Concert promoters envision Santa Monica Pier as a great concert venue. The Way Over Yonder festival is a step forward, they say. Comments 3 Los Angeles concert promoters Mitchell Frank, left, and Martin Fleischmann are bringing concerts and festivals to the Santa Monica Pier. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / September 26, 2013) Also By Mikael Wood October 5, 2013, 7:00 a.m. A stiff breeze blew across the Santa Monica Pier on a recent afternoon, kicking up sand and sea spray as visitors munched fried food and watched a man paint names on a grain of rice. But sheltered inside a seafood joint, Mitchell Frank and Martin Fleischmann didn’t seem concerned with the weather perhaps because they were busy describing winds of change. “What we’re trying to do is create a destination for locals on the pier,” said Fleischmann, a veteran Los Angeles concert promoter. “Tourists are here all day long, but otherwise it’s underutilized.” Added Frank, another promoter hired by the nonprofit group that oversees the pier, “The mandate was to bring content here.” PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times Content in the form of musical performances isn’t unheard of on the pier, which last month wrapped its 29th annual Twilight Concert series with a free show by the reggae star Jimmy Cliff. The gig drew 30,000 people, according to some estimates. But this year the promoters expanded the menu with a slate of ticketed festivals, including All Bands on Deck! (with indie acts such as Poolside and Yacht) and September’s Beach Ball (featuring Aloe Blacc and Sly & Robbie). This weekend the pier is to host Way Over Yonder, an inaugural two-day roots-music event connected to the venerable Newport Folk Festival with performances Saturday and Sunday by Neko Case, Conor Oberst and Calexico. And Oct.
Concert review: Ghost and Skeletonwitch haunt the Newport Music Hall (Photos)
But Kronos is more than just a new-music band. Over the course of its 40-year history, the group has commissioned more than 800 pieces of music. Rather than just writing a check and waiting for a score to arrive, the group often works with composers, exploring the sonic and expressive possibilities of their instruments. The program Kronos will offer at the Wilson Center will be typically global, featuring pieces with roots and inspirations in Iceland, Eastern Europe, Lebanon, India and elsewhere, and will be presented with the group’s trademark blend of lights and electronic effects and amplification. Explaining that the group travels with both lighting and sound engineers, Sherba said, “We can use electronics things like amplification and playback to really expand what can be done with the string quartet.” Sherba chuckles these days, describing a personal path to the Kronos Quartet that was something less than a carefully executed plan. He began his musical studies in the Whitefish Bay School District, where violin lessons were part of his regular school days. “Growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, we had a fantastic music education in the school systems,” he said. Just before he started high school, Sherba’s family moved to Shorewood, putting Sherba in Shorewood High School, which he also calls a “fabulous musical experience.” He also worked with Leonard Sorkin of the Fine Arts Quartet during his high school years, which he says was just what he needed at that time. After high school, Sherba took some music courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, but he confesses that he mostly just practiced at UWM, as opposed to taking structured classes. “I played in the orchestra for a couple years and studied chamber music,” he says of his UWM days. “I tried some other classes too, but that didn’t work out well for me.” By 1978, Sherba was playing in a quartet in Milwaukee with his brother Charles. “I was ready for something different. I really wanted to leave the city and go somewhere else,” he said. “The cellist in our quartet, Crispin Campbell, was from San Francisco and he wanted to get back there,” Sherba continued. “He kept track of everything going on in San Francisco, and he knew there was this quartet there that liked working with living composers and playing lots of concerts.
Along with the sound engineers and roadies who help stage a concert, insurance underwriters play a large role in making sure a star can get onstage and grab the microphone. Insurers are also key during those times when stars do not show and concerts get canceled. On Wednesday afternoon, a Los Angeles jury found AEG Live was not liable in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of late pop singer Michael Jackson, in a case where lawyers in court papers had suggested the damages could exceed $1 billion. The fact that AEG Live found itself at the center of the wrongful death suit had sent shockwaves through the music world in past months, with concert promoters as well as well-known entertainment insurers like AON/Albert G Ruben and Lloyds of Londonexpected to beef up policies for acts they insure and potentially raise some prices. Even though AEG was not held responsible, insurance experts believe the case has spurred the industry to re-think policies and find ways to prevent similar situations down the road. The role of Dr. Conrad Murray, convicted for manslaughter for his role in administering a fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol to Jackson, is already prompting changes, say underwriters. In the future, the star or his promoter may be required to carry separate insurance on his entourage. “The biggest stars all have doctors and their own staff,” said Lorrie McNaught, senior vice president at Aon/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services Inc, a large entertainment insurance firm, which has handled many of the world’s biggest tours over the last 12 months. “If you have a security guard who winds up punching someone in the face or kills someone, who is responsible?
Bam Margera weds girlfriend Nicole Boyd on stage during Icelandic rock concert
By Ethan Sacks / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 4:41 PM Bam Margera via YouTube Bam Margera and Nicole Boyd get married on stage Saturday in Iceland. In what may be his greatest stunt ever, Jackass star Bam Margera tied the knot Saturday – on stage in the middle of an Icelandic heavy metal concert. The 34-year-old skateboarder turned TV daredevil posted video of himself marrying longtime girlfriend Nicole Boyd on stage at the Random Hero Festival – and shared the moment with fans by posting the video on YouTube. Bam Margera via YouTube The bride wore a low-cut white dress; the groom was less resplendent in a torn purple and black cape. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Actor Bam Margera (l.) and Nicole Boyd arrive at the Hollywood premiere of the movie,’The Last Stand,’ in January. As soon thenuptialswere over, Margera joined his band, F–kface Unstoppable to belt out some tunes. PHOTOS: SHHH! SECRET CELEBRITY WEDDINGS The concert benefitted a local skating park in Reykjavik, Iceland, E! Online reported. Its the second marriage for Margera, who was hitched to childhood friend Missy Rothsein in 2007 and officially divorced last year.
Kronos Quartet concert will be homecoming for John Sherba
Therefore, its extra-special to see a (quasi)local band do good. Indeed, vocalist Chance Garnette called this gig a hometown show. The people turned out for them too: the Newport Music Hall was about half-full when Skeletonwitch hit the stage at the somewhat early time of 8 p.m. The band is too heavy to be labeled simply as thrash and theres nowhere near enough orchestration in their sound to even think of calling them black metal. If they were forced to be defined by a label, it would be death metal; however, drummer Dustin Boltjes, bassist Evan Linger, and guitarists Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick each add a surprising amount of swing into the mix. Make no mistake: Skeletonwitch is just as brutal as any other band on the scene and theres no fear of them becoming a Grateful Dead-styled jam band, but they dont play fast and heavy just for the sake of playing fast and heavy. Theyre not confined by the draconian boundaries of traditional death metal. It was hard to tell if all the thought that goes into Skeletonwitchs music was appreciated by the crowd however. Mosh pits in sizes usually reserved for headliners erupted all over the floor when the band tore into gems such as Repulsive Salvation and Cleaver of Souls. It was like watching the hordes of zombies in ‘World War Z’ destroy everything in their path. The band probably already had a lot of fans in attendance to see their semi-homecoming (there were plenty of Skeletonwitch t-shirts and sweatshirts on display in the crowd), but they no doubt gained many, many more last night. By the time Ghost hit the stage, the venue was about three-fourths full.