It’s here…My new book, ”After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame,” on Angel City Press, is making its way out into the world. It’s a collection of essays and photographs examining sense-of-place and the ever-evolving identity of the City of Angels.
I’ll be doing readings next month at Skylight Books (3/18), Eso Won Bookstore (3/19) and Vroman’s Bookstore (3/22). I will also be at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books April 21 & 22. Please stay tuned for details.
And if you are away from L.A., here’ where you can purchase directly from Angel City Press.
THIS WAS incredible news! The in-depth essay I researched and wrote for this beautiful box set, won the Best Album Notes Grammy yesterday. I am still over the moon, especially because it was a project that set its larger goal as getting all three nights — and all sets — of Redding’s run at the Whisky A Go Go that April 1966 in pristine listening shape for the world to hear.
Redding was poised to take the next big step in his career and looked at L.A. as not a stepping stone but a launching pad. These recordings reveal his enthusiasm, prowess and charm.
Here’s a little more here about the set.
And this from the LAT about the Grammy win.
THE GREAT NEW ORLEANS musician, raconteur and historian, Danny Barker gave the West Coast 11 months. He was unimpressed, called California “a flim-flam town.” Jelly Roll Morton invested a little more time, zooming from gig to gig, late into the night, drumming up excitement around himself. Harold Battiste, Jr. put down deep roots here in Los Angeles, yet always kept his connection home in New Orleans alive. For a time, he was the first call people from home made when they landed in L.A.; the one who would help you get your footing. In other words, his was the number scrawled on the matchbook.
Each of them journeyed to Los Angeles with a different set of hopes and achieved divergent results. The region shaped them at times as much as they shaped it. California wasn’t just a dream, for some of these Louisiana musicians it was a prayer. My full piece looking at Louisiana musicians in Los Angeles is now up here at Los Angeles Review of Books.
WHAT A GREAT, YouTube find. I had no idea the whole film was up here. With Truman Capote narrating himself. All six parts are up.
“But one way and another we do each year accumulate Christmas savings, a Fruitcake Fund. These moneys we keep hidden in an ancient bead purse under a loose board under the floor under a chamber pot under my friend’s bed. The purse is seldom removed from its safe location except to make a deposit, or, as happens every Saturday, a withdrawal; for on Saturdays I am allowed ten cents to go to the picture show. My friend has never been to a picture show, nor does she intend to: “I’d rather hear you tell the story Buddy. That way I can imagine it more.”
Always, look up for the kite….
Merry Christmas, from Native to the Place
THE OTHER big news really came out of the blue.
I wrote the album notes for the fancy re-issue of Otis Redding Live at the Whisky A Go Go and got the news that the essay received a Grammy nomination. To say that I was surprised is an understatement. I’m really happy that it puts Redding’s legacy in the spotlight. Truly gone too soon.
Here’s a short reaction interview that appeared on the Angel City Press site.
Awards announced this year in New York City, January 28.
BEST LAID plans have taken to the wind.
I’d meant to try to do a once-a-week update post here but have been juggling writing and deadlines and such.
The path is clearing some.
I’ll be updating here.
My book After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame, published by Angel City Press, will be available in January. Stay tuned to this page for details and some peeks behind the process.
Until then, enjoy the fall light and rich shadows.
Photo by Edie Vonnegut
“So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time back to November eleventh, nineteen hundred and twenty-two.
I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.
So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.
What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.
And so is music”
From Breakfast of Champions
Happy Birthday, Kurt Vonnegut