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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Special Veterans Day Edition, Nov 10 & 11 (through the weekend)...


★ A Guide "SHOW-of-the-WEEK" pick...
Sat, Nov 14, on TV:
10-11 am "MUSIC VOYAGER" airs two episodes, back -to-back, both in Georgia, both outstanding. On Link TV nationwide / KCET Link in L.A.; times are Pacific.

It's Americana music excellence from a show that usually gets into deep weeds with "world music," and it's must-see.

First, there's the scene and music history of Macon & Athens in the first half-hour episode, then the second visits Albany & Columbus, Georgia. There's everything from Ma Rainey (1886-1939), the mother of the blues, to the Allman Brothers "Big House" and playing Duane's guitar, to the region's current outstanding bluegrass and blues. There's Civil Rights music pioneer Rutha Mae Harris (one of four original members of the Freedom Singers), Old Crow Medicine Show in a fabulous restored old theatre, the late Otis Redding's ongoing contributions helping today's singer-songwriters. There's the legacy of Precious Bryant and the unique pulsing rhythm of Chattahoochee Blues.

They even cover Georgia barbecue, which the Guide's editor has long argued is better than any place else's BBQ (sorry, Texas).

And, there's even more, with live performance snippets from local venues and recording studios. Set your recording device. The best music-on-TV you'll see for a good long while.

Now, here's the edition as originally publishef, with plenty of listings through the weekend...

Special edition because you have WEDNESDAY OFF for VETERANS DAY!


★ the NEWS for today:

...then, FULL COVERAGE of
the Arts & Music Scene...

... the DAYTIME events for Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.

★ CONCERTS & EVENING EVENTS, Tues & Wed ...and beyond, through THE WEEKEND!


★ the NEWS for today


√  News feature # 1...


★ First...

Today is the 240th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

The spirit of "Semper Fi," short for the Corps' Latin motto, Semper Fidelis — always faithful — is taken very seriously by current and former Marines. The Corps' birthday, every year, is a very big deal to every Marine.

Whatever the nation's political leadership has tasked them to do in times of international conflict, whether necessary to protect American lives, or in an ill-advised or simply stupid involvement in strife, the US Marines have given their all when called upon. Always.

"From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli" is the opening line from the service anthem called "The Marine Corps Hymn." The latter geographic reference is to the war against the Barbary Pirates won by the young United States in 1803; when Europe and her collective naval forces could not stop the formidable North African pirates, the Marines stormed ashore and took the pirate's capital. The other reference is to the Marines' role in the landings at Veracruz in the controversial Mexican-American War of 1846, where the series of US victories led to the capture of Mexico City and that nation ceding territory that became most of the American West.

Moreover, "To the shores of Tripoli" speaks to the many hostile places where Marines have been, and still are, sent.

To Belleau Wood, where the carnage of trench warfare was finally broken in World War I. To the Second World War's struggles after Pearl Harbor to take Guadalcanal and Tarawa and Iwo Jima, depriving Japan of sea routes for war materiel while obtaining islands for air bases to take the Pacific war to the Japanese homeland; the Marines landed and bled on the beaches, and Marine aviators contested and won the skies over those remote islands.

To frozen Korea and the pioneering use of helicopters to rescue wounded people from battlefields, Marines on the ground and in the air led the way to driving-out the aggressors' invasion of South Korea and enabling it to grow into today's prosperous, modern free nation.

To what many see as the nationally tragic roles of the American military in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Regardless of all, Marines have always done what the nation has asked of them. If you see a Marine today — active, reserve, or veteran — it's an especially good time to thank that individual for his or her service. And if you don't see a Marine today, it's a good time to think about it, anyway.

★ Second...

Today is "World Science Day."

So if you've been needing an excuse to tell that Fox-News-watching, climate-change-denying co-worker that there is overwhelming scientific proof that human activity in the name of profits has caused and is accelerating global climate chaos; that it is visible in 40,000+ year-old permafrost melting in Alaska, and 100,000+ year-old Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melting far more rapidly than all the most pessimistic models could foresee; and for the first time in human history, the previously mythical Northwest Passage can be sailed on an ice-free Arctic Ocean in the summer; and inevitably, sea level rise will cause migrations of urban coastal populations onto what are now prime food-producing farmlands; and politicians owned by corporations who obfuscate, ignore, or deny are the enemies of both sanity and the survival of humanity.

And you've really, really been wanting to tell that climate-change-denying co-worker that you just don't want to hear anything more from him until he chooses to end his willful ignorance? If you've been looking for an opportunity to tell him that, then today might be your opportunity.


√  News feature # 2...


Legendary New Orleans musician ALLEN TOUSSAINT has died in Spain. His many contributions to Americana music include composing the song "Southern Nights."


√  News feature # 3...


We live in a nation where a fraction of one percent of our population is choosing to wear the uniform of military service. The days when everyone knew a World War II veteran are behind us, as the numbers of those veterans is rapidly diminishing and fewer of them are vitally active in everyday society. Even Korean War veterans are harder to find. America's last World War I veteran passed in the last decade.

Many Vietnam vets never received a "welcome home" because the war in which they fought was reviled by much of America and the world.

And today, our very professional, all-volunteer military — and their spouses and families — continue to experience deployment after deployment to places of conflict, improvised explosive devices, mortar attacks, insurgency, locals they have trained who run away when attacked, and countless other uncertainties.

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. All follow orders. All do their best to serve with honor, make a difference, and make the nation that sent them proud. Lest we forget that, even as we seek political changes to bring them home safely to their children and families.


√  News feature # 4...


Here in L.A., we've seen efforts come and go to preserve or destroy anything you can imagine. Restore the 1984 Olympics murals? No, paint over them to hide the defacing graffiti. Put shock absorbers and rollers under City Hall so it'll be the only thing standing when the San Andreas lets go? Yes. But don't let the Occupy movement camp on the lawns there, because who wants people at the last place standing?

Flatten the unused old Hall of Justice and build a parking lot? No, wait, we need more courtrooms. Let developers tear-down old stone high-rises so we can have more generic glass-slab buildings? Oh, wait, no, turn them into urban loft condos for the super-rich young who inherited wealth (and just ignore the homeless pushing baskets on the sidewalks far below the windows). Work through years of bureaucracy to restore the L.A. River to flow freely — while the Army Corps of Engineers bulldozes the de facto wildlife sanctuary behind its Sepulveda Dam watershed, with neither hearings nor an environmental impact report before suddenly doing it.

It's easy to think we're alone watching the hazy sun set over the oil slicked garbage gyres in an ocean we see less of because the rich keep buying-up the beachfront. We're not. And because we usually argue the same things here, we're actually rather boring. Preservation tales from other places are often more interesting. Or at least valuable for the perspective.

Take Seattle. Seattle is a singularity. Musically, it gave us Jimi Hendrix, Ann & Nancy Wilson and their landmark girl-fronted poetic rock band Heart. It’s the home of the EMP — Experience Music Project, that proves the lie of L.A.'s Disney Concert Hall being unique, when its architect, Frank Gehry, had already done EMP as a big squashed-tin-can building in Seattle.

And Seattle gave us grunge, Nirvana, the original skid row, the Troll Bridge, and the Gum Wall. And it is the only city to preserve a modern World's Fair site as a vital interactive jewel in its economic and cultural landscape. Yes, San Diego was the only other city ever to do that, way back in the early 1900s, and it became Balboa Park, and...

Wait a minute. Did I just read "the Gum Wall"-?

Now, everybody knows Seattle's landmarks include the Space Needle, one of the many remnants of that 1962-63 World's Fair that comprise the mega-scale mecca for festivals and cultural celebrations. It's now called Seattle Center, and the Northwest Folk Life and Bumbershoot Festivals bookend the summer there.

And of course there is Pike Street Market, where they put on a show throwing fresh-caught fish. And Underground Seattle, where bootleggers and flappers who danced the Charleston did an end-run on Prohibition. And there's that monorail that L.A.'s always wanted to steal. And the acoustic music magnet of the Tractor Tavern. And the locks that let small sailboats use waterways through town. And a Starbucks on all four corners of the same intersection, each with its own clientele. And that fleet of massive Washington State ferryboats continually sailing across Puget Sound.

And, oh yes, there's the legendary Gum Wall. Decades in the making as a participatory public art expression, it is comprised of millions of individually-chewed pieces of gum.

It is a landmark, visited by tourists from all over the world, each visitor contributing their own miniscule building block. That is, construction material of misshapen stickiness. Now, suddenly, it is going away. And that is making plenty of locals drop their jaws.

There's just nothing like it. With the dna of countless people locked in layers of chewed gum like Jurassic Park dino dna locked in amber... With thousands of colorful inclusions of ticket stubs and bus transfers and fortune cookie fortunes and airline luggage tags and images torn from flyers and the flotsam and jetsam of pop culture and street detritus that usually end-up in landfills or storm drains... All combining to give a once-plain-brick wall surrounding a theatre box-office-window — and then the angularity of facing walls down the adjacent alley — a singular character.

Legend holds it began when a few anonymous theatre patrons were bored waiting in line for the doors to open, and got tired of chomping their gum with no trash receptacle extant.

For years and years, and ever-increasingly so, the surface of the Gum Wall (that is, the facing corridor of Gum Walls in the alley) have presented an ever-evolving lumpy aspect with neither the wave patterns of a barchan sand dune nor the ugliness of a sprayed-on acoustic ceiling. Its palate of dappled lumpiness is an artlessly artful collage. It expresses the nuances of the human collective in a city so often given to celebrating soulless expressions of cyberian technology.

All that doesn't address the principal sensory experience: the alley, rather than reeking of stale garbage, is America's most fragrant in a wholly different way: it's where the oddly pervasive scent of Wrigley's Spearmint meets xylitol with a pinch of Chiclets.

Gads. In Singapore, even possession of gum — much less chewing it — is a crime that literally can get you flogged. The very idea that Seattle, the Emerald City, has a Gum Wall? Surely it would induce Singaporean apoplexy.

Even in Seattle, is this co-op of a guerrilla art installation famous or infamous? Well, both. Utilitarian angularity of an old urban alley, the plane geometry and once-hard harshness of flat walls, have indeed been magically transformed without the need to hire a muralist and constantly patrol to prevent and remove graffiti.

This art "project" is thanks to non-conspiratorial human herd-like impulses, engaging in an activity that still seems akin to, well, spitting (even if you're not from Singapore). And how can it not remind you of the last time you stepped in gum on the sidewalk and seriously wanted to choke the self-absorbed dimwit who drooled it there?

After all, "used gum" conjures an ewww of disgust. Except in Seattle's Forest Lawn for Dead Gum. And that's precisely where it becomes art, by doing what art is supposed to do, making or enabling those who experience it to view the world in a different way, never able to accept the same tired assumptions without the internal "hey, wait a minute" mechanism kicking-in.

The Gum Wall has made forgettable generic urban sameness yield to the cultural forces that touch us when a venerable university edifice becomes home to a vertical garden of ivy, or when water trickling down a rock face allows a profusion of mosses to colonize it. It's where our need for culture meets an expression of nature. That is present here, plus the Gum Wall's unquantifiable unnatural elements make it more colorful than you can imagine.

But you know it's coming: officials in the City of Seattle have decided that the place needs a good cleaning. And their focus is the Gum Wall.

It rains so much in Seattle that the birthplace of grunge rock is as un-grungy as anyplace in America. Okay, so homeowners and merchants don't broom their streets every morning, like they do across the border in nearby Vancouver, B.C. The whole coastal Pacific Northwest is still the envy of Southern California, where wait-for-the-light-to-change so you can cross-the-street-to-another-town, jigsaw-puzzle-piece of megalopolis L.A. has that faintly oily black freeway soot settling equally on everything from loft condo balconies to dry concrete slab sides of the L.A. River.

In clean Seattle, it's been an accepted fact that the Gum Wall alone would survive the apocalypse, since, complete with its colorful embedded artifacts, it's proven impervious to rain, would flex in an earthquake, could withstand a tsunami, and would patiently await being dug out of volcanic ash 2,000 years after Mt. Rainier erupts again, just like Pompeii.

Except what nature does not do, man seems specifically to want to do. Whether that's an organic movement that creates a Gum Wall or devising an engineering "solution" to destroy it. The city feels sure the Gum Wall can be steampunked into non-existence. Or rather, steam cleaned, blasted and melted away, down to the spartan austerity of bare brick. In the name of sanitation. Or urban renewal. Or something. Ultimately, it translates, as these things always do, to the ego of some people needing to conquer something by destroying it.

They even have a budget, and believe it will take them three days to do what the forces of nature cannot.

At the same time, the crew charged with strip-mining the Gum Wall to its bare brick bedrock? They have a perspective, too: "It'll be back. Give it 48 hours."


√  News feature # 5...


Veterans Day is a good time to consider the consequences of relevant questions that go unasked or unanswered. Especially if you want to see an America that isn't defined by endless wars.

We're annoyed of late by two things: (1) presidential candidates who cry foul and moan and whine that they're being "attacked" and "ambushed" and "badgered" by "gotcha" questions, and (2) journalists who waste face-to-face opportunities with presidential candidates by asking lame questions and then moving on when they get lame, obfuscating, unenlightening responses that are not answers.

If you agree, we have two words for you:

Mehdi Hasan. Finally a journalist, running a political/history interview show, who is informed and relentless in his questioning. The show is "Head to Head," on Al Jazeera America.

On Saturday, Nov. 6, we watched Hasan question former NATO Secretary General / former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. They discussed NATO and the Cold War, whether it was re-igniting, Russia in Ukraine, and the disastrous western military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was actually rather shocking to see the manner and extent to which Hassan went after Rasmussen, accepting neither dodges nor partial answers, and calling out every attempt at obfuscation. American audiences are simply not accustomed to this. It's a safe bet that many tv viewers in this country have never seen anything like it.

Add to that an audience whose front row includes knowledgeable experts that Hasan calls upon from time to time to ask a follow-up question.

If the show had a theme song, it would be "No where to run to, no where to hide."

It adds-up to a riviting hour that has you taking notes on details you never knew, but which seem to have been the obscure points the media missed, but big things pivoted.

At some point, you want to see Mehdi Hasan "head to head" with each of America's presidential candidates. In the meantime, check the listings for Al Jazeera and catch his show, whoever the guest. Or perhaps we should say, the subject. You'll learn something you never knew you should ask.

And you'll get a clinic in how to interview a skilled politician who is accustomed to bobbing and weaving and getting away with it — until occupying the chair across from Mehdi Hasan.

"Head to Head" airs on Al Jazeera America, Pacific time, from noon-1 pm on Saturdays and Wednesdays, and 4-5 am on Sundays.

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DAYTIME, Wed, Nov 11...
(Museum hours) "VETERANS DAY ABOARD BATTLESHIP IOWA" brings special commemorative programs together with the self-guided tour of the famous World War II US Navy battleship. It's the only battleship with a bathtub, installed for President Franklin Roosevelt when the vessel took him across the Atlantic to the Yalta Conference (and still there, because all the succeeding admirals and captains wanted to use it).

The Iowa is docked in San Pedro adjacent to the cruise ship terminal, and regular admission applies.

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DAYTIME, Wed, Nov 11...
Runs through Mar 31, in L.A.:
(Museum hours) The GRAMMY Museum's newest exhibit, "GEORGE CARLIN: A PLACE FOR MY STUFF," commemorates the late GRAMMY-winning comedian at the Grammy Museum, 800 W Olympic Bl (entrance on Figueroa), L.A. 90015; Tix & info, 213-765-6803 or online at

The exhibit marks the third display in the Museum's comedy series, and include Carlin's GRAMMY Awards, the set lists from his performances on "The Tonight Show" in 1962 and "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1971, his public arrest records, and more.

"George Carlin helped redefine the art form of stand-up comedy. He used his talent to not only entertain, but to question conventional wisdom and social injustices," said Bob Santelli, Executive Director, who continues, "With this latest display in our comedy series, we continue to spotlight some of the greatest comedy acts, many of whom have been recognized by the GRAMMY Awards."

This is a fine tribute and a fun way to celebrate a redefining figure in stand-up comedy.

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DAYTIME, Wed, Nov 11...
Runs through Nov 13, in L.A.:
"CORAZÓN DE LA COMUNIDAD: A STORY OF MARIACHI IN LOS ANGELES," runs May 15-Nov 13, 2015, at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N Main St, Los Angeles 90012; 888 488-8083;

Mariachi music — and musicians — have become symbols of Mexican and Mexican American identity. From rancheras sung at weekend parties to the recent "Dolls of the World Barbie" dressed in a mariachi traje, this musical form is one of the most recognized icons of Mexican and Mexican American culture. "Corazón de la Comunidad: A Story of Mariachi in Los Angeles" explores the changing identity and history of the genre in L.A.

Regular visitor hours are M, W & Th, noon–5 pm, and Fri through Sun, noon-6 pm;

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★ CONCERTS & EVENING EVENTS, Tues & Wed (and beyond, through THE WEEKEND...)

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Tuesday & Wednesday,
November 10 & 11
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Tues & Wed, Nov 10 & 11, in Hollywood:
7 pm Hotel Cafe presents a full lineup, mostly acoustic, nightly at the Hotel Café, 1623 N Cahuenga Bl, Hollywood 90028;; 323-461-2040.

Who's playing Tuesday & Wednesday...

√ Frances - 11/10
√ Alex & Sierra - 11/10
√ Bellehouse Band - 11/10
√ Kier (Record Release Show) - 11/11
√ Rome (Record Release Show) - 11/11
√ Sunny Ozell - 11/11

Their website describes most (but never all) of the acts playing there.

Tickets purchased on the venue’s web ticket page are counted for the mentioned artist only; other acts receive no compensation from that ticket sale, so their site says, “Please purchase accordingly.” (Shows that are being presold are usually NOT listed on their site’s ticket page.)

One ticket is often good for the entire night, but it does not guarantee admission to another sold-out show the same evening. They do not accept credit cards at the door; they do have an ATM. Seating at The Hotel Café is very limited; tables are first come first serve and generally available only for those who order food, unless reserved by a band.

Venue is 21+ for all patrons.

Advance tix, more info, at:


Tue & Wed, Nov 10 & 11, in Burbank:
7-11 pm LIVE AMERICANA / ALT OR TRAD COUNTRY /HONKY TONK on two stages in separate rooms at Cody's Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Dr, Burbank 91506.

Generally all ages. A one-menu-item cover applies. Venue has a full menu & full bar and is known for its Mexican cuisine. Park free across the street at Pickwick Bowl (affiliated owners).


Tue & Wed, Nov 10 & 11, FREE, in Palmdale:
7 pm EVENTS LISTED BELOW at Butler's Coffee, 40125 10th St West, Suite I, Palmdale 93551; 661-272-9530;

√ Tue, Nov 10, 7 pm - Open meeting of THE ANTELOPE VALLEY GUITAR SOCIETY.

Ahead this week...

√ Thu, Nov 12, 7 pm - monthly "CELTIC SESUIN" (Session) often led by one or more of the BROWNE SISTERS (festival headliners).

Every Saturday night, a singular oasis in the high desert presents fully-acoustic music with no backing tracks, and they do it with excellent sound reinforcement from a real sound engineer. On top of that, they manage to book touring acts and local artists and bands that you pay to see at L.A. venues. At Butler's it costs you only an edible cover charge: a single-item purchase from their coffeehouse food / drink menu. You'll also find monthly weeknight events there, including a Celtic Sesuin (Session) and the local Guitar Society jam.


★ A Guide "SHOW-of-the-WEEK" pick...
Tue, Nov 10 & Nov 17, in Hollywood:
(Time tba) ALEX & SIERRA, indie folk duo, play the Hotel Café, 1623 N Cahuenga Bl, Hollywood 90028;; 323-461-2040.

Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton met on the beach in Florida when they were in high school, not realizing at the time that it was the fortuitous beginning of a musical journey. Alex was a musician, inspired by the infectious music and optimistic attitude of Jason Mraz, while Sierra was a competitive dancer with a love for all things artistic. Every week Sierra would drive over an hour to see Alex perform at venues around Daytona and New Smyrna Beach and it was only a matter of time before he began calling her up onstage to sing. As this continued for a year, the collaboration became more and more significant and transitioned into Alex & Sierra. Eventually, the American indie folk-pop duo went on to win season 3 of "The X Factor USA." Over the spring of 2014, they worked with various musicians and producers, including Jason Mraz, Toby Gad, Sam Hollander, Julian Bunetta, John Ryan, John Shanks and Martin Johnson to create their debut album “It’s About Us” peaking at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart in 2014. Check out their video for "Little Do You Know" at the venue's website.

One ticket is often good for the entire night at the venue, but it does not guarantee admission to another sold-out show the same evening. Seating is very limited; tables are first come first serve and generally available only for those who order food, unless reserved by a band. Venue is 21+ for all patrons. Advance tix, more info, at:


Tue & Wed, Nov 10 & 11, in Altadena:
8 pm SHOWS LISTED BELOW at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 91001; reservations 626-798-6236 (10 am-10 pm); venue phone 626-398-7917; info & current schedule:

BACKSTAGE CONCERT SCHEDULE... (a starred listing is a Guide "SHOW-of-the-WEEK" pick)...

√ Small Glories performs - Tue, Nov 10, 8 pm.

√ The Burgans with Terry Rangno - Wed, Nov 11, 8 pm.

And in the next few days...

√ Iain Matthews & James Lee Stanley - Thu, Nov 12, 8 pm.

√ ★ Tish Hinojosa, big folk star from Austin TX - Fri, Nov 13, 8 pm.

The acts booked at this venue are reliably first-rate, and are usually national or international touring bands or solo artists. This venue is widely acclaimed for its intimacy (no seat is more than 20 feet from the stage) with the best sound and stage lighting in all of L.A. Tix generally range from $15 to $20, depending on the show. Always make reservations (by phone) to avoid disappointment.

(Extensive write-ups for MANY current shows at this venue are in the full edition, Section 7.)


Tue & Wed, Nov 10 & 11, FREE, in SFV (Chatsworth):
8 pm LIVE AMERICANA / ALT OR TRAD COUNTRY /HONKY TONK music nightly at the Cowboy Palace, 21635 Devonshire St, Chatsworth; 818-341-0166.

Go early for the free dance lessons at 7:30 pm. This is L.A.’s last real honky-tonk, no cover, full bar, and friendly people who, howdy pardner, all like to dance. The music is sometimes acoustic, sometimes heavy on the pedal steel or the twang, but never that annoying fahke ackscent pop-“country” Nashvuhle scene.

No cover charge, so buy a couple drinks. Every night, they present live music for listening and dancing – unless they’re closed when Hollywood rents the place to shoot a movie or tv show. The place has been in hundreds of tv shows and motion pictures over the years.


Tue & Wed, Nov 10 & 11, in West Adams (L.A.):
8 pm There's a fun low-key scene at MUSE on 8th, 759 S La Brea Ave at 8th St (just S of Wilshire Bl, in the Miracle Mile / Mid-City area of Los Angeles; 323-933-MUSE / 323-933-6873;

√  All shows here start at 8 pm, but arrive early to get settled-in and order drinks / food before the show starts. Plus, parking on La Brea Ave opens at 7 pm and it is much easier to find parking before 8 pm.

Muse on 8th now has events almost every night of the week, all of them free, everyone is welcome to drop-in; the venue always remains open to the browsing public for food & coffee, so there is some bustle.

√  On Tuesday nights, they've recently added some events that are like their Monday & Friday nights, when they host live music, with various events every Thursday, such as storytelling or comedy.

√ Wednesday night is the quiet night, no entertainment.

√ On Tuesday, you may get a "one of a kind" music or standup comedy night or you may get a recurring event. On alternate Tuesday & Thursday nights, there's "Fifth House Comedy" with Sarah Taylor & Michael Patrick Duggan. Call them.

No cover.


Tue & Wed, FREE, in Culver City:
9 pm AMERICANA / ALT or TRAD COUNTRY / HONKY TONK MUSIC is always a distinct possibility at the Cinema Bar, 3967 Sepulveda Bld, Culver City 90230.

No cover. Venue is 21+, the size of a postage stamp, and barstool seating is competitive. Still it’s always a fun place.

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Wednesday, November 11
Happy Veterans Day!
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Thursday, November 12
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Thu, Nov 12, in Hollywood:
(Time tba) SHANA HALLIGAN plays her CD release show for her new "Back To Me" at the Hotel Café, 1623 N Cahuenga Bl, Hollywood 90028;; 323-461-2040.

Okay, this one is really for those who like new, somewhat edgy, music. But if that's you, there's a charm and charisma in "Back To Me" from sultry songstress Shana Halligan, in its exploration of human sensuality told through songs of romance, heartache and personal reflection. Adding that perfectly sealed kiss of mystique, pain and hope, Halligan’s uniquely tortured voice brings back the art of classic vocal allure mixed with modern-day, moody production. Her voice carries the vintage appeal of emotive jazz crooners, the ferocity of a modern woman in charge of her artistic destiny, and the vigor of a performer fully realizing her creative zenith. During and since her time as the lead singer/songwriter of Bitter:Sweet, Halligan has sold more than 500,000 records and has accumulated over 70 album credits to her name. Additionally, her music has received numerous high-profile synchs and licensing deals in film, TV, ad campaigns and beyond, including "The Devil Wears Prada," "Bright Eyes," "Focus," "Cars 2," “The Blacklist,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “Entourage,” “Nip Tuck,” and “Grey's Anatomy,” plus others. She’s also collaborated with many major acts, including writing and recording with Serj Tankian of System of A Down, Thievery Corporation (co-writing and performing their biggest hit in recent years “Depth Of My Soul”), new wave bossa nova French collective Nouvelle Vague, and Morgan Page, among others.

One ticket is often good for the entire night at the venue, but it does not guarantee admission to another sold-out show the same evening. Seating is very limited; tables are first come first serve and generally available only for those who order food, unless reserved by a band. Venue is 21+ for all patrons. Advance tix, more info, at:

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Thu, Nov 12, in Hollywood:
(Time tba) French indie folk duo FREEDOM FRY, presented by ALT 98.7 "Close To Home" at the Hotel Café, 1623 N Cahuenga Bl, Hollywood 90028;; 323-461-2040.

The French/American duo, whose stage name is a satire on US & French relations during the Iraq war, have been self-producing and releasing music since 2011 when they first met on the set of a music video. Their home base, Los Angeles, and all the warmth and sunshine of California tends to heavily bleed into their sound, which skirts the lines between pop, folk and indie-rock, always blended with danceable rhythms and a sing-a-long chorus. Since their 2011 debut EP, Let The Games Begin, they’ve appeared on The Hype Machine over 40 times and amassed over 2 million plays on SoundCloud. In the Summer of 2014 they released their latest EP, The Wilder Mile, which included the title track – an indie folk duet with an infectious stomp beat, sing-a-long chorus, handclaps, and a whistle refrain. The now married twosome of Parisian Marie Seyrat and Michigan-native Bruce Driscoll, self-create everything in the Freedom Fry universe from their album art to their cinematic videos and stage clothing. "Their song ‘The Wilder Mile’ is such a happy and clap-along song! Check out the infectious good times!” - Perez Hilton.

One ticket is often good for the entire night at the venue, but it does not guarantee admission to another sold-out show the same evening. Seating is very limited; tables are first come first serve and generally available only for those who order food, unless reserved by a band. Venue is 21+ for all patrons. Advance tix, more info, at:

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Friday, November 13
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Fri, Nov 13, in SFV (Kagel Cyn):
7 pm AIREENE ESPIRITU performs at "Live at the A-Frame" in Kagel Canyon, near Lakeview Terrace. Reservations, info & address by email or phone: or 818-486-8505.

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Fri, Nov 13, in VC (Newbury Park):
7:30 pm "FIRESIDE CONCERTS" series presents DANA & SALLY CHARETTE, BRAD COLERICK, and THE HONEYSUCKLE POSSUMS in Newbury Park. Info & address at:

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★A Guide "SHOW-of-the-WEEK" pick...
Fri, Nov 13, in Culver City:
8 pm ALASDAIR FRASER & NATALIE HAAS play Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City 90230; 310-398-2583;

√ Alasdair Fraser is one of the finest fiddlers Scotland has ever produced (considered by many the finest of this generation) with his dancing sense of pace and sparkling humor. His performance is electric, beguiling, and mesmerizing.

√ With the addition of virtuoso Natalie Haas on cello, this makes for a truly captivating show. Natalie's affinity with Scottish melodic nuance, driving rhythms (historically, cello was used to comprise the rhythm section in Scottish dance bands) andthe her rich harmonies afford a sparkling interchange with Fraser.

The music partnership between Alasdair Fraser, long regarded as Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador, and the sizzlingly-talented young California cellist Natalie Haas may not seem an obvious one.

Fraser, acclaimed by the San Francisco Examiner as the “Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling,” has a concert and recording career spanning 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks including "Last of the Mohicans" and "Titanic." Fraser has been sponsored by the British Council to represent Scotland’s music internationally, and received the Scottish Heritage Center Service Award for outstanding contributions to Scottish culture and traditions.

The 25-year-old Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, wasn’t even born when Alasdair was winning national fiddle competitions on the other side of the Atlantic.

But this seemingly unlikely pairing is the fulfillment of a long-standing musical dream for Fraser, whose cutting-edge musical explorations took him full circle to find a cellist who could help him return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music.

“Natalie creates a groove and a whole chunky rhythm section,” says Fraser.

The duo’s two recordings, their latest "In the Moment," and their debut CD, "Fire and Grace," are providing a great deal of inspiration to other players. The CDs display the duo’s dazzling teamwork, driving, dancing rhythms, and their shared passion for improvising on the melody and the groove of Scottish tunes.

“Haas is the peercussive power to Fraser’s fiddle fireworks, providing syncopated, bowed underpinnings to his melodies and solos,” writes Kira Schlechter of "The Patriot News," and the Guide heartily concurs.

You will also find Alasdair's richly expressive playing transports listeners across a broad musical spectrum, ranging from haunting laments from the Gaelic tradition to classically-styled airs, raucous dance tunes, and improvisations based on traditional themes. His vast repertoire spans several centuries of Scottish music and includes his own compositions, which blend a profound understanding of the Scottish tradition with cutting-edge musical explorations. He weaves through his performances a warm and witty narrative, drawing from a deep well of stories and lore surrounding Scotland's musical heritage.

There's more at:

Tix, $25. Doors at 7:30 for the best seats; advance ticket buyers get-in first.

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Saturday, November 14
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★ A Guide "SHOW-of-the-WEEK" pick...
Sat, Nov 14, in Culver City:
8 pm CRAIG VENTRESCO & MEREDITH AXELROD play Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City 90230; 310-398-2583;

√ Meredith Axelrod, singer and partner in crime with Craig Ventresco, sings and plays guitar as if she really returned to the pre-mic days. We’re not talking revisionist copy of so-and-so-from-way-back-when; we’re talking as if we plucked an original out of the era and time-traveled her to bless us with a taste of who we were when we had guts. Her rhythm guitar playing explodes with energy.

√ Craig Ventresco is a versatile multi-instrumentalist of the strings. He has played solo guitar and duets with Bucky Pizzarelli at the Atlanta Jazz Party. He has opened for Reverend Horton Heat. Craig's solo guitar playing is featured on both "Crumb" and the "Ghost World" feature film soundtracks.

A festival favorite, he has played as a solo guitarist at the "JVC Jazz Festival" and the "Atlanta Jazz Party" as well as the "Blind Boone Ragtime" and "Early Jazz Festival," the "Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival," and the "West Coast Ragtime Festival."

And one more thing: Craig says he became obsessed with records as a toddler(!) For most of his life, he has collected 78 rpm records. His impressive collection extends from the 1890s through the 1920s, comprised of both discs and the cylinders that preceded them, and this collection is where he draws his extensive repertoire.

More at: And, at:

Tix, $15. Doors at 7:30 for the best seats; advance ticket buyers get-in first.

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★ A Guide "SHOW-of-the-WEEK" pick...
Sat, Nov 14, in Pasadena:
(Time tba) Canadian trio THE GOOD LOVELIES bring their vocal and creative talent to the "Caltech Public Events" concert series in Beckman Auditorium ("Big Beckman," the "wedding cake" performance hall) on campus. Park free in either lot at the south end of Michigan Av, S off Del Mar, in Pasadena.

They aren't that well-known here in the States, but they are big in Canada and you will hear why at this show.

Listen to one of their original songs, "In the Morning," at: v=sBQqofLucyY

Plenty more about them at:

Tix, $35, $30, $25; $10 for youth. But you can save $5 on each ticket by asking for the Pasadena Folk Music Society discount. Order advance tix from the Caltech Ticket Office, 9 am-4 pm, Mon through Fri, at 626-395-4652 or in person (no service charge that way) at Winnett Student Center on campus.

More at

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Sat, Nov 14, in SGV (Covina):
8 pm SQUEAKIN' WHEELS plays the Fret House, 309 N Citrus Av, Covina 91723; 626-339-7020;

Squeakin’ Wheels fuse musical influences from a wide range of times and places. Their shows are like an aural tour through the American musical landscape of the past century. In a nod to folk traditions, old songs are reinvented and mixed in with originals by siblings David and Marguerite Millard. Squeakin’ Wheels are a compendium of folk, country, blues, rock and gospel flavors. Their soulful, vocal harmonies rubbing up against some rambunctious licks will help you re-imagine what folk music is.

Tix, $15.

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★ A Guide "SHOW-of-the-WEEK" pick...
Sat, Nov 14, in Hollywood:
(Time tba) ERIN McKEOWN with ROD PICOTT at the Hotel Café, 1623 N Cahuenga Bl, Hollywood 90028;; 323-461-2040.

Erin McKeown is a musician, writer, and producer known internationally for her prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries. Her brash and clever electric guitar playing is something to see. Her singing voice is truly unique – clear, cool, and collected. Over the course of 7 studio albums and thousands of live performances, Erin has developed and refined a distinct and challenging mix of American musical styles.

“Her operative mood is effortless grace” - LA Weekly.

“Her playing is so muscular, her arrangements so well conceived that she succeeds brilliantly. As with all truly great guitarists, the wonder is less in her chops than her choices” - Boston Globe.

One ticket is often good for the entire night at the venue, but it does not guarantee admission to another sold-out show the same evening. Seating is very limited; tables are first come first serve and generally available only for those who order food, unless reserved by a band. Venue is 21+ for all patrons. Advance tix, more info, at:

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Sunday, November 15
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Sun, Nov 15, in Altadena:
7 pm NOCTAMBULE brings their Celtic music to the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 91001; 626-798-6236;; reservations recommended.

More on Noctambule, the duo of Marla Fibish & Bruce Victor, at:

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Sun, Nov 15, in SGV (Sierra Madre):
(Time tba) SURVIVOR GIRL UKULELE BAND PROJECT plays a concert.

Info, location, & tix at:

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LISTINGS & WRITE-UPS for concerts, festivals, and arts events way into 2016 are in the latest FULL editions.

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Tue-Sun, Dec 1-6, in Hollywood:
"RIVERDANCE 20th Anniversary World Tour" at the Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Bl, Hollywood 90028.

Extraordinary discount ticket offer, thanks to our friends at the Pub Guide — use Code IRISH when ordering tickets at:

No one under age 5 admitted. All patrons must have a ticket.

The international Irish dance phenomenon returns by popular demand with RIVERDANCE - The 20th Anniversary World Tour. The production, composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty, and directed by John McColgan, just completed a sold out, critically-acclaimed run across Europe and Asia, and arrives in North America in Fall 2015.

"RIVERDANCE - The 20th Anniversary World Tour" is an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song. Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures.

Tue-Fri, Dec 1-4, 8 pm.
Sat, Dec 5, 2 pm & 8 pm.
Sun, Dec 6, 1 pm & 6:30 pm.

More soon, as always.

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Contents copyright © 2015, Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks. All rights reserved.
♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS and views of interest to artists everywhere, more specifically to musicians and the creative community, and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music, both traditional and innovative. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues, and schedules and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California, in venues monumentally large and intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the roots of the blues and where the music is now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell.

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