Yes folks, this weekend in Los Angeles it's a steel-cage death-match between two California prize eccentrics whose idiosyncratic music is performed on theatrical home-made instruments.
In this corner: Harry Partch, dead, former hobo who spent the '30s and '40s hopping trains, traveling around the country in pursuit of a buck and a meal, composer of songs that sometimes reflected this background, creator of fantastical micro-tonal instruments, the subject of a concert this Fri and Sat downtown at the REDCAT performed on said instruments, lovingly restored.
Harry Partch: "Barstow: Eight Hitchiker Inscriptions"
from the out-of-print '60s classic "The World of Harry Partch," tho a remake from 1982 by his ensemble can be found on "The Harry Partch Collection, Vol 2."
And in this corner, Llyn Foulkes, alive, one of the "Visionary Artists From L.A." featured at the Hammer Museum in Westwood whose non-conformist attitudes have kept the art-world from embracing them, who will be performing original songs inspired by his Spike Jones and swing-infused youth this Friday night on his "Machine," a one-man band riot of honk-horns, percussion, organ pipes, and a bass string.
Llyn Foulkes: "Top of Topanga"
from the mini-album "Lyn Foulkes and his Machine Live!"
"Barstow" is a classic gateway-drug to strange music: catchy melodies, fascinating lyrics and back-story. Play it for your Top 40-brainwashed loved ones.
So, now you know where I'll be this weekend. Who will be the winner? You!