Wednesday, May 29, 2013

RITE OF SPRING: 100th anniversary of punkrock-style riot!

100th anniversary today (5.29.13) of punkrock-style riot over first performance of Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" (Le Sacre du Printemps) as performed by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris, choreographed by titanic dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, himself reduced to shouting and pounding the beat on a chair to the dancers and orchestra over the audience's yelling and catcalls. Contemporary 1913 media illustration below:
Why riot? "The shock of the new," in both music and visuals...

Disney's "Fantasia" had worthy animation of no less than the entire scope of creation up to the Cretacious/Tertiary extinction utilizing the score :

Nijinksky's restored ballet via The Joffrey Ballet's painstaking reconstruction can be found on in toto Youtube. The choosing of the sacrificial victim by a lethal game of "musical chairs" via Nijinsky's choreography still rings terrifying! (see 08:35 in video below:)

Below, Vaslav Nijinsky as he appeared dancing "Afternoon of a Faun"

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013


 Elephant herd in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, 1997, from a color xerox of my original photo.

You can SAVE ELEPHANTS via the Amara Conservation Group LINK (and its blogsite LINK for additional info.) They work towards preservation of the African Elephant, still massively endangered by ivory poachers. My own visit to Kenya (LINK) demonstrated firsthand what effort it takes to saveguard assorted wildlife. Each rhinoceros required its own personal guardian with an AK-47 or UZI, tactfully hidden behind bushes when tourists approached. One can't just dehorn or detusk animals still in the wild to prevent their loss of life to poachers: these animals need their horns and tusks to protect themselves and their young.

The Amara group also is championed by Retrokimmer, see her LINK about the Ann Arbor, Michigan connection, also famed guitarist Steve Hunter's blog on same LINK.

You can SAVE ELEPHANTS via the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee LINK southwest of Nashville, below the I-40, open to the public. There are many retirees from circuses so you'll find lots of Indian Elephants (more trainable and genial to humans than the African variety) as well as rehabbed African ones from formerly untenable situations. It operates on a 2,700 acre complex that gives their elephants the elbow room this species really requires for maximum health, and provides all elephant comers requisite medical attention. It costs about $133K per elephant annually for care. There are various donation options, and VIP donors + guests get private tours in small groups. 

I myself try to SAVE ALL EAST AFRICAN WILDLIFE by donating to The William Holden Wildlife Foundation, LINK.  I saw its work in action at their wildlife sanctuary adjacent the Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club Hotel* in Nanyuki, Kenya when my better half and I stayed there in 1997. At the sanctuary, dik-diks and hyraxes quite understandably were drawn to him, while I adored petting the rare bongo antelopes. Besides its animal sanctuary, the foundation concentrates bigtime on education of the younger generations to appreciate its wildlife as lucrative national treasures via tourism, uppermost in Kenya's economy alongside Dole's pineapple production. This preventative action works wonders: otherwise, the locals view their unique fauna as "the norm," taken for granted, how we would see squirrels, pigeons or coyotes in the larger scheme of nature...

*then just monickered Mt. Kenya Safari Club, a 5-star hotel, the best accommodations of my entire life! We rode horses around Mt. Kenya, and went to sleep with animal sounds around our private cabins that required fireplaces blazing at night to ward off the mountain chill. No tv, just ibises outside on the veranda in the mild drizzle. Heaven. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

MIKE WATT & The Missingmen: double punk happiness with FERAL KIZZY

Herein entitled "double punk happiness" in the Asian vernacular not so much due to strong bill at The Redwood 5.4.13 but also because headliners Mike Watt and The Missingmen performed a set entirely composed of classic songs by The Clash and Wire, see set list below, (with the last four songs bonus selections by Red Krayola, The Pop Group and Watt's own The Minutemen.)
 Top photograph, Mike returns the crowd's love for his always impassioned performances. The Missingmen are Tom Watson, Raul Morales and Watt (also seen in Iggy and The Stooges, The SecondMen, Hellride and assorted other bands.) 

Feral Kizzy should place highest on anyone's list of genuine up-and-comers seen gigging around SoCal. Singer Kizzy Kirk remains fearless in her approach to interaction inside an audience or even with other acts. I'm proud of the above image of Kizzy as it shows all the intensity she brings while implying just a twinge of Edie Sedgwick vulnerability. (See LINK. Just a twinge though: Kizzy's a tough cookie, carrying a full college academic load and heading towards grad school. Ambition: mashup of full time rock and roll plus psychology careers. Holy Deniz Tek! explanation: LINK)
This gig, Kizzy's sense of improv seemed as en pointe unpredictable as ever. No sooner had she spied headliners Mike Watt and the Missingmen entering the club pushing their own equipment than she sprang on top of one of their cabinets and rode it in like a horsie (see pic below.) 

Out in the crowd, makeup dripping in sweat, Brenda Carsey's keyboards anchoring her, Kirk's and guitarist Jonny Lim's melodies of suicides and gigolos...

Below, opening act No Children Allowed provided a lively set of Nu-feminism with choruses like "No More Salad!" (protesting  perpetual dieting) while incorporating an amusing change of punk pace via the trumpet.

Monday, May 20, 2013


Keyboardist of The Doors, producer of alternative acts such as X, and platinum class act for staying up to date with burgeoning pop culture Ray Manzarek passed away today at age 74. 'Very sad to learn of his death. All the UCLA film school stories with his hellraiser bud Jim Morrison were still fresh there when I attended, like in what locker they kept weed, and antics at nearby ironically named Pancho's Family Restaurant (which actually more resembled a bar which just happened to serve Mexican food at its one table) on Santa Monica Blvd. next to primo '60s student destination Papa Bach Bookstore (geddit?)

At top, Ray with superbassist Mike Watt and playwright Michael McClure at McCabe's Guitar Shop in 1985. Ray and infamous McClure (once arrested every single night that his play "The Beard" ran for obscenity) often collaborated; bottom, Ray with Scott Richardson, your humble photojournalist and also sadly late Ron Asheton (of The Stooges, Destroy All Monsters and Dark Carnival) at Richardson's recording session for Tornado Souvenirs, a cd collection of poetry with music by the aforementioned. The photo by someone who wishes to remain anonymous appeared in Music Connection Magazine over two decades ago.

  Fellow L.A. musician Steve Tetsch correctly summarized, "Ray was very intelligent and recognized unique talent when he saw it. He was also a really humble, nice and positive man whom everybody loved."

Below, a photo I took of Ray at his keyboard during a Shrine Auditorium Doors gig in 1967.


Fair use of photograph by Arthur Fellig (Weegee.) To me, this is Weegee's best photograph because it taught me to view images differently forever. I hitherto had thought his work exploitational, but this shot makes any viewer a better human. Why? Acknowledging the true horror on the faces of a mother and daughter watching the rest of the family burning to death in a tenement fire FORCES the viewer to be a more empathatic person. I get weepy every time I see it anew...

For more on Weegee, go to LINK for both his own filmed explanations of style and my ruminations on same.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

TATRAMANIA! @ Petersen Museum car show + new acquisition

WTF? A small jet-engine-mimicking, air-cooled motor in a mass-produced Czech vehicle with a pronounced dorsal fin? It's a car I always wanted to espy in person and heretofore never had until the 5.5.13 car show at Petersen Automotive Museum, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, California. This Tatra is one of perhaps only seven in the USA. TV's Jay Leno reportedly owns the bigger version with its concomitantly larger dorsal fin.

The world's third oldest car manufacturer after Daimler and Peugot, Tatra succeeded in one of the first ever attempts at streamlining production cars, from about 1936 - 48. After WW2 post-war Communist upheavals, it now only manufactures industrial/ commercial/ military trucks. Below, my better half Mr. Twister points to godhead salient Tatra feature.

Below left, Porsches as colorful as the Disney/Pixar movie "Cars;" right, yours truly eludes a flock of gullwings (guest photographer Kurt Ingham.)


 Mr. Twister, Kirk (former bandmates in Christopher Milk) and I admire our mutual friend Rico's vintage, matte black Corvette, an invitee to the show.

While I was preoccupied with the Tatra, my better half was busy photographing a Facel Vega saying "THIS emblem says 'PARIS'."

With all these car shows under his belt (LINK,) my better half then acquired a spankin' new (used) vehicle of his own, a turbo-charged luxury station wagon. These two last photos were taken at dusk without flash with my "purse camera" Panasonic the second that this most happy fella drove aforementioned auto home; bottom pic- dogs inspecting new purchase for human remains or at least some leftover food...

Monday, May 13, 2013


R.I.P. stop action maestro, filmmaker Ray Harryhausen. Below, 43 seconds of uncharacteristic cuteness in his oeuvre, an eohippus (hyracotherium) prances to celeste music. Other obituaries recall his horrific monsters, I go straight to the paleolithic horsie...

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

AHAB/REHAB live at Palladino's 5.3.13

 Ahab/Rehab in full flight at Palladino's, Reseda, Calif. May 3, 3013: oldskool repertoire with energized conviction played with facile expertise. They cherry-pick unusual tracks by mutual favorites. You've never heard a cover of Bad Co.'s "Gone, Gone, Gone" sound so fresh yet arena-heavy in a club like Palladino's!
Ahab/Rehab are guitarists Apache (formerly of Little Caesar and the Etta James Band,) and Jim Altman (sporting glasses,) bassist Clackers Kay and drummer ToneDog a.k.a Tony Matteucci. The name derives from addenda to nascent band Ahab and occasionally transmogrifies to 3Hab, a power trio. 'Love em all. 

L-R: ToneDog, Dean Ortega formerly of Neverland and fellow onetime Geffen signee Loren Molinare of Little Caesar and THE DOGS  (the latter shared with Tony and Mary Kay. See LC LINK and Dogs LINK.) Singer Dean jammed a few songs with Ahab/Rehab making it 5Hab.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Top: Lord and Lady Erroll in Kenya Highlands residence, 1925 with Scottish Deerhound; bottom, 1930s stylin' in Kenya on the Lake Navaisha shores of the "Djinn Palace" making "white mischief" with a Borzoi, ?, soon to be murdered Lord Erroll and even sooner to be overdosed next wife Mary...
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