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  • hardie karges 5:22 pm on September 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arizona, Biosphere, , Nevada, southwest US, , Tucson   

    Las Vegas to Tucson, South by Southeast… 

    Southwest in my front yard

    Southwest in my front yard

    If you want to drive from Las Vegas to Tucson, as the crow flies, you can pretty much set your crow compass to SSE and put it on cruise control. That’s US Highway 93, soon to be usurped by the I-11 “super corridor” direct to Phoenix, if the powers-that-be have their way. I’m not sure who it would benefit, truckers mostly, I figure. Their isn’t much traffic there, as it is, mostly empty desert.

    The highway already circumvents the Hoover Dam, which was still in effect last time I crossed the lower Grand Canyon at its ‘west’ rim. I don’t even know if they’ll let you do that now, what with the threat of terrorism and all. Environmental activists ‘Earth First’ played a hoax way back when, pretended to crack the dam, black streaks on white concrete, made a great photo op, but they seem like picnickers now, what with ‘real’ terrorists all over the news, Insh’allah, people willing to slit throats for cheap Facebook ‘likes’, and claiming women as ‘spoils of war’. They’re so spoiled, got oil money flowing through the veins of false religion, playing with souls like so many footballs. (More …)

  • hardie karges 12:36 am on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Greyhound, , LA, Las Vegas, Southwest   

    Road Trip! First Stop, Las Vegas… 

    Las Vegas downtown

    Las Vegas downtown

    Road trip! The term resonates within the hearts and minds of men—Americans, at least—with the force of thunder punctuating desert rain. There will be lots of that on this trip—desert, that is—my adopted home as an American on home soil, free and unencumbered, in my mind, at least, of all the baggage that comes from places back East and down South, the debris of civilization that falls through the cracks of consciousness and gets stuck there, unwashed and unabated, left to rot or die trying, evidence of its existence nothing more than a messy stain on fresh sheets, a funny smell emanating from far corners… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 1:07 am on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Easy reading – “until death do ‘we’ part?” Beautifully written. Never a dull or boring moment.

      • hardie karges 1:17 am on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        At the end I was riffing on song lyrics and the inability to express certain emotions, easier to lapse into cascading cliches, let someone else say it for me, hahaha… thanx, Esther…

  • hardie karges 2:58 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Carmen Rizzo, DhakaBrakha, , , Marisoul, Yuna   

    One More (Sweetest) Thing: Encore in LA w/ La Santa Cecilia 

    La Santa live in LA

    La Santa live in LA

    I’m back. Yeah, I know I said my good-byes already, but I’ve had an epiphany, okay? Epiphanies are good. We call them ‘piffs’ in the trade of desires and obliquities. This one is called La Santa Cecilia. Now I don’t know who the group is named after, and I’m too lazy to Google it, since it really doesn’t matter—probably the patron saint to somebody’s hometown in Mexico or beloved Aunt Cecily or something. It really doesn’t matter. Whoever she is: she’s cool.

    La Santa Cecilia

    La Santa Cecilia

    Now it’s no big secret that I’m not LA’s biggest civic booster, considering its constant need for approval as a major world city to be definitive proof of the very opposite. But it HAS gotten better over the last 20-30 years—much better—a revived downtown sufficient evidence of that, and the fact that I’ve survived most of the last five years (t)here without a car as the definitive proof. But still, in comparison to New York? Yeah, right…

    Until now LA has been a paragon of the contradictions that define modern America: wealth and poverty, privileged and needy, American and Mexican, entrenched power and massive immigration. And that’s generally reflected in the entertainment, too. Latinos have their gigs and ‘real Americans’ have theirs. LA arts-clique-approved Latino groups like Nortec Collective from TJ and that Bosstich/Fussible act they do don’t really resonate with la raza, and homeboy success stories Los Lobos and Ozomatli only do marginally better. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:07 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t even pronounce the names of the gigs – you are profound.

    • hardie karges 3:21 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanx, Esther, always good to hear from you…

  • hardie karges 10:42 pm on August 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dhaka Braka, , , , ,   

    Summer’s Over… Almost 

    rocky dawuni

    rocky dawuni

    Me again, Knocking on your door, til’ all your walls come tumblin down. Me again, like Jericho before, Babylon walls come tumblin down”– Rocky Dawuni

    I began to lose interest in reggae about the time it began to put me to sleep, about the time it became a really big deal, in fact, too big worldwide, about the time Bob Marley died, and all his disciples and imitators and assorted reggae wannabes were content to roll a fatty and coax a beat from the drum machine with about the frequency of a heartbeat. I wonder how many marijuana (medical, of course) spliffs are extinguished in parched lips to the sound of reggae every year?

    Some of the best reggae happened before I even knew what reggae was, e.g. the Desmond Dekker hit ‘Israelites’ in 1968. Then when the Jimmy Cliff film vehicle ‘The Harder They Come’ came out in 1972, that defined reggae for me. It was only with some persuasion that I began to listen to Bob Marley, and accept his primacy in the genre. Reggae had its Dylan, and had moved beyond its Elvises and assorted pelvises.

    (More …)

  • hardie karges 7:25 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The #Russians are coming! “Ukraine girls really knock me out…” 

    Cut off their coffee...

    Cut off their coffee…

    The Russians are coming!

    The Russians are coming!

    That was always the joke way back when way back where, but it’s not so funny now if you’re Ukrainian.

    Could this be a revival of the USSR?

    It’s funny how this happens 20+ years AFTER the nasty breakup, but to this day there are Russians still in all the former component SSR’s, and it is still the lingua franca, too…

    … so much for my Ukraine trip.

    Maybe Kyrgyzstan? That sounds like the ticket…

  • hardie karges 3:36 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bryan Cranston, Seinfeld   

    #Hollywood #Babble-on: #Emmy Rap 

    What? #BryanCranston played the role of Tim Whatley on the old #Seinfeld show? (You know: the dentist who converted to Judaism ‘just for the jokes’.) How did I miss that? This is huge! (With exclamation points) Now I have an excuse to go back and watch it!

  • hardie karges 9:51 pm on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Lee 'Scratch' Perry, , , Santa Monica, The Zombies   

    LA Summer Daze: Dinosaurs, Dawg Days and Beats… Oh, My! 


    The Zombies

    I don’t often gorge on the comfort-food of ‘classic rock'; I leave that to others. Apparently it’s warm in there. But it’s not that I’m trying to be hip, cool y todo eso, (though there’s that), it’s just that I get tired of re-hashing the same old lines and riffs—and memories—when what I really crave is ‘the other.’ That means novelty. I’ll travel halfway around the world to hear something new and see something different. Most people just surf You Tube or listen to the left-hand side of the radio dial. That’s easier.

    But there are exceptions to the ‘no dinosaurs’ rule. Some old 60’s and 70’s rock groups and solo artists just never got their full due on their first go-round: think Love. Others just never were in the right genre, such as Townes Van Zandt. Others died way too young: think Nick Drake. Others took long detours: such as Sexto Rodriguez. And still others just seem to get better with age, like The Zombies.

    (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 2:49 am on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a whole new world out there – and so outside my realm.

  • hardie karges 2:34 am on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bitcoins, Forex   

    Trading in Currency, Futures and Probabilities… 

    I never noticed Bitcoins (BTC) on Forex listings until today, trading at 1 BTC= 500 USD. That’s convenient, I guess, every transaction assured of having a decimal, but what if you lose one? How would you know?

  • hardie karges 8:34 pm on August 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dwight Trible, Grand Performances, Joe Driscoll, , Levitt Pavilion, Makina Loca, Ozomatli, , Sekou Kouyate   

    LA de noche: Damn the Torpedoes, Mix Me a Molotov… 

    Genocide in Gaza, civil war in Ukraine, hashishins in Syria, dodging bullets in St. Louis, refugee kids on the border, famine in Sudan, pestilence in Liberia… meh… no big deal… laissez les bon temps rouler…

    Driscoll and Kouyate

    Driscoll and Kouyate

    I don’t know at what point they start calling them ‘dog days’, but if that term fits, then let the dogs run free… in the little time that’s left… of summer, that is. That means entertainment, and lots of it, the jugglers and the clowns that (literally, by definition) ‘hold’ you between the main acts, enough to forget the troubles of the world. That’s what America lives for, we with little history and only sporadic high culture, LA especially, the world’s entertainment capital, with a top-flight jazz musician in every shopping mall’s Friday farmer’s market and a starlet in every bedroom; on the TV screen, that is…

    High points of the past week were Dwight Trible and his Ensemble last night at Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena, opening for Ghanaian SK Kakraba and band. Though something of a world music ‘nut’ myself, I’d have to say that Trible stole that show, as usual IMHO, taking the cake and eating it, too, with icing. That man does things with his mouth that no hooker or harlot in Amsterdam could touch with a six-inch pole…

    Low point was ‘Mas Out There’, an Ozomatli spin-off best described as guys with big hats and weird costumes, everything but the wrestling and strip-tease (see lucha vavoom). There’s an hour of my life I won’t get back, proves Ozomatli is more than the sum of its parts, gracias a Dios, gotta’ go see Wil-Dog’s side-gig, too, to fully appreciate that…

    This week’s best bet looks like Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate, one of world music’s latest odd couples, the former an Anglo-American rapper/dub artist/musician, the latter an African (from Guinea, no less) electric kora phenomenon. If that sounds like the best of both worlds, the ultimate cross-cultural mash-up, the resulting mix is something close… They’re at Grand Performances downtown tonight 8/15 at 8p.m.

    (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:13 pm on August 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      How do you keep up the pace? Little Old Brandon’s Brandon Opry did receive an award – I saw it in the newspaper. Did Wilson tell you about it? Governor Phil Bryant called it the “Year of the Creative Economy: Mississippi Homecoming,” and he presented the award.

    • hardie karges 4:12 am on August 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The world can always use more cultural events, keeps us all out of trouble. That’s why I travel, you know…

  • hardie karges 2:37 pm on August 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    LA’s Musica a la Mexicana: One Flaco with a Mexican Radio in Ozomatli Sauce 


    Flaco jimenez

    Flaco jimenez

    “Where’s Flaco?” were reportedly Bob Dylan’s first words upon arriving in Austin during a swing south in 1976. Such is the legend of Flaco Jimenez, the world’s reigning rey del acordeon. They played together on Doug Sahm’s 1973 solo album, of course, must’ve bonded over some good hooch or a spliff. Since then he’s played around with the best, rock and conjunto and some country, too. Remember Dwight Yoakam’s version of ‘Streets of Bakersfield’? I knew that was Flaco the first time I heard it twenty-some-odd years ago, Googled it just now to make sure.

    But Flaco’s best gig was probably with Sahm and Freddy Fender and Augie Meyers as the Texas Tornadoes, Tex-Mex super-group par excellence, and cut short only by Sahm’s early checkout a few years ago, then Freddy’s. But Flaco’s still going strong and he’ll be at Skirball Cultural Center out in the hills west of LA next Thursday, free except for the parking, but you better allow some extra time given current politics since Skirball is Jewish and security clearance is tighter than… the El Al counter in Munich, ’nuff said…

    (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:31 pm on August 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hardie: You are really where the action is and you know how to find it!



    • hardie karges 11:48 pm on August 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I try, Esther; I try…

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