Happy 70th birthday, Captain Beefheart

Language & ideas · Music · Visual arts
Guitarist Gary Lucas‘s Captain Beefheart symposium was already in the works when he received a text message December 16 that Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, was no more. After years of suffering from multiple sclerosis, the enigmatic rock vocalist and musician, who had long forsaken music for painting, died at 69. Speaking to a theater ...


Film · Language & ideas
The world is one-one-one-one today. Happy birthday world.

Happy 100th birthday, Julius Shulman 3

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
In keeping with arts·meme’s devotion to the dearly departed, we’d like to add Uncle Julius to the mix. The great Brooklyn-born, Los Angeles-reared architectural photographer left our midst last year. By most measures, his was a life well lived (1910-2009). He left behind the visual splendor of his timeless photography, which captures and defines California ...

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 ...

Bette Davis turns 100 years old 4

To celebrate the occasion, we attended a LACMA double-bill of two of Davis’s late-career outings (post-All About Eve and pre-Baby Jane). We watched in morbid fascination the divine Ms. D chomp both the scenery and her hunky co-star, Sterling Hayden, in The Star. Davis plays a washed-up movie celeb who tries, fails, and ultimately succeeds ...