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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Best Christmas Show in L.A. is FREE -- Xmas Weekend EVENTS & NEWS. Dec 24-30 2017

Welcome to The Guide's roundup of the best LIVE MUSIC / PERFORMANCE EVENTS during Christmas weekend and before New Year's Eve, PLUS the timely MUSIC NEWS that won't wait.

You probably know, but we'll say it here: when the Holiday Season arrives, The Guide covers the charming, inspiring and uplifting kind of stuff -- look elsewhere to wallow in dogmatic religiosity.

There is a LOT that's TIMELY in this edition -- meaning if you put-off reading this, you'll miss out on some opportunities. So at least give it a quick once-through before you tell yourself you'll get back to it later.



1) The Best Christmas show in town is FREE, Dec. 24th

2) New Year's Eve Preview / Thoughts on 2018...

3) Live Online, Christmas Eve at 6 pm

4) Coffee Gallery Backstage Has LIVE SHOWS, Dec. 28 & 30

5) Eats for Your D.I.Y. Holiday Events, Cajun Style

6) Our Christmas Music Live Video Pick: Muriel Anderson's "Silent Night"

7) USA Songwriting's "Christmas Songwriting Competition" Closes TODAY (Dec 23)

8) Christmas from a Cowboy Perspective: Larry Maurice

9) Americana Music Association's Holiday Playlist -- Listen Online

10) Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square

11) "Titanic" at the Reagan Library Closes January 7


# 1 events feature...


Okay, look, if you haven't bought it yet, maybe the forces of the universe are trying to tell you that it won't exactly put you in the "peace on earth, ggod will toward men" mode if you subject yourself to the fracas of retail consumerism on Christmas Eve.

So, why not consider something that will allow you to spend TIME with your special someones and rediscover conversation of the face-to-face kind, while you're in line for the BEST CHRISTMAS SHOW IN L.A.! Here it is -- something FUN that you can round-up your besties and go do together, and it's FREE.

The 58th Annual "L.A. County Holiday Celebration" is Sunday, December 24th, 3-6 pm, at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

All ages are welcome, but the show doesn't allow annoying screaming kids to wreck the performance.

All the promo calls this " multicultural," but it's far more accurate to say that it is inclusive of L.A.'s best, from Folk-Americana to big band to orchestral to jazz, AND the many cultures from all over the planet. Now, the latter is performed by the folks who know those cultures, as they put on their best and perform their best music and dance for everyone LIVE. And all of it is just for this one-day-a-year event. It's inclusive of music and dance pros and the talented amateurs who get invitations to perform all over the world at festivals and for heads of state.

It's also Los Angeles’ largest holiday celebration. This free show honors the dynamic, rich cultures found in every niche of the far-flung County. It celebrates the diverse groups of L.A.-based performing artists as they showcase their talent and artistry on The Music Center’s iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage. Founded in 1959 by the late Kenneth Hahn, supervisor of the Second District of Los Angeles County for 40 years (from 1952-1992), the three-hour live production features instrumental music, choral music and dance performances.

Highlights of this year’s L.A. County Holiday Celebration include many performers returning to the show, including Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble, which will perform a classical handbell piece that celebrates Christmas and Hanukkah; the Palmdale High School Choral Union and Sunday Night Singers, who will sing holiday songs; the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Band, which will play a medley of holiday favorites; the MUSYCA Children’s Choir, which will perform Christmas songs written by contemporary artists; Mostly Kosher, which will play upbeat Jewish folk and holiday songs; the Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Company, which will perform a Korean drumming dance; and Las Colibri, which will perform a collection of holiday songs.

If it isn't already your tradition to “Celebrate L.A.” this holiday season with the L.A. County Holiday Celebration, why not start now? It's been a crappy year, and it sure would be nice to end it with something good that can become an annual "something" you'll look forward to doing.

If you CAN'T GO see it free at The Music Center?

♪ Watch it on KOCE, aka PBS SoCal, or

♪ Stream it LIVE on

♪ More information at



You'll want pictures of the huge Christmas Tree on the plaza outside the venue -- both in daylight and at night (with its lights). It's L.A.'s equivalent of the big one in New York at Rockefeller Plaza.



Since this is FREE and it is an annual tradition for so many people, you'll need to arrive hours early. Yes, you'll be waiting in line for many hours if you want to be sure you'll get in for the entire show. Latecomers usually get in for the last few acts, but they can watch the show on large diamond vision screens set up high over the plaza.



Both the broadcast and the webcast of the "L.A. County Holiday Celebration" go out LIVE. On TV, tune to KOCE, aka PBS SoCal, broadcast or cable. The LIVE STREAM is on and that's also from 3-6 pm.

RE-BROADCASTS can be viewed on December 24th, 9 pm-midnight, and December 25, noon-3 pm on PBS SoCal. In addition, PBS SoCal 2 re-airs the event December 25, 3-6 am, 6-9 am, and 7-10 pm. For all those perpetually late for everything, you can catch it on December 26, 11 am-2 pm on PBS SoCal 2.



Parking is (gasp) FREE in the main Music Center garage (lot 14) off of Grand Avenue between Temple and 1st streets. IF you arrive before it fills-up.

Better yet, Go Metro: Take the Metro Red/Purple Line to the Civic Center/Grand Park Station, then walk out the station exit to Temple St/Hill St. The L.A. County Holiday Celebration is only two blocks from the station, up the hill. Plan your trip on or call 323-GO-METRO (323-466-3876) but don't wait 'til the last minute, because that site bogs down with too many people trying to access the same thing.



The Music Center prides itself on being accessible to all patrons. There is a sign language interpreter at the performance. The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavillion is also ADA accessible. ADA parking is available in the main Music Center garage with displayed placards, but again, go EARLY before it gets full.

Email requests for specific ADA information to The Music Center's ADA Compliance Officer, Carolyn Van Brunt: You may also call the recorded Access assistance line to leave a voice mail request, at 213-972-0777.


That's a big deal, since, again, you'll be waiting in line for many hours if you want to be sure you'll get in for the entire show.

There is a bar with food and beverages on The Music Center Plaza, and Tina’s Tacos will be open and serving. Menu items include:

* Hot Dogs - $2

* 3 Tacos + Soda - $8

* Popcorn - $2

* Churros - $2

(Or just GO PLENTY EARLY, hop off the train at Union Station and walk across the street to Olvera Street for a Mexican breakfast or lunch, or a couple blocks over to Chinatown for some good Chinese food. Then back to Union Station to hop on the Red/Purple Line to Civic Center/Grand Park Station.)

FOOD, once you're inside the venue? The Lobby Bars and Oval Bar at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion will be open with drinks and snacks for purchase.


# 2 events feature...


We'll have more for you on the many tuneful things you can choose for a musical N.Y.E. -- but since we're on the subject of the Music Center, there's this promo presented ver batim, with an added comment we couldn't resist making:

"December 31, 2017- January 1, 2018 | 8:00 pm - 1:00 am | Grand Park | Annual 'GRAND PARK + THE MUSIC CENTER’S N.Y.E.L.A.'"

The promo says, "Dance your heart out and into 2018 with best friends, sweeties, friendly neighbors and those cousins from out-of-town at the West Coast’s flagship New Year’s Eve celebration. Grand Park + The Music Center’s N.Y.E.L.A. is the place to dream together and welcome new beginnings with a countdown on City Hall, live music, food and photo booths in one big, beautiful, colorful Angeleno experience to remember!"

Hmmm. A "countdown on City Hall"-? A typo in the promo, something Freudian, or are they trying to tell us something more? Or maybe it's just what happens to everyone's thinking after a year of big corporate media hammering the keyboards (and our consciousness) trying to hit the political "undo" button.

Can we all agree on one thing? 2018 has GOT to be better, even if we need to make our New Year's Resolutions about tuning-out and turning-off the yammering Chicken Little and relentless negativity! As in: (a) if it's broken, we elected you to FIX it; (b) if you fix it, make it better for US, not for some rich corporation that awards bloated bonuses to execs from the money they steal from us because you rigged things so they could; (c) if you -- the politicos or the megamerged corporate media are lying to us, we're going to call you out; (d) if you insist on exploiting us, you're pimps (especially when you steal every esoteric detail about all of us online and sell it to others who will exploit us even more); (e) if you try to tell us we're obligated to do as you say because we're in your tribe, we are getting outta the tribe; (f) we're not waiting to be William Wallace, about to be burned at the stake, before we shout "Freeeeeeeee-dommmmmm!"


# 3 events feature...


With local venues giving the night for employees to spend with their families -- which is a damn fine hint that all those megagiant overmerged corporate money-grubbers really ought to copy -- there aren't a lot of options to the holiday fare on TV. But we found one delightful one for you, online.

Sat, Dec 23, online:
6 pm (PST) "WFMT CHRISTMAS RADIO FOLKSTAGE CONCERT" with MICHAEL SMITH and JAMIE O'REILLY, live on the "FOLKSTAGE" radio show from WFMT Fine Arts Radio 98.7 FM, in Chicago.
* ONLINE live, plus it's broadcast in Chicago.
* MICHAEL SMITH performs a set of solo songs, preceded by JAMIE O'REILLY and her daughters on three-part harmonies. Michael is accompanied by PETER SWENSON, then there's an ensemble finale with everyone.
* Hosted by RICH WARREN.
* LISTEN at -- scroll to the bottom of the page and click "listen live."


# 4 events feature...


Both these shows are highly recommended as TOP PICKS by The Guide.

It's rare that any venue will risk competing with the push-and-shove, tackle-and-grab of after-Christmas mark-down derbies, and risk offering a peaceful night of music. Or compete with the hype buildup that precedes the New Year's Eve debauchery. But up in lil' ol' Altadena -- just up into the heights from the 210 Freeway's Lake Avenue exit in Pasadena -- you'll find delightful acoustic tunefulness, as always. And, yes Virginia, that does include this coming Thursday and Saturday, before the N.Y.E. hoopla gets cranked-up.

Thu, Dec 28:
7:30 pm ELLEN & STEVE STAPENHORST play their annual show at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA; reservations by phone only, 10 am-10-pm, 7 days, at 626-798-6236.
* John Denver once OPENED for Steve. Ellen still plays all over the nation and the world.
* A fun and nostalgic turn from an act who makes it here once or twice per year. A lot of joy, maybe some choreography, and good music. So says Bob.
* In this show, Ellen Stapenhorst joins her brother Steve for an evening of sibling revelry as she continues her mission of spreading optimism and hope in challenging times. Traveling from her current digs in the quirky Rocky Mountain town of Paonia, Ellen brings fine songs, stories and humor, and a voice which will touch your soul…“A DAMN fine set of pipes!” actor Tim Curry exclaimed at one of her shows.
* From the L.A. coffeehouses of the ’60s, Ellen has gone on to castles on the Rhine, concert halls in Europe and the Caribbean, and the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver. Choral arrangements of her music have been performed by several choirs, including the Aspen Choral Society, and her songs are showing up on playlists around the world. She brings a joyful warmth and humor to venues large and small, and her songs come from, and go right to, the heart.
* Ellen has shared stages with many folk and country artists, including John Denver, Buffy Ste. Marie and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
* Ellen has released five albums of original music, her latest being "Gravity & Light."
* On the airwaves, Ellen’s “Traveler” rode the "most-requested" list for two years on "Tied to the Tracks" -- the preeminent expression of L.A. acoustic radio -- and “Broke Down and Stalled in Grand Junction” was featured on NPR’s "Car Talk."
* Brother Steve Stapenhorst is a musician and actor with over 60 credits in TV and film, including "Mad Men," "West Wing," "Monk and Dexter," and recently "Scandal," and John C. Reilly's "Check it Out" with Dr. Steve Brule (in an episode called "Eggs," for a different side of Steve). He just shot an episode of the FX hit comedy, "Baskets."
* Steve adds his guitar and harmonies to Ellen's songs, throwing in one of his originals now and then. He joyfully shares his often terrible sense of humor, "resulting in sibling banter that can only surface after hundreds of years of performing together . . . but who’s counting?" he says. Oh, and that part about John Denver opening for Steve's band? That was about the same time Steve opened for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band "at the dawn of time," he adds, "when Jackson Browne was in the Dirt Band."
* All of which prods venue impresario Bob Stane to say, "History comes alive at the Coffee Gallery Backstage!"
* Tix, $18.

Sat, Dec 30:
7 pm THE MISKEY MOUNTAIN BOYS play the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA; reservations by phone only, 10 am-10-pm, 7 days, at 626-798-6236.
* Featuring the all star line up of world renowned mandolinist Evan Marshall, slap-bassist extraordinare John W. Marshall, celebrated flat picker Alex Finazzo, and film & television vocalist & bassist Michelle Lynskey, this is quite an ensemble.
* Individually and together, they’ve headlined for Disney's D23, the TOURNAMENT OF ROSES POST PARADE EVENT, the 25TH Annual "IMAGINE AWARDS," and the "LIGHT UP THE SEASON" event at Walt Disney Studios, and have been featured artists at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL, THE RING OF FIRE, various POPS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS, and performed on "A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION," and HBO’s "BIG LOVE."
* Bob Stane tells us, "They are now delighted to be combining their talents and expertise to create this incredible, one-of-a-kind band, THE MISKEY MOUNTAIN BOYS."
* This wonderful show consists of unique and exciting musical arrangements that incorporate hints of jazz, classical and swing with traditional Bluegrass, and includes such innovative elements as double-double slap-bassing, blazing fiddle duets, driving Bluegrass tunes, powerful vocals, and energetic step dancing. Add in the joy and camaraderie of these long time friends, and you have an evening of fun and music you won’t soon forget.
* More at
* Tix, $20.


# 5 events feature...


Our friends at the annual "Simi Valley Cajun Blues Festival" sent us these "Cajun Inspired Holiday Recipes," perfect to "Serve up a Cajun inspired menu at this year’s holiday dinner" or for any gathering where you're hosting or taking a potluck dish. Reading what's below reminds of Grandpa Jones on "Hee Haw" reading what's for supper, and getting a chorus of "Yummm, yummm!"

Want to spice things up this holiday season? Then try out some of these Cajun inspired recipes during the holidays this year.

APPETIZER: Cajun Spiced Pecans

• ¼ cup butter, melted
• ½ teaspoon Tony’s (i.e. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning)
• ¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• ½ pound pecan halves

1. Combine all ingredients (except pecans) in a small dish and whisk together until combined.
2. Place pecans in a medium bowl and pour liquid mixture on top.
3. Stir until well coated.
4. Arrange pecans into a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. (I line the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up).
5. Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring once after about 8-10 minutes.

MAIN COURSE: Cheesy Shrimp and Grits

• 1/2-3/4 pound deveined and shelled shrimp
• 2 tablespoons Olive oil
• 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 1/2 cup yellow corn grits
• 2 ounces cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
• 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 green onion stalks, chopped
• 2 slices bacon
• salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet cook two slices of bacon over medium heat until crisp, remove bacon from skillet, roughly chop. Wipe skillet clean and set aside to use later for the shrimp.
2. In a medium to large sauce pan bring chicken broth to a boil, add grits and reduce heat to low. Cover and let grits simmer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. When grits have absorbed the liquid add cream cheese, shredded cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Stir mixture well, cover and remove from heat.
5. Place shrimp in a large plastic bag or mixing bowl, add Old Bay, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and smoked paprika and toss until shrimp is coated.
6. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp is pink and tender.
7. To assemble the shrimp and grits add a heaping serving of grits to two shallow bowls. Top with shrimp, chopped green onions, chopped bacon and additional pepper.

SIDE DISH: Cajun Greens

• 16- ounce bag of clean and cut greens, (collards, mustard, or country mix are all fine)
• 1 slice bacon, diced
• 1/4 onion, diced (you’ll surely use the rest this week)
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• four dashes hot sauce, or to taste
• 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1. For the greens, heat a 12″ skillet or stockpot over medium-high heat. (Dice the bacon and onion while skillet heats.) Add bacon and onion to skillet and saute, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown.
2. Reduce heat to medium, and add greens to skillet a couple handfuls at a time. Stir and let wilt slightly before adding more. After adding all the greens, season with salt and hot sauce, add 1/3 cup water, and stir. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until dinner is ready to serve.

DESSERT: Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

• 8 cups bite-sized bread pieces
• 3 large eggs
• 1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon maple or vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 cup pecans, halved or chopped

1. Prepare an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and spraying well with a non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place all of the bread pieces into the baking dish.
3. Pour the melted butter over the bread.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple or vanilla extract, cinnamon, and the salt.
5. Stir in the pecans. Pour evenly over the bread pieces. Use a rubber spatula to push and “prod” the bread pieces around in the dish until all are coated in the syrupy mixture.
6. Bake at 375ยบ for 45 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream!

Whip up these dishes to give your holiday celebration a Cajun kick!

The above is also available at the "Cajun Blues Blog" at

When they sent it, they added: "Love Cajun food and can’t get enough? Then mark your calendar for the next Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. In summer of 2018, Simi Valley will come alive with Cajun music and food, zydeco music, blues music, a Mardi Gras parade, zydeco dance lessons, and more! To learn more about this exciting local event, contact Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival." Their site has moved from the old Rotary Club page to its own dedicated site. The new one is:


# 6 events feature...


This is a brand new one, just published online Dec. 19, by the great guitarist MURIEL ANDERSON. She writes, "To wish you a beautiful holiday, I hope you enjoy this arrangement of 'Silent Night' I just filmed for you. I was playing my arrangement in front of the fire, and Bryan said, 'Hey, let's film this and share it with you.' So here it is."

Muriel adds, "I am spending lovely family time this week, and will Christmas carol around the neighborhood with kerosene lanterns and three generations of family, along with neighbors and dogs, as we have every year since I can remember. Have a beautiful holiday season! -- Muriel."

Her acoustic guitar arrangement is, indeed, very special. We'd call it technically dazzling if it were not so evocative of peace and tranquility. Certainly, it's safe to say innovative and creative, epitomizing all the timeless tune should be -- even with her nineteen chord changes (sheet music of her arrangement is at her website, if you want to attempt it!)

Here's the link to watch and listen:

Muriel Anderson, "Silent Night"


# 7 events feature...


When they told us "This is a limited time only opportunity" for you to enter your original Christmas or Holiday song, they weren't kidding. Word arrived Dec 22, then, on Dec 23, they sent a second message that declared the closing date is TODAY, Saturday, Dec 23.

The USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION has been around a long time, but this is only their second Christmas/Holiday songwriting contest.

They ask us to ask you, "Do you have an Original Christmas Song you have written or co-written? Do you have a song like 'Last Christmas' by Wham! or 'All I Want for Chritsmas Is You' by Mariah Carey? Do you have any Hanukkah or Kwanzaa songs? Why not enter the Christmas/Holiday Songwriting Competition. Who knows, you could be the top winner and [earn] a special Christmas Songwriting trophy for that special place on your mantle and possible songwriting contract with a major music publishing house. The Top 15 finalists' songs will appear on our Christmas/Holiday Compilation CD, which will be promoted to various radio stations in USA and Canada! This is excellent music industry exposure for you and your music!"

To be considered in this year's competition, you need to enter no later than today. The link is:


# 8 events feature...


Our ol' pard LARRY MAURICE has won 'purt near all the awards a cowboy poet and storyteller can take home to become treasured doorstops and paperweights -- even if he won't ever characterize them that way, we all know that cowboy logic is eminently practical, and ev'rything needs to have a use if'n we want to justify havin' it around the place.

With that in mind, Larry -- on behalf of wife Lonnie, their horses and assorted other critters, sent us this on Friday. It's the annual holiday message from "2 Cent Ranch." Enjoy.

Hey! It’s Christmas

I’ve never been much on any holidays
All the pomp, hoopla and stuff
Seems that in my life just having a break in the action
Is just about good enough

Every day on the ranch is packed tighter than Santa’s bag of toys
If the work doesn’t get done everything and everybody
Starts into makin’ all kinds of noise
The horses don’t care if it’s Easter or Kwanzaa
Vacations don’t even come into the barn
Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and St. Patty’s day
I missed it? Really?

Just missin’ a feedin’ or a waterin’
Can darn near be called animal abuse
“I had to run out and spend a couple a hundred dollars on Christmas decorations”
To the critters Pard,
that ain’t no kind of excuse

But there is a time of the season when even the stock
And the land seems to get
When the frost hits the rabbit brush and ice rims the buckets
I haven’t been able to figure it out yet

When the “fall” falls for anything that doesn’t look like itself
And “spring” isn’t even starting to coil
There is a time and peace that covers the scene
It hides deep and rich in our soil

Most folks run hither and yon getting all the “stuff “
Making the whirlwind spin
They say it’s for the kids or tradition or remembering
But when it comes right down to it
Their reasoning gets pretty thin
I don’t get how “Peace on Earth” comes from
Covering your house with a thousand coordinated flashing lights
We think that the twinkle is best from the heavens above
On clear, cold Nevada nights

- Our life comes down to the things that we need
- We can figure out what we both want,
(Most of the time)
Our first responsibilities are to our stock and to this land
Between us, that seems to work just fine

We hold and cherish our precious gifts each day
Say a little thanks now and then
We don’t make a big deal out of it because we know
That the good times and the bad times are always coming
again and again and again

This life lets us be a part of all that we love the best
Horses, cattle, dogs, our friends and family
Mostly each other and once in a while

So this is our way of saying Merry Christmas to you
We hope all your needs are met
All your little things that are just wants
Won’t be so very hard to get
We want you to need warm sunny days
Time to laugh, ride and too cry
To share special moments with a friends and family
“To watch the sun come blazing down
from a bright Nevada sky.”

Here’s hoping that you’ll have time to waste in the days to come
And hey!
Slow down a little bit in this coming “New Year”
Make time for all the real things in your heart and soul
Before they disappear

Let’s leave behind all the folks who are wondering
How many shinny baubles they’ll be able to gather
Let’s let go of all the hype and hoopla, all the fluff and noise and blather

Christmas comes but once a year
But it does come every year
Of that, there never is a doubt
This time
Take the day off and if you have to decorate something?
Try a Birthday cake
If I remember correctly?
That’s what it’s all about!

-- Merry Christmas from Lonnie and Larry Maurice and all of us at

2 Cent Ranch, Palomino Valley, NV

Learn about Larry Maurice's performance schedule, awards, CDs, and 'purt near everything he wants you to know about celebrating the cowboy life, at his website:


# 9 events feature...


By now, everyone knows that the Americana Music Association is at the center of all things Folk-Americana, with equal time for Honky-Tonk and lots more American, Canadian, and Southwest Borderlands roots music. The Guide covers their annual conference and events, awards and news.

So, when they put together an online assemblage of 20 holiday tunes you can hear and enjoy -- by the likes of The Mavericks, Barefoot Movement, Balsam Range, Nathaniel Rateliff, Boo Ray & Elizabeth Cook, Jon Langford, Mark Erelli, and more, we knew we had to share it. Enjoy!

(You may need to download the free Spotify player, but you'll want it, anyway.)


# 10 events feature...


The "Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square" has returned for its 20th anniversary season, outdoors under the palms. The Guide always reports on things there in terms of the free access for everyone to watch and hear the LIVE MUSIC STAGE that accompanies the skate-for-a-fee skating rink -- but they didn't notify anybody this year about the music stage.

In any event, LA WEEKLY reports, "The beloved recreational landmark [i.e., the Ice Skating Rink] is open now through January 15th for winter fun in the heart of downtown Los Angeles."

Along with being something to do this weekend, the rink has a special event on New Year’s Day.

It's the "Polar Bear Skate: The L.A. Edition" on Sunday, January 1, 2018 from 2:30-3:30 pm.

There, you can "Experience Canada’s 'Polar Bear Plunge' done the California way. Skaters are invited to ring in the New Year… in their chicest, wildest, and most inventive beach attire, of course. Spectators will judge as prizes are awarded based on theme, originality, and overall appearance."

They have prizes:
* First Place: (2) round-trip airline tickets anywhere on Alaska Airlines' network.
* Second Place: $200 cash.
* Third Place: 2018-19 Ice Rink season pass - unlimited admission and skate rental.

The "Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square" is at 532 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

That's across the street from the L.A. Biltmore, and Pershing Square has its own Red/Purple Line subway station. Tickets for the ice rink can be bought at the rink's ticket window or in advance online at


# 11 events feature...


Because you just saw "Reagan Library," you might think we're using the word "titanic" in its generic meaning as "something large." Nope. It's the word in its most singular iconic usage, because the White Star Steamship line chose that word to name what was, at the time, the world's largest ship. It was, of course, the 882-foot-long R.M.S. Titanic -- the one that sunk on its maiden voyage in the middle of the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg before midnight on April 14th.

Everyone has seen the James Cameron movie, "Titanic." Though 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the film's release, it was the latest in a long series of movie accounts. Even with the fictionalized romance of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the biggest wow-factor special effects of the time, and the original song by Celine Deon? The fact remains that the tragedy took the lives of at least 1,517 passengers and crew. Only 705 people survived in her lifeboats, and the possessions they took with them have been treasured, though scattered, relics of the tragedy.

The ship's lifeboats were all that was left of the lost liner herself, until Dr. Robert Ballard led a team in 1985 that piggybacked a search for the Titanic onto a secret mission for the US Navy. They found the ship, but didn't file salvage rights to protect the wreck and the ocean floor around it, which was strewn with artifacts.

Found while Ronald Reagan was President, and because he signed the 1986 "RMS Titanic Memorial Act" to designate the wreck as an international maritime memorial, it is appropriate that this exhibition was brought together at the Reagan Library.

For years, a curated collection of artifacts from the sea floor, recovered by others, has made the rounds of museums all over the world.

But this time it's different. Sets and props from the movie are integrated with possessions of lost passengers in the Reagan Library's exhibition.

"Titanic at the Reagan Library" combinines real artifacts with the real stories of the people onboard the ill-fated ship, and the film's models and props. This new exhibit tells the story of the unsinkable ship in a way no museum has done before. Artifacts from passengers, dispersed over time, are reunited in this exhibit for the first time in over 100 years.

This brand-new 10,000 square foot exhibition reunites hundreds of "Titanic" artifacts that have not been together since the ship’s fateful night in 1912. With them are materials and artifacts from the 1984-1985 discovery of the Titanic as well as with items from the 1997 movie. Together, this is a first-of-its-kind exhibition not seen anywhere else before.

It allows visitors to compare recovered artifacts and family heirlooms from survivors with the movie's "as built" appearance of things -- the ship still smelled of fresh paint when she sailed. Recovered artifacts, stabilized by conservators, emerge from the sea floor corroded and encrusted with the remnants of deep sea life. The latter even include evidence of the "rusticles" formed by iron-eating microorganisms that are devouring the great ship itself.

Admission includes a ticket to tour the Reagan Presidential Library and all its permanent exhibits. So it's a great place to take holiday visitors and spend the entire day.

Tickets and info:

Note: Discount tix have appeared on various websites. As always, be careful that you aren't getting scammed!



We'll be back soon with our annual GUIDE TO NEW YEAR'S EVE.

In 2018, The Guide will return with many more inclusive and inquisitive
and informative and pretty dad-burn interestin' coverage
of all kindsa things, continuing forward and onward
in our MUSIC NEWS editions.

Interviews, previews, reviews,
how regulatory and industry changes effect the industry
and individual artists,
and more,
coming your way soon.

Meantime, check in and LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK about THIS one.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?


See you next time!



As always, we invite you to join us and to let us know what YOU are listening to, and what artists or bands just sent you swooning and need to be shared with others.

Doing our part depends on you doing your part. That way, you'll know that a whole lot more is always coming soon — including fresh MUSIC NEWS, PREVIEWS & REVIEWS, and things in the future like our massive guide to the MUSIC FESTIVALS of 2017.

Meantime, we are ALWAYS big advocates of supporting LIVE PERFORMANCE. With everything happening in the big, wide world, and through these festival-packed, waning-of-summer weekends? Go get tuneful!



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox? Is it Walschaerts or Baker or Stephenson valve gear? Superheated or saturated? Duplex or Standard stoker? Circulators or syphons in the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for basic essential informational stuff... geeez... soon as we take water from the tank, top-off the lubricators, and get beans from the Harvey House, we are sooo steamin' down the line...

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Contents copyright © 2017,
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. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. 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 (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, 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 swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.


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