streaming versions may differ from these home video releases.

Immediate Family” (2024, Magnolia Pictures) * As with director Denny Tedesco’s previous documentary film “The Wrecking Crew” (about the eponymous and ubiquitous group ’60s studio musicians, which included his dad, guitarist Tommy Tedesco), “Immediate Family’ seeks to shine a light on hard-working sidemen who contributed key elements to some of the biggest rock and pop songs of the 20th century. The focus here is on a quartet of players – guitarists Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel, and Steve Postell, bassist Leland Sklar, and drummer Russ Kunkel, all of whom are currently on tour as The Immediate Family – who backed the likes of James Taylor, Carole King, Don Henley, Linda Ronstadt and others during the 1970s and 1980s. Much of the film focuses on anecdotes from the quartet about their work on hits and praise from the major players, though the most intriguing elements come when they discuss the almost Zen quality required for studio/sidemen to blend into the artist’s particular vision (though Kortchmar suggests that he was less willing to simply play along), and in scenes where they recreate their contributions to some of the era’s biggest hits, proving that they were far more than hired guns.

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watt’s picture of the week – monday, march 18, 2024

two new murals in my pedro town, west side of pacific avenue just south of second street.

photo by mike watt

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Beat Recommends: Rozz Williams Tribute at Hollywood Forever Cemetery This Friday

Fans of Christian Death, Shadow Project and all manner of dark, pounding music are referred to this rare performance at the most appropriate venue of all time for a Rozz Williams tribute. Those fortunate souls in attendance at this event will get to see a screening of Williams and Nico B’s rarely seen film “PIG” while raising funds for a documentary about Williams which is currently in production. The live music performances promise to be truly hair-raising, with appearances by Only Theater Of Pain veteran members Rikk Agnew and James McGearty in their new band Symbolism; CD singer and Williams collaborator Gitane Demone presenting the live premiere of her new work with keyboardist Paul Roessler, The New Young Kings Of Midnight; and Shadow Project’s Eva O., who rarely performs the songs she made with Williams but will do so for this performance. VIP ticket holders can get a guided tour of the Rozz Memorial area at the cemetery from Nico B himself, and meet the band members at soundcheck…if they dare.

Get up and get your grandma outta here? That could take some doing if this is where she ended up. You may need to sit and make love to yourself instead.

The Rozz Williams Tribute takes place at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Friday, March 15. Tickets, $40, available at the venue website. 

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Beat Recommends – Voivod, Prong, Hirax at the Fonda This Sunday

Montreal’s Voivod are one of the most singular creations under the banner of metal. Born during the early 80s thrash explosion, they quickly evolved into a frighteningly capable outfit with blatant progressive rock tendencies and a lead singer who didn’t rely on banshee screams nor guttural grumbling. How prog are they? They write concept albums about psychic entities. The drummer, Away, is the primary conceptualist and visual artist, and the guitarist who developed their distinctive sound, RIP dear Piggy, developed his approach to chording by attempting to learn Keith Emerson’s insane keyboard parts. Last time I saw them, with newer members Chewy and Rocky on board, they shook the foundations. They have new music that lives up to the old stuff, as well as a towering repertoire from which to select their set list. It’s been some years since they did a proper headlining show at a good venue here, it’s not to be missed. Continue reading

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Otoboke Beaver at the Observatory

All photos by Bob Lee for the Los Angeles Beat.

Even if they don’t claim to be fully punk, the existence and widespread popularity of Kyoto band Otoboke Beaver is proof that punk’s not dead. Although theirs is an extreme expression of it which incorporates a lot of other stimulus that is not necessarily common in American punk, the sheer brashness and good time high-energy of it registers in the American brain as “very punk” despite those other influences. We have no built in detector for the influence of Japanese comedy or pop music if we don’t consume that stuff, so “punk” in America they shall be, and they seem to be OK with that. It sure doesn’t seem they are at any risk of being mistaken for the Offspring here in the heart of OC, to an audience young enough not to necessarily be referencing famous bands of the nineties – let alone seventies and eighties – as their punk rock starting point. (Minutes after I wrote that line, the lead singer posted a photo of herself with the guitarist from the Offspring, backstage at this show, on Instagram.-Ed.) In front of a packed Observatory, they were resolutely themselves and gave us an hour of that thing they do, which after fifteen years, shows no sign of going out of style.

This band are a lot of fun to watch, each in their own colorful corner. Hirochan, on bass, is blue, like the sea and the sky, the environment which defines the shape for their strange forms. Kahokiss, the drummer, wears green like the meadows and the fields and the mountains. She forms the rhythmic floor upon which the stories can be told, the complex yet naturalistic structures that make them interesting. Guitarist Yoyoyoshie is orange, the spark, the fire under the feet of the band that makes them play with such incredible speed and urgency. And Accorinrin is pink, the reddened face and beating heart of the human being that pushes out thoughts such as “I Won’t Dish Out Salad”, “Take Me To Meet Your Family” and “I Don’t Want To Die Alone” as song topics, with terrific intensity. Not since Kiss in 1978 have a band been so thoughtfully and effectively color coordinated.

(Photo gallery after the break.) Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: ’80s Artifacts

* indicates that the film is also available to rent, buy, or stream from various platforms. Please note that streaming version may different from these discs’ presentations.

Cutting Class” * (1989, MVD Rewind) Just who, wonders winsome Jill Schoelen, is dispatching the staff and students at her high school (played by Excelsior High in Norwalk) with ruthless efficiency and diabolical creativity? Is the culprit her athlete boyfriend (a pre-fame Brad Pitt)? The creepy principal (Roddy McDowall)? All fingers seem to point at new kid Donovan Leitch, freshly sprng from an asylum. The answer is, well, largely irrelevant in this curious late-entry slasher film, which lists heedlessly from straight-ahead body count thriller to weirdo comedy; the latter element is best summed up by a recurring bit involving Martin Mull as Schoelen’s father, whose struggles to get home after being skewered with an arrow hinge between slapstick and surreal. The tonal shifts in “Cutting Class” are, undoubtedly, one of the primary reasons for its enduring cult appeal (the others are, of course Pitt, who manfully shoulders his dopey role, and some absurdly gross murders), and in turn, MVD’s deluxe UHD/Blu-ray presentation. The two-disc set includes interviews with Schoelen and Leitch, who have kind things to say about the film’s eclectic helmers – frequent John Boorman scripter Rospo Pallenberg in his directorial debut and writer Steve Slavkin, who later penned lots of kid TV – and their castmates. Devotee will be pleased by the inclusion of the longer and gorier unrated version of the film, the bloody highlights of which are spotlighted in a short kill-count featurette.

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Nite of a 1,000 Slutty Bass Players – My Slutty Valentine at The Echo

A week ago Saturday, we celebrated the birth of one of the greatest men in the history of music – Cliff Burton. Like most, I usually spend the day in both quiet reflection of “what if” and in joyful bliss of listening to the master of bass. I didn’t get nearly enough time for my Cliff devotions and then the universe kindly presented me with a press release about the Morley Power Wah Fuzz Cliff Burton Tribute pedal. Even better the press release had a link to some Cliff live. Cliff Burton bass solo rabbit hole? YES, PLEASE!

So let’s just say that bass was on my mind when I headed over to My Slutty Valentine at the Echoplex on Saturday. Last year I went to Basic Cable Programming’s inaugural one-day music festival to check out Upchuck from Atlanta up close and personal and to spend some time adoring my Bestie on drums with GayC/DC. I ended up falling in love with the whole festival. Not just because it was my intro to Cancer Christ and for the incredible performance from Naked Aggression, everything about the festival had a welcoming vibe. I was definitely one of the older people there and I was so enchanted by the Gen Z music lovers and the overall acceptance that gender roles are bullshit. From the merch booths to the most pits, I had a truly lovely time. Continue reading

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“Marilyn, Mom and Me” Theater review

Alisha Soper and Laura Gardner
Photo by Paul Kennedy

Everyone loves a good showbiz story and the inaugural offering of ICT’s 2024 season leaves no one in the theater wanting.

The world premiere of “Marilyn, Mom and Me” by award winning playwright and director Luke Yankee delivers the goods in ways that you don’t see coming, surpassing all expectations and pre-conceived notions of what you think the show might be about.

Audiences can be forgiven for thinking that this might be one more example of a Hollywood tell-all biopic complete with celebrity impressions but it couldn’t be farther from that scenario in its explorations of insecurity, loneliness and closure that never comes, all under the unforgiving microscope of fame and glamour. The play details the friendship of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe and her co-star Eileen Heckart during the filming of the 1956 film “Bus Stop”, as related by Heckart to her son Luke Yankee.

The play never drags but moves deftly forward from the start, propelled by a stellar cast under the excellent and brisk direction of playwright Yankee in this fascinating auto-biographical work.

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