August 29, 2014

Live review: Billy Higgins tribute at the Ford Amphitheater, August 24.

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Happy 25th anniversary to Leimert Park's World Stage, home to music, poetry and universal artistry since its 1989 founding by Kamau Da'aood and Billy Higgins. A lot of fine performers couldn't wait to pay tribute to drum legend Higgins, who died in 2001.

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August 28, 2014

L.A. previews August 29-September 4: Beat Music, Bob Sheppard, Elliott Caine, Bill Saxton-Azar Lawrence, Bombastic Meatbats, Alex Noice, Doyle, Scott Amendola.

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August 14, 2014

Ponderation: Pope Kumbaya wages war on the Latin Mass.

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When I was an altar boy in the mid-1960s, we said the Mass in Latin and liked it. Now, Pope Francis, like Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Frankie Valli and Frank Zappa before him, is trying to deal tradition a mystical and musical death blow.

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August 7, 2014

Poem: "Unsaved."

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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 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.
The piece generated a lot of comments on Anne Rice's Facebook page, among other places.

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