Concerts

Uniquely Reckless. Eric Zayne’s latest single and video. By Patrick O’Heffernan

October 7, 2017

  (Los Angeles) The word “unique” is thrown around a lot these days.  Every artist wants to be “unique”.  Every promoter gushes how “unique” a band is.  Every festival is creatively “unique”.   So before I sat down to write about Eric Zayne’s new single and video, Reckless, I took a look at the word “unique” because, as I have gotten to know him, that word keeps popping up. Eric was born in Montreal in a South Indian family.  They moved to the Indian community in Congo when he was very young and that was his world —  South Asians living and prospering in a former Belgium colony now an African nation, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This was not unique; there were South Asian communities throughout Africa and still are. But it meant Eric was raised listening to the Indian music of his parents, the Bantu rhythms of the Congo, and western music on the BBC. A combination that can be legitimately called unique. What wasn’t unique was that Congo was unstable.  Congo (later [Read More]

Concerts

Latinas Out Loud at The Hammer. By Patrick O’Heffernan

October 7, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan (Westwood, CA) The Hammer Museum in Westwood Friday night opened is Pacific Standard Time:LA/LA  art exhibition,  Radical Women: Latin American art, 1960 -1985, with Latinas Out Loud”: ¡Párriba!  a wild concert led by Lido Pimienta and introduced by LA’s own joyful punk, funk Latin rock band, Sister Mantos.  It was the perfect combination of musical and plastic arts to showcase the power of Latinas in our culture.   The Hammer Museum –“The Hammer” — is a blocky edifice that could be an office building.  Other than the word “Hammer” on the side in large letters it is pretty much like the office towers around it. Opened free to the public in 1990,  The Hammer was founded by Dr. Armand Hammer, the late Chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, for  his collections of old masters plus traveling exhibitions. Four years later everything changed.  UCLA took over The Hammer’s management and operations and launched programs that encompassed the entire Los Angeles Community with film, theater, music and dance as well as static art. Latinas Out [Read More]

Interview

Interview with Francisca Valenzuela by Patrick O’Heffernan

September 30, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan (Los Angeles, CA) Singer, songwriter, poet, designer, entrepreneur and unstoppable force of nature, Francisca Valenzuela is a phenomenal multifaceted artist who has commanded stages in Latin America, Europe and the US.  Born in San Francisco, USA, of Chilean parents, Francisca’s career includes platinum and gold albums, world tours, a Latin Grammy nomination, and founding a major music festival. She  has shared stages with U2, Café Tacvba, Ximena Sariñana, and many others. She  received the 40 Principales América Award and  the  Best International Artist at the MIN 2015 Independent Music Awards in Madrid, Spain. She designed and launched two clothing lines with the Chilean retail brands: Work it! and Look Sharp! Currently, Francisca is an ambassador for the It Gets Better Foundation and has been selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.  Last year  Valenzuela founded and organized the Ruidosa feminist festiva.  Her most recent album is Tajo Abierto.   I interviewed her 9/20/17 in Spanish and English with Dianna Carolina of Gypset Magazine.  This is the English interview. The [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Frutas: Sin Color’s debut album set to rocket to the top.

August 22, 2017

Patrick O’Heffernan (Hollywood) You can always tell when an artist or band is going to rocket to the to the top.  They collect an award or two before their first release, draw big crowds when they play locally, and have an overflow audience for the album release party.  Sin Color – the duo of Crisia Regalado and David Aquino – has done all of that and something else – their debut album, Frutas,  is more than debut – it is ready now for prime time.  Not bad for two kids who just turned 20. Frutas is a tour de force of musical craftsmanship and sheer talent.  Each of its ten songs is a gem – there is no filler here. Crisia’s opera-trained voice soars and swoops and soothes, supported by David’s superb guitar chops and the backing of Latin Grammy-nominated accordion mistress Gloria Estrada, the great border blues duo The Dank Band, and the percussion genius of Buyepongo, all guided by top producer Eugene Toale.  For artists so young to assemble such a highly regarded group of artists and [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew hits you in the gut where real blues belong.

August 14, 2017

    Patrick O’Heffernan (Los Angeles) Austin-born and still Texas-based Jackie Venson is a Berklee College of music trained-blues rock guitarist – not a common combination –   who blows the roof off every venue she plays in.  Trained in classical piano, Venson has multi-instrumental chops plus a voice that can drip with emotion or belt with blues.  She picked up the guitar shortly after graduating from Berklee and made the giant leap from classical music to raw and gritty blues and the rest is history.   A new page in that history is the release of her latest album,  Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew.  This is a knock out blues  triumph. Put on your headphones, clear your schedule because Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew will hit you in the gut where real blues belongs.   Venson has always been a standout in the blues world, not only because she has a voice that goes from delicate and seductive to in-your-face-with-the-pain-of-the-blues, but because her guitar playing achieves a level of precision at the top [Read More]

Concerts

Gaby Moreno and Caloncho create a magical night at Grand Performances 2017

June 22, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan LOS ANGELES. Gaby Moreno and  Caloncho created a magical night Saturday at Grand Performances in California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.  About 2000 people filled the two-level sunken plaza,  facing a sparkling pond in front of the expansive stage, backed by dancing water spouts and skyscrapers sporting the projected Grand Performances logo.  Lights twinkled all around, families opened picnic baskets or  queued up at the restaurants surrounding the Plaza and the bars in the Plaza.  They settled into chairs or brought their own while the sun went down, auguring the arrival of música especial.   Accompanied by urban sound effects, Caloncho and his band filtered on stage, plugged in and took their positions.  The party was on as the Sonoran-born, Guadalajara-based singer songwriter kicked it off with his soothing summer night anthems of soft tempos and Latin indie-dream pop, animated by a very active trombone/keyboard player who added not only notes, but humor.  At one point, the fans’ heroine, Guatemalan-born LA-based Latin Grammy winner Gaby Moreno joined Caloncho, eliciting applause so loud [Read More]

Concerts

Shouting “Hep Hep”  Parlor Social blows the roof off at The Mint with neo ragtime. By Patrick O’Heffernan

June 20, 2017

    LOS ANGELES  The Mint LA was packed shoulder to shoulder when Dessy Di Lauro, resplendent in a brilliant white dinner jacket and her red hair exploding out from beneath a black skullcap took the microphone and called out to the audience, “Are You all ready to have some fun?”  As “Yeah!” echoed around the venue, she and husband piano player-accordionist, Ric’key Pageot  danced in a tight circle on the stage leading the audience in clapping, finger-snapping and singing their signature song “Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep” . The party was on and the room was lovin’ it.   The band was opening for New Orleans-based Big Sam’s Funky Nation, whose horn-led, jazz rock rhythms kept the momentum going as part of the Hunnypot Live Music night at the Mint.   Max Nickou opened the evening, warming up the growing crowd with sky-high guitar chops and solid rock with a twist.   Proving again why Parlor Social is the undeniably best live act in Los Angeles if not the nation, their “Feathered Fro-hawk- Futuristic-Art-Deco-Centric-Harlem-Renaissance-Hep-Music” [Read More]