April 5, 2014 |
Two of this week's Great Reads were about music, which in my book means it was a good week for the Great Reads. (Hmm, maybe I can organize a musical theme for the entire week sometime...) But the two genres of music were so far apart, it was like they were from different planets. One was about L.A.'s accordion culture, a world of polka throwdowns and Weird Al Yankovic and twentysomethings with pixie haircuts. The other was about Brazil's “ostentation funk,” a dance music born in the hard-luck favelas that's full of economic braggadocio and beats so heavy they'd shake your house like an earthquake if a car drove by blasting them from the stereo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 |
The push to bring a major music festival to downtown Los Angeles - one with rapper Jay Z expected to play a creative role - has set off a tussle between two L.A. politicians. Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar contends he was left out of discussions, spearheaded by Mayor Eric Garcetti in recent weeks, over bringing the two-day Budweiser Made in America music festival to Grand Park and the nearby steps of City Hall. Huizar, who represents most of downtown, called for the city to withhold approval of any permits for the Labor Day weekend event until the details are properly vetted.
March 27, 2014
Re “Finding healing in music,” Column, March 22 Music as a tool to help children cope with feelings of grief and pain has been shown to be an effective intervention; in fact, even lighthearted group drumming sessions can be of positive benefit. Incorporating sensory integrative activities, such as music, help break down barriers posed by the feelings of fear, frustration, desperation and helplessness that children face when dealing with the loss of a loved one. I underscore Arvis Jones' music therapy methodology as part of a psychosocial grief management recovery process for traumatized children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 |
How do you help little children, too young to know what death really means, cope with the feelings of grief and pain that the loss of a loved one brings? If you're music therapist Arvis Jones, you let them bang on a drum, do the hokey-pokey or join a choir and sing. Jones is part of a growing professional field that taps the restorative power of music to help traumatized children heal. For 20 years, she's been going to crime scenes, hospitals, funerals and schools, reaching out to grieving families with a bin of unorthodox tools - keyboards, claves, jingle sticks, tambourines, djembe and tubano drums.
March 21, 2014 |
Onstage at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, an older couple assumes a ballroom dance position. A tango begins, and the man, wearing a porkpie hat and suit, leads. The woman, wearing a floral dress, follows gracefully. Judging by the ease and fluidity of their movements, one would never know that Nancy Dufault, 72, has Parkinson's disease. When she is dancing, moving in time with her husband, Bob, she experiences a brief respite from symptoms. "She asked me to write a tango," says Mike Garson, a classically trained pianist who played with David Bowie for nearly 40 years.
March 17, 2014 |
AUSTIN, Texas - Here's to bad vibes, colored vomit and off-years. Go ahead and toast those who prevailed at South by Southwest by getting signed, licensed or folded into a future marketing plan, but the losers in this vicious cycle earned more respect. This was a year in which Apple infiltrated the event to put on its own "festival" within the festival, and the year that party sponsors required that before entering, attendees sign away their rights for possible commercial use. The keynote speaker, Lady Gaga, trivialized bulimia with a shocking stunt, and the salted snack brand that funded her bull-in-a-china-shop arrival at South by Southwest further insulted the festival's spirit of creation with ham-fisted ploys to link music and munchies.