LA Weekend Favorites

I had a quick (48 hour) LA visit this weekend. LA is perhaps my favorite place for weekend radio– no iPod needed.

KCSN‘s country and western programs, Tied to the Tracks and Cowboy Nick’s Twang on Saturday, and Bluegrass etc. on Sunday, are tailor-made for hot mornings in the north-west Valley; for Sunday afternoon drives on the 405, I ususally end up listening to Tom Schnabel’s Cafe LA. This week’s program included an interview with Ashley Kahn, author of The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records. (At least I think it was Kahn, the show’s archive isn’t up yet.) Kahn, or whoever it was, had a nice tale of Trane meditating all night before the studio session in which re recorded A Love Supreme. (Kahn had a story on Morning Edition today on jam band The CodeTalkers.)

Finally, on Saturday, I went to Starbucks for some broadband and found what seemed  like a farewhnell column from Robert Hilburn, the longtime music critic who took the LA Times buy-out offer last fall. Someone had torn out his favorite albums and tours lists, thanks to ther Interwebs I’ve found them. [Note to LA Times Calendar web editors: you may want to refresh the Hilburn page with a link to his Saturday column, the most recent link there now is from October.] Hilburn on Ice Cube:

The public perception of Ice Cube and of rap itself changed after the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Suddenly, Cube’s warnings about race assumed an eerie ring of prophecy.

Some time after that, Cube told me about a song he’d written — a wistful one about a day when nothing goes wrong, no one in the ‘hood gets killed, titled “It Was a Good Day.” Hard-core rap fans could have rejected it, thinking he’d gone soft. But “Good Day” is now considered as much a landmark in rap as Cube’s hard-core “F— tha Police.”

That artistic daring has been echoed through the years by other gifted rappers, who also allowed their tender sides to show — Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama,” Eminem’s “Stan” and, most recently, Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks.”



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