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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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…

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    • 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…

  • hardie karges 11:53 pm on August 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dengue Fever, , Les Nubians, Sinn Sisamouth   

    Hollywood Babel: Continuity, and the Curse of Cambodia… 

    I love it when films make mistakes, and sometimes they’re so obvious that anyone can spot them, though none of the paid help apparently did. Of course continuity errors are the easiest, and they hire a person just to deal with that, to make sure that when the shooting of a scene resumes on Wednesday, he’s wearing the same clothes that he was wearing when shooting stopped on the same scene the day before, Tuesday, a no-brainer, of course, but they screw up sometimes.

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    • Esther Fabbricante 12:23 am on August 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You really know where to find the action and to have a good time and to write it up so we feel as if we had been there.

    • hardie karges 3:22 am on August 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      LA has the entertainment, for sure…

  • hardie karges 10:37 pm on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: California, Girl in a Coma, , , , Nina Diaz, Omar Souleyman, Orquesta Charangoa, Pancho Sanchez, Pete Escovedo, , Shelby Lynne   

    World Party LA, Very Be Patient: #Escovedo, #Sanchez, #Souleyman 


    Omar Souleyman

    Omar Souleyman

    Another week, another music festival to mix and match, tailor to your own designs, tweak to your own proclivities. Last week the best gigs for me were Orquesta Charangoa at LACMA’s Latin Sturdays, one of the village’s best-kept secrets, along with Jazz Fridays, featuring the best in jazz’s extended circles, everybody you hear on K-jazz’s all over the country playing right here sooner or later, most of them, anyway, since many, if not most, are based right here, getting work on film scores and TV jingles that they can’t get elsewhere.

    Then there was Quetzal’s 20th anniversary party at Grand Performances in downtown LA, another pleasure to behold, featuring guests from all friendly genres and many fellow travelers, including members of La Santa Cecilia. The band’s own stuff has progressed far beyond the son jarocho that inspired and informed their early efforts, now evolved into a signature sound that is both indie and trad, Americana and Mex, past and future pop for now people…

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    • Esther Fabbricante 11:34 pm on July 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Who else but you could describe so vividly the goings-on in your neck of the woods. I wish my great niece could meet you. She is a writer, storyteller, lecturer all over the world.

  • hardie karges 3:31 pm on July 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coconut, , , , smoothies, Thai Town,   

    Thai Town: Coconut Smoothies, a Little Bit of Heaven 


    Coconut smoothies

    Coconut smoothies

    Thai Town has got the good stuff—coconut ice cream, that is, or at least a reasonable facsimile, more like a coconut smoothie, I guess. Works for me. It’s even presented in the same actual coconut shell that’s also becoming popular in Thailand now, franchised as a matter of fact. More often, though, it’s sold as ice cream by guys with pushcarts attached to a motorbike, around half a buck for a cone of the stuff and your choice of toppings, nuts and palm fruit and sticky rice and bread chunks, OR…

    You can put it into a REAL ice-cream sandwich, utilizing store-made dinner rolls bought especially for the purpose, find the carts especially around schools in the afternoon.  We kids like our ice cream, you know. Here in Thai Town it’s more like five bucks a pop, but in all fairness, that’s probably twice what you’d get there, so not so bad. Best coconut smoothie I ever had previously was in Battambang, Cambodia, BTW, stayed there a couple extra days just to indulge myself on the stuff. As the hash-seller in Tangier, Morocco said, “It gets you closer to God.” You can find it at Lacha Somtam at 5171 Hollywood Boulevard in East Hollywood (If you DO try ‘somtam’ papaya salad for the first time, remember to wear protection; it ain’t dessert).




    • Esther Fabbricante 3:51 pm on July 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds divine. With my gluten-free diet, I can have smoothies!

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