[Blog] “Music as Urbanism” at the Armory Center: Rural Music, Christopher Dorner Corridos, + L.A. Songlines
*BLOG / MUSIC / Urban Issues

[Blog] “Music as Urbanism” at the Armory Center: Rural Music, Christopher Dorner Corridos, + L.A. Songlines

Last week, creative thinkers Brian Cross, Eamon Ore-Giron, Josh Kun and Susannah Tantemsapya met up at Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts to discuss “Music as Urbanism.” Their presentations took us from the American southwest to Cali, Colombia, and home to Los Angeles. We heard (literally) about Peruvian processionals, Colombia’s “música pacífica,” and Mexican migrant music. And we contemplated the sonic landscapes of both our cities and our minds. Here are a few ideas that buzzed most loudly in my head. Continue reading

[Blog] Masanga Marima Brings “Guantanamera” from L.A. to Zimbabwe and Back (+ Video)

[Blog] Masanga Marima Brings “Guantanamera” from L.A. to Zimbabwe and Back (+ Video)

The simple tune and patriotic lyrics of “Guantanamera,” Cuba’s signature song, have traveled to numerous far-flung corners of the planet. Even unlikely ones, I learned last Friday at a concert by Masanga Marimba at MacArthur Park’s Levitt Pavilion. Masanga Marimba blends African and Latin American musical styles, mostly played on seven Zimbabwean marimbas ranging from … Continue reading

*BLOG / Latin American / Mexican / MUSIC

Café Tacvba Celebrates 20th Anniversary With “Seguir Siendo”

I squinted at the small TV, trying to figure out what to make of the enthusiastic, eccentric performers on the screen.   The small guy with the nasaly voice wearing an image of large breasts on his t-shirt.   The slender pianist who paused his playing to raise his arms and do a dance from the torso … Continue reading

*BLOG / Mexican / Tijuana / VISUAL ART

[Blog] The Donkey Show: From Tijuana to Santa Monica Museum of Art

My trips to Tijuana have always included strolling down the main tourist drag, la Avenida de la Revolución — dodging panhandlers, buying up pottery, and stopping for snacks of tacos, or even better, sizzling bacon-wrapped hot dogs.  I’ve also ogled and smirked at the notoriously cheesy zebra-striped donkeys.  Little did I know about their fabled … Continue reading

LA Times

[LA Times] Rachael Worby conducts Pasadena Pops in stirring, dry-eyed final performance

“It looks like I’m crying, but I’m not,” vocalist Jodi Benson said after her moving rendition of “The Way We Were” at the Pasadena Pops concert Saturday night. “I’m really not emotional, it’s just that I have eyelash glue in my eye.”

Benson was in fact dry-eyed, as was conductor Rachael Worby, who prepared for the downbeat of the next piece. But tear-streaked faces were evident on many of the 2,000 fans picnicking on the grass outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The song that expresses the nostalgia of memories and lost dreams struck a chord with the crowd attending the final Pops concert conducted by Worby, who announced her resignation as music director in mid-August. Continue reading

[LA Times] The Wiggles: Bubbly superstars of the preschool set
LA Times / MUSIC

[LA Times] The Wiggles: Bubbly superstars of the preschool set

Who can resist the Wiggles? The Australian group has spent the last 20 years clowning around onstage, bringing its songs, smiling faces, brightly colored turtleneck jerseys and bubbly personalities to kids around the world.

Anthony Field, Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt and Sam Moran, color-coded as, respectively, the blue, red, purple and yellow Wiggles, appeal to kids with their carefully choreographed simplicity and lyrics such as “Fruit salad, yummy yummy! Fruit salad, yummy yummy!”…. Continue reading