Category Archives: Folk

Another New Rrose: Raelee Nikole plays acoustic pop/soul for us, for the first time, Sunday afternoon!

Somewhere in the middle of that 2 – 5 slot on Sunday is yet ANOTHER new treat for the ARiaP crowd… Raelee Nikole!

Raelee is a twenty year old Acoustic Pop/Soul Singer/songwriter from San Diego who has performed everywhere from the local farmer’s market sidewalkRaelee to the House Of Blues Main Stage. After making waves in the San Diego music scene for the past five years, she released her debut album on May 29th, 2015, named “Answers,” which showcases the groovy self-empowering songs that her live performances are known for, as well as new, more introspective songs that question her life and the coming of age.

She’s also aware that hosts D. M. Collins and Art Currim are still asking themselves questions about their own lives and ages, e.g. “how am I still alive at this age?” and “is poetry an artform, or is it just people saying what they would normally say anyway, but slower?” Despite their creeping senility, she has agreed to come and lay down some music for them and for the masses, in between bouts of literature and poetry by  several other luminaries, Sunday afternoon. Don’t miss it!

2 PM – 5 PM
1716 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

A Rrose in a Prose this Sunday: VALUABLE LIES

Have I told you that you look younger every day?

So does the state of writing in America, which gets stronger every day even as our populace becomes more educated and literate!

Come celebrate at Stories BooksandCafe on March 8, 2 p.m., with all these deceptive smarties, who will be reading and/or performing and/or bearing their souls and/or making pies for leprosy:

Heather Parker
Sharif Dumani
Taylor Yates
Sheree Rose (yes, THAT Sheree Rose!)
Rhea Tepp
Anna Badua
Mary Animaux
Jason Lynn
Art Currim
The Urban Street Poet, MCDC
The Rev. Dr. Lee Busch

… and probably many MORE that signed on at L.A. Zine Fest but who we’ve now TOTALLY forgot because we’re just THAT professional.

We’ll hear some amazing music from Hélène Renaut and her partner (maybe Hélène Renaut II?).

And if you’re not careful, you just might learn something.

Lit Long and Prosper!

ValuableLies II copy

Coming up on April 28 – Rrose in a Prose: AUH!

This month’s Rrose in a Prose is coming up! Once again, it’s at the Hedgehog Coffee Shop in Echo Park, so you can wash the whole thing down with coffee and one helluva sandwich.

The line-up this time has some really great authors and poets, including a return visit from the wonderful Jessica Ceballos, who wowed us a few short months ago. But it also has my old band mate, Asa Ferry, one of the best songwriters I’ve ever worked with and a man who really captures reality in a way not all of us catch or perceive–even if he just reads a sentence, it’ll make you float away later, looking at cumulus clouds and wondering why you’ve never seen the little shimmers that cascade from puff-pocket to puff-pocket before.

We also have Ryan Fuller from Fort King, and … goddam, there are too many people to talk about! Just read the list and kick yourself if you’re unable to attend:

Jessica Ceballos (Bluebird Readings)
Roy Rogers Oldencamp (Bluefat)
Beverly M. Collins (Quiet Observations)
Daniel Austin Warren (Black Hand)
Asa Ferry (Kind Hearts & Coronets)
Ryan Fuller (Fort King)

As always, this event is “hosted” by the not-ready-for-print-time player, L.A. RECORD’s D. M. Collins. That’s me!

A Rrose in a Prose
@the Hedgehog
2201 W. Sunset Blvd
(same side o’ the street as Mohawk Bend)
in Echo Park
April 28th @ 3 p.m.

my review of the New L.A. Folk Fest at Zorthian Ranch is up.

Have you read the history of the Zorthian Ranch? It’s pretty fucking incredible, even by L.A./hippie standards. And this link doesn’t even get into the naked human statuary or Richard Feynman…

Anyway, yes, I wrote a review of the marvelous time I had on Saturday, and sadly it’s not even fully inclusive, since so many wonderful things were all happening at once! Below is a tiny tidbit from the long form review, an almost snide snippet about Tom Brosseau (though I meant everything with a big bunch of love!): go here for the rest.

… lithe blondie Tom Brosseau is exactly like 80s folk icon Phranc. Okay, actually he’s way weirder, all angelic with his blond hair and not a sign of beard or sideburn or out-of-place speck of dust, tanned like a man who works in the corn fields of a cinematic past yet completely immaculate, his jeans and billowy white tee hanging off him like he’s in a Levi’s 501 commercial from the 90s. Even his high-register voice is… otherworldly, that’s the only way to put it. His songs about oil field disasters in North Dakota and loved ones leaving (“I’m drinking malted milk with my eyes shut tight … I’m not expecting you to be there when I open them”)seems even more true, because they’re not songs, they’re the declarations of seraphim.

Oh shit, I forgot to mention that I introduced Stephen Kalinich to an audience of hundreds, right before Beachwood Sparks went up (so it was almost like I introduced Beachwood Sparks!). Here I am doin’ it, in all my dashiki-donning glory:

And here’s footage of Stephen reading!

Earl Scruggs is the best banjo player EVER!

Well, you could argue on Bill Monroe’s behalf.  But Bill never did this:

the eagle never hunts the fly

I just finished reading Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood.  While it was cool to read about Frank Zappa’s log cabin and Joni Mitchell living with Stephen Stills, I have to admit that in my heart, I still prefer balls-out rockers to any of these hippie fucks.  What the fuck can Stephen Stills tell me that the Music Machine can’t blow out of the water?  You can FEEL this music.  In your groin.

As for Laurel Canyon, it was a decent read, though there was a whole chapter and a half about the Troubadour that had very very very little to do with the book’s thesis statement.  For the record, I love a good chunk of the musicians who lived in Laurel Canyon back in the day.  The ones who live there now suck ass, though.

California Earthquake

While a lot of people in the L.A. area are feeling “All Shook Up” today, it could have been a lot worse.  If I think about the 1906 or 1989 earthquakes in San Francisco, or of course Northridge a decade ago, the quake we had today was basically just a drill for the big one that will eventually come.  Mama Cass knows what I’m talking about.

Van Dyke Parks

I’ve been commissioned to write a review of Inara George and Van Dyke Parks, and I’m pretty stoked.  This dude worked on Smile, which is one of my favorite albums of all time (and I own thousands).  Most people put Pet Sounds in that category, but in my opinion, while Pet Sounds was a pioneering album, its formula was retooled into better albums by the Zombies and Bee Gees (and to a lesser extent by Bowie, the Beatles, and virtually everybody else). 

But Smile, I mean, wow.  What wonders the world might have wrought if it had been released on time, before Sgt. Pepper and before the Beach Boys lost the head of steam they’d built with Pet Sounds.  While Pet Sounds is melancholy and lovely, Smile is transcendent, spiritual, American, orchestral, and utterly unique.  It’s accessible but wears well with each repeated listening, and Van Dyke Parks’ lyricism is a big part of what makes it so interesting.

Anyway, I have to stop writing, before I scoop myself!  But take a look at Van Dyke Parks waxing nostalgic about the Troubadour.  Doesn’t he talk like David Lynch?

P.S. I’m not talking about Brian Wilson’s SMiLE album that came out a couple years ago.  It’s really good, and I own the DVD and all that.  But it’s no more the “real” Smile than seeing a concert by Al Jardine and Friends is the same as seeing the Beach Boys.

Obama, don’t flip-flop when it comes to the war.

I was trying to write something lighthearted, to cheer me up after the crushing defeat the Democrats brought upon themselves and us today when the Senate voted for the FISA bill. 

The thought struck me after reading the words of Howie Klein and company on Crooks and Liars that there’s another former musician/music curator, namely one Lenny Kaye, who rules the school and has influenced my life for the good several times over, as a member of the Patty Smith Group, as the force behind the Nuggets records in the early seventies, but more importantly to my young ears, the Executive Producer behind Elektra Records’ Rubaiyat collection that came out in 1990.  When I was a kid still in middle school, this collection of Elektra records bands from the present covering bands from the past clued me in to some fantastic sounds that weren’t really available in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in any other form.  It had Billy Bragg covering Love, John Zorn covering the Stooges, and the Cure covering “Hello I Love You” by the Doors, not to mention appearances in song and performance by the Pixies, Sugarcubes, Metallica, and Faster Pussycat covering “Your So Vain,” which I thought was kinda cool even though I was starting to be way too punk for a band like that.   

However, I’m in such a state that after pulling out the CD and seeing the cover by They Might Be Giants of Phil Ochs’ “One More Parade,” it just brought me back to the terrible fears I’m having about Obama turning his back on the vision we had for his presidency, a vision he made manifest by omission if not by admission.  Obama, when you become president, please at least remember how much we want you to get our fighting men and women out of Iraq as soon as possible.  We’re tired of warmongering and money-burning and no-bid contracts, and most of all of the senseless deaths caused by illegal and useless wars.  Even if you go back on so many of the liberal principles we supposed you to have, at least do this one thing for us.

Winter Flowers and Schoolhouse Rock!

I had a blast at 3 Clubs last night, drinking tons of liquor and watching scores of rawkers do America-themed covers, some of them solo on them there acoustic-type instruments, as part of the Christof Certik curated “1st Annual Preindependence Day Musical Extravaganza”.  Whilst Darren Grealish’s anti-Bush tune and Sara Melson’s folk sing-alongs inspired a lot of hoots and hollers, by far the best portion of the night was when Winter Flowers (just a trio this time–Astrid, Gavin, and Christof) got on stage with a banjo and did a cover of Schoolhouse Rock’s “Preamble!”

Their performance was so amazing, I woke up in my car at six in the morning in a Hollywood parking lot!