Regarding “They Call it ‘Wavy Soul’” by Randall Roberts [Aug. 18]: A most welcome trend: Young Latinx artists like Jasper Bones and Cuco lately have covered the likes of 1950s hit makers Ritchie Valens (“We Belong Together”) and Santo & Johnny (“Sleepwalk”).
We postwar baby boomers know well that mining prior generations’ pop music favorites for stylistic inspiration is nothing new. For example, the 1930s produced many hit songs that were covered about a quarter-century later — such as “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959, the Flamingos); “Georgia on My Mind” (1960, Ray Charles); “Blue Moon” (1961, the Marcels) — and they became oldies standards.
Here’s hoping that Bones, Cuco, et al. continue their retrospective adaptations.
Checking in on LACMA issues
Thank you to Mary McNamara for writing about your recent visit to LACMA [“LACMA, Just Admit You are a Ghost Town,” Aug. 24] highlighting its ghostly presence and sad state of affairs.
As a former member I have followed closely the news covering changing plans for a new building, shrinkage of space for displaying its collections, plans to mount small exhibits in other parts of Los Angeles, plans to locate curators across Wilshire Blvd., etc. I can only wonder at the thinking going into these decisions. Despite the approval of the Board of Supervisors to put city money into this ill-fated project and slow-going private donations, it is curious that significant arts professionals were not listened to.
I don’t know whether it is too late to make modifications that will preserve one of L.A.’s great and important cultural resources, but I do wish something could be done.
I want to thank you for your coverage of the LACMA situation. I too purchased a dual membership and just visited the museum last week. It was painful to read your very fair and objective treatment because while I want to rationalize the high admission price and vastly reduced collection as the cost of moving forward, you force me to keep forward my concerns about both the new building in general, and the manner in which the transition is being managed. I do think the special exhibits are quite good right now.
Where have you been? You are late to the party. Your own paper has kept us informed about the closure plans. These are exciting times at LACMA and a time to support the effort to build a 21st century museum. I will continue to support LACMA at my current level and hope to be here when it reopens. I am 76.
I also felt ripped off when I took a bus tour there from Ventura in June. They left us on our own there for four hours and there wasn’t enough to see. Our tour group leader was clearly not made aware of this before the trip either.
Changes worthy of an applause
Regarding “Aloof Music Center Warms Up” [Aug. 25]: Welton Becket’s design of the Music Center is wonderful. The Pavilion could be used more effectively, but high on a hill is lovely.
I applaud the intention to make the space more inviting and the decision to renovate without blowing up existing structures or running up massive costs.
LACMA, are you listening? In the 21st century, progressive design conserves financial and natural resources and honors its physical and cultural context.
LACMA’s grandiose, zillion-dollar revamp of the County Museum of Art forces an already outmoded design on a beloved public space, casts a shadow across Wilshire Boulevard and undermines the purpose of the institution.
This is the perfect time to step back from the brink.
Make planning part of redesign
Regarding “Tar Pits Redesigns Bubble Up” [Aug. 27]: The current LACMA campus evolved into a hodgepodge of uncomplimentary designs dictated by the pocketbooks of major named donors, obsequious museum directors ceding to their whims, and whatever architectural style was in vogue at that time.
Now, must our city suffer another disjointed design for the Page Museum that, in all likelihood, will not complement the atrocious project that is proposed for LACMA? There is a magic word called “planning,” which the trustees of the Page and LACMA must demand of the two design firms.
Reviewer biases easy to spot
Regarding “‘Our Boys’ Walks a Political Tightrope,” by Lorraine Ali [Aug. 25]: The horrific killing of a young Palestinian teen at the hands of Israeli zealots, as portrayed in “Our Boys,” pushes aside, for the most part, the equally brutal abduction and murder of three Israeli teenage boys that preceded the event. Israelis as a whole were in disbelief that one of their own was capable of such brutality and a manhunt for those responsible was immediately mounted. “Our Boys” portrays the grieving Palestinian parents with deep sensitivity. The parents of the Israeli teens are glimpsed briefly through original footage blurred, distant and impersonally.
Doubtless there were Jews and Arabs alike, disgusted and horrified by these senseless killings, but when it comes to the pursuit of justice from the leaders of these two peoples there is absolutely no moral equivalence, a serious omission as portrayed (so far) in the series.
As for Lorraine Ali, she passes up no opportunity to insert her political biases into her entertainment reviews. Perhaps she is ready for the Opinion page.
I have been watching the series “Our Boys.” I recall the incidents and am impressed with the professionalism of the series, the dedication of the writers and the actors. I have deep sympathy for Mohammed’s parents, but where are the parents of the slain Israeli children that set off this horrific cycle of violence and revenge? The abduction of the three Israeli boys is barely mentioned, and their equally bereaved parents not at all. I wish Lorraine Ali’s article could have been as even-handed as the series.
A fact check on ‘Thrones’
In “Running the Show: Twists in a Fantasy Career” by Yvonne Villarreal [Aug. 25], showrunner Marc Guggenheim says it’s not fair comparing “Game of Thrones” to “Carnival Row” because the feature spec script to “Carnival Row” was written “17 years ago, long before there was even a “Game of Thrones” novel.”
“A Game of Thrones” was first published 23 years ago by Bantam Spectra (U.S.) and in 1996 by Voyager Books (U.K.).
It’s a relatable kind of ‘Power’
Regarding Greg Braxton’s “A Final ‘Power’ Surge“ [Aug. 24]: “Power” brings you into the story.
I can relate to all the characters in the story line, love, hate, fear while feeling connected to everything and everyone doing what they do. The love scenes between Ghost and Angela were epic. Tommy is the loyal erratic friend you don’t want to become your enemy. The total cast of characters in “Power” is believable. I feel like I know Ghost, Angela, Tommy and Tasha just as well as I know the people I have coffee with at Starbucks.
Can’t wait until Sunday night.
The cool kids are alright
Regarding Robert Lloyd’s “Can Sitcom ‘The Kids’ be Saved?” [Aug. 22]: When I saw the headline I hoped “The Kids” was reference to “The Cool Kids.” There is a show that deserves to be resurrected.
Regarding the online story “Male Dancers Teach Lara Spencer a Ballet Lesson After Her Prince George Joke” by Christie D’Zurila [Aug. 26]: When I was very young I loved dancing and took some ballet, some tap, some jazz. I was called names by people all through high school.
Later, I was in “On Your Toes” on Broadway. It’s a classic, about a comic rivalry between ballet and Broadway-style dance. We took ballet class in the mornings led by a NYC Ballet mistress. The dancers were from ABT, Joffrey and the Bolshoi. It was moving, magical, a seminal time for me. Dance helped me grow into manhood. And it gave me empathy for boys whose desire to dance was actually dangerous for them. Think of that: dangerous.
So this deeply shallow and foolish Lara Spencer thing has everyone angry, as it should. I’m now a psychotherapist and these experiences affect how I try to have empathy and understanding. Dance teaches that.
More hippie story fallout
I read with dismay Tom Carson’s treatment of Woodstock and his conflation of that with Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” in “The Hippie Reckoning” [Aug. 18]. As a believer in the ‘60s (I wonder if Carson can claim the same), I felt the sincerity of so many young people of that time and the longing for a society that valued above all such values as sharing as opposed to greed, peace as opposed to war and violence, love as opposed to fear and suspicion.
This cynical article by Carson is a sign of our current times, not a sign of the best values of the ‘60s. In Trump’s era of the peddling of fear, hate, and division, we would do well to emulate the best and deeply-felt instincts of ‘60s youth.
I’m so tired of liberals who have to drag President Trump into every conversation. In a letter about Tom Carson’s “Hippie Reckoning” [“Calendar Feedback”, Aug. 25] a reader stated “...makes me wonder if Carson didn’t vote for Trump.” Don’t forget the millions of us who voted for him and still support him. We’re still here.
The two questions he addressed to any 1960s Hippies regarding our lifestyle choices: ”Did it make [me] happy? Did it change [my] life?”
Well, yes and no.
The creative spirit and freedom of the era was something to experience. The music of both Woodstock, in particular, and the era, in general, was magnificent. Questioning traditional Western civilization, culture, and materialism had some validity. But, the answer was not a drug infused euphoria exemplified at Woodstock and liberally indulged in by youth.
I bought the whole Hippie mantra of “Freedom Without Responsibility” hook, line, and sinker. This ridiculous notion only held a semblance of truth or reality because one was stoned. It led to several regrettable decisions that effected my past and current life adversely.
So, was it “fun”? yes, but, I paid the price.
Yes, the ‘60s made us ‘happy’ not hedonistic. As it provided the salient touchstone to act with and on conscience. Something that has terrbily waned in its aftermath.
Woodstock was an unrivaled, archtypical mass “Cultural Contruct” vice “Media Construct.” which shaped all future collective iterations. One can be forgiven in this age of internet to loosely deem everything a ‘Media Construct.”
Duff Owens Wilmoth
The term “hippie” was coined by the media. Real hippies thought anyone who called themselves hippies were squares.