Robert Frank doc, ‘Don’t Blink,’ opens soon in L.A.

Film
Robert Frank, now 91 years old, is among the most influential artists of the last half-century. His seminal volume, The Americans, published in 1958, records the Swiss-born photographer’s candid reactions to American poverty and racism. It helped define the off-the-cuff, idiosyncratic elegance that are hallmarks of Frank’s artistry. Director Laura Israel (Frank’s longtime film editor) ...

The new normal: the Stones play La Habana 2

Language & ideas · Music
A super-special expression of a new reality. As native Britons, the Rolling Stones have never been particularly hamstrung by America’s culture-throttling 50-year trade embargo on Cuba. But with so many ties to the U.S. market (indeed with band members in residence here), they’ve surely been circumspect. Spreading the wild winds of Western civilization at the ...

Bill Graham, Ziegfeld of Aquarius 1

Music
by 
We pay over a hundred dollars for a decent seat at a Staples Center rock show without thinking twice, but it wasn’t always so. There had been rock events here and there as early as the late 1950s—Elvis at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium and the Beatles at Dodger Stadium—but they were occasional. Bill Graham (1931-1991) made ...

Back-up singers to the fore in “Twenty Feet From Stardom” 1

Film · Music · Reviews
Providing a spectacular opening event of the second season of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s “Oscars Outdoors” series: “Twenty Feet from Stardom.” The badly titled but otherwise smashing new documentary concerns a great subject: the art of the pop music back-up singer. Directed by Morgan Neville, it’s a must-see movie about American ...

Culture clash: Dino & the Stones

Music
From “Life” by Keith Richards (Little, Brown, 2010) page 151: “The first show we ever did in America was at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California. Bobby Goldsboro … was on the show, and the Chiffons. But earlier, we’d had the experience of Dean Martin introducing us at the taping of the Hollywood Palace TV show. ...

Stones still rolling fifty years later, on HBO 1

Music · Reviews
One full generation’s cultural history floats in the ether now that the great Rolling Stones are marking a half century of existence. When the blues-steeped rock band launched in 1962, I was seven years old — and already an arts journalist. So, it’s my entire life. Last night we previewed Crossfire Hurricane, the 100-minute tour ...

How the Stones rolled through L.A.

Music · Visual arts
Found: Photographs of the Rolling Stones, a month-long exhibition of twenty-six rare and candid photographs that document the Rolling Stones on their first American tour in 1964 opens soon at Dilettante, a creative theatre and gallery located in Compton.  The Stones photo-booty was discovered in an unmarked box at a Central California estate sale  — ...

She’s a rainbow, strums Gary Lucas at the Grammy Museum

Music
The instant Gary Lucas put his hand to his acoustic guitar and blasted into “She’s a Rainbow,” I took off into the stratosphere. A one-way ticket to pleasure-ville. I had forgotten this great Rolling Stones anthem — a love paean by Jagger/Richards dedicated to their flower-child cohorts. She comes in colours. The globe-trotting musician played ...

Mick Jagger’s ‘Exile,’ says fellow traveler John Van Hamersveld, named in downtown Los Angeles 1

Music · Visual arts
Who knew? When we were high school kids in suburban Pittsburgh in 1972, devouring the images on the cover of The Rolling Stones’s unspeakably great double album, “Exile on Main Street,” who knew that 39 years later, in a Los Angeles art gallery, I’d have a nice chat with the graphic artist who created the ...