September 2020

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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The Go-Go’s

Catch The Go-Go’s on Showtime

The Go-Go’s

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of Showtime

The Go-Go’s: Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock, and Kathy Valentine. As the first multi-platinum-selling all female band to play their own instruments, write their own songs, and soar to Number One on the album charts, the Go-Go’s are the most successful female rock band of all time. Rooted in the late 70s LA punk scene, the Go-Go’s didn’t play the part of bad girls — they were genuine punk rockers. With full access to the Go-Go’s history both past and present, the new documentary from director Alison Ellwood assesses the group’s place in music history and examines the personalities and dynamics behind their rise, fall, and numerous reincarnations.

Until this definitive doc, described by Rotten Tomatoes as, “a raucous celebration of the pioneering band and a stylistic knockout that will blow viewers’ hair back,” there has never been a serious appraisal of and showcase for the Go-Go’s’ talents or achievements — as musicians, ground-breakers, but even more so, survivors. Five women on stage, their outfits eliciting a sense of thrift store chic, two different kinds of eyeshadow, and smeared streaks of rouge! Said The National Review, “The Go-Go’s have not yet been awarded their proper place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but after the world sees Alison Ellwood’s splendid documentary, that omission is bound to be put to rights.” I loved the film and I think you will too!

Catch “The Go-Go’s” on Showtime this month.

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright

  • By Ken Werther

Singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, one of my all-time favorites, has always existed musically in a world unto himself. His ninth album of original material (his first since 2012) is a stately pop throwback full of his signature vocal grandeur. Unfollow the Rules is a typically grand and jazzy affair with syrupy, smartly orchestrated songs of escapism held together by Wainwright’s sweetly whining voice. Some feel it’s an acquired taste but he always pulls it off. As with his best works, it’s musical theatre without the theatre. That’s the point, though — it’s a lush, grandiose place to be if you’re looking to get lost. Sincerity is what he does best. Fun fact: Wainwright wrote the song Unfollow the Rules for the 2018 film Here and Now starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Rolling Stone called it, “appropriately Wainwright-ian: dripping in both high-minded intellect and sweeping sentiment.” I just love that quote.

Wainwright comes by his musical talent quite naturally and learned to play piano at age six. His parents are folk singing legends Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III. Along with everything else, he has also written two classical operas and set Shakespeare sonnets to music. And he plays the guitar! In his personal life, he identified as gay while a teenager and has been married to German arts administrator Jörn Weisbrodt since 2012. Now go get Unfollow the Rules!

For all things Rufus, click here.

Happy Hour

Salastina Los Angeles

Happy Hour

  • By J. Cook

What comes before Humpday? Tuesday, of course! And for that, you might be in search of a virtual happy hour to break up the day. Salastina has you covered with live music from world class musicians along with good conversation about their art. For example, Arutro Cardelús is a Spanish composer I can’t recommend highly enough. Take a quick peek/listen to “Grace” on Youtube and you will definitely want more.

On September 8th, Cardelús will be showcasing his music and engaging in conversation about his process and inspiration. His most recent score, Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles, has been nominated for the Goya Award for Best Original Music. It’s not often we see a movie for the music, but similar to Sylvain Chomet’s films (The Illusionist, Triplets of Belleville), this is worth it. Prior to that, on September 1, Caroline Shaw, the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music (2013), will answer questions about the eight voices she hears in her head, or, rather, in her group Roomful of Teeth, and her love of Beethoven’s harp quartet, the color yellow, and otters.

On September 29, Christopher Tin, a two-time Grammy Award-winning composer, will bring his much-needed world music into our homes to remind us how connected we are — not just through epidemiology — but through music — still, perhaps, the best medium to remind us of the harmony humans are capable of. And participation is free!

For more on Salastina and details on Happy Hour, click here.

Summer Swing Nights

Summer Swing Nights (Photo Chris Gregson)

Summer Swing Nights

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo By Chris Gregson

Presented by Aaron Jacobs Productions, Summer Swing Nights returns for the third consecutive year on Saturday, September 19. However, in this unusual time of coronavirus and social distancing protocols it’s the Drive-In Edition at the Roadium Open Air Market in Torrance! A portion of the proceeds from the evening will benefit the Automobile Driving Museum (also in Torrance), home of the concerts in 2018 and 2019. Aaron Jacobs began producing musical events around the Los Angeles area in 2008. The Automobile Driving Museum was founded in 2002 by car collectors Stanley Zimmerman and Earl Rubenstein. Its mission is to “collect, preserve, exhibit, and ride in historic vehicles.” The museum contains about 130 classic, antique, and vintage automobiles created between 1886 and 2000, of which roughly half are on display at any given time. Patrons can touch, sit in, and even drive the cars!

Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition will feature the vocal stylings of The Swing Tones (Aaron Jacobs, Amy Lawrence, Graham Kurtz, and Caitlin Ary), and The Swing Tonettes (Kira Alvarez, Christine Olsen, and Hannah Rose Lewis). The show will also feature special guests Stu James and Tod Macofsky along with a live seven-piece big band.  So … put on your dancing shoes, turn back the clock to the 1930s and 40s, and shimmy on down to Torrance for the big band swing dance party event of the summer!

For tickets, click here.

What's Hot!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve adjusted our content this month.

LAArtsOnline now features two NEW pages: BOOKS and EXTRA! We’ll look at what’s hot in the world of books and reading along with some suggestions of EXTRA! things to check out, read about, and do!

Stay positive, stay safe.

Paige Petrone
Founder / Publisher


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