"Saw you walkin' / Down Bob Hope Way in Burbank..."
Check out this great account by the LA Weekly's movie man Scott Foundas on Van Morrison's rehearsal of Astral Weeks' "Slim Slow Slider" for a recent Tonight Show appearance. The proper hijinks ensue -- not in the least an inadvertent meditation on the nature of Time itself.
Jan Steward [photo by Irfan Khan, LA Times]
Also, someone pointed out there was a story in the Los Angeles Times about the grandmother of L.A.'s musical "salon scene" (private house concerts with name musicians) -- Doris Duke being the great-grandmother -- a writer named Jan Steward. Mimi Melnick, who is today's grand dame of L.A. house salons, names Steward's Silver Lake house concerts of Indian music as a prime influence on her starting her own series of Sunday avant-garde jazz events. Steward also was involved in the Music Circle, an arts organization started by Ravi Shankar and Harihar Rao in 1973 that brought Indian musicians like Ashish Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain and Sultan Khan, to L.A. for concerts at Occidental College, many of which were attended by a young philosophy major named Nels Cline.
And speaking of bringing in the name musicians, there's an upcoming benefit event happening on May 31 -- coincidentally the last day The Jazz Bakery owns its lease. The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) will be staging Blast!, its annual musical fundraiser. SASSAS is also celebrating 10 years of its groundbreaking sound. concert series, which over the past decade has seen maverick performances from the creme d'underground: Bonnie Barnett, Gregg Bendian, Joe Berardi, Don Bolles, Carla Bozulich, Harold Budd, Alex & Nels Cline, Dan Clucas, Jeremy Drake, Fred Frith, Jeff Gauthier, Philip Gelb, Vinny Golia, Kraig Grady, Steve Gregoropoulous, Tom Grimley, Petra Haden, Joseph Jarman, Lynn Johnston, Miya Masaoka, Roscoe Mitchell, Pauline Oliveros, Zeena Parkins, Rod Poole, Joe & Rick Potts, Scot Ray, Devin Sarno, Sara Schoenbeck, Wadada Leo Smith, G.E. Stinson, Solid Eye, James Tenney, Kris Tiner, Dwight Trible, Kira Vollman, Mike Watt and Rich West. (Catch any Cryptogramophone artists in there anywhere?)
Performance of "Exquisite Corpse II" at sound. featuring Dan Clucas, Dwight Trible, Rich West, Kira Vollman, Joe Baiza & Alicia Mangan (9/20/08)
Many of those same creme will be popping by for Blast!. From the press release: “Performing is Tom Watson and his Clients, a “free-jam” formed especially for Blast and featuring Flea, Petra Haden, Motoko Honda, Takafumi Kosaka, Tom Watson and Mike Watt, the minimalist electronic experimental sounds of howardAmb, and the duo of Jim Shaw & Dani Tull, who will provide a plethora of sounds using vocal improvisation, bass guitar and home made instruments. DJs for the evening are Los Angeles artist Kevin Hanley and Ale (dublab, Languis). In addition to the performances, there will be a silent auction featuring the donated works of acclaimed artists Vanessa Conte, Evan Holloway, Jason Meadows, Dave Muller, and Marnie Weber. And, musician, author, spoken word performer, TV host, film actor and host of the radio show Harmony In My Head, Henry Rollins has contributed a specially programmed playlist for signed iPod Shuffles to be presented to Blast!  attendees who pay $300 for a special SASSTER BLASTER ticket." Well allright!
Blast! will pop off Sunday, May 31, 2009 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM at the home and garden of writer/performer Abby Sher in Pacific Palisades [pictured above]. Directions provided with ticket purchase)
Show info: www.sassas.org/blast or 323-960-5723
Purchase tickets on line: www.sassas.org/blast