This is when it starts to get interesting. While all three of these new-thing / artmusik / sonar-poetics stars have shared bills at various times over the years, the experimental sound trio of Cundy, Homler, West have never actually played together, and so they've decided to do just that. When these sympathetic souls combine their mad, mad skills, there's no telling what's going to happen, which of course can be an excellent thing. Anna Homler is a vocal, visual and performance artist who has been known to invent her own languages; she often plays her collection of antiques, toys and curios thru a variety of digital delays/FX, so perhaps she'll do that again; drummer Rich West currently and for the foreseeable future does reign supreme in the Los Angeles improvised music scene; English sax and bass clarinet improviser Chris Cundy currently graces doom-soul band Cold Specks (who're playing at the Getty on November 17 –– also highly recommended). Fri., Nov. 16, 7 p.m.; at The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., ground floor (entrance on 5th St.). Yes, it's free, and there's street and lot parking available.
photo: Kate Crash
Chris Speed / Jeff Parker / Devin Hoff / Matt Mayall
at The Blue Whale November 6
It's like if you thought "jazz" was getting kinda petrified and too polite, well, that was your dad's jazz, and if you're in downtown L.A. on Tues., Nov. 6,
get your rump down to the Blue Whale jazz club, 'cause something special is gonna happen: Heavyduty jazz/nojazz improviser-composer, clarinetist and
saxophonist Chris Speed premieres quite the ace new band, I mean dig this: Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker, Xiu Xiu/Nels Cline/Fred Frith/Evangelista bass man
Devin Hoff and the ever-explosive Spain drummer Matt Mayhall. The NYC/Brooklyn-based Speed himself has fanned the flames with Uri Caine, John Zorn,
Dave Douglas and Craig Taborn, and with his bands Endangered Blood, Human Feel, yeah NO, Trio Iffy, Pachora and The Clarinets, not to mention being a
founding member of Jim Black’s Alas No Axis and John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet. Our point in mentioning all these, well yeah, badass players' past
participations is to give a sense of the deeply eclectic / border-free territory they're all happy to stomp around on, and that their collaboration with the
fearless Speed is exciting at very least for the next-generation-type mindset they represent. At the Blue Whale on the third level of Weller Court Plaza,
south of East First Street between South Los Angeles Street and South San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo 90012; 9pm-midnight; $10. (213) 620-0908
foto: Michael Hoefner
For your Halloweenie haunting pleasure,
creep out now with this flower-wilting rock and roll from the rad righteous Heliotropes, heady heroines of the Manimal Vinyl label. And don't forget to brush your teeth…Bwah-hahahahaha!!
The French New Wave goes a bit darker yet eminently danceable on this rather intense debut EP by Lescop. It's out October 24 via popNOIRE (France). If you're in L.A. tonight, he'll be performing at the Ooh la L.A. fest at El Rey theater.
An intriguingly curated and blessedly unhackneyed new-theater/dance company, Open Gate Theatre is also one of Los Angeles’ last strongholds of truly progressive music, presenting new- and non-genre artists treading those tricky lines between jazz, avant-rock, improvisational, new-world and contemporary classical. Founded in 1982 by choreographer-composer Will Salmon and percussionist-composer Alex Cline, Angel’s Gate combines dance-performance and music in resonant, non-formulaic ways, usually involving spontaneous flights into uncharted terrains. The musicians are without exaggeration among the most forward-headed new-thing players this city can boast, such as sax/flute multiphonicist Vinny Golia, tuba chief William Roper, percussion/drums instigators Cline, Brad Dutz and Joe Berardi, guitar extrapolationists Steuart Liebig and G.E. Stinson, pipa piper Jie Ma, vocal/electronics voyager Kaoru and jazz-fracturing pianist Wayne Peet.
For over 14 years Open Gate has produced and presented the Sunday evening Concert Series, the last nine years of which were held at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock. The company has now moved into residence at Glendale’s Moose Lodge, a funkily flavorful old place with two ballrooms, a large social hall and a lot of memories seeping outta the walls. Open Gate is transforming the Lodge’s upstairs ballroom into a performance space and “social club” to host performance artists, “new opera” conceptualists, dancers, musicians, puppeteers, comedians and choicely assorted others.
Open Gate celebrates its 30th-year anniversary on August 18-19 with a performance of Philoctetes,
a new Salmon work based on the play by Sophocles, comprising video, dance and singers, and instrumental improvisation by Golia, bassist Bill Casale and Jie Ma.
On August 18, events kick off at 6 p.m. in Moose Social Quarters; the Lodge will be decorated with Open Gate puppets, posters, instruments and memorabilia,
and a full dinner will be available (they’re promising Greek food) along with a full bar. At 8 p.m. guests are invited upstairs to see/hear Philoctetes.
(Or, you have the option of continuing your schmooze in the social hall, or to try your hands and feet at ballroom dancing in the next room.) At 9:30 p.m.
the party resumes downstairs in the social hall, where there’ll be live Open Gate entertainment.
The son of a Central African Republic diplomat, Paris-born singer-multi-instrumentalist Bibi Tanga
spent his youth all over the world, devouring wide sampler plates of the best of most everything musical our earth’s got on
offer. Tanga zeroed in on all the obvious disco, funk, soul, reggae, ska, R&B, jazz, hip-hop, break beat, funk, soul and Afro-funk
giants such as James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Congo greats like Franco and Tabu Ley, Nigeria’s Fela Kuti
and Bembeya jazz from Guinea. All good, but then came time for Tanga to melt down, recook and serve up his paeans to great black
music with a new flavor, which he did wicked style with the aid of his Selenite singing loopmaster friend Professeur Inlassable, who
sprinkles in beautifully skewed dapplings of just about everything else musical under the sun, heavy emph. on French art-song stylists
like Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg. Electrifying stuff, chock-full of LIFE, Tanga & the Selenites’ new 40 ° of Sunshine
(Nat Geo Music) is just out, get it today, don’t delay.
“If we can compel the powers of darkness to reveal the magic word, we can bring the Golem to life.”
Some scary things are perhaps left buried and forgotten, while others offer continual horrid relevance.
The 1920 German expressionist silent Der Golem was part of a series of films directed by Paul Wegener that were based on an
old Jewish legend in which an antique dealer finds a golem (played by a chilling Wegener), a clay statue that had been brought
to life by a rabbi four centuries earlier. The dealer reawakens the golem to use him as a servant, but the golem falls in love with
the dealer's wife, you see, and she does not reciprocate his love, thus the spurned golem sets off on a path of murder and mayhem
and – oh my! On Tuesday, July 17, this very spooky old film will be dusted off and given a fresh layer of dread when
guitarist-composer Gary Lucas brings his critically huzza’d modernist solo guitar score to accompany the film at the Silent
Theater at 611 North Fairfax Ave., beginning at 7:30 p.m. Lucas has performed his Golem score in over 20 countries,
including the Venice Biennale, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Sydney and Melbourne, at the NY Jewish Film Festival at
Lincoln Center, the Royal Festival Hall in London, in Amsterdam, Budapest, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Copenhagen, Oslo and Prague.
L.A. seekers can also catch Gary Lucas and Friends on Monday, July 16, at the Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd. Lucas will
be playing a show that spans his entire career of 20 plus albums, including music he wrote with Jeff Buckley, performed
with Captain Beefheart, and recorded with his band Gods and Monsters; guests include the rather awesome
Sussan Deyhim, and guitarist Scott Goldman.The show starts at 7:30 p.m., with opening act The Flutterbies.
With Archipelago, Denise Uyehara returns to her ancestral homeland Okinawa, Japan’s
southernmost islands and home to the U.S. military base since the end of WWII and the Battle of
Okinawa –– which claimed more than 100,000 civilian lives. Denise is not just out for blood: Her
earlier intermedia pieces The Senkotsu (Mis)translation Project (2009) and
Transitions (2011, in collaboration with James Luna) evidenced gentle
(and sometimes gut-busting) humor and highly imaginative uses of objects. In The Senkotsu,
audience members were asked to arrange plaster replicas of human bones in the shape of a memory.
In Transitions, she unfurled a cocoon of a washi (Japanese paper) kimono with 30-foot
sleeves, as the lucky spectators gasped and reached for their iPhone cameras. Videaste Adam
Cooper-Terán joins Uyehara in creating a highly atmospheric audiovisual landscape.
At Highways Performance Space, Friday-Saturday, February 17-18, 8:30 p.m.
What we have here is two innovators in modern music disguised as rock stars. Cellist Maya Beiser co-headlines this bill with percussion genius Evelyn Glennie.
Beiser opens the evening with selections from her acclaimed CD Provenance (Innova Recordings), a hauntingly heavy set inspired by the Golden Age of Medieval
Spain, that includes a simply wicked arrangement of Led Zeppelin’s "Kashmir" along with beautifully dark and nicely electronicized treks through a variety of Kurdish,
Armenian, Israeli and American traditional musics. Glennie will perform a solo percussion set, then the two will duet for the first time with the world premiere of Stuttered Chant, a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.
Once upon a time there was a rather badass rock woman in tattered jeans, shades and feather boas named Jennifer Herrema, and she had an arty punky
garage-metal band called Royal Trux, who became the even gnarlier garagey-er bar band RTX, who've now changed their name to...Black Bananas, who...Well,
change is good, mostly. Royal Trux was one thing, RTX another, Black Bananas is all of 'em, somehow tighter, smarter, heavier, sloppier yet more focused and
vicious and funny, even. Believe it, they do everything you need to hear on this new album on Drag City called Rad Times Xpress IV, a kind of revisionist
future-metal riding rough shod over all worthy trash culture from the last five or six decades, and while if it just sounds so anti-everything, how come it's so very,