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Best New Music

The Goddess Aurora has a beautiful new song out, “Animal.” Her tour kicks off soon and she will be in Los Angeles next month at The Fonda!  Old school fans of Kate Bush and The Cranberries will love this brilliant, amazing, phenomenal artist who channels the spirit with her elegant and hauntingly beautiful voice, dance, and essence.

Broods’  third studio album, “Don’t Feed The Pop Monster,” is available now courtesy Neon Gold / Atlantic Records. The 12-track album includes previously released tracks “Falling Apart,” “Hospitalized,” “Everything Goes (Wow),” and lead single “Peach.”

“Everything Goes,” below is a nice, catchy pop song blending modern retro trip hop trances, and light crunchy guitar smashed into some nice tight distortion that flows with a seamless vibe.  Assisting in the expert and unique sound;  Broods’ Caleb & Georgia Nott reunited with longtime collaborator Joel Little (Lorde, Khalid), along with Swedish production duo Jack & Coke (Charli XCX, Tove Lo), Big Taste (Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber), Tommy English (Kacey Musgraves) and others  to create a unique and compelling album. ’

“Our goal was to make songs that are true to us, without hiding behind any kind of façade. We worked really hard and went through a thousand different emotions in the process,” states Broods’ Georgia Nott, “The fact that we can feel so many different emotions and still make something that’s so true to us—to me that’s the most important part of this whole experience and we’re so excited to finally share this album with the world.”

Next month, the band will embark on their North American headlining tour. Kicking off on March 26 in Santa Ana, CA, the tour will bring the band through Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York City and more.

Wallows are a very solid band, well worth hearing. The release of their debut album “Nothing Happens” hits March 22nd on Atlantic Records.  Recorded at Los Angeles’ Sargent Studios, the album sees Wallows reunited with Grammy award-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Alvvays, Future Islands).

Wallows first video and single from “Nothing Happens” titled “Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Clairo)  is an amusing video, and outstanding song, that will be sure to find it’s way onto our very discriminatory playlist.

The video, directed by Drew Kirsch (Louis The Child, John Legend, Quinn XCII), features Wallows in a retro karaoke bar surrounded by friends and familiar faces including special appearances by Noah Centineo (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Sierra Burgess Is A Loser), Brian Jones (Vampire Weekend, Human Natural), and Nina Ljeti (1980s Horror Film II music video director), among others.

The band will be kicking of a North American tour this month before heading over to Europe.

The beautiful and talented Kimbra is back with a cool new single. The song certainly deserves a great music video, and Kimbra herself deserves much more attention.

Kacey Musgraves is yet another beautiful singer with a lovely voice, perfectly on key and a sweet tone and pitch. “Love is a Wild Thing” here is an outstanding song, reminding of the country-rock crossover appeal of early Jewel.

Due to overwhelming demand, the multiple GRAMMY award-winning singer/songwriter has added 17 new North American shows to her sold-out Oh, What a World: Tour. Following her previously announced tour dates, Kacey will hit the summer festival circuit, becoming the first-ever female country artist to play Coachella, and will then launch the second North American leg of her tour on August 24th.

On February 10th, Kacey will perform at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards in celebration of her four nominations for Album of the Year and Best Country Album, Best Country Solo Performance for “Butterflies,” and Best Country Song for “Space Cowboy.”

The Love You Down III fest featuring Swimm and Warpaint kicks of this Thursday and Friday at Echoplex in Hollywood. The advertising for the show was somewhat confusing, initially not totally clear if Warpaint were playing or not. It appears they are. We last saw Warpaint  (with a huge thanks to Columbia) opening for Depeche Mode, were amazing.

Listening to Warpaint is kind of like stepping into a magnificent church or temple. You need to stop everything else you are doing, be present, and prepare for your spirit to be lifted.

Also Thursday night,  returns for an LA gig. We first saw her at Glass House, then the El Rey, which were amazing. This week, she plays The Wiltern.  Her new single “Blur” below with Foster the People, as well as the rest of her new album Forever Neverland, is truly brilliant.

The brilliant and beautiful Grimes dropped a new single late last year, and it brilliantly shows her industrial rock roots. Having noted Skinny Puppy as an influence before, “We Appreciate Power”  shows industrial fans what we already knew; Grimes rocks.

Another great new artist we love–Poppy, is getting more and more trippy with each release. In the brilliant “Play Destroy,” she joined Grimes for this searing masterpiece.

Check back on this page later this week for more new content including the Hollywood Calendar.

2019, subnormal

2019 LA Art Show: In Review

 


Photo Credit, Moira Cue, 2019, LA Art Show, 2019.
VIP GALA

I am one of the few people who has attended the VIP Gala of the LA Art Show every year since it was first held in the LA Convention Center in DTLA instead of the Santa Monica Barker Hangar. In one sense, it’s the most important night of the show. Celebrities are sighted, including hosts of the annual St. Jude Children’s Hospital Research Center Benefit—This year’s hosts were Gavin Rossdale and Kate Beckinsale. And, as the Bruce Lurie Gallery’s Instagram page reminds me, sales are made.

I wonder every year if the Gala seems different because I am not the same person I was 365 days ago. The way I dress changes, what I eat, drink, or don’t eat and drink changes. This year,  no alcohol, and no animal products. Ironically, Pink’s Hotdogs served one of the better vegan options with a full sized vegan hotdog. There was also an all-vegan bruschetta station by Vespaio, a lovely restaurant on Grand Ave, right next to The Broad.

Opening night—which certain years has had all the theatricality of an Elton John concert circa 1973—felt calm, subdued even. They say when you buy a blue Volvo, suddenly the streets are full of blue Volvos.  A normally functioning brain filters out so much superfluous information every day. But I only saw a handful of women draped in sequins, glamourous feathered headgear, and stilettos; and this year no one was wearing the equivalent of a human scale plushy onesie or full-body latex appendage.

What stood out to me was the number of attendees, male and female, wearing the same thing that I settled on: a neutral tone business suit paired with high-end, funky lifestyle sneakers. Silver sneakers, striped sneakers, neon sneakers; even a little girl in a velvet party dress with blinking lights on her sneakers. Of course, some men just wore men’s suits with regular dress shoes. Some guys never change.

There were roughly 220 galleries from 18 countries participating this year, according to the cheerful lady who introduced herself as Kim (Martindale’s) “other sister.” She lives in Alaska, and therefor rarely attends the show. Kim Martindale has been the LA Art Show owner for 23 years, and is a major figure in the exhibition of tribal art nationally.

CATEGORIES

This year’s exhibit space defines galleries as members of several different sections: Core, Modern + Contemporary, DIVERSEartLA, Featured Programming, Roots, Ink Painting, Littletopia, Dialogs LA (a slate of talks and panels), Project Space, Works on Paper, Ethnographic Art, and LUXURY pbsg. Whew. Each of these sections has its own vibe and criteria and some galleries fit more than one category. To learn more about the groups, click https://www.laartshow.com/about-the-show/.

For the purpose of this review, we’re going to talk about things I like. That may mean that great work in some categories isn’t covered because I just didn’t see it.  Some sections are more prominent than others, and sometimes great work is missed because it’s hung in an interior corner with a lot of other work, or because of traffic patterns. To make sure you don’t miss out, you really need to go more than once, ideally at different times of day, and different days of the week.

BLACK AND WHITE CALLIGRAPHY:                                                     JAPANESE ARTISTS AT KAMIYA ART

The Kamiya Art booth is the first place I was drawn to. My recent influences include calligraphic as well as black and white work, and I have always found the balance between a minimalist palette and expressionistic brushwork in more contemporary Japanese calligraphy to be very appealing.

Kamiya Art; Photo Credit, ©2019, Moira Cue; LA Art Show, 2019.

I discussed the quintessentially Japanese ideas of kanji (vertical lettering derived from Chinese character) and koan (sometimes explained as a nonsensical riddle that can expand the mind) with Kei Takahashi, while exploring the work of Morihiro Hosokawa, who also happens to be a former prime minister of Japan. During Hosokawa’s tenure as prime minister, from 1993 to 1994, he is known for statements acknowledging Japan’s role as an aggressor during WWII. According to Wikipedia, “Hosokawa’s acts toward China and Korea inspired Russian president Boris Yeltsin to apologize to Hosokawa for the Soviet detention of Japanese prisoners of war in Siberia.”

The gallerist explained to me that the stark black and white folding screens, very nicely installed and displayed, did not make “sense.” The word “hell” was next to the word “Buddha.” “Oh, but that’s the life. That’s the human condition,” I said. We smiled, and laughed when I mentioned that George Bush has also turned to painting, but it’s not as good. (Though to be fair, the paintings of George Bush Jr. have a certain “Howard Finster reincarnated as trust fund kid who went to art school and learned a few sloppy shortcuts” naïve-ish charm. However, I don’t expect to see them selling for six figures at an international art fair any time soon. You can, however, see them online here. https://www.designboom.com/art/george-w-bush-exhibit-painted-portraits-04-07-2014/

Kimaya Art also displayed the calligraphic art of Yu-ichi Inoue (1916-1985), who is said to be the father or liberator of modern Japanese calligraphy. For Western audiences familiar with Cy Twombly, his work would be the closest analogous example: sensitivity, great emotion, vulnerability and transcendence are concentrated into the expressive form of text. Inoue is said to have “liberated” calligraphy in the modern Japanese art world from a formal, stylized expression to a human expression of great feeling.

Kamiya Art, Photo Credit ©2019, Moira Cue.

 

 

While Hosokawa, born into one of Japans’ noble families, has an almost militant energy—Yu-ichi, who was without the financial means to pursue his art full time until his retirement from teaching at the age of 60—shows in his lines a poignant longing that only those who have endured deprivation and worked, patiently, diligently, quietly, toward their own liberation, can fully understand.

Yu-ichi Inoue was born into an impoverished family. At 19 he became an elementary school teacher, and was eventually assigned to teach an advanced calligraphy class, which inspired him to take calligraphy seriously. When attacks on the Japanese mainland began in 1944, Yu-ichi was sent to the country with 35 6th grade boys. The children were ordered to return to Tokyo with their instructor after they graduated March 3rd, despite Yu-ichi’s pleas to keep the students out of Tokyo. When they returned, Yu-ichi found his parents’ house had been destroyed, so he volunteered to serve as a night watch at the school.

On March 10, 1945, the Great Tokyo Air Raid took place, and there were around 1,000 casualties at the school, including most of his students. Yu-ichi himself fell unconscious from heat and smoke, and barely escaped death after several hours of artificial respiration. Decades later, he would create multiple-character works inspired by this memory. His single character works include, notably, letters of the name of a female teacher, 28 years his junior, with whom he developed an intense infatuation that he would later confess, with shame, to his wife.

Yu-ichi Inoue is known as a founding member of the group Bokunjinkai, who published a magazine called Bokujin, with the intention of liberating calligraphy from binding tradition to embrace the naked human spirit. Calligraphy, in East Asian culture, is said to be the highest of all art forms. But it is poorly understood in the West.

The life of Yu-ichi Inoue is filled with poignant anecdotes. In his thirties, he was evicted from an apartment for staining the floors and walls with paint. He spent his life’s savings to purchase a house, but after buying a lot, nothing was left for construction. In his forties, he garnered critical acclaim, for example, being selected for the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1957 and subsequently included by critic Herbert Read in his book, A Concise History of Modern Painting. But Yu-ichi was not able to concentrate fully on calligraphy until 1976, when he retired from teaching at the age of 60.

I have asked myself many times if, in painting, victory deferred is sweeter. I admire artists who bend the world to their will; artists who succeed; artists who are compensated for what they do. It is not an easy task. Yet the artist who faces obstacles, who is delayed acclaim, who collects energy for his art rather than expending it on a public persona, is sometimes the one who creates work that endures, work that will nourish the viewer again and again, over a long journey.

PART TWO, CRITIC’S CHOICE: LA ART SHOW 2019

CHINESE ARTISTS AT MICHAEL GOEDHUIS

I was delighted to meet Michael Goedhuis himself and his assistant from London. They were, of course, charming people. The pamphlet provided by the gallery, “Chinese Contemporary Ink Art: Why Buy Now?” is an exemplary piece of cogent marketing, and makes most of the arguments I would make in favor of purchasing calligraphic work in general and from this gallery specifically.

And so, there is little left for me to say. A critic should not simply parrot the gallery; she should add something of her own, she should not pass on inferior ideas unworthy of the art they are linked to or regurgitate specious but stylized and prolix arguments that only serve to foist off an inferior product with fireworks and trendy mental gymnastics.

But there is an exception to every rule, and this is it. Mr. Goedhuis a rare man who is as good at writing about art as he is at curating, displaying, and selling it. Just read this pamphlet.

https://www.michaelgoedhuis.com/media/GoedhuisMedia/publications/publicationsDocuments/20151022143250_8whybuynow.pdf

Goedhuis makes a clear and compelling argument in favor of buying work by a handful of contemporary Chinese calligraphic artists. These arguments include the direction of the market, the annihilation of traditional Chinese architecture, the rise of China’s investor class, and culturally-specific value that is hidden only because of the distractibility and attraction to bright shiny objects that afflicts certain minds in the West.

Many people are frightened to buy art, because they don’t want to be taken advantage of or look like a fool or risk being seen as having bad taste. (Those who have truly awful taste are immune to this fear.) Art is expensive, art is personal, and there is a strange code that says we should tell inexperienced people that art is never to be purchased as an investment. But if you give no thought to the trajectory of the art’s value before you purchase it, you are failing to benefit from the mind-enhancing powers of art; just as Goedhuis asks the reader to  “… understand that art for the Chinese is part and parcel of their concept of morality and how to live one’s life and how to order society” I would further add, and ask, the buyer to understand that buying art is a cognitive development tool which requires deep thinking (get your mental workouts in) about the direction of human society. It is like placing your paper boat on a current.

–Moira Cue

An internationally recognized multi-media artist, Moira Cue attended the Master’s Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  A prolific artist, she resides in Los Angeles, with works in collections world-wide.

This content is (c). 2019, Moira Cue Multimedia, Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.

Penny Marshall: Hollywood’s Eternal Legend

Penny Marshall (right) and Cindy Williams from the hit show Laverne and Shirley. Image: (c). 1976, 2018, ABC; Publicity still from American Broadcasting Corporation for January 27, 1976. Source: WikiCommons.

Actress / Comedian 

An outstanding actress and comedian, Penny Marshall filled America’s hearts with love and laughter for decades starring and appearing on shows including; Happy Days, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mork & Mindy, Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, Saturday Night Live, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Frasier, Dinah! The Odd Couple, Laverne and Shirley, and many more.

Producer / Director 

Penny Marshall later become one of the greatest producers and directors of our time, with films including; Cinderella Man, Riding in Cars with Boys, Bewitched, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and many others.

World Record Holder: Big

In 1988, Penny Marshall directed Tom Hanks in the motion picture “Big,” which went on to gross over 152 million dollars with a reported 18 million dollar budget, making her the first female director in the world to gross over 100 million dollars with a major motion picture.

Groundbreaker: A League of Their Own 

Just four years later in 1992, Penny Marshall directed Tom Hanks again in a film with an all female ensemble including her daughter; actress, writer, producer, and director Tracy Reiner, as well as Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty, Anne Cusak, Bitty Schram, Lynn Cartwright, Anne Ramsay, and more, in the hit film “A League of Their Own.” This film again broke the 100 million dollar barrier, became a cult classic, and went on to influence the world, leading the cause and serving as the empowering call to help champion the long overdue need for the formation of women’s baseball teams throughout the world.

Born on October 15, 1943 in The Bronx, New York as Carole Penny Masciarelli; Penny Marshall married Michael Henry, and later actor, writer, director, producer, and political activist Rob Reiner.  Her brother; writer, producer, director Gary Marshall, passed on in 2016.

Forever Remembered 

Known for her great sense of humor, hard work ethic, love of Hollywood and sports, and love of family and friends, Penny Marshall will forever be remembered as not only one of the greatest comic actresses, producers, and directors of our time, but also as one of the most groundbreaking female leaders on the planet. Penny was a woman who changed and shaped history, proving to young girls around the world that not only can they too dream, but that they achieve what it is out they set out to accomplish.

Widely respected throughout Hollywood for her cultural achievements, Penny Marshall and her family have been responsible for some of the most memorable, iconic moments in filmmaking of all time.  Positively impacting the world of sports, and women’s equality in all areas, Penny Marshall lit and carried the torch for women around the world to not only be funny–but to be brave, and to change history by making it.  And make history Penny Marshall did.

Today, her daughter Tracy Reiner–who were very close, carries on that legacy from her mother.  In addition to heading her own feature film production company, Tracy Reiner serves as President of the historic Hollywood Women’s Club. Penny Marshall is also survived by her sister; actress Ronny Hallin, and five grandchildren.

As the first female producer and director on the planet to break the 100 million mark with “Big,” Penny brought laughter and tears to audiences around the world. With her role as Laverne DeFazio in the legendary TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley,” Penny gave a face to the woman next door, and an example for women to stand up, and stand strong. And with her trailblazing, iconic film “A League of Their Own,” Penny Marshall helped make what was once a man’s world and a man’s business of movie-making and baseball, a little more female. She will forever be remembered.

–By Bruce Edwin



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