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Moby and Tom Morello the latest pop stars to adorn L.A. arts galas

September 28, 2012|By Mike Boehm
  • Rock guitarist Tom Morello will be both an honoree and performer at a fundraiser for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, continuing a trend of arts groups allying with pop stars for their galas and awards events.
Rock guitarist Tom Morello will be both an honoree and performer at a fundraiser… (Ken Hively/Los Angeles…)

There seems to be an unwritten rule that Los Angeles arts organizations can’t have an awards ceremony or fundraising gala without a featured pop music star.

Katy Perry is poised to sing at the Hammer Museum’s annual gala on Oct. 6, and Florence and the Machine will help the Los Angeles County Museum of Art celebrate at its Art + Film Gala on Oct. 27.

Now add Moby and Tom Morello to the list.

Morello, who stoked the left wing political broadsides of the rock band Rage Against the Machine with his innovative electric guitar playing, will be both an honoree and the entertainment for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics’ annual party and silent auction Oct. 21 at Professional Musicians Local 47 in Hollywood. Others receiving awards for combining artistry and activism are documentary filmmaker Joan Sekler and poster artist Andy Zermeno.

Moby, who helped turn electronic dance music into a big attraction on the pop concert circuit, will lead off the American Institute of Architects/LA’s annual design awards and dinner Oct. 22 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

That poses an intriguing possibility: Might Moby’s agenda include trying to show the world that “dancing about architecture” is not an absurdity, after all?

(Rocker Elvis Costello made that put-down popular in 1983, saying in an interview that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture. It’s a really stupid thing to want to do” -- although he has credited actor-musician Martin Mull with having said it first.)

Not this time. Moby, a big architecture buff, will be speaking instead of giving a musical performance, said Carlo Caccavale, associate director of AIA/LA. 

The DJ shares his architectural tastes and discoveries on his Moby Los Angeles Architecture Blog, introduced eight months ago. The goal, Moby wrote, is to offer “a daily (or weekly) collection of some of the random and strange and banal and beautiful architecture I see in L.A…. One of the very odd things about L.A. is that the most beautiful architecture… is hidden on tiny streets that very few people will ever see.”

Fairfax High School is getting into the act as well: For its first-ever fundraising concert, Oct. 6 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, it has enlisted trumpet-playing alumnus Herb Alpert (class of 1953) as headliner. Besides performing with his wife, singer Lani Hall, Alpert will be inducted into the school’s alumni hall of fame. Another inductee will be Henry Samueli, a 1971 Fairfax High graduate who went on to make a fortune as a communications technology innovator at Broadcom. Samueli has made multi-million-dollar contributions to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, and the now-defunct Opera Pacific.

Alpert’s social calendar for the month also includes an Oct. 10 stop at the penthouse of New York’s Lincoln Center, where he’ll be the guest of honor at a benefit for the Harlem School of the Arts. He recently gave $5 million to the 48-year-old school for youngsters up to age 18, which will rename its building the Herb Alpert Center.

ALSO:

Katy Perry to serenade Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger at Hammer Gala

Florence and the Machine to hit stage at LACMA's Art + Film Gala

No fall gala for MOCA this year

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