Skirball’s “Get down, Moses” listening party

Language & ideas · Music
The “listening party” — a groovy event in which cultural anthropologist Josh Kun spins discs to illustrate the complex historic relationship between African-American and Jewish popular music — had serious naming issues. Kun launched it as “Black Sabbath.” It got changed to “Go Down, Moses.” Then, some genius in the Skirball Center p.r. department tweaked ...

The satin sound of Johnny Mercer

Language & ideas · Music
While I was recovering from knee surgery, my buddy S.V. brought me recuperation DVDs — among them “The Dream’s On Me,” documentarian Bruce Ricker’s film homage to lyricist/composer Johnny Mercer. [The documentary, executive-produced by Clint Eastwood, airs from time to time on TCM.] Mercer, a tireless music maker of the highest order (by the way, ...

John Waters & Carrie Fisher dish at ALOUD 1

Film · Language & ideas
This just in from Louise Steinman, curator-turned-impresario of the Library Foundation’s ALOUD book talk series. Louise has nailed down what promises to be a wild and wonderful evening of conversation Filmmaker John Waters communes with his interlocutor, Carrie Fisher. Two of show business’s sharpest minds (and fastest tongues!) meet to discuss their role models! John ...

Robert Ryan fan club 2

Film
arts·meme, when she is not kvelling on symphony or ballet, is a fan girl. She has favorite movie actors. The male contingent includes Ralph Fiennes, early Peter Saarsgard, early Tim Roth, and the red-headed Briton, Damien Lewis. But why oh why was the great b-movie guy, Robert Ryan, heavily featured in LACMA’s recent series on the cinematography ...

Patrick Graham’s patch of earth 1

Visual arts
Patrick Graham SOMEWHERE JERUSALEM, 1996 oil and mixed media on canvas, 72 x 140 inches “My first memory of drawing was as a child and I remember people talking about me,” said Irish artist Patrick Graham at a crowded art talk hosted by his long time representative, Jack Rutberg, at Rutberg’s La Brea Avenue gallery. ...

Neil Greenberg chats about Roaratorio

Dance
“You really see people dancing. It’s especially clear that this was a concern of Merce’s. There’s a lot of humanity in this work.” Thus choreographer Neil Greenberg remembers Roaratorio, the Merce Cunningham work dating from 1983 that will be restaged at Disney Concert Hall next weekend.  A member of Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1979 ...

arts·meme enters the terrible twos 2

Language & ideas
“You should be blogging,” my brother Mark first said to me sometime around 2005. I succumbed on May 24, 2008 when arts·meme went live — with Mark’s excellent tech support. Then he started saying, “You should be tweeting.” Okay, enough is enough! Inspired by a Los Angeles Philharmonic concert under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, I ...

Lionel Popkin, elephantine

Dance · Reviews
We all know it's a jungle out there. Especially now, with oil gushing into the Louisiana Wetlands, we're sincerely grateful to choreographer Lionel Popkin for inverting the familiar man-destroys-nature theme. Popkin transforms a downtown Los Angeles performance space into an urban jungle of lush mystery in his marvelously inventive "There is an Elephant In This ...

Pina Bausch films at Dance Camera West

Dance · Film
Kudos to hardworking impresario Lynette Kessler on the launch of the ninth annual installment of Dance Camera West, the month-long series celebrating the best-of-the-best of the filmed dance experience. Here is Dance Camera's West's full schedule. I'm particularly drawn to Lynette's June 12 symposium on German choreographer Pina Bausch, a great force in dance who died ...

George Segal @ Skirball Cultural Center 1

Visual arts
Now on view at the Skirball Cultural Center, where they run top-notch exhibitions, is “The Expulsion,” an installed tableau of Adam and Eve driven from Garden of Eden created in 1986 by George Segal. The artist, a major player in early pop art, passed away in 2000. A recent gift to Skirball, the mise-en-scene features two ...