Pharrell Williams: ‘Cease and desist, Mr. President’

Language & ideas · Music
In a cease and desist letter sent Monday, October 29, 2016, Pharrell Williams‘ attorney Howard King called on the President of the United States to stop playing the singer’s “Happy” during events. In an act of disgusting insensitivity, the song was played at a rally over the weekend just hours after a gunman killed 11 ...

Susan Graham’s make-believe witchcraft

Music
by 
Ed. note: arts·meme is delighted to excerpt an interview with L.A. Opera guest singer Susan Graham. The interview, conducted by Gary Murphy, was first published by the Opera League of Los Angeles. After nearly 25 years performing on world stages, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham still finds the thrill of new challenges. Her opera repertoire spans four ...

Rat Pack-ish: Chris Walden Big Band at The Wallis

Music
by 
Chris Walden is the most ubiquitous musician you’ve never heard of, but whom you’ve heard everywhere. He’s one of the busiest of the current Hollywood composer-arrangers, and just a sampling of his recent album credits includes Michael Bublé, Jessie J., Michael Bolton, and Celine Dion. His film and TV writing is voluminous (your kids hear ...

John Scofield jazz combo at cozy Theater Raymond Kabbaz

Music
John Scofield, the creative, distinctive and versatile guitarist and composer first burst on the scene playing with greats like Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Billy Cobham in the late ’70s . Possessed of a distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful improviser whose music falls between post-bop, funk edged Jazz, and ...

Disney Hall, in living color, as L.A. Phil turns 100

Architecture & Design · Music
Wow, wow, wow. This is fabulous. Our symphony orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic (founded in 1918), is blasting into its centenary season in high style. It is converting its Frank Gehry-designed building, a happy pile-up of undulating stainless-steel surfaces, into a huge projection surface. Disney Hall will pop with crazy purples, blues, pinks and other psychedelic ...

Jimmy Webb, in Pepperdine season opener, to honor Glen Campbell

Music
Legendary Grammy-winning songwriter Jimmy Webb (with hits including “Wichita Lineman,” “MacArthur Park,” “Up, Up, and Away,” and “Highwayman”) will perform in a prestigious season opening night at the intimate Smothers Theatre, one of our favorite places to attend concerts and performance. In a touching tribute to Webb’s close friend and artistic partner, the late Glen ...

Vijay Iyer/Teju Cole ‘Blind Spot’ syncopates jazz, photography, text

Language & ideas · Music
by 
The intriguing image above represents the visual component for “Blind Spot,” a much-anticipated live performance soon presented by CAP UCLA at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. The collaborative effort showcases two artists at the top of their respective fields: jazz pianist/composer Vijay Iyer  and writer/photographer Teju Cole. A familiar face on the covers of Downbeat ...

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

Music
by 
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 ...

The valleys are alive with the sound of gibberish, courtesy of artist Paul McCarthy

Dance · Film · Language & ideas · Music · Theater
Maria, pictured above and played by Julie Andrews in the syrupy Hollywood movie-musical, The Sound of Music (1965), delivers her iconic hilltop anthem, but in a bizarro version created by visual artist Paul McCarthy, her scale runs do ti la so fa mi re do. McCarthy created cisuM fo dnuoS ehT / The Sound of ...

Pavilion ‘Levitt-ates’ our city, says Mayor Eric Garcetti

Architecture & Design · Music
I love the Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles. But don’t listen to me. Listen to Mayor Garcetti, who calls it a “spark” and a “community asset” whose “vitality is a model of urban revitalization.” According to Garcetti, “We can have all the best clean-up in the world, but if there’s nothing in between that keeps people ...