February 5, 1999 |
The most unexpected breakout group in recent world music history has to be the Buena Vista Social Club. The group's Ry Cooder-produced album on Nonesuch has now hit the million mark in international sales--an amazing feat, given the fact that the ensemble consists of aging Cuban musicians almost completely unknown to audiences outside the island nation.
March 28, 1987 |
Ry Cooder plays the kind of soulful and uplifting music that sounds best in cantinas, honky-tonks, roadhouses and Pentecostal churches. In a pop-rock age increasingly preoccupied with overtly commercial and homogenized music, that approach makes him an especially valuable and liberating performer.
June 6, 1995 |
"I'd like to say, most emphatically, we're realglad to be here, but this is the first time we've performed this anywhere, period," said a jittery Ry Cooder when he came onstage Sunday night at the Coach House. It was the debut of the Cooder-Lindley Family, composed of Cooder and his longtime musical accomplice David Lindley--who both play the bejesus out of practically any instrument with strings--and Cooder's son Joachim on drums and Lindley's daughter Rosanne on vocals.
August 25, 1999 |
In the rare and fragile realm of independent record labels, the struggle to survive is subject to serendipity. For the Santa Barbara-based label Water Lily Acoustics, a decisive moment came six years ago with the arrival of Ry Cooder, famed guitarist-producer, and, it turned out, Water Lily fan. Kavi Alexander, an Indian Sri Lankan, founded the label in 1984 as an audiophile company dedicated to world music.
February 9, 2004 |
If anyone at the Grammys had a right to speak about the Janet Jackson flap, it was Yoko Ono, who joined Olivia Harrison (George's widow) on stage accepting the President's Award marking the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." After all, more than 35 years ago, Ono and John Lennon caused quite a flap themselves, appearing naked on the cover of their "Two Virgins" album. "That's true," said Ono, laughing, backstage with son Sean Lennon.
November 3, 2011
The native Angeleno Ry Cooder is known for his spare and beautiful guitar work, as well as his spearheading involvement with the Buena Vista Social Club. Now he's brought the same sensitive eye and underdog spirit to "Los Angeles Stories," a collection of loosely linked tales set in Bunker Hill, Chavez Ravine, Venice and Santa Monica. The musician will discuss his stories concerning the everyday people of his city with Los Angeles Times book critic David Ulin. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave. 5 p.m. Sun. (323)
December 4, 2011
1940 I work for the Los Angeles City Directory, a book of names, addresses, and job descriptions. I am one of many. Our job is to go out and collect the facts and bring them back. Other people take our work and put it in the Book, but we do the important part. Los Angeles is a big city, and the City Directory is a big book. "How would you like to be listed in the Directory?" I show people what it is. They're afraid you'll ask embarrassing questions like "Do you have a toilet?"
May 3, 2008 |
Ersi Arvizu was on vacation in Hawaii a few years ago when she heard that some guy named Ry Cooder was looking for her. She got the news from colleagues who knew her from her long-gone glory days as lead singer of El Chicano, the 1970s East L.A. band famous for her version of the classic old bolero "Sabor a Mi." No way, shot back Arvizu, who had long before moved to Arizona. Besides, she was "fit to be tied," she says, over a money dispute involving a previous El Chicano comeback concert.
June 1, 1999 |
Movie theater owner Bob Laemmle recalls chatting with a friend recently about the upcoming film inspired by the album "Buena Vista Social Club." Hopefully the "D-word"--documentary--wouldn't scare people away, Laemmle told the friend while waiting in line for a latte in Santa Monica. Suddenly a young woman interrupted the conversation: "Excuse me, did I hear you talking about the Buena Vista Social Club? I love them!" Then the man behind her said, "Did I hear you say there is a movie about them?