Posts by Kirk Silsbee

arts•meme contributor Kirk Silsbee writes about jazz and culture, as he has for nearly 40 years. He can be read in many publications including Downbeat, the Burbank Leader, the Glendale News-Press, Downtown News, and Jewish Journal. He makes a mean plate of pancakes and is known to be a terrific kisser.


Doors history: Jim Morrison’s boorish, then better, behavior (part 3)

Music
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ed. note: Harvey Kubernik’s book, The Doors: Summer’s Gone (Otherworld Cottage Industries, 2018) includes the following chapter by arts·meme contributor Kirk Silsbee. Serialized on arts·meme in three parts. Enjoy! London transplant Sally Stevens had never heard of The Lizard King when she took a waitress job at Thee Experience that summer. She had come to ...

Doors history: ice cream dreams at Thee Experience (part 2)

Music
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ed. note: part 2 (of 3) author kirk silsbee’s coverage of the scene at thee experience the short lived sunset strip psychedelia club. part 1 here. One of the people who visited the kitchen at Thee Experience was Owsley Stanley. The little man who dosed the whole West Coast with purple LSD traveled with the ...

Doors history: Thee Experience where Jim Morrison hung out (part 1)

Music
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ed. note: Harvey Kubernik’s book, The Doors: Summer’s Gone (Otherworld Cottage Industries, 2018) includes the following chapter by arts·meme contributor Kirk Silsbee. Serialized on arts·meme in three sections. Enjoy! After the Doors had tasted success, Hollywood was Jim Morrison’s playground. The Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, which launched the band, showcased all the ...

Isabel Emrich’s refracting beauty, in solo show 1

Visual arts
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Gallery openings can be uncomfortable affairs, with too many bodies jammed into small, unventilated spaces. Painter Isabel Emrich’s “Progressions” opening last weekend at Skidmore Contemporary Art at Bergamot Station was no exception, but the work itself provided a visual oasis from the oppressive heat and humidity. It’s her second one-woman show at Skidmore — always ...

The look of jazz: Warhol-designed album covers

Architecture & Design · Music · Visual arts
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Before he became the king of pop art, Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol moved to New York to make it. Warhol wanted to be part of the elite strata inhabited by Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and other sanctioned artists. He didn’t have what it took to be admitted to those circles but he did ...

Our pick: Daryl Sherman swinging at the Gardenia 1

Music
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Though she writes original songs, few contemporary artists have scoured the hidden corners of the Great American Songbook like singer-pianist Daryl Sherman. She’s a regular at New York’s Algonquin Hotel who gracefully straddles jazz and cabaret singing, essaying songs from both renowned and neglected tunesmiths like Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Walter Donaldson, Jimmy McHugh, ...

Wild rhythms of Japan & India to tumble from Ford Amphitheatre stage

Dance · Music
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Ask the average American theater-goer or music listener to describe Japanese taiko drumming and you’ll probably hear a description something like this: solemn men in loin cloths and sweat bands who beat oversized drums in unison — loudly and interminably. Brian Yamami has spent his last 18 years trying to change that perception. He’s a ...

Terence Blanchard’s jazz message, in cabaret seating, at The Soraya

Music
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Trumpeter Terence Blanchard has been visiting this part of the country for years. Starting in the ’80s, he shared the valedictory frontline of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with alto saxophonist Donald Harrison. Leaving the venerable drummer (“Our father, who art Blakey” quipped trumpeter Valery Ponomarev), Blanchard and Harrison co-led a good mainstream jazz band. They ...

Hitting the mark with Robin Mitchell

Visual arts
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To see the world in a grain of sand is a goal shared by many creative people. In the case of Robin Mitchell, she sees the world in a mark. She’s a non-representational painter and, unlike others who work in that genre, her paint doesn’t sprawl, drip, stain or consist of hard-edge color blocks. Mitchell ...

Electric Miles Davis in the new millennium, at The Soraya

Music
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Miles Davis (1926-1991) was out of the public eye in the late 1970s. The legendary trumpeter and bandleader had changed the course of music—not just jazz—several times, and was half a decade into his electric period, inaugurated by 1969’s Bitches Brew. That epoch rewrote the rules of ensemble interaction, as Miles turned eager young soloists ...