L.A. postviews and previews July 18-24: Gerald Wiggins, Richard Cromelin, Ben Wendel, Black Elk, Steuart Liebig, Dean Chamberlain, Judith Owen, Maetar, Ron Athey.

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L.A. pianist Gerald Wiggins died Sunday at the age of 86. His skill harked back to an era before jazz musicians were considered artists; he would not have been embarrassed to be called an entertainer. An admirer of Art Tatum, Wiggins could engender a similarly Tatumesque atmosphere wherein music could be experienced much the same as magic. I have never seen an audience reflect a performer’s smile more quickly, and I’m glad to have heard him play.

And: You’d think it would get easier to watch publications put guns to their own heads, blowing off a nose and an ear and a chin before placing the muzzle squarely against their temples. But it doesn’t get easier. When I heard LA Weekly was cutting loose its fine editor/writer/workhorse/inspiration Joe Donnelly a few months ago, I thought bridge-jumping had been declared an Olympic event. When I found out LA Times was letting music journalist Richard Cromelin go in its latest wave of carnage, though -- jeez. A totally reliable guy who can write about anything, who always strikes a perfect balance, whose style is elegant, and who can edit as well as he writes. No need for that after 30-some years, right? I guess you can’t take it with you.

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Fri. July 18 -- Modrin rhythm edgeophonics from the ensemble of saxist Ben Wendel. At Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., downtown 90013; 8pm; $10 cover, $10 minimum; (213) 613-1537.

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Sat. July 19 -- L.A.’s dark & punky 400 Blows punches hard where it counts; Portland’s Black Elk (pictured) tear hunks of raw meat from the gushing ribcage of underground noise metal -- one of my fave West Coast Bands, with a new album coming in October. At the Scene, 806 E. Colorado St., Glendale 91205; (818) 241-7029.

Sat. July 19 -- Electro-bassist Steuart Liebig bags up an improv trio with electro-guitarist G.E. Stinson and electro-saxist Andrew Pask. All three are among my fave post-humans on and in the circuit. At Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., downtown 90013; 8pm; $10 cover, $10 minimum; (213) 613-1537.

Tues. July 22 -- Dean Chamberlain, a.k.a. The Honorable DHC, goes electric three-piece plus the Boulevard Choir. At the Mint, 6010 Pico Blvd., L.A. 90035; 10pm; $5.

Wed. July 23 -- An urbane singer with an eerie calm and a skewed repertoire: Judith Owen. At Hotel Café, 1623 1/2 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 9pm.

Thurs. July 24 -- Hey, yo, the Israeli/American groove trio Maetar is back with art and world peace and a cloud of space dust. Drink, dance; you will dig. At Harvelle’s, 432 Fourth St., Santa Monica 90401; 9pm; $5; (310) 395-1676.

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Thurs. July 24 -- “Durational, Minimal & Physical Live Art Works.” That means challenging performance art from our old pal Ron Athey, along with Julie Tolentino, Franko B and Juliana Snapper. Support local artists putting on their own revolution and benefiting a “performance art boot camp.” At Remy’s on Temple, 2126 W. Temple St., 8:30pm with an after-party rocked by DJs in the garden afterward; $25-$50; RSVP (323) 661-0322 or praxismohave@gmail.com.

Comments (1)

Etan Rosenbloom:
Hey, I had no idea you were a fan of Black Elk! I headed to the Scene last night to check 'em out and they definitely delivered on the promise of their debut album. Even better live than on disc, and the new material is perhaps nastier and filthier than the old. So nice to see dudes that just keep getting more horrible as they inch towards middle-age.