NEIL YOUNG IS STILL THE MAN – Santa Monica Daily Press



I reached out to my press officer at MusiCares to find out if this year’s winner, JONI MITCHELL, had anything to say at their fundraising gala in her honor last Saturday, to find out if she had commented on the Spotify scandal , and discovered that they had to postpone the show at the last minute. Big disappointment, but I guess the wise decision.

You probably know that NEIL YOUNG held the music streaming service responsible for the dangerous misinformation about COVID, vaccines and masks that their most popular podcaster, by far, Joe Rogan, regularly broadcasts to millions of people. It’s either my music or Joe, he asked, and of course Spotify went with the biggest revenue cow, but they’re now turning flips trying to look like they’re doing something about it, but of course it’s empty talk. So happy to see their stock plummeting dramatically and their smaller competitors gaining share.

JONI MITCHELL was quick to issue his ultimatum, but Spotify pays so little for each game that even the greatest musicians don’t generate for them in a month what Rogan does in a day. It would have been encouraging if a group of musicians, especially the big names, had all joined us, but that didn’t happen. Joni went through polio as a child, so he’s probably particularly susceptible to vaccine misinformation.

Their integrity and social responsibility, to the detriment of their personal bank accounts, reminds me of the pact Doors leader Jim Morrison made with the other three, before his untimely death. Each of us has the right to veto all agreements made for our music. The now deceased Ray Manzarek and Robby Kreiger tried to make such a deal, but John Densmore of Santa Monica, bless his poetic soul, stepped in and sued them and won, even though he it was a handshake agreement. So we can hear “Born to Run” pushing Nikes and “Masters of War” pushing the RAND Corporation, you’ll never hear “LA Woman” selling anything.

How many hundreds of millions of dollars does someone really need?


EM THE MASTER – I’ve given EM’s show a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for months now and I still do. She sings, dances, has dancers. She crawls along the floor like a reptile, clutching the mic and never missing a beat. She doesn’t play the piano, she attacks it. Uses his voice as an instrument in a creative way. His energy is relentless and seemingly limitless. Writes terrific songs perfect for his act. More talent than anyone has the right to. Every Tuesday at 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, DTSM, $10.


THIS EVENING! — NORWOOD FISHER presents IN-JAMATION — Norwood of course of Fishbone infamy, a founding mother, loves putting on those messy jam sessions (Trulio Disgracias) that have their moments of transcendence. Sometimes famous players appear. But it should be fun on our local Lincoln trip on a Thursday night with no cover. At worst, you grab a beer and meet new people. At best, you witness history, a story of a lifetime to unfold. Thu 9:30 p.m., The Trip, Santa Monica, free.

THIS EVENING! – HAMILTON – Still with us, but only five more weeks. Tonight – Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday, next Thursday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m., also Saturday at 2 p.m., Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, 49 to $3,000+, depending on date and time.

SOUTHSIDE SLIM – He tore it up with his stellar soul blues band at Harvelle’s in 2019, he regularly leads a classic blues jam, a cultural wonder, at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles in Long Beach, but now you can just drive, walk or skateboard up Fourth Street to our venerable 90-year-old blues bar, Harvelle’s, which looks like it’s been through the worst of the pandemic, hooray! Southside offers a mix of jazz, funk, Latin, soul and R&B, and who knows? Snoop Dogg might show up, not wanting to wait in Long Beach for Southside’s next show. Fri 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s. Santa Monica, $10.

TOLEDO DIAMOND – Have you ever seen his unique show, every Sunday night at Harvelle, here at SM? I’ve been recommending it for…decades. Believe me. You have never seen anything quite like Toledo. Sunday 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $12.

SPARKS – Public Service Announcement: I’ve never been a fan of these legendary artistic LA rockers, but I may have missed something for half a century, so for anyone who reveres their lean genius carcasses , Let’s go. Disney room! They have obviously arrived. A musical film (“Annette”) they wrote will hit screens later this year, and a new documentary (“The Sparks Brothers”) trumpets: “50 years, 25 albums, 345 songs, unlimited genius”. Okay. Ever since I started working at the LA Weekly in the early ’80s, first as a music reporter and then as a featured guy who did all the nightclub publicity (and all the really crazy owners and bookers, some still in jail, some dead), I realized there’s a niche aesthetic here that glorifies the void if that’s weird enough. I re-listened to some album cuts recently and wasn’t impressed. Alright, let the hate mail begin. But remember, Sparks fans, I just gave them some recognition and let you know about a special performance. Monday, Tuesday 8 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, $40-75.

UPCOMING ATTRACTIONS: ALAN PASQUA, DAREK OLES DUO, Sam First, 2/11; LA PHIL with ESA-PEKKA SALONEN plays Strauss, Smith and Salonen, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 2/11,12; BARBARA MORRISON, Vibrato, 2/13; GARRICK OHLSSON Plays Everything Chopin, Walt Disney Concert Hall,2/13; LA PHIL with SALONEN plays BARTOK, Bjarnason, SIBELIUS, Walt Disney Concert Hall,, 2/18, 19, 20; TOM BROSSEAU, JAKE XERXES FUSSELL, McCabe’s, 2/19; SARAH SILVERMAN & Friends, Largo au Coronet, 2/19, 3/5; PETE ESCOVEDO, Vibrato, 2/20; LA PHIL with FATHER JOHN MISTY, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 2/25; HERBIE HANCOCK, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 2/27; JANIS IAN, McCabe’s, 3/1, 2; THE ENGLISH RHYTHM, La Salle Bourbon, 3/4, 5.

Charles Andrews listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including over 3,000 live performances. He has lived in Santa Monica for 36 years and would not live anywhere else in the world. Truly. Send him love and/or blame at


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