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Friday, June 17, 2011

Acoustic Americana Music Guide NEWS FEATURES, June 10 edition


In addition to the NEWS that's right here, check out the newest edition of our SPOTLIGHT EVENTS at        
        Welcome to the  
    Tied to the Tracks  
                              MUSIC GUIDE
                                        NEWS FEATURES
                                                       June 17, 2011 edition
    GOE (that’s Grand Ole Echo) 
       Here are these news feature stories...    
Our # 1 Story
    Wow. The final two weekends of June are packed way beyond capacity with first-rate acoustic music festivals for all tastes and needs (including the free kind). Sure, we know that Telluride is long ago sold-out, and it’s too far away for most of us anyway, with the outrageous price of gas.
    But the Southern California offerings are simply amazing, and some welcome you to bring your instruments and jam into the wee hours, after the main stage acts finish.
    The HUCK FINN JUBILEE, just over Cajon Pass at Mojave Narrows Regional Park near Victorville, posted a last-minute “Kids Play Free” coupon. Go get it at their website,, print and take it with you, and receive up to two free admissions for your children ages six through 12 with any one paid adult. Running Friday-Sunday, June 17-19, this annual festival is all about bluegrass / bluegrass-Americana, and brings performances by ROY CLARK, RODNEY DILLARD & THE DILLARD BAND, THE GIBSON BROTHERS, JULIE WINGFIELD, WAYNE RICE & LIGHTHOUSE, BLUEGRASS ETC, SIERRA HULL, NEW FOUND ROAD, SCOTT GATES & SALTY SUITES, MARK TWAIN LIVE, GRASSLANDS, TOM & BECKY, and more, plus Line Dance Workshops with KC DOUGLAS, Clog Dancing with THE BON FAMILY CLOGGERS, lots of fun activities for kids, and a bit of mid-nineteenth century Mark Twain culture straight from “Life on the Mississippi” all transported to a bluegrass festival on a river in the California desert (really). At Mojave Narrows Regional Park, Victorville; 951-780-8810. Named in recent years in a national ranking as the best weekend music festival in America.
    Northeast of Santa Barbara, Friday-Sunday, June 17-19 is the annual LIVE OAK MUSIC FESTIVAL has performances by MAVIS STAPLES, THE TEXAS TORNADOS, EVIE LADIN & EVIL DIANE, THE WAILIN' JENNYS, MOLLIE O'BRIEN & RICH MOORE, MOLLY'S REVENGE, OLD MAN LUEDECKE, CAFÉ MUSIQUE, SIERRA HULL & HIGHWAY 111, TOOTS & THE MAYTALS, SAMBADA, CARL SONNY LEYLAND, THE DAVID MAYFIELD PARADE, SPARROWS GATE, PELLEJO SECO, WILL BERNARD, and more. It’s at Live Oak Camp, off Highway 154, NE of Santa Barbara; 805-781-3030. This one is beneath the boughs of giant, canopy-like oak trees. 100% of Live Oak proceeds go to support KCBX Public Radio (the radio station we WISH we had in L.A.) The marvelous JOE CRAVEN is main stage emcee, and the booked acts are a spectrum of marvelous musicians, though not all are folk-Americana.
    The annual IRISH FAIR & MUSIC FESTIVAL with DUBLIN4, FENIANS, SLIGO RAGS, and more is a big deal in OC, at Irvine Meadows, 8800 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine 92618.
    In Ventura County, there are a pair of one-day festivals. On Saturday & Sunday, June 18 & 19 is the 3rd annual JOHNNY CASH MUSIC FESTIVAL at Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 Harbor Bl, Ventura 93001. Festival info, Headliners there are Kris Kristofferson, X, The Blasters, Deke Dickerson, Lee Rocker, plus Cash on the Line, Pee Wee Moore, Hayden Thompson with Omar & The StringPoppers, and Levi Dexter with the Buzz Campbell Band. This year's festival benefits Foodshare and the Coalition to End Family Violence.
    On Saturday only, June 18, also in Ventura County is the annual “HISTORY DAYS” festival, at Simi Valley Historical Society and Museum in Strathearn Historical Park, 137 Strathearn Pl, Simi Valley 93065. Bluegrass from MURPHY’S FLAW is on tap. Full details at     
    Saturday’s FREE mega-festival, June 18, is the annual “MAKE MUSIC PASADENA.” It’s the biggest U.S. expression of the French-based FETE DE MUSIQUE, on many stages, in many venues and on many street corners throughout Pasadena. You can go to; but we recommend you read The Guide’s guide to the acoustic renaissance and folk-Americana shows (in the new edition of Spotlight Events or in last week’s News Features, both at The schedule there is quite heavy this year with indie rockers and waaaay too much world beat / world music.
    If you spend all or part of the day in Pasadena for the free music, and you’re willing to part with some cash for an evening festival-like show in the area, there are two fine offerings. At 6:30 pm is “A NIGHT OF FOLK & BLUEGRASS MUSIC” with BILL MESNIK, TIM TEDROW & TERRY VREELAND, SEVERIN BROWNE, & THE WOMEN ON THE MOVE TRIO, at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Bl, Sierra Madre 91024; 626-355-4318. It’s $15, all ages, and if you bring your dad for his Father's day treat, he gets in for $5. Reservations recommended at 626-969-0778, or charge by phone at 626-355-4315.
    Or, after Make Music Pasadena, head straight up Lake Avenue to Altadena for the 7 pm double-bill with TRACY NEWMAN AND THE REINFORCEMENTS and DUTCH NEWMAN & THE MUSICAL MELODIANS at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; info,; reservations number (NEW) is 626-798-6236.
    You need more that’s free on Saturday, June 18? 5-11 pm brings the free “ANNUAL TOPANGA MUSIC PARTY” with CITY FRITTER, HONEYHEART, & MARK KNIGHT, at the Topanga Seed & Feed in Topanga Canyon.
    The Annual LONG BEACH BAYOU & MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL on Saturday & Sunday, June 25 & 26, brings DR. JOHN & THE LOWER 911, KEITH FRANK & THE SOILEAU ZYDECO BAND, LEROY THOMAS & THE ZYDECO ROADRUNNERS, GENO DELAFOSE & FRENCH ROCKIN' BOOGIE, BILLIE LEE & THE SWAMP CRITTERS, DAVID SOUSA & THE ZYDECO MUDBUGS, SAN DIEGO CAJUN PLAYBOYS, BONNE MUSIQUE ZYDECO, and more, including daily Mardi Gras-style Second Line Parades. This one has great food, too. It’s at Rainbow Lagoon Park (N side of Shoreline Dr), Shoreline Village Dr & Linden Av), Long Beach 90802; 562-570-1600.
    In Ventura County, THE CHANNEL ISLANDS TALL SHIPS FESTIVAL runs Friday through Sunday, Jun 24-26, with appropriate music all three days. BILL DEMPSEY, a well-known singer of sea shantys and nautical songs is among the music makers. And there really are tall ships to see, board, and even sail upon, "in a magnificent display of seafaring power and beauty." It's part of the 2011 ASTA TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Pacific Coast series.
    Down in San Diego County, the big annual SAN DIEGO SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES happens Saturday & Sunday, June 25 & 26, in Vista, with THE WICKED TINKERS, HIGHLAND WAY, THE BROWNE SISTERS & GEORGE CAVANAUGH, BANSHEE IN THE KITCHEN, and more. It’s at Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Dr, Vista 92084.
    Need a freebie? Saturday only, June 25 in Altadena is the annual FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, a free event for the entire family, noon-9:30 pm at Farnsworth Park Amphitheater, 568 E Mount Curb Av, Altadena 91001. One to catch: at 4 pm RASPIN STUWART plays Americana.
    Saturday night, June 25, is a festival-like concert at 8 pm called “CRAIC GO LEOR,” an Irish traditional concert with THE SWEET SET, SLUGGER O'TOOLE, and Irish Step Dancers, followed by a session (the Irish term for a jam), at Burbank Moose Lodge #652, 1901 W Burbank Bl, Burbank 91506.
Sunday only, June 26, is the free SUMMER SOLSTICE FOLK ARTS FESTIVAL, sponsored by The Living Tradition series, noon-4 pm in OC at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W Malven Av, Fullerton, 92833;; 714-738-6706. The band WHEN PIGS FLY! is hosting the all-day folk jam and providing live Irish music for the PLAID IRISH STEPDANCERS. It’s a day filled with stage performances by world, traditional music, and dance groups and storytellers from all over Southern California, performing in The Muck's outdoor amphitheater. There are free art workshops, a kids' area, an arts and crafts fair, house and gallery tours, a lawn sports tournament, picnicking, and food vendors, too.
Our # 2 Story
    LISBETH SCOTT did the amazing vocals for Mel Gibson’s film, “Passion of the Christ,” and she’s very spiritual, but not one of those rather generic Christian artists. Not at all. Saturday, Lisbeth teams-up with GRAMMY nominee ABRA MOORE to play a benefit concert for Lisbeth’s new charity, “The Forgotten Dream Project - Helping Women Remember the Dreams They Forgot.” Lisbeth’s special guest is QUINN, and Jo Tastula begins the evening with a meditation.
    You get the idea when Lisbeth tells you, “Enter in rear through door on right, bring pillow for floor seating.” Plus, there’s a silent auction and food.
    Lisbeth is very descriptive, saying, “If you are a woman or if you know a woman, I think that's everyone!...then you know how easy it is for women to put everyone else first. Their children, the men in their lives, their jobs, their parents and on and on. This is the beauty of being feminine, but it is also the challenge. To balance giving to ourselves with giving to others. Because if we walk our path using our true gifts we lift up those around us. And sometimes years go by and we forget this. and so… The Forgotten Dream is born.”
    It may be titled “dream,” but it’s tangible. Lisbeth says, “We provide micro grants to women 18 and over… no age limit. These are grants, not loans. Who needs more debt? In collaboration with the non-profit ‘A Place Called Home’ in South Central Los Angeles, grants from $500 to $2000 will be given to women who are ready to take the first step towards pursuing a dream.”
    So, what motivated this? “Creating this project is a dream come true for me,” says Lisbeth. She continues, “There are women, single mothers, who live in one room and support a family of 5 on less than $20,000 a year. This is practically next door to where I live. Los Angeles has given me a lot. I found my way and my true voice in this city. And now I'd like to give back.”
    She encourages you to “Come celebrate with us! 100% of all proceeds go to grant funding. Our first recipient, Berenice Bautista, will be present to share her dreams with us! I'm thrilled that Grammy nominee Abra Moore will be performing as well. Her work is stunning and moved me the moment I heard her voice. Come join us! Dance, eat, hear beautiful music and know that you're giving back to your community.”
    The concert is 7-10 pm at Kula Space, 1231 Lincoln Bl, Santa Monica.
Our # 3 Story
    So, you’re missing the big festivals, and after the free Make Music Pasadena event on Saturday, you’re going to just sit there because you’re broke and feeling forlorn? No need for that. Here are three Sunday freebies.
    Saturday night / Sunday morning, you can catch blues master BERNIE PEARL in a musical and informative program of the blues. It’s in a church (the pillars won’t fall on you, honest). Before that, starting at midnight, you can catch the TRAVELING WILBURYS free web streaming event to honor Father's Day and the band’s collective father, the mythical Charles Truscott Wilbury.
    Sunday morning, 10-11:30 am, “THE BIBLE AND THE BLUES” is presented by LMU scholar Dr. Daniel Smith Christopher with live music by BERNIE PEARL & MIKE BARRY, at Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 1200 San Vicente Bl, L.A. 90049. Please call in advance, 310-826-5656. Bernie tells us, “Mike and I have been part of [this previously]. We have done it in Anaheim and in Camarillo at ticketed gatherings. This time the public is welcome, and it is free. We perform several blues numbers while the knowledgeable and entertaining scholar connects the Old Testament Book of Lamentations to African-American history, Civil Rights, and the Blues.”
    Sunday late afternoon / evening, catch this week’s free Grand Ole Echo show, which just made a debut in The Huffington Post as “one of the things to do for Dad on Father's Day in Los Angeles.” Read it at    
    This Sunday's GOE show is the CD release party for TED RUSSELL KAMP's "Get Back to the Land" (currently #24 on the Americana Music Association's radio charts) with special guests, DAVID SERBY & THE DIRT POOR FOLKLORE and SKIP HELLER. Free, as always, 5:30 pm, all ages, at the Echo, 1822 Sunset Bl, Echo Park.
    As for the WILBURYS? Seems that on Father's Day, four years ago this week, The Traveling Wilburys boxed set, “Collection,” stormed the worldwide album charts. The Collection includes an exquisite documentary entitled, "The True History Of The Traveling Wilburys" featuring previously unreleased footage of half-brothers Lucky, Otis, Charlie T. Jnr., Lefty and Nelson Wilbury (aka a buncha real-life genuinely famous musicians).
    The tale goes that to honor their father, Charles Truscott Wilbury, and in honor of fathers everywhere, the Wilburys are presenting a free 24-hour stream of "The True History Of The Traveling Wilburys" on Father's Day, Sunday, June 19th.
    Just go to on Sunday for the program that begins at the stroke of midnight in Los Angeles, and 3 am in New York (it’s based on global GMT of 8 am, and that’s 7 pm Sydney, 5 pm Tokyo, 1:30 pm Mumbai, 10 am Johannesburg, 8 am London, 11 am Moscow, 5 am São Paulo). Hey, if you’re not a festival, what else are you doing at midnight?
Our # 4 Story
    The Los Angeles County Arts Commission began accepting applications June 15 to be included in a key resource for paying gigs, the Arts for All online directory, at While this call is specifically to be listed as a provider of Programs for Educators, the listing of professional development arts education providers, it is a door-opener. Qualifying to be listed accesses a key resource provided by Arts for All to support professional musicians as visiting educators for school districts and their community partners. (See the Guide’s story on Arts for All in the June 3 edition, feature #4, archived at        
    The trick? You must get qualified as a “professional development provider.” Prospective applicants should first read the Programs for Educators guidelines, just made available at The online application became available June 15 and can be accessed from the Guidelines. All applications must be submitted electronically by July 27.
    To improve quality and equitable student access to arts learning, Arts for All invites professional development providers that have high quality programming and the capacity to serve educators in Los Angeles County to apply. To be listed on the directory, individuals and organizations must submit an electronic application, required supplemental materials and be approved by a peer panel comprised of individuals with knowledge and professional qualifications in arts education.
    Arts educators seeking to join the directory and/or strengthen their professional development offerings are invited to participate in two workshops: June 28 and/or July 13 at the L.A. County Arts Commission offices.
    Workshop I – Building Capacity through Professional Development: Designing Effective Programs, is offered Tuesday, June 28, 1-5 pm; make your reservation at    
    Workshop II – Building Capacity through Professional Development: Facilitating High Quality Experiences, is set for Wednesday, July 13, 1-5 pm; make a reservation at   
    The searchable online Programs for Educators directory provides centralized access to quality, local, national, and peer reviewed arts education professional development. The programs are intended to serve the needs of Los Angeles County’s arts educators, including generalist classroom teachers, arts specialists, teaching artists, and school and arts administrators. For example, district administrators can find individuals and organizations to provide professional development focused on student achievement and instructional quality in the arts; classroom teachers can find professional learning communities to join; and teaching artists can find programs that will deepen their capacity to serve the needs of students. You can explore the format of the online Programs for Educators directory at E-mail with questions about the directory.
Our # 5 Story
    Blessed with a simply gorgeous venue, the long-running UCLA Live! series in Royce Hall, one in a group of monumental architectural gems on the Westwood campus, lures folk-Americana fans multiple times each year. Sure, the season always includes a mix, but they maintain a solid commitment to feature acoustic Americana. With the announcement of their upcoming season, we are happy to note their shows that warrant early ticket purchases for the best seats. You can buy a subscription and save, or take advantage of the “Choose your own Series” option. Individual tickets go on sale on Friday, July 22.
    EARL SCRUGGS plus a “special guest” performs there Saturday, November 5, 2011. KENNY BURRELL, “80 Years Young,” will feature special guests B.B. KING, DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER, LALO SCHIFRIN, and more on Saturday, November 12, 2011. KATHLEEN BATTLE presents “An Evening of Spirituals” on Saturday, January 21, 2012. LUCINDA WILLIAMS performs Friday, January 27, 2012. THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS plays both “A Special Family Show” (read kids show) and an evening adult show to celebrate their 30th anniversary, both on Saturday, January 28, 2012. Itzhak Perlman, the reigning virtuoso of the violin, accompanied by Rohan De Silva, performs Thursday, February 16, 2012. MAX RAABE & PALAST ORCHESTER bring their “One Cannot Kiss Alone” tour on Thursday, February 23, 2012. STEW & THE NEGRO PROBLEM hold sway Friday, March 9, 2012. THE CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS plus special guests play Friday, April 6, 2012. BETTYE LaVETTE plus JON CLEARY’S PHILTHY PHEW are there Saturday, April 21, 2012.
    We focus on a few of these, below, in this edition.
    Bluegrass doesn’t get any better than when it’s played live by banjo virtuoso EARL SCRUGGS. At the age of 10, he developed his distinct three-finger style of play that would become famous around the world as “Scruggs-style picking.” After a tour of duty with the legendary Bill Monroe, he and Lester Flatt formed the Foggy Mountain Boys, later called just Flatt and Scruggs — and the rest is history. From Carnegie Hall to Hollywood, the sound they pioneered defined bluegrass and legitimized the genre in the mainstream. Scrugg’s legacy is secure — the 87-year old was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2008 and he continues to charm audiences with his unmistakable musicianship and humor. Ticket prices go from $65 to $20.
    For six decades, KENNY BURRELL’s name has been synonymous with jazz guitar. And as the founder and director of UCLA’s Jazz Studies program, his name on campus is legendary. This special event celebrates the incredible life and career of this influential performer, composer, bandleader and producer in a one-night-only, all-star event featuring tribute performances from blues legend B.B. King (who cites Burrell as his “favorite guitarist”), multi-Grammy-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, pianist Lalo Schifrin and others, as Kenny turns “80 Years Young.” Tickets range from $75 to $25.
    One of America’s finest singer-songwriters, LUCINDA WILLIAMS’ substantial talents transcend the genres in which she works so handily, from folk to blues and country-rock. After breaking out of the underground, she cemented her place in popular music with 1998’s “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.” TIME magazine named her “America’s best songwriter” in 2002 and she’s won three Grammy awards (so far). Her latest work, the emotional and evocative “Blessed,” released in March 2011, was quickly hailed by many critics and fans as her finest work to date. Whether she’s plugged-in and backed by a full band, or solo with her acoustic guitar, Lucinda’s forthright style and authentic warmth always tug at the heartstrings and stimulate the mind. Tickets range from $50 to $20.
    Steeped in the rich, yet largely uncelebrated tradition of African-American string bands of the old South, THE CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS have been making a name for themselves with a uniquely modern vibe and approach. Since forming in 2005, the quartet has recorded four albums of brilliant material that Rolling Stone praises for its “dirt-floor-dance electricity.” Last year their hard work started to pay off — “Genuine Negro Jig” took home the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. All of the musicians sing and trade instruments, including banjo, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, snare drum, jug and kazoo. The quartet’s charm lies in an effortless ability to balance vintage sounds with a contemporary ethos. Band member Rhiannon Giddens sums it up best saying: “Tradition is a guide, not a jailer.” Tickets are priced $40 to $20.
    Two-time Grammy nominee BETTYE LaVETTE is a song interpreter of the highest order. Whether the song originated as country, rock, pop or blues, when she gets through with it, it is R&B. As UCLA’s promo says, “She gets inside a song and shapes and twists it to convey all of the emotion that can be wrought from the lyric. Her live performances are incendiary.” The New York Times says, “Ms. LaVette, 64, now rivals Aretha Franklin as her generation’s most vital soul singer. She uses every scrape, shout and break in her raspy voice, with a predator’s sense of timing, to seize the drama of a song.” Joining Bettye is New Orleans’ “piano professor” JON CLEARY, with his Philthy Phew trio, which showcases a unique acoustic format as a vehicle for Cleary’s varied and thrilling compositions. His music embodies the piquant flavors of New Orleans funk and classic R&B. In the hallowed ranks of New Orleans "piano professors," Jon Cleary is on the tenure track. Born in England and raised in New Orleans, Jon Cleary composes infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics. He balances performing on solo piano with the noted funk band The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, and with his new trio Piano, Bass & Drums. As a session and road musician, he plays with Bonnie Raitt and John Scofield.
    In addition, there are a pair of Royce Hall Organ concerts. Saturday, March 10, 2012 brings the silent film “Tillie's Punctured Romance” accompanied by the Royce Hall Organ played by Steven Ball. Before that is a classical Organ Recital, featuring Paul Jacobs playing excerpts from Messiaen's Livre Du Saint-Sacrement on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Both can be included in your “Choose your own Series” package.
    All concerts offer $15 tickets for UCLA students. If you haven’t yet experienced a concert in Royce Hall – or if you haven’t been for a few years, since before they fixed their sound problems – get tickets for a show there for the upcoming season.
    There’s more, of course, with classical and world music. Check the entire season at or call the UCLA ticket office at 310-825-2101.
Our # 6 Story
    “Active Arts at the Music Center,” exclusively for amateur musicians, is now open for online registration, through June 30. It’s a popular annual series of standalone offerings at the prestigious L.A. Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. A nominal fee is charged for each of the three “music-making experiences,” and registration is required online at     
    The three options are:
    a) AFRO-CUBAN JAM - CANTAR-TOCAR-RUMBA, VEN A GOZAR. It’s designed to “Harmonize your voice, hands and soul,” as you “Experience and explore the traditional Afro-Cuban styles that make this music timeless.” It’s for singers or drummers with prior music-making experience in any tradition.
    b) JAZZ COMBO - BROADEN YOUR JAZZ HORIZONS. Each participant chooses from Traditional & New Orleans, Straight Ahead, Brazilian or Modern jazz. You’ll play with a small combo with band mates, interpreting and mastering well-known, classic jazz tunes, as you “progress at your desired pace.”
    c) ZYDECO BOOT CAMP - TRANSPORT YOURSELF TO THE BAYOU. You’ll learn “this earthy music used to create a spectrum of possibilities such as Two-Step, Shuffle, and Waltz - a simmering American melting pot of sound.” It’s for violin/fiddle and keyboard accordion players “who would like to make music more often.”
    Presented as part of the Active Arts at the Music Center series, Get Your Chops Back (GYCB) is a series of learning workshops in a stress-free, non-judgmental environment for adult recreational musicians with prior music-making experience / basic playing skills and who have not made music in a while. Active Arts at the Music Center happens at 135 N Grand Av, Los Angeles 90012;; 213-972-3660.
Our # 7 Story
Music, choral and dance groups are “urged” to apply before the August 3 deadline. So says the invitation, issued June 15, by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. L.A. County-based youth and adult community and professional choirs, music ensembles, folk and traditional artists and dance companies are being sought to perform in the televised 52nd Annual “Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration” in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the L.A. Music Center on December 24, 2011. Interested artists are required to submit an electronic application, on the Arts Commission website at Both the application and guidelines for applying are noe available online. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, August 3, 2011.
    Prospective applicants should read the guidelines and attend the application workshop on Tuesday, July 19 at 7 pm at the Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Bl East, Hollywood 90068 (across the freeway from the Hollywood Bowl). To register for the workshop, email     
    The Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration is a free public event that honors the spirit of many cultures and holiday traditions through music, song and dance. The event takes place every December 24 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles.
    The stage production is broadcast live on KCET, and in past years, a condensed version of the production has been aired nationwide on PBS. Since KCET is now an independent public TV station that has left PBS, there is no word yet of whether this year’s show will air beyond the region covered by KCET’s broadcast signal, and its greatly diminished cable presence. Still, the superb stagecraft, sound, lighting, and prestige of playing the Music Center should be more than enough for most artists to apply.
    In addition to encouraging all Los Angeles County-based performing groups who represent “diverse communities, traditions and performing disciplines” to apply, the Arts Commission says, “All performing groups are paid.” They add, “Proposed programming should be suitably themed for a multi-cultural holiday production.”
Our # 8 Story
     June 17th is the 39th anniversary of the infamous Watergate Break-In, the 1972 event wherein Nixon White House operatives were caught inside the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Evidence found on the burglars linked their pay to the Nixon White House and the Committee to Re-Elect the President – aptly called CREEP – but that’s not the entertainment connection.
     Nearly two years of investigative journalism, initially led by Washington Post newspaper reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and later by CBS News, and eventually by other journalists and investigators, uncovered cover-ups and a history of deceptions, break-ins, planted false documents, false evidence, and even a White House “Enemies List” of Nixon opponents who were targeted for IRS audits and various officially-sanctioned forms of inconveniences or harrassment (that list had plenty of artists on it, though that’s not the connection, either).
     What began with the arrest of burglars on June 17 culminated in climactic hearings by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Watergate and the House Impeachment Committee to reveal the scope and magnitude of White House sponsorship or funding to circumvent the electoral process, cover-up other burglaries, and break other federal laws. Finally in 1974, when faced with certain conviction in the pending impeachment trial, Richard Nixon became the only President in U.S. history to resign the office.
     Often forgotten now is the hugely historic second part. Nixon’s elected Vice President, Spiro Agnew, had to resign ahead of Nixon. Agnew faced Federal indictment for a series of bribery counts for activities as Governor of Maryland, the office Agnew held before becoming Nixon’s Vice President.
     Nixon appointed Congressman Gerald Ford to replace Agnew, and the Senate quickly confirmed him. There had been other Vice Presidents who had not reached that office through a national election. But Nixon’s subsequent resignation made Ford the nation’s only un-elected President of the United States.
     Initially popular, as America breathed a sigh of relief after Watergate, Ford was universally criticized when he pardoned Nixon for “all crimes he… may have committed.” Ford closed the door on anyone ever learning the full scope of Nixon’s shenanigans and bringing him to justice. It was a big deal. At the time, many Nixon staffers and administration officials were in Federal prison.
     So, why are we reviewing all this here? Because there is a key intersection of entertainment and presidential history. Ford is President. Enter “Saturday Night Live,” in its first season on TV. Each week, the show brought comedic trivialization of Ford, always with CHEVY CHASE – who looked nothing whatsoever like Ford – portraying him as a stumbling klutz who couldn’t keep his feet under him. Ford was, in fact, an athlete, but TV images of him falling down the steps of Air Force One and assorted buildings and beaning people with badly-aimed golf balls were all that Chase and SNL’s writers needed. Soon, SNL cast members GARRET MORRIS, JOHN BELUSHI, LARAINE NEWMAN and GILDA RADNER figured-in the weekly “Ford-is-a-boob” sketch comedy. Together with the unforgotten Nixon pardon, it eroded Ford’s chance for finding popularity.
     But it was SNL’s comedic portrayals that kept Ford from being regarded as “presidential.” Gerald Ford lost the presidential election of 1976 to Georgia’s Democratic Governor Jimmy Carter. Thus, Ford left office after facing – and losing – the only national election in which his name was on the ballot.
     Gerald Ford – the President effectively appointed by Watergate’s disgraced President Nixon as his hand-picked successor – remains, together with Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) and George W. Bush (2000), one of only three Presidents to hold the nation’s highest office without winning their presidential election.      
     Decades later, TINA FEY’s SNL portrayals of SARAH PALIN renewed the show’s sagging ratings and, in an age of John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, reasserted its comedic attention to presidential politics. But, given Palin’s own words, no one could regard SNL’s 2008 role as pivotal. Still, unlike Chevy Chase playing Ford, Tina Fey is such a dead-ringer for Palin that Fox News recently used a photo of the comedienne instead of the intended pic of the ex-half-term governor. Life imitating art imitating life…
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RECENT EDITIONS of The Guide's NEWS FEATURES are still available!  
Just check our archive! Read the contents bar on the left side of the page at and click the appropriate month.   
The MOST RECENT past editions (last 30 days) are archived and easy to find.
June 10 edition is available at    
                        and the stories are:
  1) Top Indie Women Musicians Playing This Week  
  2) June “Rocky The Flying Squirrel” Foray, World's Most Famous Animation
    Voice Artist: June 16 Musical Fete With WILL RYAN & Band 
  3) Socio-Political Singer-Songwriter ROY ZIMMERMAN, Amidst Tour,
    Co-Headlines All-Star “Public Citizen” Benefit, Sunday, June 12  
    Plus, One Local Solo Show, June 11 
  4) SPIN Magazine's Americana Issue: What Happens When a Bigtime  
   Rock / Pop Mag Explains Banjos & Dulcimers, and More?    
  5) L.A. Pianist / Composer MARC BOSSERMAN Wins at Park City Music Festival   
  6) June Festivals: There Are More than Ever Before  
  7) Make Music Pasadena is a Free Festival, June 18  
  8) 70 Free Summer Concerts Coming to Los Angeles County   
  9) Your Band Based in Los Angeles County? Get Registered, Get Gigs  
June 3 edition is available at         
                        and the stories are:
  1) A Folk Legend's Final West Coast Tour Hits Caltech June 4th  
  2) GRAMMY, Oscar, Emmy Winners / Nominees, & Gold Records: Acclaim for  
   “How To Work The Media” Seminar, and a Final Chance to Attend In L.A., June 7th  
  3) June's Festivals Begin this Weekend  
  4) One to Emulate? L.A.'S “Arts for All” Wins $80,000 Endowment  
  5) “Pirate Musician” James Potkey's Memorial is June 4th  
  6) June Concerts Feature Superb Double Bills  
May 27th edition is available at   
                                  and the stories are:
  2) ANNUAL “SCOTS FEST,” this Weekend in Orange County  
  3) “TOPANGA DAYS COUNTRY FAIR” – The Only Fest that's All 3 Days  
  5) “HOW TO WORK THE MEDIA” SEMINAR – One Last Time in L.A., June 7  
May 20th edition is available at   
                                   and the stories are:
  1) What a Weekend of Festivals!
  2) Sunday's “L.A. ACOUSTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL” Offers Free Outdoor Show, Ticketed
    Indoor Show  
  4) BOB DYLAN's 70th Birthday, May 24th, To Be Musically Celebrated by Folk Legend
    ROSS ALTMAN & Friends in Santa Monica      
  5) 14th Annual “DOHENY BLUES FESTIVAL” in Dana Point, All Weekend  
  7) PADDY’S PIG CD Release & Apocalypse Show, Saturday, May 21  
  8) “HOW TO WORK THE MEDIA” Seminar – One Last Time in L.A., June 7  
  9) “ROOTS ROADHOUSE” to Return in August   
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The LATEST EDITION of THE GUIDE, the NEWS FEATURES, THE SCENE, SPOTLIGHTED EVENTS, & THE VENUE DIRECTORY– what it takes to bring you the world of current acoustic music happenings, including "heads up" notices to buy advance tickets for shows likely to sell-outc   
    – is available 24/7 (& frequently updated!) at ~  
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