July 29, 2014

Live review: Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy, Don Carlos & the Dub Vision Band at Hollywood Bowl, July 20.

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Folks who consider reggae a peaceful monolith shoulda dug this year's Reggae Night at the Bowl. The stylistic divisions ran about as harsh as the Israel-Gaza border; we half expected rocket fire.

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July 25, 2014

L.A. previews July 25-31: Carl Burnett, Municipal Waste, Ron Carter, Anna Homler, Central Avenue Jazz Fest, Ross Hammond-Dwight Trible-Nicole Mitchell, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Aerosmith-Slash, Spy Car-Trotsky Icepick, Route 66 virtual fest.

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July 15, 2014

R.I.P.: Charlie Haden, 1937-2014.

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When we saw Charlie Haden at REDCAT in December, we knew the great bassist's time with us would not be long.

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July 11, 2014

Mini-history: "Black Night," Deep Purple's soccer chant.

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I nominate the song for permanent inclusion in the repertoire.

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July 3, 2014

Philosophy: Why I don't stand for the national anthem.

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June 26, 2014

Poem: "Warrior"

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June 4, 2014

Mythology: "Maleficent," a very metal movie.

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Disney's ambivalent relationship with Satan, paganism and heavy metal mirrors America's ambivalent relationship with itself. More evidence: the studio's new "Maleficent." Read my thoughts in the Op-Ed section of LA Times.

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May 27, 2014

Reviews of Ozzy guitarists Part 2: Joe Holmes, Jake E. Lee, Gus G.

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Last month I noted the mini-torrent of current releases by guitarists associated with Ozzy Osbourne, and I began the survey with "Catacombs of the Black Vatican" by Black Label Society, the long-running project of Zakk Wylde (Ozzy 1987-1995 and 2001-2009). Now I'm gonna catch up with Joe Holmes (1995-2001), Jake E. Lee (1983-1987) and Gus G. (2009-present).

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May 16, 2014

Live review: Skid Row, Black Star Riders, Stonebreed at the Canyon Club, May 15.

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Q: What's the difference between retro and rooted? A: Growth. This '70s/'80s-oriented rock night dealt out two retros and one rooted. It also made points about the value of a star front man.

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May 11, 2014

Live review: Leni Stern African Trio & friends at the Baked Potato, May 7.

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Leni Stern is writing out her set lists at a table beside the stage. "I made such nice lists," she mutters to bassist Mamadou Ba, "and then I left them at the hotel." With Ba in the band for several years now, they hardly need a map.

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