Holiday, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #79: The Other Side o’ Halloween

Posted October 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Halloween, like a lot of holidays, brings about the same songs again and again. You’ll always hear things like “Monster Mash,” “Werewolves of London,” or “Thriller.”
A few years ago, I wrote a post about the talented Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, who was by no means a one-trick Halloween pony, but sadly, came to be known for only one of his songs, “I Put A Spell On You” …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Performances & Events »

Flamenco Superstar El Cigala Debuts at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Posted October 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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First there was Camarón de la Isla (“Shrimp of the Island”), named because he was skinny and taunted for his complexion being as white as the albino “ghost shrimp” found in the mud volcanoes along the Gulf of Cádiz. He didn’t live long, dying of cancer in 1992 at the age of 42, but was already hailed then as the greatest cantaor (singer) of all …

Art, Literature & Film »

Formalism in Music and Literary Criticism

Posted October 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment
Guess which Blue Note LP...?

I studied literature in college before pursing a graduate career in comparative literature. We learned to adopt formalist theory while evaluating various texts: poetry, novels, and short stories. It meant gleaning all possible meaning from the texts themselves without referencing an author’s life or any biographical details. By contrast, the so-called “Romanticist” approach took its cues from authors’ lives and personal experiences. These schools of …

Artist Spotlight, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #78: Remembering Tim Hauser Through the Songs He Loved

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I was both surprised and saddened by the recent passing of Tim Hauser just a week ago. He was not only the guy who founded the famous vocal group The Manhattan Transfer; he was a friend and did a weekly vocal music show on KCRW back when I was Music Director. His show was called Sunday Sings Jazz on Sundays and was on from noon till 2 PM. …

Audiophiles, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

My Ode to Vinyl and CDs

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 4 Comments
Just some of the collection.

The other day I was shopping at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, which as a seasoned music buyer, I have to say is undeniably the best record store in the world. Better than many of the stores I used to frequent over the past decades: Music Odyssey, Licorice Pizza, Wherehouse, Music Plus, Penny Lane…you remember.
My record shopping obsession got off to an early start, about as …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Brian Eno on Dick & DeeDee’s 1961 classic, “The Mountain’s High”

Posted October 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Dick & Dee Dee - The Mountain's High

Dick & DeeDee perform “The Mountain’s High” on American Bandstand.
A few weeks ago, I visited my brother in Templeton, California, where he owns a beautiful house and a vineyard. Before I left, he handed me a bag of his old 7-inch, 45 rpm’s. Inside were some original Capitol Records singles by The Beatles, a few old R&B hits, and late ’50s and early ’60s b-sides …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #77: Choice New Releases

Posted October 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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This week we check out some good new product I’ve received recently.
We start with a triple-threat: Mexican singer Lila Downs teams up with flamenco siren Nina Pastori and Argentine superstar Soledad. Together the trio do Cesaria Evora’s most famous morna. What could be better? After that, it’s Congolese star Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca. He grew up in Kinshasha, Congo and was smitten early …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

RIP: Nati Cano of Mariachi Los Camperos

Posted October 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Natividad “Nati” Cano, the violinist-leader of the legendary, Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Camperos, has passed on October 3rd. He was 81.
Although I’m not a huge fan of mariachi music, the first time I heard Mariachi Los Camperos perform, I remember being struck by the beauty of Nati’s sound. His was full and sweet, the equivalent of a Mexican Jascha Heifetz. I was also knocked …

Interviews, Performances & Events »

Upcoming World Music Shows: Omar Faruk Tekbilek & Ana Moura

Posted October 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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There are two forthcoming shows I am excited about and I wanted to share my enthusiasm.
The first is Turkish virtuoso and sufi artist Omar Faruk Tekbilek. He comes here for two rare shows.
Saturday Oct 25, 2014 at 8 pm – click here for details. Location: Westwood Hills Church, 1989 Westwood Blvd, LA, CA 90025
Sunday Oct 26, 2014  at 7 pm – click here for details. Location: Hoson House, …

Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #76: Guitar Summit

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Today’s show is about guitars; not all guitars, no blues, no country-western or western swing, etc. There are several styles featured, however, including Indian slide, surf guitar Cuban tres, French manouche (gypsy jazz), and an amazing live version of the Brazilian classic “Asa Branca”.
We begin with the new album by Bill Frisell. It contains mostly surf guitar classics from the 1960s. Then a stupendous version of …

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