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Saturday, December 21, 2019

End of the Year LIVE MUSIC wrap-up. Dec 21 edition 2019

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LATE NEWS... January 4, 2020...

From halfway around the world. On Thursday morning, 41% of Australia was burning. By Friday morning, it was OVER FIFTY PERCENT. By Saturday morning (Jan 4th), hundreds of fires were merging, and three of those fires had, overnight, become one fire larger than Manhattan Island.

Even as smoldering wreckage comprised hundreds of thousands of square miles, there are, at the moment Saturday morning, 23,000 square miles actively ablaze, and just that much is bigger than the entirety of the US states of New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, combined.

Over 100,000 people have been evacuated, some by sea, thanks to the Australian navy. Thousands who did not leave, when told to go, can no longer get out, and face the worst kind of uncertain fate.

The Earth's geologic record tells us that the last time more than half an entire continent was burning was just after the Chicxulub Impact -- the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs and eliminated more than 70% of all species on the planet.

The Earth's natural systems cannot receive the biomass of living carbon from an entire continent, after it has been converted into carbon black soot and greenhouse gas carbon compounds -- not without enormous changes to the atmosphere and the planet's average temperatures. 

Global climate change brought Australia's record high temperatures and record drought. Now Australia's fires are accelerating global climate change. Even as politicians take money from corporate ("corpirate") climate change causer/deniers, and engage in bloviating distractions, obfuscations -- and anything they can think of to keep you from holding their feet to the very literal fire.

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Events UPDATED as recently as Jan 8th, 9:15 am (Pacific)- !

Many more updated events added to the originally-published listings in the chronology that follows...
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VERY SPECIAL NEWS  came in Saturday morning, Dec 28th:

Sun, Dec 29; BENEFIT:
2 pm - FUR & STEVE return after a seven-year absence, in a benefit for Los Angeles homeless cats and kittens, at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon, 18389 Ventura Bl, Tarzana CA
*  After breaking-up SEVEN YEARS AGO, one of L.A.'s top original-song folk duos, FUR DIXON and STEVE WERNER, return to the stage to play TWO SETS of music from the four albums they recorded during their decade of performing together.
*  These two performing together again is akin to the EAGLES getting back together with the "Hell Feezes Over" stigma. Each has had a solo career before and since, and there is no guarantee this will ever happen again.
*  Kitten Adoption and benefit runs from 2 pm-6 pm.
*  SCHEDULE:
  ☆  JOE WOOD, a fantastic blues man, goes-on at 2:30 pm.
  ☆  FUR & STEVE play their 2 sets immediately following.
*  TIX: suggested donation is $15 (it's a benefit, people).
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LATE UPDATE -- NEWS YOU CAN USE...

If you're dreading the big holiday gathering or dinner because that certain dyed-in-the-wool Trumpertarian will be there... how would you like to see his playbook before he whips it out?

'Course it's up to you to do something with the information. But here ya go:

"Trump Campaign Sends Out Christmas Tips to Beat Your Relatives In an Argument"

It's the lead story in the Christmas Eve morning edition of the "Independent Journal Review," a conservative daily that tries to look objective about most things. 

It's very worth a look at it, and its Trump campaign insider links -- especially since they as good as tell you that for Trumpers, "winning arguments" is more important than him accomplishing anything. Plus, you'll see all the new ways they're prepared to brand you with Greta Thunberg as being a hapless "snowflake" who can't take the heat, and hates anybody who accomplishes anything. And you can see exactly how they plan to belittle you because you believe in health care for everyone. And more.

Battle plans captured on the battlefield. You don't even need to wear a trench coat or bring your decoder ring:

https://ijr.com/trump-campaign-christmas-relatives-argument/

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Here's the edition as originally published AND continually updated with more added events...
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"Almost Christmas" update -- where to take those holiday guests -- through New Year's Eve -- plenty to do!

Merry Chrismakwanzikah!

We'll add events that happen through Dec 31st, as they come-in...
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First up, here's what's 
Continuing, 

and very worth 
seeing / hearing...

(UPDATES have been 
ADDED to ONGOING EVENTS)
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NOW through Jan 5:
10 am-5 pm - "CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD," the annual holiday tree exhibit at the Reagan Library, 40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley CA 93065
*  This is always outstanding, and different each year. For 2019, it features trees decorated to represent the 26 countries that President Reagan visited while in office.
*  View the holiday tree exhibit, the Air Force One Pavilion, and the current special exhibition, "EGYPT'S LOST CITIES," (see our write-up) all during one visit for the price of museum admission. But allow yourself PLENTY of time.
*  Open seven days a week, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
*  Facility features a nice cafeteria-style cafe.
*  TIX include the exhibition and the 125,000 square feet of all the permanent exhibits and displays, including Air Force One; you need to allow three to four hours to enjoy all of the galleries and grounds. Gen'l adm $29.95, discounts for youth, kids, seniors; active US military get in free. Free parking. Tix available in advance or at the door. It's worth adding the $7 "audio tour." Online adv. tix:
https://www.reaganfoundation.org/library-museum/online-ticket-sales/
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Seasonal run, Dec 4-23; stage musical:
7:30 pm - CHARLES DICKENS' "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" at A Noise Within Theatre, 3352 E Foothill Bl, Pasadena CA 91107; 626-356-3100
*  A Noise Within's delightfully festive, musically merry holiday tradition returns for 2019. Families love the inspirational story of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge, in a "perfect burst of boundless good cheer for the season and beyond!"
*  Adapted for the stage by Geoff Elliott, Directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott & Geoff Elliott.
*  Performance times vary by night, at 7:30 or 8 pm, plus 2 pm weekend matinees; see tix link for times on each date.
*  TIX: Use code CAROLSYMPHONY for 50% off tickets for select seats to the first week of performances (12/4-12/8); tix at: https://secure.anoisewithin.org/Online/default.asp
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Ongoing, Fri, Dec 13-Dec 24, daily:
ALL DAY - 11:30 am-closing time - "IRISH DICKENS CHRISTMAS," the famous annual multi-day event at Muldoon's Irish Pub, 202 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach CA; 949-640-4110; www.muldoonspub.com
*  Live music performances are frequent; check their site for who and when.
*  Muldoon's Annual Christmas Celebration is a blending of the Great Emerald and British Islands' traditions. With halls decked in traditional splendor, merriment reigns with Irish hospitality, special food, and drinks.
*  Coming soon ~WASSAIL~ Muldoon's Mulled Wine.
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Ongoing PODCAST, on-demand:
"RECORDING ARTISTS: RADICAL WOMEN" is a new podcast series from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In it, art historian HELEN MOLESWORTH explores the lives and work of six artists — ALICE NEEL, LEE KRASNER, BETYE SAAR, HELEN FRANKENTHALER, YOKO ONO, and EVA HESSE.
*  What was it like to be a woman making art during the feminist and civil rights movements? In this season of "Recording Artists," Molesworth delves into their lives and careers, spanning several generations. Hear them describe, in their own words, their work, relationships, and feelings about the ongoing march of feminism. Contemporary artists and art historians join the conversation, offering their own perspectives on the recordings and exploring what it meant—and still means—to be a woman and an artist. Share this with one who'll appreciate it.
*   HERE'S THE LINK. The whole series is here in individial episodes so you can pace yourself or binge it. You'll hear rare audiotaped interviews and fresh perspectives on what it meant — and still means — to be a woman making art:
http://www.getty.edu/recordingartists/
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ONGOING, through Jan 1:
2 pm-10 pm - "QUEEN MARY CHRISTMAS - WHERE HOLIDAYS SET SAIL" aboard the Queen Mary and dockside, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach CA 90802
*  The theme is, "Take a voyage from Long Beach to the North Pole, and discover new traditions mixed with good old-fashioned Christmas cheer."
*  With strolling performers and live entertainment on the outdoor stage at the North Pole Village -- and ice skating at the True North Ice Rink, circling a 26-ft Christmas tree -- there's a lot before you go aboard. Ride the "QM Express Train" and Grand Carousel, learn gingerbread house-making and stocking decorating, and consume sweet treats and libations. Plus there's the main event, the "dazzling decor" for the holidays on all the decks aboard the Queen Mary. Shipboard experiences include a special 4-D version of "The Polar Express" movie, screened complete with hot cocoa smells and snow flurries for a magical movie experience.
*  TIX & info: https://www.queenmary.com/calendar-of-events/qmchristmas/home/
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ONGOING, through Feb 23; FREE:
11am-5 pm - "FALLEN FRUIT: SUPERSHOW!" at PDC Gallery, 8687 Melrose Av, West Hollywood CA
*  Runs Sun, Nov 24 through Feb 23; free.
*  Opening day Sunday features outdoor jamming, preceded by an artist talk with FALLEN FRUIT (aka DAVID BURNS and AUSTIN YOUNG), and Young will be taking his trademark portraits of whoever wants one inside the installation, plus music and apparently, cheerleaders.
*  This is "A gorgeous mile of fruit and flower garland wallpaper in a gradient of saturated hues containing within its two story installation multiple scenarios and vignettes of photography and ceramic, faux Grecian luxury statues, gilded mirrors, chaises and sundry objects. All of this exists in the mode of a secular temple to beauty, as well as a sort of public living room where communities are formed through the universal language of shareable fruit."
*  Might be the right thing for a memorable date.
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ONGOING, through Dec 15:
L.A. OPERA’s "MAGIC FLUTE" at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N Grand Av, downtown L.A.
*  "With a fantastic visual presentation in which singers interact with animated imagery, L.A. Opera’s surreal twist on W.A. Mozart’s 'The Magic Flute' is that rare opera that is both wildly popular and artistically satisfying." -- Falling James, LA Weekly. (Read his extensive review at: https://www.laweekly.com/l-a-operas-magic-flute-still-enchants-and-laco-mixes-light-and-darkness/
*  Runs Thursdays through Sundays, Nov 21 through Dec 15, 7:30 pm, with some 2 pm matinees.
*  TIX, $39-$299, at the box office, 213-972-0711, or www.laopera.org
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Daily: Dec 20-Jan 5:
"SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DICKENS FAIRE" inside of “WINTER FEST” at Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa CA
*  Includes multiple days of performances (2:30 pm-5:30 pm & 7 pm-10 pm) by trad acoustic band LOONEY’S FORTUNE and by PATTI AMELOTTE SOLO on hammered dulcimer.
*  TIX, schedules, info: https://winterfestoc.com/
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Ongoing, Dec 10 through Mar 1:
“MUSEUM ACQUISITIONS 2019: DIRECTOR’S CHOICE” at the Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles CA 90049
*  This intends to be the first of many annual exhibitions that highlight the Getty Museum’s acquisitions made throughout the year.
*  Highlights key works of newly added art selected by the Museum's director. It includes ancient gems and sculpture; Renaissance and 19th-century paintings; Renaissance sculpture; medieval manuscripts; old-master drawings; and 20th-century and contemporary photography.
*  "It’s a small but succinct show, just one gallery, but with a variety of work, including [an] early Crucifixion in which our Lord appears to have four arms, a sort of biplane Jesus." -- Easy Reader News.
*  Open 10 am-5:30 pm Sun-Fri, Sat 10 am-9 pm, closed Mon.
Holiday closures: Dec 25, Jan 1; early closings Dec 24 & 31 at 4 pm; short hours Dec 23 & 30, 10 am-5:30 pm.
*  Free admission, parking costs. Info, 310-440-7300 or www.getty.edu
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Ongoing, through May 29:
“INCREDIBLE JOURNEY: BUGS” opened mid-Dec at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Bl, Palos Verdes Peninsula CA
*  Gawd, we love experiential learning. Whichever journey Garden visitors decide to take, they are transformed into that bug – literally (via props).
*  This program interactively educates visitors about the butterflies, spiders, ants and bees that can be found in the Garden.
*  Full info, 310-544-1948 or www.southcoastbotanicgarden.org
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NOW OPEN, daily:
10 am-5 pm - "EGYPT'S LOST CITIES" exhibition at the Reagan Library, 40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley CA 93065
*  Akin to your best fantasies of Atlantis, these are artifacts recovered from beneath the sea.
*  One day as the Mediterranean sun beat down on the bay of Aboukir, two bustling cities of ancient Egypt slipped into the sea without a whisper of wind, buried for centuries.
*  These cities, before they sank beneath the waves, were known throughout the world as cultural centers of power, of wealth, of trade, and novel artistry.
*  Time may have eroded the memory of a civilization, but not the mystery -- or the breathtaking artifacts -- of what it was.
*  This exhibition runs Oct 5, 2019–Apr 12, 2020.
*  View the holiday tree exhibit (through Jan 5; see our listing) and the Air Force One Pavilion, along with this current special exhibition, all during one visit for the price of museum admission. But allow yourself PLENTY of time.
*  Open seven days a week, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
*  Facility features a nice cafeteria-style cafe.
*  TIX include the exhibition and the 125,000 square feet of all the permanent exhibits and displays, including Air Force One; you need to allow three to four hours to enjoy all of the galleries and grounds. Gen'l adm $29.95, discounts for youth, kids, seniors; active US military get in free. Free parking. Tix available in advance or at the door. It's worth adding the $7 "audio tour." Online adv. tix:
https://www.reaganfoundation.org/library-museum/online-ticket-sales/

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DAY-BY-DAY, 

STUFF TO HEAR -
SEE - DO - 
PARTAKE OF -
PARTICIPATE IN - 

& more!

Here's what's happening, 
chronologically,
by date and start time. 

(Plenty of updates since the last edition)
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We often include a lil' piece on "this day in history" for whatever date it is. You've probably discovered some of those. Sometimes we feature a quote from a person born on that date. 

Often, that stuff gets added the morning of that day. Humor us and read it, okay?

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Saturday
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It's certainly not celebratory. It is, rather, a key visible failure of our supposedly affluent nation. Today is "National Homeless Memorial Day." 
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Sat, Dec 21; BENEFIT:
Noon-3 pm - DAVID & FIDDLING MAMA B from HIGH STRUNG play the arts-n-crafts fair benefit for the Mt Baldy School, at the Oak Boutique, 10 Oak Dr, Mt Baldy CA 91759
*  It's guitar, fiddle, and vocals, seasonal favorites alongside “music your grandpappy’d like” — swing, fiddle breakdowns, rags, etc. — in Mt Baldy.
*  Do your Christmas shopping from the artisan offerings while you listen.
*  Free chili and hot cocoa.
*  50% of sales today go toward the Mt Baldy Junior High annual trip.
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Sat, Dec 21:
1 pm-3 pm - Closing event for “ADJACENT,” contemporary art exhibition at the Torrance Art Museum (TAM),  with artists in attendance who participated in the “FORUM 2019” residency, at TAM, 3320 Civic Center Dr, Torrance CA
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Sat, Dec 21:
2 pm - "AN IRISH CHRISTMAS" plays the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center, 2100 Thousand Oaks Bl, Thousand Oaks CA 91362; 805-449-2787
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Sat, Dec 21, FREE CONCERT:
2 pm - THE HAWTHORNS, the husband and wife duo of KP & JOHNNY HAWTHORN who perform their Americana music nationwide as The HawThorns, play the Friends of the Library Room in the El Segundo Public Library, 111 W Mariposa Av, El Segundo CA
* "Sun-kissed songwriting, fiery electric guitar, and lush vocal harmonies evoking the California coastline as much as the Bible Belt countryside…" -- Easy Reader News.
*  Free concert. Info, 310-524-2728 or www.eslib.org
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Sat & Sun, Dec 21 & 22:
2 pm - “THE NUTCRACKER” performed by SOUTH BAY BALLET in Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College, Crenshaw & Redondo Beach Blvds, Torrance CA
* It’s another opportunity to drop into the Kingdom of Sweets, this one under the very talented artistic direction of Diane Lauridsen and Elijah S. Pressman.
*  This is Charles Maple’s choreography to Tchaikovsky’s original score.
*  TIX, $24-$36, at 800-832-ARTS or www.centerforthearts.org
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Sat, Dec 21:
2 pm & 7 pm - “THE NUTCRACKER” performed by DANCE WEST STUDIO and the METROPOLITAN BALLET COMPANY in the James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Dr, Torrance CA
*  If you haven’t seen this beloved holiday ballet, here’s your (perhaps last) chance this season, with their 7 o'clock.
*  TIX, $18 & $20, at 310-781-7171 or contact michaeljohnmelton@gmail.com
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Sat, Dec 21 & 28; FREE FILM, CAROLS & MORE:
4 pm-10 pm - "MARINA LIGHTS SATURDAYS" is an interactive, nighttime experience with trees alive with holiday lights, by the waterfront in Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey CA 90292
*  Live caroling performance 4-6 pm, followed by a free outdoor screening of a maybe holiday, maybe some comic book box-office blockbuster movie.
*  The VOICES OF CHRISTMAS are strolling carolers, dressed in Dickensian costumes, who sing a capella holiday classics.
*  Take a unique holiday photo in front of a giant snow globe, 4-8 pm.
*  Stroll through a festive holiday light display at Burton Chace Park. Plus, enjoy free festivities on select Saturday nights.
*  Snacks, hot cocoa & coffee for purchase.
*  Presented by the L.A. County Department of Beaches & Harbors.
*  Rain or shine event.
*  PARKING is $0.25 for each 10 minutes in County Parking Lots #77 and 4.
*  Info, 424-526-7900
*  Free.
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Sat, Dec 21:
4 pm - annual "HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS" 2019 at Lancaster Performing Arts Center (LPAC), 750 W Lancaster Bl, Lancaster CA 93534
*  Join the HIGH DESERT LUTHERAN CHORALE for their annual "Hometown Christmas," an evening full of beautiful Christmas music, including a children's choir, hand bells, percussion, guitar, flute, bagpipes and more.
*  TIX, $15, $20, and $5 children's tix, at: http://www.lpac.org/event.php?id=2788
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Sat, Dec 21, on web radio:
5 pm (Pacific) -  "GRAND OLD OPRY" live weekly radio show on 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  This Friday stars STEVE WARINER & THE ISAACS
*  This Saturday stars RADNEY FOSTER & MANDY BARNETT
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
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Sat, Dec 21:
7 pm - JANET KLEIN & HER PARLOUR BOYS play the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm, at 626-798-6236
*  All the charming, sometimes naughty, melody-rich tunes on the Roaring Twenties, with skill and aplomb.
*  TIX, $20.
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Sat, Dec 21:
7 pm - "SEVEN YEAR / 2,557 DAYS ANNIVERSARY PARTY" at the Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery, 39252 Winchester Rd Ste 145, Murrieta CA 92563; 951-696-5252
*  The Shamrock has been around for 7 years, presenting plenty of Irish and other live music performances and creating thousands of friends from patrons known there as "The Shamily."
*  Playing the anniversary is the band THOSE GUYS, plus late night karaoke.
*  Attendees get a commemorative engraved shot glass, sought-after from each anniversary.
*  Make reservations before all the tables are booked, at: http://theshamrockirishpubandeatery.com/reservations/
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Sat, Dec 21:
7 pm - "FESTIVUS HOUSE CONCERT" with music by CHASE HILL & THE CONTEST (ANDY & RENEE plus CHASE) in Torrance, CA 90504
*  Yes, you "Seinfeld" fans know what to expect. There will be music, Airing of Grievances, The Festivus Pole, Feats of Strength, and an Elaine Dance Contest.
*  ANDY & RENEE's new album, "Fuse 32," available at the concert.
*  BYOB & Pot Luck (bring a Seinfeld-related food, if possible) at 6 pm, concert at 7.
*  TIX, $20 (donation, proceeds to the artists); purchase gets address, at: http://www.andyandrenee.com/store.php
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Sat, Dec 21:
7 pm - “THE NUTCRACKER” performed by DANCE WEST STUDIO and the METROPOLITAN BALLET COMPANY in the James Armstrong Theatre, 3330 Civic Center Dr, Torrance CA
*  If you haven’t seen this beloved holiday ballet, here’s your (perhaps last) chance this season, with their 7 o'clock.
*  TIX, $18 & $20, at 310-781-7171 or contact michaeljohnmelton@gmail.com
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Sat, Dec 21:
7 pm - THE SALTY SUITES play the Ojai Underground, 1016 W Ojai Av, Ojai CA 93023; 805-340-7893
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Sat, Dec 21:
7:30 pm - "WINTERDANCE" with MOLLY’S REVENGE, AMELIA HOGAN, and Irish dancers, presented by San Diego Folk Heritage at Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 2020 Chestnut Av, Carlsbad CA 92008
*  They also play in Pasadena on Dec 20, 8 pm, and Tehachapi on Dec 22 at 2 pm & 7 pm; see listings.
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Sat, Dec 21:
7:30 pm - “DER RING DES POLYKRATES,” Erich Korngold’s 1914 opera, performed by NUMI OPERA in Zipper Hall at the Colburn School of Music, 200 S Grand Av, downtown Los Angeles CA
*  It's the fledgling company’s second production of their inaugural season.
* Two performance run, Thu Dec 19 & Sat Dec 21, same time and place.
*  Directed by Gail R. Gordon and conducted by Francesso Milioto, Erich Korngold’s first opera stars South Bay resident Roberto Perlas Gomez as well as Shana Blake Hill, Scott Ramsay, Alex Boyer, and Emily Rosenberg.
*  TIX, www.NumiOpera.org or call 866-811-4111
*  Read a review, "Erich Korngold’s rarely performed “Der Ring des Polykrates” at Zipper Hall," at: https://easyreadernews.com/erich-korngolds-rarely-performed-der-ring-des-polykrates-at-zipper-hall/
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Sat, Dec 21:
7:30 pm-9:30 pm - "SOUNDS OF THE HOLIDAYS" presented by WEST COAST CLASSICAL CONCERT and SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRAS at Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th St E, Palmdale CA 93550
*  Enjoy a concert full of holiday spirit featuring the distinctive melodies and rhythms of VIVALDI's "Gloria."
*  Create musical memories together.
*  Special guests, THE SUNDAY NIGHT SINGERS,  just before their set at the "Los Angeles County Holiday Program" in the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Dec 24 (see listing).
*  This concert repeats Sun, Dec 22, 2 pm.
*  TIX, $12 & $17, at: https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html
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Sat, Dec 21:
8 pm - JIM KIMO WEST, champion Hawai'ian slack-key guitarist and acoustic multi-instrumentalist, plays Alva’s Showroom, 1417 W 8th St, San Pedro CA 90732; 310-519-1314
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Sat, Dec 21:
8 pm - GOLDEN STATE POPS ORCHESTRA PRESENTS "HOLIDAY POPS SPECTACULAR" at the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W 6th St, San Pedro CA 90731
*   GSPO’s acclaimed production returns this year with joyous music and high spirits.
*  Maestro STEVEN ALLEN FOX and the Golden State Pops Orchestra, and Chorale led by Choir Maestra MARYA BASARABA, bring "a festive performance of timeless holiday film music and traditional favorites."
*  TIX, $27-$75, at: https://gspo.secure.force.com/ticket#sections_a031M000022VtQtQAK
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Sat, Dec 21:
8 pm - THE SHAWN JONES BAND plus THE BOBBY BLUEHOUSE BAND and various special guests, play the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia CA 91006
*  Fun venue, two stages to assure continuous music, pool tables, bar specials, tasty menu (generous portions, two can share). But bring earplugs.  Seriously.
*  Advance online tix save money, but this venue is never overpriced, anyway.
*  Upcoming events, more: www.arcadiabluesclub.com
*  TIX for all concerts here, at: http://arcadiabluesclub.eventbrite.com
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Sat, Dec 21:
8 pm - "CHRISTMAS WITH MARIE OSMOND" with PACIFIC SYMPHONY, MARIE OSMOND, DAVID OSMOND, & DANIEL EMMET, in Segerstrom Concert Hall, 615 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa CA 92626; Box Office, 714-755-5799; www.PacificSymphony.org
*  Marie Osmond, backed by the Hollywood sound of Pacific Symphony, for a holiday concert featuring festive favorites as well as her hit singles, including “Paper Roses.”
*  Joining Marie are special guests: her talented nephew David Osmond; and vocal powerhouse Daniel Emmet, 2018 semi-finalist on "America's Got Talent."
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Sat, Dec 21:
9:30 pm-closing - GEORGE FRYER plays O'Malley's on Main Irish Pub, 140 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740; 562-430-0631; http://www.omalleyssealbeach.com/
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Sat, Dec 21:
10 pm - THE WHOOLIGANS play the Auld Dubliner, 71 Pine St, Long Beach CA
*  This energetic, funny and talented lot of Irish Music Makers gets around, because everybody wants to book them. Always a delightful mix of TRAD, Pub, Rebel and Original Irish Music.
*  Info on the band: www.thewhooligans.com
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Sat, Dec 21, on TV:
10 pm - "YOSHIKI LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL" is a new PBS music performance program airing nationwide in 14 cities on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day -- and It's not even pledge drive(!)
*  In L.A., the one-hour program is currently scheduled to air only once, on Dec 21, 10 pm, on KCET2 / KCET LINK.
*  The special was filmed as a compilation of YOSHIKI’s multiple, sold-out solo concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The classically-trained pianist, composer and Japanese rock star performed with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra to standing ovations from American audiences.
*  Rock drummer, classical pianist, leader of the group X JAPAN, and one of the most influential composers in Japanese history, YOSHIKI has headlined concerts across the globe, including Madison Square Garden, Wembley Arena and Tokyo Dome. His Carnegie Hall performance was praised by major media:
  •  “YOSHIKI delivers a performance of a lifetime at Carnegie Hall.” – HuffPost.
  •  “After tragedy, YOSHIKI has used music to heal.” – New York Post.
  •  “A majestic performance.” – Loudwire,
*  The heartfelt, must-see concert event has been in demand on all major PBS-affiliated TV stations nationwide throughout the year after its premiere on WNET Thirteen, New York City (PBS), the most-watched public television channel in America. As New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day remain the prime viewing dates for arts and culture supporters on PBS TV, the "YOSHIKI LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL" music special is quickly establishing itself as essential holiday programming on public television across the U.S.
*  Encore showings in Los Angeles and New York have been added due to enormous reaction from classical and rock music fans across the country.
*  A complete list of airdates by station and city is at: https://www.yoshiki.net/classical.html
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Sunday
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Today is predicted to be a shoppers' melee. Which brings us to the quid pro quo.

$90 billion in returned merchandise is expected after Christmas 2019. That's a 15% increase from a year ago.

Is there any question we recklessly consume energy and resources by simply buying too damn much crap, all in a fruitless quest to obey trends that make us feel successful, validated, and better about ourselves?

It's enough to make ya wonder if Jesus would roll over in the grave he's not in.
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Sun, Dec 22; FREE FESTIVAL:
Noon-4 pm - Annual "HOLIDAY FESTIVAL" at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W Malvern Av, Fullerton CA 92833; 714-738-6595; www.themuck.org
*  Celebrate the holiday season with live music, food, family-friendly activities, free art workshops for kids, an arts and crafts sale, and a special appearance by Santa Claus.
*  Headliner this year is BILL CUNLIFFE, a jazz pianist, composer and Grammy Award-winning arranger. He’ll perform and celebrate the release of his new Christmas album, which will also be available for purchase.
*  Free admission.
___

Sun, Dec 22:
2 pm - THE PLOUGHBOYS play the "COURTYARD HOLIDAY CONCERT" at Muldoon's Irish Pub, 202 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach CA; 949-640-4110; www.muldoonspub.com
*  Irish & Celtic Music from a very good group, outdoors for brunch on the patio with Guinness/Full Bar with a lot of flair and fun.
*  This band is an enduring hit at Irish and Scottish Fairs.
___

Sun, Dec 22:
2 pm & 7 pm - "WINTERDANCE" with MOLLY’S REVENGE, AMELIA HOGAN, and The Lyons Academy of Irish Dance, plays two shows for the Fiddler's Crossing concert series, both today at the BeeKay Theatre, 110 South Green St, Tehachapi CA 93561
*  They also play in Pasadena on Dec 20, 8 pm, and in in Carlsbad (San Diego) on Dec 21, 7:30 pm; see listings.
___

Sun, Dec 22:
2 pm - “THE NUTCRACKER” performed by SOUTH BAY BALLET in Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College, Crenshaw & Redondo Beach Blvds, Torrance CA
* It’s another opportunity to drop into the Kingdom of Sweets, this one under the very talented artistic direction of Diane Lauridsen and Elijah S. Pressman.
*  This is Charles Maple’s choreography to Tchaikovsky’s original score.
*  TIX, $24-$36, at 800-832-ARTS or www.centerforthearts.org
___

Sun, Dec 22:
2 pm - "SOUNDS OF THE HOLIDAYS" presented by WEST COAST CLASSICAL CONCERT and SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRAS at Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th St E, Palmdale CA 93550
*  Enjoy a concert full of holiday spirit featuring the distinctive melodies and rhythms of VIVALDI's "Gloria."
*  Create musical memories together.
*  Special guests, THE SUNDAY NIGHT SINGERS,  just before their set at the "Los Angeles County Holiday Program" in the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Dec 24 (see listing).
*  This concert also happens Sat, Dec 21, 7:30 pm.
*  TIX, $12 & $17, at: https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html
___

Sun, Dec 22:
3 pm-7 pm - HIGH STRUNG STRING BAND, the entire 5-piece roots acoustic outfit, plays the Black Watch Pub, 497 N Central Av Ste B, Upland CA 91786; 909-981-6069
*  It's their signature “music your grandpappy’d like,” including banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, vocals, and a variety of hand drums.
___

Sun, Dec 22:
6 pm-9 pm - CLOSING RECEPTION for the solo show “ROBI HUTAS: CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHS & WATERCOLORS,” an exhibition of Robi’s iconic beach images, at Cannery Row Studios, 401 S Mesa St, San Pedro CA
*  Curated by Richard Stephens.
*  Info, 310-291-5316 or www.canneryrowstudios.com
___
Sun, Dec 22; FILM EVENT:
6 pm - "IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" the all-time classic directed by FRANK CAPRA, on the big screen in a presentation by the San Pedro Int'l Film Festival (SPIFF) at the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W 6th St, San Pedro CA 90731
*  Now considered one of the greatest films of all time, it was nominated for 5 Oscars, including Best Picture, though it was grossly underappreciated in its time.
*  Includes treats from the period, like ginger snaps, and the invitation to "dress up in your best 1940s threads!” 
* Fun trivia: L.A. musician ALEX DELZOPPO played the baby (when he was a baby); he went on to fame of his own making, when his band SWEETWATER played at "the" WOODSTOCK.
*  TIX, $8, at: http://www.spiffest.org/
___

Sun, Dec 22:
7 pm - THE BEATUNES, "THE ULTIMATE BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND," play the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm, at 626-798-6236
*  TIX, $20.
___

Sun, Dec 22:
7 pm - "WINTERDANCE" with MOLLY’S REVENGE, AMELIA HOGAN, and The Lyons Academy of Irish Dance, plays the 2nd of two shows for the Fiddler's Crossing concert series, both today at the BeeKay Theatre, 110 South Green St, Tehachapi CA 93561
*  They also play in Pasadena on Dec 20, 8 pm, and in in Carlsbad (San Diego) on Dec 21, 7:30 pm; see listings.
___

Sun, Dec 22:
7:30 pm - DAVID BROZA & FRIENDS play the Broad Stage at Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th St, Santa Monica CA 90401; 310-434-3200
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Monday
________________________

THOUGHT FOR TODAY...

"That song, 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.' We're talking about December. Not that perfect Spring day when everything is blooming beautifully and it isn't yet hot summer. December. When there's no leaves and everything is gray and cold. I think that song was being sarcastic and we were too dumb to notice."

-- Jim Gaffigan, comedian

He also said, "Anything designed to entertain children is a form of punishment for adults."
___


Mon, Dec 23, on web radio:
8 am (Pacific) - "AN OPRY CHRISTMAS" simulcast from the home station of the "GRAND OLD OPRY," 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  Stars and cast from the "GRAND OLD OPRY" are featured in a program of their Christmas tunes.
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
*  Repeats Dec 24, 7 am & 8 pm.
___

Mon, Dec 23:
7 pm - "BIFFLE & SHOOSTER’S CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA" brings the time-machine, personality-plus vaudeville act of "Benny Biffle" & "Sammy Shooster" to throw-out all the stops at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm, at 626-798-6236
*  Any and all of multi-award-winning musician WILL RYAN's stage personas are a treat. This one is becoming popular and recurring.
*  Guests feature string wizard John “Presto” Reynolds, "Princess Christmas of the North Pole," world’s luckiest actress Saratoga Ballantine, and more. Will ace fiddler Benny Brydern – freshly returned from Europe – make a guest appearance? Seems so.
*  The latest issue (number five, but who’s counting?) of the Biffle & Shooster comic book will be available as the perfect stocking stuffer.
*  Classic routines; crazy songs, old and new; the very spirits of Christmas themselves will rattle their chains and -- get this -- "perform aerial feats."
*  TIX, $25.
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Mon, Dec, 23; CLOSING NIGHT, Dec 4-23, stage musical:
7:30 pm - CHARLES DICKENS' "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" at A Noise Within Theatre, 3352 E Foothill Bl, Pasadena CA 91107; 626-356-3100
*  A Noise Within's delightfully festive, musically merry holiday tradition returns for 2019. Families love the inspirational story of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge, in a "perfect burst of boundless good cheer for the season and beyond!"
*  Adapted for the stage by Geoff Elliott, Directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott & Geoff Elliott.
*  Performance times vary by night, at 7:30 or 8 pm, plus 2 pm weekend matinees; see tix link for times on each date.
*  TIX: Use code CAROLSYMPHONY for 50% off tickets for select seats to the first week of performances (12/4-12/8); tix at: https://secure.anoisewithin.org/Online/default.asp
___

Mon, Dec 23; FREE CONCERT:
8 pm -  Debut performance of JIMSON, the exciting new folk-rock band with TONY GILKYSON, KIP BOARDMAN, VICTORIA JACOBS, & PAUL LACQUES, and a wowsa performing guest list, at the Love Song Bar, 448 S Main St, L.A. CA 90014
*  Guests doing solo spots to welcome JIMSON to the tribe include (hold on to yer hat):
♧ Rick Shea
♡ Gwendolyn
◇ JIMSON
♤ Paul Body
♡ Sarah Kramer
♧ John Isaac Watters
◇ Woody Aplanalp
♡ Cecilia Fairchild
♤ Rich Dembowski
◇ John Curry
♤ Blue Dolphins
◇ Enrich'd White

*  JIMSON, the brand-new folk country rock band, is...
⊙  Tony Gilkyson, lead vocs and guitars, has been a member of leading L.A. roots rock bands (Lone Justice, X, Mike Stinson) and highly sought after session player (T Bone Burnett among them), in addition to his own memorable solo releases and shows. https://www.tonygilkyson.com/
  
Kip Boardman, lead vocs and bass, has been in scores of cutting edge L.A. roots, folk and country bands including the classic Mike Stinson lineup and rich partnerships with Tony Gilkyson and I See Hawks In L.A., and three solo CD releases of his haunting tunes. http://www.kipboardman.com/
⊙ 
Victoria Jacobs, lead vocs and drums, began her music career as a rocking drummer in female psychedelic rock bands in Chicago and L.A., opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers, Urge Overkill, and Blink 182, and Iggy Pop on tour. Her late 90s power trio Ms. 45 was a leading light of the Silverlake scene. She's been drummer and songwriter/vocalist for I See Hawks In L.A. for the past seven years. http://www.iseehawks.com/
⊙  
Paul Lacques, lead vocs and guitar, landed his first record deal as a neo-punk-polka drummer and songwriter in Rotondi. His world beat band The Bonedaddys released three albums on Capitol Records. Paul's guitar instrumental band Double Naught Spy Car has released five albums featured in film and TV soundtracks. I See Hawks In L.A. has released 9 critically acclaimed CDs, and made MOJO Magazine's Top Ten Americana Releases 2018.*  Obviously, THIS SHINDIG beats whatever New Year's Eve entertainment you thought you were looking forward to. What a way to celebrate the holidays, with a FREE night that can't be beat!
*  It's free. Info: https://www.spacelandpresents.com/info/the-love-song-bar/
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Tuesday
________________________

 Be sure to see our new NEWS YOU CAN USE post at the very beginning of this edition, added Christmas Eve morning. You'll want it before those holiday guests arrive.
___

Today marks six weeks, to the day, from the start of the 2020 elections. Ironically, it begins not with an actual election, but in self-selected preferential gatherings where folks come in from the cold in Iowa, into heated barns, high school gyms, and community and senior centers. Simple nose-counts of attendees determine the winner of these "Iowa Caucuses." Media hype and the Iowa Chamber of Commerce have made them important every four years. To such an extreme of lunacy that candidates who would do well, in actual elections, in states with 20 times the population of Iowa, always get knocked-out by a bunch of corn farmers. It's proof of the central tenet of PR: what is perceived to be so, is more important than what really is so. Six weeks from today, as you watch the spectacle, remember we told ya so, right here.

Deeper dive in Iowa: We also note that, the past three weeks, corporate Big Media has been going crazy promoting Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar's campaign, in and beyond Iowa. Klobuchar has never amounted to much in the polls, but... as concerns grow over the viability of gaffe-prone Joe Biden (the poster child for "senior-moments"), corporatists are desperate for a standby corporate-friendly "moderate" Dem; because, of course, committed reformers Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, each far more popular with voters nationwide, scare the bejesus out of the money manipulators.
___

Today is also the annual "Waterskiing Santa" event on the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia.

Had we known there was an opportunity to subject somebody to an ice water dunking just across from D.C., we could have suggested a better local target than Santa.

___

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...

"Every noon as the clock hands arrive at twelve,
I want to tie the two arms together,
And walk out of the bank carrying time in bags."

-- Robert Bly, poet (born Dec 23, 1926).

__

CHRISTMAS EVE EVENTS...

Tue, Dec 24, on web radio:
7 am (Pacific) - "AN OPRY CHRISTMAS" simulcast from the home station of the "GRAND OLD OPRY," 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  Stars and cast from the "GRAND OLD OPRY" are featured in a program of their Christmas tunes.
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
*  Repeats today at 8 pm.
___

Tue, Dec 24, FREE CONCERT, in-person, or on tv, or LIVE ONLINE:
3 pm-6 pm - 60th Annual "LOS ANGELES COUNTY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION" in The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N Grand Av, downtown Los Angeles CA 90012;  213-972-7211;
*  With all the lights, sets, and sound production that every big show receives at a world-class Music Center production, this appropriately multicultural showcase of Los Angeles County-based musicians and dancers is reliably one of the nation's best annual holiday performances.
*  Last year's 59th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration was named the winner of a 2019 "Gold Telly Award" for Television Craft, Use of Live Video;  a "Silver Telly" for Television Entertainment; and a "Silver Telly" for Television Craft/Directing. The 58th Annual production's telecast was named the winner of a 2018 "Silver Telly Award" for Television / Live Event and a "Bronze Telly" for Television / Craft Director. This is done with care and it's very impressive and superbly entertaining.
*  Doors open at 2:30 pm.
*  Available to see GLOBALLY, streaming live on www.pbssocal.org AND on www.kcet.org, or on local tv, on PBS SoCal (aka KOCE in Southern California, AND on other PBS stations nationwide on their own schedules), or best of all, see it happen live, in person, where you can enjoy the scope and scale of it all at The Music Center.
*  FREE to attend, but very, very popular. Meaning you need to arrive early and wait in line until the doors open -- or, wait in line until someone inside leaves. There is outdoor entertainment while you're in line, and food vendors.
 TV schedules (Southern California):
□  LIVE 3-HOUR BROADCAST
•  Dec 24, 3 pm, on PBS SoCal 1 (KOCE).
□  RE-BROADCASTS (full 3-hour repeat)
•  Dec 24, 9 pm, on PBS SoCal 1 (KOCE).
•  Dec 25, 3 am, on PBS SoCal 1 (KOCE).
•  Dec 25, 3 am, on PBS SoCal 2.
•  Dec 25, 6 am, on PBS SoCal 2.
•  Dec 25, noon, on KCET.
•  Dec 25, 7 pm, on KCET.
•  Dec 26, 11 am, on PBS SoCal 2.
*  More, including bios of all performers, plus the schedule of performances (when available), at: https://www.musiccenter.org/tickets/events-by-the-music-center/holidaycelebration/
___

Tue, Dec 24:
8 pm - "KOSHER XMAS EVE COMEDY" at Feinstein’s at Vitello’s, 4349 Tujunga Av, Studio City CA 91604; 818-769-0905; www.feinsteinsatvitellos.com
*  Christmas Eve and Chanukah collide, so take cover and you’ll be laughing all the way.
*  Actor/magician Dan Frischman (Arvid from "Head of the Class," Chris from "Kenan & Kel," and "Evening at the Improv") brings four of L.A.'s funniest: Wayne Federman ("Crashing," "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Jimmy Brogan ("Tonight Show" writer), Cathy Ladman ("One Night Stand," "The Tonight Show"), Marc Price ("Skippy" from "Family Ties," "Last Comic Standing").
*  Doors at 6:30 pm, show at 8. Ages 18+.
* TIX, $20, at: https://feinsteinsatvitellos.ticketfly.com/e/kosher-xmas-eve-comedy-85314904175/#12.12
___

Tue, Dec 24, on web radio:
8 pm (Pacific) - "AN OPRY CHRISTMAS" simulcast from the home station of the "GRAND OLD OPRY," 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  Stars and cast from the "GRAND OLD OPRY" are featured in a program of their Christmas tunes.
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
*  This is the final repeat. It's followed at 10 pm Pacific by 24-hours of commercial-free country/ trad country/ Americana Christmas music.
___

Tue, Dec 24; on TV:
8 pm - 56th annual "WASSAIL CONCERT" from the Musco Center at Chapman University in Orange CA, on KCET Los Angeles.
___
__________________________________

Wed, Dec 25

Merry Christmas
__________________________________

Be sure to see our new NEWS YOU CAN USE post at the very beginning of this edition, added Christmas Eve morning. You'll want it before those holiday guests arrive.
___

Essential to the American Christmas are the German Christmas Tree with its British Dickensian remake, and the ostensibly Middle Eastern nativity scene with its garish nighttime spotlights.

The first nativity scene was devised in Italy in 1223 by St. Francis of Assisi.

We don't know if the Patron Saint of the Animals crowded his creche with a critter congregation.

We do know there is no limit to the mania for "inclusion" in today's examples.

Perhaps none gets crazier than the one in the plaza adjacent to Olvera Street in Los Angeles, wherein a zooscape of creatures -- joining representations of humans from every continent, clad in their traditional cultural garb -- all show-up to gawk at baby Jesus. Makes you wonder if the tour buses at Olvera Street brought the tourists or the creche population.

Of course that is, unintentionally, an honest representation of the spread of Catholicism -- which embraced and usurped everybody else's special days and morphed them into reassigned feast days for every obscure saint (requiring a whole lotta new saints on a continuing basis for a few hundred years there, to assure an adequate supply for continued expansion/usurpation).
___

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...

"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."

-- Isaac Newton, philosopher and mathematician (born Dec 25, 1642, died in 1727).

And if anyone is thinking, "well, they could have quoted Jesus as the One born on this date!" actually, you can't make that connection. No one has the slightest idea when Jesus was born. Christmas is December 25th because the Holy Roman Empire needed to usurp the festival day of its chief religious rival, i.e., the Feast of Mithras, to eliminate the competition. Otherwise half the people out there might be saying "Merry Mithras." December 25th was an ancient political move.
___


Wed, Dec 25, on web radio:
10 pm (Dec 24, Pacific) - "MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM WSM RADIO" is 24-hours of commercial-free country/ trad country/ Americana  Christmas music from the station that hosts the "GRAND OLD OPRY," 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  WSM provides the perfect musical soundtrack for your holiday festivities, starting midnight (Nashville time) on Christmas Day. They're running a full 24-hours commercial-free, featuring country Christmas hits, holiday favorites, and all the traditional standards.
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
___

At some point today, play this. Both the song and this Chrissie Hynde performance should be on the short list of modern Christmas classics:

The Pretenders, "2000 Miles"

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OxCSo_cJ9mY
_______________________

Thursday
________________________

Today is BOXING DAY for our Canadian neighbors. Weighted gloves are not worn and it's not measured with a bell in rounds. December 26th is when Christmas gifts -- in boxes -- are given to employees, letter carriers, etc., throughout the Commonwealth of nations.
___

MUSIC VID FOR TODAY...

"The After Christmas Song," by BOB MALONE, L.A.'s own resident New Orleans piano honky-tonker (and John Fogerty's keyboardist), from Bob's 2018 album, "The Christmas Collection," on Delta Moon Records. It's at:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?mc_cid=2046bb968b&feature=youtu.be&v=iaBkpC7f9Pw&mc_eid=dc27945d5d
___


THOUGHT FOR TODAY, by one born on this date...

"The hair is real -- it's the head that's a fake."

-- Steve Allen, television host, musician, actor, comedian, and writer (born Dec 26, 1921, died 2000).
___

LOOKING FOR BEACH  WEATHER? It's in Chicago, today and tomorrow, where it's 66° F. Record hot temps are expected in 200+ US cities today, nearly all of them places where it should be cold now.  
     Meanwhile, it's cold, not sunny today in usually Sunny Southern California, where SNOW and winter storm warnings prevail. (Don't dawdle with that Chi-Town trip; it'll snow there Saturday.) 
     Climate change = climate & weather chaos = farm growing seasons in inscrutable shambles. 
Coming to a planet near you.
___

Thu, Dec 26, on broadcast & web radio:
6:30-7pm - weekly "CALIFORNIA SOLARTOPIA" focuses on the precarious Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, which is losing billions.
* On KPFK 90.7 fm / www.kpfk.com
*  Host HARVEY "SLUGGO" WASSERMAN and guest, ATTORNEY JOHN GEESMAN, explain that the bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) is demanding billions from the rate-paying public to run two reactors that, they say, "could melt and explode at any time, sending an apocalyptic Chernobyl cloud into Los Angeles."
*  The Diablo Canyon nukes are generating power far over market cost. Why keep them open? Wind, solar, battery storage & LED/efficiency are far cheaper, cleaner, safer, more reliable & more job producing. Green power also fights climate chaos, while nukes emit heat, carbon and radioactivity. Sluggo says, "These two reactors pose the most lethal of all threats to all of California."
*  John represents the "Alliance 4 Nuclear Responsibility," which helped negotiate the 2016 deal that will shut the two Diablo reactors by 2024 and 2025. But in light of soaring operating costs at Diablo, combined with plummeting costs for renewables and efficiency, today's program makes the case that these reactors must shut-down now.
___

A very big-deal show tonight:
Thu, Dec 26:
8 pm - CHRIS BERGSON BAND, showcasing the New York Blues Hall of Famer guitarist, singer, songwriter, brings their first L.A. area show to the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm, at 626-798-6236
*  Trio features bassist Mike Merritt and drummer James Wormworth.
*  Chris Bergson’s latest CD/DVD, "Live In Normandy" was named one of MOJO Magazine's "Best Blues Albums of 2019.
*  Chris and Mike Merritt were in the Levon Helm Band. Both Mike and James Wormworth are members of Conan O'Brien's Basic Cable Band.
*  Hailed by MOJO Magazine as the "NY street poet with a blues soul," Bergson has performed with such iconic artists as Norah Jones, Levon Helm and Howlin' Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin. Elmore Magazine calls the Chris Bergson Band "one of the most talented bands playing today...From blazing rock to funk to soul to Delta blues and all that's in between."
*  Chris Bergson was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame at B.B. King’s Blues Club in February 2015. With MOJO Magazine's #1 Blues Album of 2008, "Fall Changes," (recorded at Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock, NY,) #2 Blues Album of 2011, "Imitate the Sun," #3 Blues Album of 2014, "Live at Jazz Standard," and #3 Blues Album of 2017, "Bitter Midnight," Bergson has established himself as "one of the most inventive songwriters in modern blues music" (All Music Guide.)
*  Chris Bergson has performed and/or shared the stage with Hubert Sumlin, Levon Helm, B.B. King, Norah Jones, John Hammond, Etta James, and Bettye LaVette, and more.
*  The band’s virtuosic musicianship marries inventive songwriting with electrifying improvisation, creating unforgettable live shows. They've sold-out renowned venues, including NYC’s Jazz Standard, and become an international festival favorite.
*  Notable performances: Waterfront Blues Festival (Portland, OR); Saratoga Jazz Festival (NY); Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble (Woodstock, NY); NY State Blues Festival (Syracuse, NY); SxSW (Austin, TX); Blues in Hell (Norway); Harvest Time Blues (Ireland); Moulin Blues (Hollland); Cahors Blues Festival (France); and opening for B.B. King at B.B. King's Blues Club (NYC).
*  "Chris Bergson plays the kind of guitar you can build a house on. It's B.B. meets Steve Cropper meets John Scofield." -- ROLL Magazine.
*  TIX, $20.
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_______________________

Friday
________________________

"Winter Whale Watch Week" launches today off the Oregon coast.
___

Fri, Dec 27, on web radio:
8 am (Pacific) - "OPRY PRESENTS: BEST OF 2019" simulcast from the home station of the "GRAND OLD OPRY," 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
*  Repeats Dec 28, 2 pm and Dec 31, 6 am & 8 pm.
___

Fri, Dec 27:
7:30 pm - JERRON BLIND BOY PAXTON plays the Pico Union Project, 1153 Valencia St, Los Angeles CA 90015
___

Fri, Dec 27:
8 pm - THE MISKEY MOUNTAIN BOYS play the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm, at 626-798-6236
*  "Miskey" performers Evan Marshall, John Marshall, Michelle Lynskey, Deborah Kollgaard and Alex Finazzo have performed at the The Oscars, The Emmys Governor’s Ball, and with symphony concert series including the Hollywood Bowl, Pasadena Pops Orchestra, and Pacific Symphony.
* With a CD just released, "MISKEY NO CHASER" in December 2019, you'll want to take them home tonight.
*  Recent headliners at the "Laguna Beach Live Arts Festival" and the Disney "Light Up The Season" Festival, their cache for festival bookings is growing fast.
*  TIX, $20.
___

Fri, Dec 27:
9 pm - LOS LOBOS plays the Canyon Club, 28192 Roadside Dr, Agoura Hills CA 91301; 818-879-5016
___

Fri, Dec 27:
9:30 pm-closing - FREE HOMBRES play O'Malley's on Main Irish Pub, 140 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740; 562-430-0631; http://www.omalleyssealbeach.com/
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_______________________

Saturday
________________________

Sat, Dec 28, on web radio:
2 pm (Pacific) - "OPRY PRESENTS: BEST OF 2019" simulcast from the home station of the "GRAND OLD OPRY," 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
*  Repeats Dec 31, 6 am & 8 pm.
___

Sat, Dec 28; FREE FILM, CAROLS & MORE:
4 pm-10 pm - "MARINA LIGHTS SATURDAYS" is an interactive, nighttime experience with trees alive with holiday lights, by the waterfront in Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey CA 90292
*  Final Saturday is Dec 28.
*  Live caroling performance 4-6 pm, followed by a free outdoor screening of a maybe holiday, maybe some comic book box-office blockbuster movie.
*  The VOICES OF CHRISTMAS are strolling carolers, dressed in Dickensian costumes, who sing a capella holiday classics.
*  Take a unique holiday photo in front of a giant snow globe, 4-8 pm.
*  Stroll through a festive holiday light display at Burton Chace Park. Plus, enjoy free festivities on select Saturday nights.
*  Snacks, hot cocoa & coffee for purchase.
*  Presented by the L.A. County Department of Beaches & Harbors.
*  Rain or shine event.
*  PARKING is $0.25 for each 10 minutes in County Parking Lots #77 and 4.
*  Info, 424-526-7900
*  Free.
___

Sat, Dec 28:
6 pm - THE SALTY SUITES play the Cliff Restaurant, 577 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach CA 92651; 949-494-1956
___

Sat, Dec 28; FREE CONCERT:
6 pm - HEAVY PETTY, TRIBUTE TO TOM PETTY, at Discovery Ventura, 1888 E Thompson Bl, Ventura CA 93001; https://www.discoveryventura.com/
*  All ages. Doors at 6, show is 9-11 pm.
*  FREE W/RSVP, at: https://nightout.com/events/heavy-petty-tribute-to-tom-petty-at-discovery-ventura1228/tickets
*  TIX on day of show are $10.
___

Sat, Dec 28:
7 pm - "SONGS THROUGHOUT THE AGES," performed by NICK GUZMAN with JOHN YORK, ROB BONFIGLIOM, and STEPHEN KALINICH, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm, at 626-798-6236
*  Nick has shared the stage with legends Crosby, Stills & Nash, Ricky Lee Jones, Richie Furay, Al Jardine, Van Dyke Parks, and Jackson Browne. He has been a familiar presence at the annual "Wild Honey" benefits at the vintage Alex Theater in Glendale, California.
*  Guzman has also been a frequent guest at The Coffee Gallery Backstage's "Roadhouse" series, recently in the "Tribute to Harry Nilsson" with Zak Nilsson.
*  Nick is set to appear on a new release tribute to the music of Irish rocker Thomas Walsh.
*  Also appearing at this, Nick's premiere solo show at The Coffee Gallery Backstage, are veterans John York of The Byrds, together with Rob Bonfiglio of Wilson Phillips, The Brian Wilson band, and The Beach Boys.
*  Nick's additional special guest is singer-songwriter & spoken word performance artist Stephen Kalinich who has collaborated with Brian Wison and Paul McCartney.
*  TIX, $20.
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Sat, Dec 28:
9 pm - LOS LOBOS plays the Canyon - Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 Valencia Bl, Suite 1351, Santa Clarita CA 91355
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Sat, Dec 28:
9:30 pm-closing - THE WHOOLIGANS play Irish Trad and Christmas favorites at O'Malley's on Main Irish Pub, 140 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740; 562-430-0631; http://www.omalleyssealbeach.com/
*  Info on the band: www.thewhooligans.com
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Sunday
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Today is December 29th, partway through the multiple-day celebrations of Christmas in cultures that do that, and partway between Western and Orthodox Christmas -- even though nobody has any idea what season or date or year marked the birth of Jesus. This date is a big deal in the history of religion, though.

On this day in the year 1170 (849 years ago), THOMAS BECKET, Archbishop of Canterbury, was assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently became a saint and martyr in both the Anglican Communion/ Church of England and the Catholic Church.

Two-hundred-ninety-five years earlier on this date, in the year 875 (1144 years ago), Charles the Bald, King of the Franks, was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor Charles II. So much for white smoke and elevation of a pious priest as God's living representative on Earth. (Thus the campaign for a 28th Amendment to get the rich and economically endowed out of politics has veeery old roots.)
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VERY SPECIAL NEWS:
Sun, Dec 29; BENEFIT:
2 pm - FUR & STEVE return after a seven-year absence, in a benefit for Los Angeles homeless cats and kittens, at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon, 18389 Ventura Bl, Tarzana CA
*  After breaking-up SEVEN YEARS AGO, one of L.A.'s top original-song folk duos, FUR DIXON and STEVE WERNER, return to the stage to play TWO SETS of music from the four albums they recorded during their decade of performing together.
*  These two performing together again is akin to the EAGLES getting back together with the "Hell Feezes Over" stigma. Each has had a solo career before and since, and there is no guarantee this will ever happen again.
*  Kitten Adoption and benefit runs from 2 pm-6 pm.
*  SCHEDULE:
  ☆  JOE WOOD, a fantastic blues man, goes-on at 2:30 pm.
  ☆  FUR & STEVE play their 2 sets immediately following.
*  TIX: suggested donation is $15 (it's a benefit, people).
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Sun, Dec 29:
4 pm - THE SALTY SUITES  play Grapes and Hops, 54 E Main St, Ventura CA 93001; 805-641-0053
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Sun, Dec 29:
7 pm - JACK & THE VOX with ukulele goddess VICTORIA VOX plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm: 626-798-6236
*  Having performed twice on "The Tonight Show," ukulele-toting-mouth-trumpeting-songstress VICTORIA VOX brought a lot to her stage duo.
*  Guitar-slinging-singing-jokester JACK MAHER reconnected with her 18 years after theie first meeting at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
*  Both established performers in their own right, the moniker JACK & THE VOX was almost too good to be true. Both hold degrees in Songwriting from Berklee and have the passion for making music.
*  Since eloping in 2016, the two have been writing and performing together between their own separate gigs. Jack is lead guitar and singer in the SoCal band, “Feed the Kitty."
*  Stylistically their duo is a bit Americana, jazz, folk, and pop, with no boundaries.
*  Performing as a solo artist, Victoria Vox honed her rhythmic ukulele playing style, creating her own back-beat. She also perfected an old jazz-era vocal technique of the "Mouth Trumpet" under the influence of trumpet icon Chet Baker. The Mouth-Trumpet enables her to take vocal improvisational solos without scatting or using words. That got her invited to “blow her own horn” on the NBC "Tonight Show" and featured in the "Wall Street Journal."
*  Depending on the setting, she pairs the rhythmic uke and mouth trumpet with her electronic-looping skills, to create ostinato bass lines and harmonies, creating a full sound atypical of the stereotype "ukulele music”.
*  Jack and the Vox, together, are a guaranteed entertaining and heart-warming show of their bag of self-penned tunes that seem to span a century.
*  TIX, $20.
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Sun, Dec 29, FREE CONCERT:
7 pm - "SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE PAVILION (SNAP)" SINGER-SONGWRITER SERIES hosted by HARRIET SCHOCK at Celebrity Centre (operated by the Church of Scientology), 5930 Franklin Av, Hollywood CA 90028.
*  Performances this time by ART PODELL (of the NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS), ALAN AUGUST, BOBBY ARVON, BYRON MOTLEY, CHANA WISE, DAN JABLOND, KEVIN KELSO, LAURA JOY GOLD, MAGDA LANE, MARK McCOLLUM, PORTER HANSEN, & ROBBYN KIRMSSE.
*  Free parking in lot off Bronson.
*  Free admission.
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Sun, Dec 29:
8 pm - STRUNZ & FARAH play Humphrey's Backstage Lounge, 2241 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego CA 92106; 619-224-3577
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Sun, Dec 29:
9 pm - LOS LOBOS plays the Canyon at the Rose Theatre, 300 E Colorado Bl, Pasadena CA 91129; 818-879-5016
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Monday
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THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date..

"In religion, faith is a virtue. In science, faith is a vice."

-- Jerry Coyne, biology professor (born Dec 30, 1949).

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In 1890 (129 years ago today, December 30th), the "Battle of Wounded Knee," which history would remember in infamy as the Wounded Knee Massacre, took place on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. At least 300 Lakota (Sioux) men, women, and children were killed at dawn by the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment using artillery and cavalry charges on horseback, ostensibly in revenge for the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn.
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Mon, Dec 30:
7:30 pm- 10:30 pm - THE BROMBIES play their weekly BLUEGRASS residency at Viva Rancho Cantina, 900 Riverside Dr, Burbank CA 91506; 818-845-2425
*  This outfit has members with individual awards, recognitions, and parts in famous recordings. They've played many places, many venues and festivals, and this weekly gig doubles as their weekly try-out for new material.
*  Every Monday event, unless the band is on tour.
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Mon, Dec 30:
7:30 pm-9:30 pm - weekly "OC CELTIC JAM" at Peace Lutheran Church, 18542 Vanderlip Av, Santa Ana CA
*  Info: Heidi Halbur, heidihalbur@gmail.com
*  Every Monday event.
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Mon, Dec 30:
8:30 pm-11 pm - weekly "CELTIC ARTS CENTER IRISH MUSIC SESSION and SLOW PLAY IRISH MUSIC SESSION" at the Celtic Arts Center at the Mayflower Club, 11110 Victory Bl, North Hollywood CA; 818-760-8322 celt@celticartscenter.com
*  Every Monday event.
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Tuesday
________________________

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...

"An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success..."

-- Henri Matisse, artist (botn Dec 31, 1869, died in 1954).
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Today is more than just the last day of the year. Some significant things got their start on this day.

On this day in 1812 (207 years ago), during the War of 1812, the three-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel USS Constitution captured the larger British warship HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three-hour battle. It was one of the first triumphs of "Yankee ingenuity," as the Constitution's radical hull construction functioned as a structural spring that repelled incoming cannonballs. The British navy of the time was considered invincible. Indeed, it was at its zenith as the world's most powerful fleet. But it could not defeat "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution, which mounted only half as many guns as many of its foes. The American vessel with its secret innovative design went on to victory after victory, sinking or capturing British vessels in every encounter, and using its superior speed to escape any confrontation it could not win.

That now-obscure war would give the fledgling upstart United States of America its international treaty guarantees of permanent national sovereignty. It would also give the young nation a navy and a national anthem. 

That last part deserves exploration. Francis Scott Key's poem, "The Defense of Ft. McHenry" -- written by Key when he was a peace envoy being held prisoner aboard a British warship -- was set to the melody of an English beer-drinking pub song, "To Anachreon in Heaven." It was impossible to sing sober. It pretty much still is. You know it as "The Star-Spangled Banner." 

The remains of the flag in the song can be seen in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. A full-sized replica is raised daily by tourist volunteers who are directed through the unfurlment and hoisting of the huge flag by the National Park Service at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore harbor. And the USS Constitution, in Boston harbor and crewed by active-duty US Navy sailors, continues as the world's oldest warship still afloat.

150 years ago today, the newly-completed first transcontinental railroad was getting its first test of winter operability, over the California High Sierra and the Great South Pass of the Rockies on Wyoming's Sherman Hill, after the driving of the Golden Spike seven months earlier, in May of 1869.

Seventy-five years ago today the Nazis last desperate offensive effort to prolong World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, was still being beaten back by the counterattacking American army in December, 1944.

Fifty years ago today, NASA was readying Apollo 13 for launch, having successfully completed the first human landings on another celestial body with Apollo 11 in July and Apollo 12 in November of 1969.

_ _

Compared with that deep dive into the past, and its seismic echoes? On this final day of the year, there's not very much that's good to remember about 2019. 

Today the first large-scale wind turbine complex without SF-6 is being completed in the North Sea, to go online in 2020. SF-6 is the gas used to prevent flashovers in electric generating and switching facilities. It escapes. It is a powerful greenhouse gas. In that is the refuge for ignorant remarks from an artificially orange person claiming windmills cause cancer. Which is representative of much of 2019.

The most enduring thing 2019 leaves behind is an "IF." 

Oh, that "if" will be THE "key" moment of 2019 -- and of our time -- IF the political, social, economic, and thought leaders will allow, in the words of the psalmist, "a little child to lead them." And thus allow all of us to share a future worth having on a broken planet that might still be salvaged and repaired. Of course we are talking about Swedish teenager and TIME Magazine "Person of the Year" GRETA THUNBERG. She is potential personified, for the hopes and dreams of her generation and beyond.

As we searched for some sign of hope for that to happen, we found it in the parting words of a fallen leader. Congressman ELIJAH CUMMINGS died in 2019. He loved Baltimore, whose people he represented, and he championed the city as a model of clean, green redevelopment and overcoming social and racial injustices. But let's go back to his transcendent moment, in his very first speech to Congress back in 1996. 

There, newly-elected Congressman Cummings recited a 54-word poem. It stirred the soul, bringing rare heartfelt bipartisan cheering from the members of that Congress 23 years ago. It's even more relevant and powerful now. It's been around a while, written by Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, a pioneering civil rights leader who was the president of Morehouse College during the time that Martin Luther King Jr. received his formal education there. (Dr. King always cited Mays as one of his great influences, and Mays gave the eulogy at King's funeral after he was assassinated in 1968.)

Let Congressman Cummings' recitation call you. Let the poem speak to every human heart and mind, through each of us learning and reciting it. Here it is in full, with the comment appended that day by Rep. Cummings:

"I only have a minute.

Sixty seconds in it.


Forced upon me, I did not choose it,


But I know that I must use it.


Give account if I abuse it.


Suffer, if I lose it.


Only a tiny little minute,


But eternity is in it.


And so I join you as we move forward to uplift not only the nation, but the world."

You can watch Rep. Elijah Cummings deliver that poem in his first floor speech to Congress. It's just 46 seconds long. 

It's at: pic.twitter.com/yFczcWq9su

Writer Bill Murphy Jr., who cited the poem in company with many others when the congressman died, said, "Of all the many stories I read... about Cummings, who was black, I was most moved by his account of being a young boy, and being attacked by a mob of white people in 1962, for the offense of swimming in a public swimming pool.

"The son of sharecroppers, Cummings attended college and law school, served in the state legislature, and eventually in Congress.

"Thirty years after the pool incident, he said a man apologized to him for having been part of the mob that attacked him at the pool.

"Cummings's response: 'Apology accepted.'

"He used his minute well," concludes Murphy.


May the future say the same of the rest of us. Frankly, it won't because it can't, based on 2019. But we can still change what lies ahead.
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Today's Events...

Tue, Dec 31, on web radio:
6 am (Pacific) - "OPRY PRESENTS: BEST OF 2019" simulcast from the home station of the "GRAND OLD OPRY," 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
*  Repeats today at 8 pm.
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Tue, Dec 31:
2 pm-6 pm - PADDY'S PIG, a splendid trad Irish band, plays for the ARRIVAL OF 2020 IN THE UK, at the Black Watch Pub, 497 N Central Av, Upland CA 91786
*  It's a fun, family-friendly -- but "it's in a bar" -- event for all of you folks who would rather count-down to the new year and new decade, at 4 pm instead of midnight. Or for everyone who enjoys doung it multiple times, thanks to different time zones.
* The band -- Missy, Mike, Damon, Jon and Gene -- will have their latest CD "All Downhill From Here" available. It and their 3 previous albums are all available for streaming at the usual places and you can download any of 'em at https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/PaddysPig
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Tue, Dec 31:
3 pm-6 pm - THE WHOOLIGANS play an early NYE gig to welcome-in 2020 as it arrives IN IRELAND, playing Irish Trad and Christmas favorites at O'Malley's on Main Irish Pub, 140 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740; 562-430-0631; http://www.omalleyssealbeach.com/
*  Info on the band: www.thewhooligans.com
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___

Tue, Dec 31:
3:30 pm-4:30 pm - BILL DEMPSEY, sea chanticler and folk musician, performs an early NYE set to welcome-in 2020 as it arrives IN IRELAND & the British Isles, at Carlsbad by the Sea, 2855 Carlsbad Bl, Carlsbad CA 92008
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Tue, Dec 31; FREE NYE:
7 pm-1 am - Annual "MARINA DEL REY NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS & GLOW PARTY" presented by the L.A. County Department of Beaches & Harbors at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey CA 90292
*  Includes multiple fireworks:
  ☆  At 8:59 pm, do a 30-second countdown and view the Times Square ball drop in New York City, followed by a 10-minute fireworks display here.
   ☆  At 11:59 pm, do another 30-second countdown to celebrate New Year's Eve in Marina del Rey, followed by another ten-minute fireworks display.
*  Watch the fireworks spectacle from Burton Chace Park, or across the water from Fisherman’s Village, or from any of the many waterfront restaurants in Marina del Rey. (Picturesque possibilities, people... romance...)
*  PARKING: $8 at Lot #77 or Lot #4 on Mindanao Way, but these lots fill-up early; there is a free BEACH SHUTTLE; use the link for more options.
*  PARK RULES: NO ALCOHOL, NO SMOKING, NO unpermitted vending/sales in the park (the restaurants offer alcohol).
*  More at 424-526-7900, or use the link for info including a click-download flier: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/marina-del-rey-new-years-eve-fireworks-glow-party-tickets-79792458391
*  FREE to attend in the park.
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Tue, Dec 31; FREE NYE:
8 pm-1 am - annual "GRAND PARK + THE MUSIC CENTER'S N.Y.E.L.A." features two stages of live music, sprawling up the hill above L.A. City Hall, through Grand Park and up onto the Music Center Plaza at 135 N Grand Av, downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012
*  For the 7th year, this extravaganza will be the go-to central gathering place for many seeking a high-energy NYE party night in Los Angeles.
*  It's also being billed as "the West Coast’s flagship New Year’s celebration."
*  Free for all ages and expanded for the first time this year to include The Music Center Plaza.
*  This unique civic event brings together Angelenos and visitors from around the globe for -- read carefully -- "L.A.’s biggest music and dance party." If you translated the word "dance" to mean exclusively "urban"/electronica/rap-hop," uhhhhh, uh-huh. That does still leave some latitude in the word "music," so you can find some non-corporate-label-soundalikery there. The lineup does feature cultural diversity. Just be aware of what you're getting into, before you go down there and get mashed into throngs with no easy escape.
*  A laser light show -- including countdown graphics projected on City Hall -- is a major part of this, too.
GO METRO: Metro will operate 24-hour, overnight service on Metro Rail, plus Orange and Silver Lines on New Year’s Eve with free fares from 9 pm 12/31/19 to 2 am 01/01/20.
*  METRO tips: the Metro Red/Purple Line subway's Civic Center/Grand Park Station exits directly into Grand Park; but, Pershing Square Station and Union Station are also within walkable distance and will be much less crowded. Plan your trip with human help at 323-GO-METRO (323-466-3876) or robotically at www.metro.net
SCHEDULES, performers and times; extensive official list of do's and don'ts; local eateries and watering holes; and more: https://nyela.grandparkla.org/
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Tue, Dec 31:
8 pm - NEW YEARS EVE w/ YACHTLEY CREW at Discovery Ventura, 1888 E Thompson Bl, Ventura CA 93001; https://www.discoveryventura.com/
*  TIX, $35-$45, at: https://www.bigneon.com/tickets/celebrate-nye-with-yachtley-crew-at-discovery-ventura-ventura
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Tue, Dec 31, on web radio:
8 pm (Pacific) - "OPRY PRESENTS: BEST OF 2019" simulcast from the home station of the "GRAND OLD OPRY," 650 AM WSM in Nashville Tennessee
*  Info and simulcast: www.wsmonline.com
*  This is the final repeat.
___

Tue, Dec 31:
9 pm-12:15 am - "NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY AT THE GRAND ANNEX" with music by ANDY & RENEE & HARD RAIN, performing an “Odyssey through Rock-n-Roll – The '50s to the Present,” at the Grand Annex, 434 W 6th St, San Pedro CA 90731; 310-833-4813; https://www.grandvision.org/
*  Celebrate the New Year on the dance floor while the band delivers hits from across the decades.
*  Ticket includes dancing, late-night pizza, party hats and noisemakers, and a champagne toast to welcome in 2020.
*   Doors at 8 pm; concession bar opens with wine, beer and "Celebratory Specials."
*  TIX, $40 General Admission, $50 Cabaret Table, ADA seating available, (other VIP tix options already sold-out); tix at: https://grandvision.secure.force.com/ticket/#sections_a0F4p000004T53pEAC
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Tue, Dec 31:
9 pm - LOS LOBOS plays the Canyon Montclair, 5060 E Montclair Plaza, Space #2020, Montclair CA 91764
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Tue, Dec 31:
9:30 pm-closing - DAVE WROBEL plays for NYE at O'Malley's on Main Irish Pub, 140 Main St, Seal Beach, CA 90740; 562-430-0631; http://www.omalleyssealbeach.com/
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__________________________________

Wed, Jan 1

Happy New Year
__________________________________

President Abraham Lincoln famously issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. "All persons," Lincoln wrote, "held as slaves within any State in rebellion shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free."

Though this proclamation limited its power and scope to states that were part of the seceded Confederacy, it represented an important step towards freedom and equality for African Americans during the bloody carnage at the height of the Civil War.

This clip from the film, "The Abolitionists," which aired on the PBS series, "The American Experience," shares more about the moment Lincoln announced freedom for some, but not all, of all the enslaved. Politics has always affected and effected, and sometimes wholly determined, the lives of people who are not part of the power elite. Welcome to 2020. 

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2020 will be a crossroads for human societies, planetary ecosystems, and whether science and intellect -- or superstitution, innuendo and fear -- will prevail. We can all be sure that the coming year's realities will be enough to make all the breathless headlines seem second-tier, at best. An impeachment trial, possibly sabotaged. Rancorous primary elections. Corporacracy vs. Democracy for conyrol of everything, starting with public opinion. The certainty of shenanigans -- including in caucuses that determine party nominees -- by desperate partisan establishment types and their corporatist funders. 

It is an absolute certainty thst we will see shockingly unprecedented amounts poured into manufacturing public opinion, in arenas old and new. Especially in the still-new, already big-bucks, no-fact-checks marketplace of spyware-laden social media; and of course in all the old places where persuasive lies profitably prevail to buy election outcomes. And that stuff will continue all year, through the general election in November. 

There are things awaiting us that are as necessary as a root canal, things we must get past to reach what really matters. Things like overcoming all money cleverly spent on Climate Change denial by oligarchs employing psychological warfare masters, as the world burns. 

Planetary desertification is expanding. Ocean fisheries are shrinking. Wildly destructive weather events are becoming more normal. Waves of climate refugee migrants will continue overwhelming national borders and global relief agencies. Racism, misogyny, sexism, age discrimination, health care access, prescription drug costs, gasoline prices, new car costs, jobs that offer benefits, and voter obstruction, are all trending in alarming directions.

Social media will keep "trending" us beneath avalanches of anesthetizing bs, and purport to rescue us with distraction mechanisms of lie-driven outrage. Skyrocketing housing costs will keep increasing homelessness among us as the number of landlords gets smaller and grows richer. More college grads who can't use their education to benefit society will be disillusioned because crushing student debt means, instead, they must do what compensates well enough to pay-off those debts by the time they're 40.

And sadly, all these things are guaranteed to happen whether or not the Wall Street bankster/ manipulators -- together with exploitive rulers of desperate nations -- keep finding ways to increase their bloated fortunes. All, while Rome, and everyplace else, burns.

"Happy New Year"-? Only if we roll up our sleeves and fight to make it one.
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Quick note on how history lives to bite the people of the present...

On this day in 2002, the Euro became the new common currency of twelve nations. With it, the seeds of Brexit were planted, as Frankfurt banksters got the upper hand, displacing centuries of dominance by London banksters. 
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Today's Events...

Wed, Jan 1:
8 am - "TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE" through downtown Pasadena CA is "the granddaddy of them all," and in addition to the massive, mechanically animated floral-covered floats, there are many marching music units and colorful equestrian entries in historical attire or traditional Native American regalia. Most TV networks cut to commercials when the bands pass by. In the Los Angeles TV market, KTLA Channel 5 is "commercial free," but screen graphics and talking-head hosts may still ruin musical entries.
*  Or you could just go, and experience it for real.
NATIONWIDE, you may want to try The coverage on RFD-TV. They pledge to cover marching bands and give details on every equestrian entry.
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Wed, Jan 1:
9 am - "AMERICA'S STATE PARKS’ FIRST DAY HIKES" initiative in all 50 states across America invites you to start the New Year by experiencing nature near you.
*  In Southern California, splendid offerings are at SADDLEBACK BUTTE and at RED ROCK CANYON STATE PARKS in the Mojave Desert, north of the Los Angeles basin. PLUS, we've added another event at an L.A. County wildlands park.
*  Rejuvenate by taking a family-friendly trek through a state park close to home, and avoiding all the alcohol and sedentary tv bowl games.
*  At SADDLEBACK BUTTE STATE PARK, staff and volunteers will lead three hikes which vary from an easy half-mile stroll to a strenuous five-mile hike up the butte. Check-in for all hikes is at the park Visitor Center, 17102 E Ave J, waaay East of Lancaster CA (at the corner of 170th St E and E Ave J, near Lake Los Angeles). Bring a lunch to enjoy in the park’s Picnic Area after returning from the hikes. Kids welcome, no dogs allowed on trails in California State Parks (with the exception of trained service animals/no comfort animals). Those whose devices are infested with Facebook spyware can see more at www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte
*  At RED ROCK CANYON STATE PARK, a 9-mile, all-day hike will be led at through the dramatic landscape tableau at 9 am. The park is 22 miles north of Mojave on Highway 14. Meet at the dirt lot on the east side of Hwy 14, ¾ mile north of Abbot Rd. You'll hike into Nightmare Gulch with a side trip into the well-hidden “Secret Silent City.” The strenuous route begins with a scramble over three ridges to enjoy the fabulous views, with an elevation gain/loss of approximately 3000’. This hike is not for beginners, and no dogs are allowed on this guided hike; no exceptions. Wear layered clothing and bring plenty of water and snacks/lunch; hikers are responsible for their own health and safety. Participants will be back by approximately 4 pm; only heavy rain will cancel this hike. Those whose devices are infested with Facebook spyware can see more at www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark
*  At 11 am at VASQUEZ ROCKS NATURAL AREA & NATURE CENTER, 10700 W Escondido Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita CA 91390 (off the 14 Fwy, well north of Santa Clarita), a 4+ mi hike hosted by "Trailmothers and Trek Kids" is a "Leave-No-Trace" hike, learning experience, and trail cleanup. It departs from the Nature Center; questions or concerns, email trailmothers@gmail.com or text 818-271-1677
*  MORE, ELSEWHERE: Nationwide info on all the "First Day Hikes" offered, their difficulty and length and more, and tips for winter hiking, can be found at www.StateParks.org
*  TIX, FEES: typically these events require only the basic  "day admission" visitor fee. Inquire at the link for specific hikes near you.
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Wed, Jan 1:
 2 pm-6 pm - 9th annual "NEW YEARS DAY PARTY POT LUCK & JAM SESSION" at American Legion Post 311, 44355 40th St E, Lancaster CA 93535
We found a NEW YEAR'S JAM SESSION and it comes with a "Yeeee haw!" and invitation to all.
*  It's hosted by "Moldy Marvin," who says, "Musicians: Bring your God given talent and your instruments and we‘ll rock the house! Bass Amp, Drums and Sound System Will be Provided. For the rest of my Friends & Neighbors, come on out and share the love, we’ll kick out the old, bring in the new and do this thing up right on this festive day!"
*  Those whose devices are infested with Facebook spyware can find more at: www.facebook.com/events/2254576718172810/
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Wed, Jan 1, on TV:
3 pm-5 pm (Pacific) - "EQUESTFEST" presents all the equestrian entrants from the 2020 ROSE PARADE in a rodeo-style exhibition that lets them do more than is possible when they ride on the streets of Pasadena.
*  Also features a song-and-dance routine by the Charlie Brown and Snoopy troupe from Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park CA.
* Recorded Sun, Dec 29, 2019 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. 
*  On the Cowboy Channel, cable/satellite/web.
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Wed, Jan 1, on TV:
6 pm-7:55 pm (Pacific) - "LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE" is a new music-filled biopic premiering on CNN today. She just received her Kennedy Center honor in December in an all-star tribute, and THAT, a much-deserved recognition, has helped reignite the magic.
*  Great reviews, many music luminaries taking part, from Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris to Jackson Browne.
*  Didja know she started as a folkie, had mega-hit records across multiple genres, and helped create Americana music?
*  Didja know her backup band became the EAGLES?
*  We missed the media preview screening. Those who were there are raving over this film.
*  Plan your NYE recovery time -- we will escape the relentless bowl gamery and watch this. (If you come up with a watching party at a friendly watering-hole, let us know -- we'll join you!)
*  LATE ADDITION: It repeats tonight at 9 pm Pacific, and repeats twice Saturday night, same times.
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Thursday
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THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...

"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."
-- Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (born Jan 2, 1920, died 1992).

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Thu, Jan 2:
7 pm - HELEN ROSE plus 2TON BRIDGE with guest JESSICA GERHARD play a special Thursday edition of the "Wine & Song Wednesdays" Americana / Singer-songwriters series at The Blue Guitar Room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, 1055 Lohman Ln, South Pasadena CA
*  Arroyo Seco Grill is adjacent to the Blue Guitar, with food, wine, and full bar. You can bring your own bottle for a $10 corkage fee. Doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime, and the restaurant is open until 8:30 pm.
*  TIX are choose-your-seat-in-advance, $17 & $12, at: https://deepmix.thundertix.com/events/163607/saleable_seats?performance_id=2482835
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   ahead in
January
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Be sure to note the date at the top of each listing. We are not inserting tags that divide each day.
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NEWS, JUST IN, JAN 1...

Ken O'Malley, who was scheduled to perform, tells us, "We regret to inform you that we have just learned of the immediate closure of Brendan's locations in Newbury Park and Camarillo. We have no additional information but wanted you to know."
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Fri, Jan 3:
8 am - "AUDUBON SOCIETY 120th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT" in Red Rock Canyon State Park, departing from the Visitor Center, 37749 Abbott Dr, Cantil (22 miles N of Mojave CA on Hwy 14, near California City)
*  Help look for birds to determine the health, range, and activities of many species. The annual count is the longest-running "Citizen Science" survey in the world. Since the first count in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count has provided critical data on population trends.
*  Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt"; they would choose sides and go afield with their gun, and whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won. Around the turn of the 20th century, observers and scientists were just beginning to become concerned about declining bird populations, so ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then-budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition- a "Christmas Bird Census" to count birds rather than shoot them.
*  Beginner to expert birders are all welcome; pre-register by email to Jean.Rhyne@parks.ca.gov
*   Bring bird books if you have them, along with layered clothing, binoculars, shoes that can get muddy, water and snacks.
*  4-wheel drive vehicles are appreciated for carpooling to remote sites, and there will also be nearby count areas accessible to anyone. Meet at the Visitor Center at 8 am for registration and orientation; count areas will be determined at check-in.  “Early birds” can also meet at 7 am for birding at Red Rooster (email to RSVP).
OTHER PLACES, without doubt, include someplace near you; for info on the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, check out: www.ChristmasBirdCount.org
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Fri, Jan 3:
8 pm - THE SALTY SUITES play the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm: 626-798-6236
*  Scott Gates, Chuck Hailes and Chelsea Williams live in the world of live acoustic music, sharing a passion for roots and bluegrass, as well as traditional mountain music. They're festival faves and play gigs all over the venue landscape, but the listening-room atmosphere of CGB remains their favorite return engagement.
*  TIX, $20.
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Fri, Jan 3:
8 pm - THE HEALERS, featuring CHEF DENIS, JOHNNY MAIN, TOMMY ELFIF, HENRY CARVAJAL, JR LOZANO, & MIKE HIGHTOWER, plus on the other stage, BOBBY BLUEHOUSE, at the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia CA 91006
*  Fun and friendly venue has full bar w/ drink specials, pool tables, plenty of seating plus two stages and dance floors, and a tasty menu w/ ample portions (two can share).
*  But: bring earplugs. Seriously.
*  ADVANCE TIX for tonight are $10; online adv always save you money, at: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/arcadia-blues-club-red-entertainment-llc-10974346420
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Sat, Jan 4, on TV:
6 pm & 9 pm (Pacific) - "LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE" is a new music-filled biopic repeating after its Jan 1st debut, again on CNN. She just received her Kennedy Center honor in December in an all-star tribute, and THAT, a much-deserved recognition, has helped reignite the magic.
*  Great reviews, many music luminaries taking part, from Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris to Jackson Browne.
*  Didja know she started as a folkie, had mega-hit records across multiple genres, and helped create Americana music?
*  Didja know her backup band became the EAGLES?
*  We missed the media preview screening. Those who were there are raving over this film. If you missed it it New Year's Day, now's your chance.
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Sat, Jan 4:
7 pm - THE TONGUE-IN-CREEK BAND performs "O BROTHER, WE'RE OUT THERE," plus performing guest TRACY NEWMAN, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 7 days, 10 am-10 pm: 626-798-6236
*  This is NOT a one-line joke. This is an outfit of formidable, accomplished musicians, a five piece classic Bluegrass and Country parody band.
*  They are:
  ⊙ Bill Birrell…(aka Wild Willy) on vocals and mandolin
  ⊙ Fred Sokolow…(aka Grateful Fred) on vocals, guitar, banjo, dobro, auto harp
  ⊙ Alexander Martin…(aka Rocket Man) on vocals and violin
  ⊙ Randall Sommer...(aka ZZ Top) on guitar, vocals
  ⊙ Lynn Sokolow… (aka Boss Lady) on upright bass
*  Realizing the precariousness of life as bluegrass musicians, the four members vowed to seek-out humor in all their future musical endeavors. This is the result: a comedy group that does for Classic Bluegrass and country what Weird Al Yankovic does for pop music.
*  Fine three-part harmonies, world class performances on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass...and then there's Fred Sokolow (yeah, that guy..the legend) on banjo, dobro, lap steel, electric guitar and yes... even the autoharp. "Satiric comedy schtick, bad jokes and great music make for entertainment at its finest," they proclaim, adding, "We are uncouth, uncensored and un-ashamed. If you want to laugh, get ready. And don't forget to wear your Depends."
*  Expect to hear favorite classic Bluegrass and Country tunes reworked with hilarious outcome, plus a few originals, all delivered with quality musicianship.
*  If Weird Al Yankovic and Hee Haw combined forces, this would be it.
*  TIX, $20.
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Sat, Jan 4:
8 pm - CELLULOID HEROES kick-off the 68th season at Alvas Showroom, 1417 W 8th St, San Pedro CA 90732; 310-833-7538; https://alvasshowroom.com/
*  KINKS classics from a band that features two members of acclaimed rock band DRAMARAMA (Mark Englert on guitar / Tony Snow on drums) and Dan Warren in the Ray Davies role of lead vocals and rhythm guitar.
*  TIX $15.
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Sat, Jan 4:
8 pm - JOHNNY BURGIN, plus on the other stage, BOBBY BLUEHOUSE, at the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia CA 91006
*  Fun and friendly venue has full bar w/ drink specials, pool tables, plenty of seating plus two stages and dance floors, and a tasty menu w/ ample portions (two can share).
*  But: bring earplugs. Seriously.
*  ADVANCE TIX for tonight are $10; online adv always save you money, at: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/arcadia-blues-club-red-entertainment-llc-10974346420
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Sat, Jan 4:
9 pm - RICK SHEA w/ special guest ROBBIE FULKS & Rick's band THE LOSIN' END, at the Cinema Bar, 3967 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City CA 90230; 310-390-1328
*  Famous little venue is the size of a postage stamp. Barstool seating is competitive, but atmosphere is friendly.
*   No cover.
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Sun, Jan 5:
4 pm - MARIA PUGA LAREO featuring the BOB SHEPPARD QUARTET playing the 68th season at Alvas Showroom, 1417 W 8th St, San Pedro CA 90732; 310-833-7538; https://alvasshowroom.com/
*  Celebrated Argentinian vocalist Maria Puga Lareo, and jazz saxophone player and woodwind recording artist Bob Sheppard (Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Steely Dan, Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Billy Childs, Peter Erskine, John Beasley) come together on stage to interpret the best of the Jazz American Songbook, Brazilian music, and some of their original compositions.
*  TIX $20.
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Sun, Jan 5; BENEFIT:
7:30 pm - Musicians STEVE LUKATHER, COLIN HAY, RICHARD MARX, GREGG BISSONETTE, WARREN HAM, AMY KEYS, JEFF BABKO, & MICK MAHAN perform an all-star concert to benefit victims from the Saugus High School shooting, taking place at the Canyon Club in Santa Clarita, Westfield Valencia Town Center, 24201 Valencia Bl Suite 1351, Santa Clarita CA 91355
*  The latest local (in the endless national chain of) mass school shootings happened Nov 14, 2019, at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita.
*  In addition to proceeds from ticket sales, there will also be a silent auction and sale of a few VIP meet and greets, all to benefit victims.
*  The concert was organized by local resident Brent Carpenter, who has worked with many of these musicians in the past. Each one he asked was eager and willing to join the bill.
*  Brent's children graduated from Saugus High School, were heart broken for the families and wanted to do something to help.
*  The victims included 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell, both killed. Four other students survived, hospitalized in critical condition.
*  Doors at 6 pm, show at 7:30 pm.
*  TIX, $10 / $40 + applicable fees; two drink minimum for all; table tix require you to purchase dinner.
*  TIX, info, or make a donation, at: https://wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com/events/benefit-concert-for-families-of-saugus-high-school-santa-clarita-january/
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Mon, Jun 6:
THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...
"Hate is a dead thing. Who of you would be a tomb?"
-- Kahlil Gibran, poet and artist (born Jan 6, 1883, died 1931).
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Mon, Jan 6, on TV:
9 pm-11 pm - "McCARTHY" premieres on the PBS documentary series, "THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE" locally in Los Angeles on KOCE, aka PBS SoCal.
*  "McCarthy" chronicles the rise and fall of Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator who came to power after a stunning victory in an election no one thought he could win. Once in office, he declared that there was a vast conspiracy threatening America—emanating not from a rival superpower, but from within.
*  In a dark series of events -- that are chillingly echoing in our time -- free of restraint or oversight, he conducted a crusade against those he accused of being enemies of the state, launching and pursuing a chilling campaign marked by groundless accusations, bullying intimidation, grandiose showmanship and cruel victimization.
*  Before Joseph McCarthy first waved around his ever-changing list of supposed Communists in the State Department at a Republican dinner in Wheeling, West Virginia on February 9, 1950, the Cold War red scare to which he gave his name had been producing headlines—and victims. McCarthyism, as we understand it today, encompassed much more than the antics of one notorious senator from Wisconsin. It was the longest-lasting and most widespread episode of political repression in American history.
*  Anti-communist political repression went far beyond Senator Joseph McCarthy, and threatened the very freedoms and protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
*  If you wonder how America can produce a clever, conniving, self-promoting demagogue, Joe McCarthy was the prototype.
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Tue-Fri, Jan 7-10; TRADE SHOW:
Annual "CES - CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW" in Las Vegas presents, exhibits, demonstrates and gives "test drives" of all the revolutionarily new, slightly new, and seemingly new (inside "new" glittery cases) stuff from all the world's tech manufacturers that aim to capture your money. As always, you'll be craftily convinced you can't live without something you didn't know exists. And you'll be deluded into believing it serves you, instead of the other way around. CES sells devices -- because you've already bought the hipness of hype.
DAY ONE at CES... the scattalogical day...
■  Waverly Labs "Ambassador" is a pair of over over-the-ear language translators for $179. If you can get someone to wear the other one -- someone whose language is as inscrutable to you as yours is to them, like the cab driver or hotel front desk person or waiter -- you can get someplace, or secure some kind of lodgings, or order something you can probably eat, anywhere in the world. Or you could just be like every person from every other country on Earth, and put yourself out enough to learn another language.
■  The "Roll Bot" fetches a roll of toilet paper if you're, uh, sitting on the can with your phone in your hand and telling the program how helpless you are. Let's be clear: it won't bring you a beer or a sandwich or let you stay on your fat ass and bring you the tv remote. It only transports ticker tape and tracks you down while obviously carrying it. If you buy that device, change your social media status to "pathetic."
■  A new robotic dog is four hundred bucks. It claims to be companionship that you don't need to feed, and no doghair. No word on cyberslobber. Maybe you can get your '70s doll that cries and poops to ride bareback on the thing. Or spend the $400 on actually going out with a human date.
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Wed, Jan 8:
THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...
"It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards."
-- Baltasar Gracian, philosopher and writer (born Jan 8, 1601, died 1658).
(Thanks to A.Word.A.Day.)

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Today would have been the 85th birthday of ELVIS PRESLEY (born Jan 8, 1935), "whose musical career began when he recorded a song for his mother’s birthday," as Garrison Keillor reminds us.
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Wed, Jan 8; GROUP CALL:
5 pm (Pacific) - "NO WAR WITH IRAN DAY" emergency group call with US Senators BERNIE SANDERS and ELIZABETH WARREN, Members of Congress RO KHANNA and BARBARA LEE, and leading experts on foreign policy, in an emergency call to stop Trump's war with Iran.
RSVP HERE to get the number for the call, which takes place TONIGHT.
*  Breaking news may bring word of escalation between the U.S. and Iran; no one can be sure what will happen next.
*  But we can push for diplomacy and de-escalation and not let a Trumpertantrum provoke a devastating war.
*  Yes, competing Presidential Candidates Sen. Sanders and Sen. Warren have BOTH signed-on as guest speakers.
*  This call will also prepare anyone who wishes to take part tomorrow, Thu, Jan 9, in nationwide "anti-war, pro-diplomacy majority" demonstrations of Americans making themselves visible in actions across the country. Thursday already has OVER 200 EVENTS with more being added every hour for "NO WAR WITH IRAN DAY."

*  Assassinations don't make us safer. Trump’s unhinged foreign policy has needlessly endangered the lives of U.S. troops and Iraqi, Iranian, and countless other civilians. This is the crucial moment to declare, "We will not be led into another illegal war."
*  While climate change deniers continue to pillage the planet, the warconomy's merchants of death accelerate destruction and suck-up the resources needed to save the only home we've got. Finally, people in the US and around the globe are tired of war, and want to work together because we're all in this together.
*  American military families have endured multiple deployments and multiple generations in the same conflicts, and to what end?
*  Iranian, Iraqi and Afghani families in the United States worry for their loved ones back home and for their safety here, amidst rampant xenophobia.

*  If we’ve learned our lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan and Yemen and global endless war, we cannot be led into another costly, unnecessary war of choice. And we cannot allow our neighbors to be targeted by law enforcement. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided by a glory-hungry lout.
*  RSVP to get the number for the call, at: https://act.moveon.org/survey/moveon-rapid-response-call-nowarwithiran/
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Wed, Jan 8:
6:30 pm-8:30 pm - ANDY & RENEE & HARD RAIN play early at the Bottle Inn Riviera, 1700 S Catalina Av (entrance on Ave I), Redondo Beach CA 90277; 310-543-6800
*  The award-winning band who sponsors the annual "DYLANFEST" tells us, "This is a wonderful restaurant, and we love playing there."
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Wed, Jan 8:
8 pm - I SEE HAWKS IN L.A. with two of their favorite bands, GREAT WILLOW and ZACHARIAH & LOBOS RIDERS, at the lovely Highland Park Bowl, 5621 N Figueroa, L.A. CA 90042
*  Re the Hawks connection with Zachariah and Lobos Riders -- the Hawks were Zach's backup band for his new record.
*  Doors at 8, GREAT WILLOW at 8:30, HAWKS at 9:30, ZACH and co at 10:30.
*  Tix: Free.
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Fri & Sat, Jan 10 & 11:
SOLD OUT - 8 pm - DAR WILLIAMS plus special guest SETH GLIER gets two nights in the famous concert hall in back of McCabes Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405
*  TIX, $40, + $4.50 per ticket online or by phone. Adv. online at: https://www.store.mccabes.com/cart.php
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Sat, Jan 11:
4 pm-7 pm - LENNY HANSELL & DENNIS ROGER REED play the Middle Ridge Winery Tasting Gallery, 54301 N Circle Dr, Idyllwild CA; 951-659-9000
*  Wine and art, good times, acoustic music.
*  Check out Dennis Roger Reed's latest CD, "Before it Was Before," with Don Reed, at: http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dennisrogerreedwithdonreed
*  TIX, https://www.middleridge.com/Store/The-Gallery
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Sat, Jan 11:
7:30 pm -  "CAMARILLO CAFE CONCERT SERIES" presents RITA HOSKING and SEAN FEDER for an evening of "Heartful Americana" at the Pleasant Valley Community Center, 1605 E Burnley St, Camarillo CA 93010; http://camarillocafeconcerts.com
*  The series is celebrating "30 Years of Great Live Music."
*  *  Northern California’s Rita Hosking sings of forest fires, culture clash, dishes, rivers, black holes and hope.  An award-winning and prolific songwriter characterized as "here and now" by The Observer, her stories, songs and soul-stirring, country-folk voice are partnered with longtime collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Sean Feder on dobro, banjo and guitar. Together, they deliver what Acoustic Magazine calls “timeless, unhurried elegance.”
*  More praise for Rita: "Heartfelt country soul set by someone who has quietly become one of the best...Hosking is a real talent, and sits up alongside Nanci Griffith as someone who understands the human heart and can touch it every single time." --Jeremy Searle, Maverick Magazine.
*  Doors at 7 pm, no advance ticket sales, arrive early for preferred seating.
*  TIX: Suggested donation, $20 at the door, includes coffee, tea, and snacks; all profits go to the musicians.
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Sat, Jan 11:
SOLD OUT - 8 pm - DAR WILLIAMS plus special guest SETH GLIER gets two nights in the famous concert hall in back of McCabes Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405
*  TIX, $40, + $4.50 per ticket online or by phone. Adv. online at: https://www.store.mccabes.com/cart.php
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Sun, Jan 12:
4 pm - "LE SALON DE MUSIQUES - MASTERS REDISCOVERED" is 2020's return of the series in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Fifth Floor, L.A. Music Center, 135 N Grand Av, Los Angeles CA 90012
*  Celebrate the new year with three genius Russian Masters:
 ⊙  Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY - String Quartet No.3 in E Flat minor Op 30
 ⊙  Anton ARENSKY - Piano Quintet in D Major Op 51
 ⊙  Sergei RACHMANINOFF - Trio "Elegiaque" No.1 in G minor; "Two Pieces" Op 2 for Cello & Piano
*  This exquisite program for Piano & Strings is introduced by Musicologist Dr. Kristi Brown-Montesano.
*  "Le Salon de Musiques" is a chamber music series performed in an intimate space without any stage or separation between the audience and the artists. It allows you to feel the purity and essence of the music and the vibrations of each instrument and connection to each artist.  
*  A French Champagne reception with a high tea buffet catered by Patina follows the performance and the Q & A between the artists and the audience.
*  Cosponsored by the French & German Consulates of Los Angeles.
*  TIX include champagne & buffet: student, $45; regular, $95; at 310-498-0257, or online at: LeSalondeMusiques.com
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Sun, Jan 12:
7 pm - RICK SHEA & JON LANGFORD team-up to play the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, 10 am-10 pm, 7 days: 626-798-6236
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Sun, Jan 12:
JOACHIM COODER plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Thu-Sun, Jan 16-19; WORLD'S BIGGEST MUSIC SHOW:
The NAMM SHOW returns to the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim CA, filling four full days and every square foot of the cavernous facility and all the convention and meeting spaces in the surrounding hotels.
* There is nothing like NAMM. It is NOT open to the general public, but most anyone connected with the music industry or music education has (or had) an avenue to get in.
* The GUIDE will provide you with reports from NAMM, and whether or not you're there, you can keep up with hot performances and reports on new products!
* The DEADLINE for getting registered in advance (at the best rate) to get your necessary badge is JANUARY 6th. See https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2020
*  We tell you every year, all involved in MUSIC EDUCATION or  MUSIC CHARITIES also have preferential avenues through the NAMM FOUNDATION at www.nammfoundation.org
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Thu, Jan 16:
7 pm - "CELTIC MUSIC IN HOLLYWOOD" with ERIC RIGLER performing his film & TV scores on bagpipes and Celtic instruments at Casa Romantica Cultural Center, 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente CA 92672; 949-498-2139
*  For over 30 years, Eric Rigler has brought the sounds of bagpipes and Celtic instruments to audiences around the world through the Oscar-winning films BRAVEHEART, TITANIC, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, anf hit TV series OUTLANDER, THE SIMPSONS, SOUTH PARK, and CDs by everyone from PHIL COLLINS, JOSH GROBAN, FAITH HILL, & KEITH URBAN to ROD STEWART, MEATLOAF, MIKE OLDFIELD, WHITNEY HOUSTON and MARIAH CAREY.
*  This one-of-a-kind new show spotlights Eric bringing his original solos from the Hollywood recording studios to the stage. The evening features selections from Eric's body of work that showcase his ancient and haunting instruments.
*  Eric is joined by DIRK FREYMUTH  on guitar, with WANDA LAW (San Diego Symphony) on violin & viola and STEPHANIE BENNETT (Paul McCartney, Adele, Outlander) on concert & Celtic harp.
*  TIX, $25-$30, at: https://www.casaromantica.org/event/celtic-music-in-hollywood/
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Fri, Jan 17:
8 pm - THE GARDEN DISTRICT BAND from New Orleans play the 68th season at Alvas Showroom, 1417 W 8th St, San Pedro CA 90732; 310-833-7538; https://alvasshowroom.com/
*  They perform original compositions with highly improvised and groove-based Bossa Novas, ballads, funk, Mardi Gras, blues, and jazz waltz stylings along with classic selections from 100 years of jazz compositions.
* TIX $15.
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Fri, Jan 17:
SOUNDS OF SIBERIA: YULIYANA KRIVOSHAPKINA with NACHYN CHOREVE plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Sat, Jan 18:
7 pm-11 pm - "ROARING '20s IN 2020" features dinner, dancing, and drinks, in the University of Antelope Valley Ballroom, 4055 Sierra Hwy, Lancaster CA 93534
*  The 1920s roared because the Doughboys were back from WW I in France, and suddenly, women had the vote. So, as the song asked, "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Par-ree?" (Answer: Uuuhh, ya didn't.)
*  It was a time of flappers, speak-easies, popular songs with "naughty" lyrics, rejection of imposed moral standards that had prevented personal choices, and, in general, so much social upheaval that those taking part were deemed "The Lost Generation." (Yes, it sorta was the protype for '60s counter-culture.) Those elements, celebrated for a new time, are the inspiration for this event to upend the apple cart once again, in this event produced by the Outreach Center of Antelope Valley.
*  Special guest is CARMEN CARRERA from "RuPauls Drag Race" Season 3. Pics / poster at link below.
*   Age 18+ to attend; 21+ to drink; No Host Bar.
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Sat, Jan 18:
SOLD OUT - DAVE ALVIN & FRIENDS: "A Tribute to Chris Gaffney" at the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Sun, Jan 19; FESTIVAL:
2 pm - 13th annual "SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SLACK KEY FESTIVAL" celebrates bringing the biggest and brightest names in Hawaiian music to the mainland, at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Bl (at Aviation Bl), Redondo Beach CA  90278
*  SLACK KEY -- Hawaiian "ki ho'alu" is one of the great acoustic guitar traditions in the world. Played from the heart and soul through the fingers and flowing with vivid tropical images, the festival lets you listen and learn the fascinating history of ki ho’alu guitar and the musical pioneers who helped shape its sound and legacy.
*  Produced by Kala Koa Entertainment, the festival includes an "Island Marketplace."
*  Showcasing GRAMMY-winning slack key guitarists, the best hula dancers in the world, special guest performers, and the free-to-the-public Island Marketplace, this is one of the most acclaimed concerts to leave the islands.
*  The first of its kind anywhere outside of Hawaii, the Southern California Slack Key Festival continues to set milestones for Hawaiian music on the mainland. Since its debut in 2008, it has garnered a huge loyal following, creating, cultivating, and renewing interest in Hawaii and its music.
* This year’s line-up includes JOHN KEAWE, JERRY SANTOS, KAMUELA KIMOKEO, THE LIM FAMILY, IKAIKA MARZO, BOBBY MODEROW, JEFF PETERSON, ANTHONY PFLUKE, and BOBBY INGANO.
*  Ki ho'alu literally means "loosen the key." It is the Hawaiian language name for the solo finger-picked style unique to Hawaii. In this tradition, the strings (or "keys") are "slacked" to produce many different tunings, which usually contain a major chord, or a chord with a major 7th note, or sometimes one with a 6th note in it. Each tuning produces a lingering sound behind the melody and has a characteristic resonance and fingering, with the thumb playing the bass while the other fingers play the melody and improvise in a finger-picked style.
*  How does the distinctive sound of slack key music fit into the fabric of Hawaiian music and culture? Watch this video and learn more about this beautiful generations-old art form – https://vimeo.com/155399448.
*  In addition to the concert, an Island Marketplace – free to the public – takes place from 11 am-5 pm. You can browse a variety of island-themed gifts, home d├ęcor, accessories, apparel, and more. Plus, there's Hawaiian food, authentic island-style shave ice, and outdoor entertainment.
*  Free Parking
*  Those who devices are infested with Facebook spyware can find something at: https://www.facebook.com/socalslackkeyfestival
*  TIX,  $20 - $55, at www.kalakoa.tix.com or 800-595-4849
*  A $135 VIP ticket includes the best seats and Saturday night reception with food, giveaways, and mingling with the artists.
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Sun, Jan 19:
WESLEY STACE: "A Tribute to John Wesley Harding" featuring ROBERT LLOYD,  at the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Fri, Jan 24:
JOLIE HOLLAND plus RALPH WHITE play the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Sat, Jan 25:
ERIC ANDERSEN featuring SCARLET RIVERA play the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Sun, Jan 26; on TV:
Annual GRAMMY AWARDS broadcast.  We do not yet know if the West Coast will see the show live, or three hours later in prime-time. You CAN be reasonably certain that it will unreasonably exclude coverage of the few awards for Americana, Folk, Bluegrass, and Blues, making more airtime for the inscrutable duplications of Rap, Hip-Hop, Rap-Hop-Pop, and robotic-voice-altered electrocution electronica. They may call it "Music's Biggest Night," but...
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Sun, Jan 26:
DAVID WILCOX plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Starts Jan 28...
Tue & Thu, (2 sessions per week), WORKSHOP:
5:30 pm-9 pm - "TEACHING ARTIST TRAINING" is The Music Center series returning for 2020, empowering you to "Tap into your artistry to engage learners," at the Los Angeles Music Center, 135 N Grand Av, Los Angeles CA 90012
*  The 2020 "Teaching Artist Training" is open for registration, as of 11/22/19.
*  This class runs all these dates: Jan 28, 30; Feb 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 & 27.
*  New and experienced teaching artists specializing in dance, music, theatre, visual arts and media arts are encouraged to sign up.
*  This 30-hour training focuses on building and increasing artists' capacity to work creatively and effectively in TK-12 classrooms.
*  Participants focus on lesson design and gain strategies to facilitate arts learning in schools and other settings, drawing from their own artistic strengths. Content will connect to the new California Arts Standards, California Content Standards, Universal Design for Learning and Social Emotional Learning.
*  Training is led by Music Center teaching artists Madeleine Dahm (dance & theatre), Andrew Grueschow (music) and Lynn Okimura (visual & media arts).
*  MORE INFO: Ebony Ruffin, Manager of Professional Development; eruffin@musiccenter.org; 213-972-3308
*  COST: $250 (includes materials, light snacks and parking)
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Thu, Jan 30:
7:30 pm - HANNAH KIM, soprano performing a wide range of musical styles including opera, art songs, and musical theater, plays the first of the 2020 concert season at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W Malvern Av, Fullerton CA 92833
* Hannah Kim who was selected to perform alongside ANDREA BOCELLI as part of his west coast tour in 2009 and she performs regularly with Pacific Chorale and the LA Chamber Choir.
*  TIX at 714-738-6595 or TheMuck.org
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Fri, Jan 31:
EDDIE BERMAN plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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February
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Sat & Sun, Feb 1 & 2, VOCAL WORKSHOP:
Time tba - MOIRA SMILEY returns to her old L.A. stomping grounds, teaching two rare vocal workshops at The BirdHouse
*  Moira Smiley tours the world as part of the best vocal groups of our time. She is renowned in Los Angeles for her former ensemble VOCO, which was based here.
*  Details forthcoming at link below.
*  Reservations and info: https://moirasmiley.com/
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Sat, Feb 1:
PETER CASE plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Sun, Feb 2:
SOLD OUT - TOM RUSSELL plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Tue, Feb 4:
WYNONNA & CACTUS: "Party Of Two" plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Thu, Feb 6:
7:30 pm - SCOTT AINSLEE and REGGIE HARRIS, legendary guitarmen, explore the uniquely American folk and blues roots of the deep south, at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W Malvern Av, Fullerton CA 92833; 714-738-6595; www.TheMuck.org
*  An evening of jaw-dropping musicianship.
*  Two noted troubadours together in concert with a variety of acoustic instruments, stories, and songs.
*  TIX: $30 gen'l, $20 student/senior, $15 member.
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Fri, Feb 7:
THE FRED EAGLESMITH SHOW starring TIF GINN plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Sat, Feb 9:
ALASDAIR FRASER & NATALIE HAAS play the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; www.mccabes.com
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Fri, Feb 15:
Time tba - MOIRA SMILEY returns to her old L.A. stomping grounds for a concert at Nichols Canyon Music.
*  Moira Smiley tours the world as part of the best vocal groups of our time. She is renowned in Los Angeles for her former ensemble VOCO, which was based here.
*  Details not yet available at press time. They'll appear at: https://moirasmiley.com/
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later in 
2020
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Fri-Sun, Apr 3-5, 2020:
"HISTORYCON" is a national event and exhibition at the Pasadena Convention Center
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Sat, Apr 11:
10 am-2 pm - "ORANGE COUNTY JAMBOREE" at Irvine Park, Irvine CA
*  Features Western Music by the California Chapter of the Western Music Association, in cooperation with The Orange County Parks Historical Division.
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Sat, Apr 18:
7:30 pm - SCOTTISH FIDDLERS OF LOS ANGELES present their 39th Anniversary "SPRING CONCERT" at the Hermosa Beach Community Theatre, 710 Pier Av, Hermosa Beach CA
*  Acclaimed Cape Breton fiddlers ANDREA BEATON and TROY  MacGILLIVRAY join a 40-person orchestra for a lively evening of foot-stomping good fun.
*  MORE at: http://scottishfiddlers.org/
*  Adv tix available via Brown Paper Tickets as of Jan 6, at: https://m.bpt.me/event/4478119
*  TIX: $15 Gen'l, $25 Preferred (1st 5 rows); FREE for ages 18 and under.
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May 2:
11 am-3 pm - "RANCHO DAYS FIESTA" at Heritage Hills Park in cooperation with The Orange County (CA) Parks Historical Division.
*  Features Western Music by the California Chapter of the Western Music Association.
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Sun, May 17, FESTIVAL:
All day - Annual "TOPANGA BANJO FIDDLE CONTEST & FOLK FESTIVAL" at Paramount Ranch in Santa Monica Mtns Nat'l Recreation Area, off Kanan Rd in Agoura Hills CA
*  Info, contest registration, more, at: https://www.topangabanjofiddle.org/
*  Tix go on-sale Jan 13th at 10 am
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Sat, May 30; FESTIVAL:
All day - 30th Annual "DYLANFEST" in the tree-shaded courtyard at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, Torrance CA
*  This is a splendid live music event, reliably wonderful year after year. Sponsors and award-winning host band ANDY & RENEE & HARD RAIN always book many of L.A.'s top musicians, and for this big three-decade anniversary, you can expect a lot. You can also expect it to sell-out early.
*  TIX on sale soon as of our Jan 8 press time; keep watch, and more info, at: www.andyandrenee.com
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As always, we have lots of MUSIC NEWS features in the works, and they'll be along as we get them dressed, shoes tied, cowlicks combed down, bowties cranked straight, and strings tuned.
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'Til we catch ya on the flip side...
as Buford the Wonder Dog looks on 
and in our best Kathy Baker
"Hee Haw" voice: "THAT's all!"
Stay tuneful!
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On to the necessary boilerplate...

Boilerplate? What "boilerplate"? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Alright already, it's right down there...

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LEGALESE, CONTACTING US, 'N SUCH...
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♪ 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.
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The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The cyber porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.
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We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)
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