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.
ON TOP of the world!
So I’ve got some news. Excited to report that Angel City Press will be publishing my new book, “After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame” For more info you can check out ACP here.
Looking forward to the adventure.
AND THE NEWS keeps coming today —
I’ve been trying to get all the blogs caught up with upcoming projects. It’s been a bit of a logjam lately around here and so I hope to be getting back to some regular posting.
I’m happy to announce my new (and very first!) chapbook, “Shifting Tenses” from the wonderful Writ Large Press, Founded in 2007 by Chiwan Choi, Peter Woods, Judeth Oden Choi and Jessica Ceballos, the press’ mandate has been to publish, connect and promote overlooked voices and communities across the region and beyond. A limited number of copies will be available today at L.A. Zine Fest in downtown Los Angeles. 100% of the proceeds go to nonprofit/social justice organizations.
If you’re not able to make it downtown, you can still order it directly from Writ Large by clicking over here.
SCENES FROM last week’s opening festivities for “Octavia E. Butler — Telling My Stories” at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.
A special thank you to curator Natalie Russell who carefully selected 100 objects out of a vast archive of 8,000 to illustrate Butler’s life, work and struggle. It’s a beautiful survey of a singular life. We are all grateful to Butler for gifting her papers to the Huntington so that so many more people can learn about her way of looking at and being in the world. Most affecting is her depth of curiosity, her blinders-on focus. For all the sacrifice and sense of mission, her dedication at moments feels matchless.
The exhibit is up through August. Come early. Give yourself enough time to wander through. There is much to linger over, digest and celebrate.
MY BOOM piece is getting some WordPress Love!
Lynell George “I could remember everything about California, but I couldn’t feel it. I tried to get my mind to remember something I could feel about it, but it was no use. It was gone. All of it.” —Richard Hallas from You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up1 Gold Underneath the Street For […]
via State of Being: Envisioning California — Boom California
MY ESSAY — in words and pictures — about what it means to be a Californian is now up at Boom California.
At the edge of it
I have been thinking more and more of late about how being both an inheritor and a native of a place, shapes the way you see and move through territory as well as how you understand your place within it.
Keepsakes and Souvenirs
I want to thank especially my former SF roommate, Shelley, for spending endless hours with me roaming around our old spaces and chasing vanished addresses in the Bay Area. I can do that for hours and hours. I do a fair amount of this roaming on my own when I’m here in Los Angeles but it was great to have a second set of eyes and someone with whom to bounce ideas back and forth.
California, I do love you, but I have to wonder sometimes if you’re moving faster than I am.
Boom Winter Issue 2016
All images by Lynell George
YOU DON’T Have to drive too far for Spring’s Super Bloom. This hill all ablaze is located in Griffith Park. Don’t miss it!
PRESENTING TODAY about Octavia E. Butller’s life and legacy at U.S.C.