Groening draws on his rock past

Special to the Times

Don’t look for cartoon music at the second UCLA All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival in June just because “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” creator Matt Groening is serving as curator.

The animation mogul was a rock critic (for the old Los Angeles Reader) long before he sired his TV broods. His passion for music outside the mainstream is clear with the booking of the keystone act for the four-day event: a reunion of the Magic Band, which backed outsider icon Captain Beefheart and helped realize his distinctive vision.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Nov. 14, 2002 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday November 14, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 13 inches; 496 words Type of Material: Correction
Musician’s name -- The Pop Eye column in Sunday’s Calendar gave the name of Captain Beefheart’s bassist as Mark Buston. It’s actually Mark Boston.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday November 17, 2002 Home Edition Sunday Calendar Part E Page 2 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 67 words Type of Material: Correction
Musician’s name -- The Pop Eye column for Nov. 10 gave the name of Captain Beefheart’s bassist as Mark Buston. It’s actually Mark Boston.

At Groening’s urging, the group will reunite -- more than 20 years after Beefheart, who won’t be part of the reunion, retired from music -- to play the June 19-22 fest. The band will make one other appearance: the U.K. version of All Tomorrow’s Parties in April, which techno act Autechre is curating.

“It was a great opportunity,” Groening, 48, says. “I love that music. I don’t know how many times I saw that band perform, but it’s the most hair-raising rock music ever made.”


The Magic Band will be anchored by drummer John “Drumbo” French and bassist Mark “Rockette Morton” Buston, both of whom were featured on Beefheart’s essential album, 1969’s “Trout Mask Replica.” Guitarists Gary Lucas and Denny “Feelers Reebo” Walley, veterans of later Magic Band editions, are also on board to perform the group’s complex music, with various guests to be announced.

For Groening, it’s the perfect tone-setter as he, festival creator Barry Hogan and UCLA Live director of performing arts David Sefton confirm the rest of the roster. “I’m fond of eccentric visions and people who are pursuing careers not based on overwhelming sales,” Groening says. “And I’m hoping none of the bands’ music can be used in car commercials.”

Some good bets to be featured are Japanese acts and artists falling in the “outsider” realm.

“I’m definitely a fan of Japanese rock, the wilder stuff like the Boredoms and Cornelius,” he says. “And to me, what people refer to as outsider music is just great stuff, like Johnny Dowd or Unknown Hinson.”

The only other act confirmed so far is alternative rock band the Breeders.

One big difference between the 2003 edition and the first version, held last spring under the guidance of the band Sonic Youth, is the physical setup. Last year’s event was held on the UCLA campus, with simultaneous shows at Royce Hall, Ackerman Ballroom and other facilities. Next year, some shows will take place at Royce, others at three classic movie theaters in downtown L.A.: the Orpheum, the Palace and the Los Angeles.

In keeping with the ornate early 20th century decor of the theaters, Groening plans to echo that earlier era in the shows themselves.

“I’m trying to put in some vaudeville acts in between the music,” he says. “It won’t just be pouting, sullen rock ‘n’ rollers.”


Morissette’s new broom

Eight previously unreleased Alanis Morissette songs will be featured on a CD to be packaged with a concert DVD due Dec. 10. The “Feast on Scraps: Inside Under Rug Swept” DVD centers on a performance in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, earlier this year, and includes other concert excerpts and home videos.

The CD will include songs recorded during sessions for her “Under Rug Swept” album: “Fear of Bliss,” “Bent for You,” “Sorry to Myself,” “Sister Blister,” “Offer,” “Unprodigal Daughter,” “Simple Together” and “Purgatorying,” plus an acoustic version of “Hands Clean.”

Patsy Cline’s duds can be yours


A lot of people have sung Patsy Cline hits since she died in a 1963 plane crash. But how many have done so while wearing her clothes? Now 20 stage outfits worn by the country singer -- many made by her mother, Hilda Hensley -- will be auctioned Dec. 19 through Profiles in History in Beverly Hills, with live Internet bidding taken through EBay.

Among the outfits to be auctioned are a black sequined dress seen on the cover of her album “In Care of the Blues,” black capri pants she wore on the cover of “The Sound of Patsy Cline” and the gold dress with black lace she wore for a Carnegie Hall concert in 1961.

In addition, 21 letters from Cline to a friend will be auctioned, many revealing her thoughts and experiences as she rose to stardom. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the estate of Hensley, who died in 1998, and her son Sam Hensley, who intends to establish a Patsy Cline museum. Auction organizers hope that some who purchase the items will then loan or donate them back to the museum.

Small faces


Robi Rosa, the former Menudo member and co-writer of “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” is working on his first English-language solo album, due in March. His new music is being compared to Seal’s for its mix of soul and rock elements ....

Kenna, an artist originally signed by Fred Durst to his Flawless Records label, is now set to release his debut album on Columbia Records at the end of January. The Neptunes’ Chad Hugo, who also co-wrote much of the material, produced the album, which evokes such ‘80s influences as New Order ....

An exhibit and sale of art by music marketing executive Macey Lippman will in part benefit the recording academy’s MusiCares charity, which assists music professionals in financial and medical need. Lippman is best known for overseeing marketing campaigns for acts ranging from Cher to ZZ Top. He has long been active as a painter and photographer, with Italian and California wine country scenes a focus. His showing at the Hamilton-Selway Gallery in West Hollywood runs Monday through Nov. 18.