June 7, 2009 Issue

Letter from the Editor

June 7, 2009

Letter from the Editor

It’s not that I wanted a month off. I love writing to all of you. But this stellar issue was created and curated by our very own music editor, Nic Harcourt, so I thought it fitting that he tell you who he is, where he came from and what makes music the passion of his life (other than his six-year-old twins). And for the record, Nic didn’t want his picture up here—so I had to leave mine:

Letters to the Editor

June 7, 2009

Letters to the Editor

NUPTIAL NUANCES

Sounds Like a Long-Term Plan

June 7, 2009

THE GADFLY

Sounds Like a Long-Term Plan

James Diener is almost certainly the only head of a music label who’s reading—for pleasure—the world’s hundred best books. Right now, he’s slogging through Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, a novel that’s a century and a universe removed from his world. But Diener’s reality as CEO and president of A&M/Octone Records is far from whatever passes for “normal” in today’s music business. For one thing, A&M/Octone is small. Two pizzas could feed its New York-based staff. Nine years after its launch as Octone Records, it still has fewer than 15 acts under contract. And yet every move Diener makes is designed to produce long-term careers—and blockbusters.

Spin City

June 7, 2009

NEXT

Spin City

If Guitar Hero is the natural progression for anyone who ever shamelessly emulated Joe Perry with an imaginary ax, then Activision’s next gig, DJ Hero, will let anyone who ever did a song mix channel his or her inner spinmaster.

Turn It Up

Turn It Up

TÊTE-à-TÊTE: M.I.A.

Jack White

June 7, 2009

10Q

Jack White

1. You have a lot going on: You started a label, Third Man Records; you’re in the upcoming It Might Get Loud, a guitar documentary with the Edge and Jimmy Page; and now you’re in the Dead Weather. Are you ever too busy?

Music to My Eyes

June 7, 2009

FEATURE STORY

Music to My Eyes

It wasn’t seeing Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival that made him do it (though that was a factor). It was moments later, as producer Lou Adler strutted around with one of the hottest women ever. That was the moment Jeff Ayeroff thought, I want to be that guy.

Harmonic Convergence

June 7, 2009

BACK / STORY

Harmonic Convergence

For almost as long as there’s been rock ’n’ roll, Los Angeles has been a city at the center of its history and mythol­ogy—a town in which legends are made, burned, rebuilt, merchandised, forgotten. The city has had its fair share of native rock talent and has been the adopted home of many more singular rockin’ careers, but the powerful draw of L.A. has also meant that, through the years, the city has been the site of some of the most notable and unusual rock ’n’ roll encounters.

Joni on Point

June 7, 2009

FEATURE STORY

Joni on Point

Though her 1968 debut album, Song to a Seagull, was no small feat of folk glory, it was by Joni Mitchell’s third and fourth releases—Ladies of the Canyon and Blue—that her status as one of the most significant songwriters of her generation was cemented. Songs like “Big Yellow Taxi” and “California” have been kindling to a wide swath of musicians—from Dylan and Stevie Nicks to Beck and Norah Jones—who cite her as an influence.

Canyon Jam

June 7, 2009

FEATURE STORY

Canyon Jam

Witching hour is upon us, and we’re winding our way up Laurel Canyon Boulevard, surrounded by a sea of dark slopes and twinkling homes. Parking at the foot of one small hill, we make our way up a steep, candlelit walkway that leads to a wooden cottage perched at the summit. The boom of music emanates and draws us closer. Tonight, our master of ceremonies and host is Jonathan Wilson, a 33-year-old singer-songwriter from Spindale, North Carolina. He is hippie handsome, soft-spoken and humble, despite being responsible for the resurgence of the city’s most famous folk-rock neighborhood. The Wednesday-night jams held at Wilson’s Laurel Canyon cottage have begun a revolution among both established and emerging local artists, who come together to experiment, play their hearts out and remind them­selves why they’re musicians in the first place.

Right Here, Right Now

June 7, 2009

FEATURE STORY

Right Here, Right Now

If only the original Fishbone were together these days, they could see what they’ve reaped. The progenitor of genre-busting, culture-clashing music was formed in 1979 in South Central L.A.—a brilliant all-black funk-ska-punk-rock outfit that often languished in the identity politics of marketing machines and ethnic inertia. White kids said they were authentic, black kids said they were sellouts. Columbia, their label at the time, had no idea how to market them. And low record sales ensued.

Playlists

June 7, 2009

Playlists

Voyeurism never gets dull. Tabloids have us reveling in celebrity mishaps, but an emptiness always follows. We want to know what really moves the people we admire. Take our über-compilation of song lists to elevate the dialogue at your next salon. I mean, who knew that Neil Diamond digs the Kings of Leon? Or that Beck loves Serge Gainsbourg? You do... now.

Chief Bratton and Jim Wiatt

June 7, 2009

FEATURE STORY

Chief Bratton and Jim Wiatt

If ever a city needed a larger-than-life police chief, it’s Los Angeles. Of course, like any other major urban area, our police chief needs to be one step ahead of the bad guys—but in our town, he or she also needs to be able to mix and mingle with, and occasionally arrest, some of the world’s most famous people. For a city that has historically had a conflicted relationship with its police department—and the person helming it—Chief William J. Bratton is extremely popular.

Humor Helps & TED Takes Beverly Hills

June 7, 2009

PRIVATE PARTY

Humor Helps & TED Takes Beverly Hills

NIGHT OF A MILLION LAUGHS IN MALIBU

Jazz, Baby

June 7, 2009

MY BEST STORY

Jazz, Baby

His magazine was approaching its fifth birthday, and Hugh Hefner wanted to celebrate in a big way. The founder of Playboy does not think small, so in August of 1959, he had George Wein—impresario of the Newport Jazz Festival—create a weekend of music. It was a total success: 68,000 people crowded into Chicago Stadium for the first Playboy Jazz Festival. Twenty years later, Hefner did it again, this time in Los Angeles. He’s been staging his jazz festival at the Hollywood Bowl ever since.

The *#@$%! You Say

WEB ONLY: MANNERS MATTER

The *#@$%! You Say

All right, I’ll admit it. I’m a Goody Two-shoes. I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs...you get the idea. But I do have one skele­ton in my closet, something only my closest friends and people who drive way too close to me know. I curse—like a drunken sailor whose lady done him wrong.

L.A. Story

June 7, 2009

WEB ONLY: FEATURES STORY

L.A. Story

Rock stars, Jazzers, Pachucos...they may have grown up somewhere else quaint, like Sandusky, Ohio, or Canada, but they made their mark here—lived, created and died here. Music is as much a part of the L.A. legacy as film and television. From the bebop rapture of the old Cotton Club in Culver City to the head-banging kicks of the Whiskey a Go-Go—neighborhoods have changed, but the memories will last forever.

Icons of Rock Style: Details

Icons of Rock Style: Details

Sama "Python" sunglasses in gold: $920, Destination Sama, 9530 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, 310-271-1734, samaeyewear.net. Cerulean harem pants: $99, intermixonline.com. Rebecca Minkoff "Morning After" clutch in fluorescent yellow patent leather (style: S9110-11): $325, Confederacy, 4661 Hollywood Blvd, 323-913-3040. Paul Smith Panama hat: $240, Paul Smith, 8221 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-951-4800. Band of Outsiders silk faille "Checkerboard" bow tie: $115, Ron Herman, 8100 Melrose Ave., 323-852-5000. Top Shop leopard tie and scarf: tie, $24; scarf, $30, topshop.com. Gerard Tully gold-plated lion ring: price upon request, gerardtully.com. Wings & Horns black service boots: $720, Fred Segal Man, 420 Broadway, 310-395-9792, wingsandhorns.com. Marc by Marc Jacobs romper: $258. Marc Jacobs, marcjacobs.com. Erin Wasson X RVCA "Gin Soaked" jeans: $200, openingceremony.us. Balmain crystal-embellished canvas jacket: $7,987, netaporter.com. Balmain by Giuseppe Zanotti studded strappy sandals: $1,299, H. Lorenzo, 474 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-652-0064, Dries Van Noten gold sequin blazer: $3,055, Maxfield's, 8825 Melrose Ave., 310-274-8800.

  • Email E-mail
  • add to Twitter Twitter
  • add to Facebook Facebook
Connect
Advertisement

VIDEO