Category Archives: Music

A Symptom

There is much that ails us as a society. There are many diseases, both literal and figurative, that rot us from the core.

I ran across something that I see not as one of those diseases, but merely a symptom. I don’t know how to solve it.

Charity auction, among the items are concert tickets with meet & greets with the artists.

When the winning bid on the Jonas Brothers concert is almost ten times the winning bid on the Incubus concert, we might not deserve to survive.

Just sayin’.

Leave a comment

Filed under Farce, Music

Meanwhile, Inside…

After the Ives 3rd, during intermission, setting up for Dvorak’s 9th last week.

Yes, it is that beautiful.

And the acoustics are better.

Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles, Music, Photography

Descent To The Disney Depths

The Disney Concert Hall is an amazing, beautiful building, designed by the genius Frank Gehey. It offers an almost endless variety of views of sweeping lines, both interior and exterior, and vast interior spaces.

These are the escalators that lead down into the parking garages, opening at top to the balconies leading to the upper level seats.

Gorgeous!

Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles, Music, Photography

Music City Panorama

(Click to embiggenate to the max)

Standing on the corner of 1st Street & Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles last night. The Disney Concert Hall is at the left, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (the south end of the Music Center) on the right. Just off to the far right of this view, down the hill, is the iconic Los Angeles City Hall.

The Ives 3rd Symphony was interesting, particularly after watching much of a pre-concert talk being given in the DCH lobby about Ives. There is so much I don’t know about him or his music. I’ll have to correct that.

The Dvorak 9th Symphony (the “New World” Symphony) was beyond words, spectacular, amazing, fantastic, ausgezeichnet, mind blowing… To hear it in that almost acoustically perfect space, with the LA Philharmonic giving it their all, and the energetic Gustavo Dudamel conducting… If you can listen to that without being moved to tears of joy, we probably can’t be friends.

Even if you’re not a classical music fan… Even if you can’t see it at the Disney Concert Hall or its like… Even if you can’t see it performed by the LA Philharmonic or an equivalent group… Even if it’s a high school band in the gym and you’re only there because your hair dresser’s kid is playing third flute…

Go see the New World Symphony performed live. It’s a bucket list item.

Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles, Music, Panorama, Photography

It’s A New World

Dvorak’s to be specific.

Dvorak’s 9th and Ives’ 3rd. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.

I expect it to be spectacular!

Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles, Music, Photography

Date Night Downtown

We’re exploring LA’s cultural options a bit more – first it was the start of a series of LA Philharmonic concerts at Disney Hall, tonight it’s the first of a small subscription series at the Ahmanson.

I haven’t been to the Mark Taper Forum or the Kirk Douglas Theater yet (they’re all here in the Music Center complex) – maybe next year. I can only take so much culture at one time.

Tonight it’s “The Last Ship,” staring the one and only Sting. I haven’t seen or heard much about it in advance except that it’s good, because, well – Sting!

Right?

Leave a comment

Filed under Los Angeles, Music, Photography

The Long Version

One of my coworkers was playing music today in the office, an eclectic mix of mostly 70’s & 80’s hits. One of them that came on was Don McLean’s “American Pie.

When it got to the verse that starts, “Helter skelter in a summer swelter,” my brain, having been young and impressionable in 1971, automatically thought, “Cool! It’s the long version!” And suddenly, after all the times I’ve listened to that song, it hit me.

There are whole generations out there that don’t know that there were two versions of this song.

AM “Top 10” radio wasn’t going to play anything 8:33 long. So the version that was released for radio was 4:11. Everything from “Helter skelter…” to “I met a girl who sang the blues…” was cut. Eight verses, two choruses, gone in the name of a format that was unforgiving.

But the full version crept out. Hearing it for the first time, having only heard the short version, was a stunning revelation. From then on, every time the song played, there would be an air of anticipation until I knew if I had gotten lucky and could revel in my eight extra verses. (And two extra choruses.)

Then the 70’s passed, we all moved on. FM radio opened up formats and opportunities. CD’s let us take whole libraries of music with us, followed by iPods and iPhones and streaming services.

So now, if you even know that the short version of “American Pie” exists, you have to go hunting around YouTube or the internet to track it down. If you mention the short version, people under forty just look at you funny. (As me how I know!)

It was a different day and age.

4 Comments

Filed under Music