Call for Artists
Brand Library & Art Center announces its 49th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Works on Paper. Brand 49 welcomes Marvella Muro, Director of Artistic Programs and Education at Self Help Graphics and Art in Los Angeles, as this year’s juror.
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Listen to a streaming playlist from Freegal Music, Naxos Music Library, Naxos Jazz Music Library, Hoopla or Music Online from Alexander Street free with your library card. Alexander Street will ask for an academic institution, use Glendale Public Library.
The National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress added 25 recordings. Read the article and stream 4 of the recordings using your library card number: Janet Jackson, Albert King, Nas, and Odetta.
Learn About Music
New volumes in the So You Want to Sing series are coming soon, we should have in the next few weeks. Volumes on cabaret, spirituals, blues and world music are on their way. Brand Library currently has 17 volumes in the series.
The Duduk is an Armenian wind instrument made from the wood of an apricot tree. Even if you don’t know Armenian music you have probably heard the sound of this expressive instrument on many movie and TV soundtracks. How to play the Duduk is a YouTube channel in English. If you are interested in seeing how the instrument is constructed check out this video Duduk-How it is made today.
Desert Island Discs was a BBC radio show that began in 1942 that is now a podcast. Every week the host asks a famous guest what music they would take to a desert island with them. A diverse assortment of guests that have recently included Daniel Radcliffe, Samantha Morton and Cat Stevens. Lots of fun!
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Leslie C. Brand’s famous Fly-In Party!
On April 1, 1921, at his beautiful home Miradero (what we now call Brand Library & Art Center), Leslie Brand closed the gates of his estate and the party started.
Earlier that year, more than one hundred invitations were sent out for an “aviation luncheon” to members of high society including film stars, aviation enthusiasts and Army and Navy aviation officers. The luncheon had a catch, if you arrived to the Brand Estate in a car (a sign of luxury in 1921) you were out of luck. The only way inside the gates was in an airplane. Many invited guests called ahead, hoping to dissuade Brand on his conditional invite, but he could not be swayed.
Brand, by then already known as the Father of Glendale for his civic-minded push to modernize the city, was an aviation enthusiast. On April 1, 1921, guests followed instructions on their invitations and landed on the Brand air strip, just below Mountain and Grandview. Fliers such as Eddie Rickenbacker, Frank Hawks and Jimmy Doolittle, along with celebrities Mary Pickford, Mary Miles Minter, Ruth Roland, Tom Mix and Cecil B. DeMille were in attendance. As guests flew away, they performed air stunts to please the crowd.
The party was a huge success, talked about in the press around the world. To celebrate the 100 anniversary of the fly-in party, Scott Halloran and Peter Rusch of The Glendale Historical Society are hosting a history lesson and discussion behind four classic cocktails: the Fly-In Martini, the Bee’s Knees, the Side Car, and the Manhattan are perfect concoctions for raising a lively toast to Leslie Brand and his famous fly-in party! Watch the recording of this program, including the premier of a trailer about the famous fly-in party! Listen to a 1920's-inspired radio play recreating the Brand's party.
Art Festivals Distanced and Online
The Billboard Collective presents its 7th exhibition opening on April 5, featuring the work of 30 artists, including Ramiro Gomez, Phung Huynh, Narsiso Martinez, and Calida Rawness. The project turns L.A. billboard advertising spaces into open-air art exhibitions.
Self Guided Tours
Angels Walk L.A. is a nonprofit that coordinates with the City of Los Angeles and Metro to bring you face to face with some of the most historically and culturally rich places in L.A. Its self-guided historic walking trails of have been a fixture in the city since 1996, now totaling 12 neighborhood routes, many are complemented by stanchions mounted on sidewalks, this one for Central Ave.
The L.A. Conservancy has a collection of resources providing information about LA.’s historic architecture and neighborhoods, presented in tour formats.
FORT: LA was created to celebrate, study, preserve, and increase access to the historically and architecturally significant homes of Los Angeles. Follow self-guided tours, written by experts in conservation, art and architecture, academics and more. To access the trail guides, provide your email address and in return, you get who, what, where and why on architecturally significant homes by renowned architects Neutra, Wright, postwar Japanese-American architects and more.
The Glendale Historical Society was formed in 1979 to save the Victorian-style Doctors House, which the organization saved from the wrecking ball, moved to Brand Park and restored. The house now operates as a museum. They have a self-guided walking tour of civic attractions.
Try the Los Angeles Explorers Club Self-Guided Bike Tours. Download and print a route guide. Then cue up the audio guide and follow along stop-by-stop.
Or stay at home with the Williams College Museum of Art for Art-Inspired Yoga With Emily Kamen, weekly one-hour, vinyasa-style online yoga classes that take inspiration from artworks in the WCMA collection. Selections have included works such as Autumn, Berkshires by Rockwell Kent, Barbara Morgan’s photograph Corn Stalk and Barbara Takenaga’s Nebraska Painting.
Read Five SoCal Road Trip Pit Stops That Will Rival Your Destination and more guides from KCET's Sandi Hemmerlein. And checkout some road art books from the library using our Contactless Pickup Services.
Brand Library Staff Reviews
If you’ve ever been to The Donut Hole in La Puente, or Idle Hour in North Hollywood, you’ve seen remnants of Southern California’s quirky programmatic architecture past. Jim Heimann’s California Crazy: American Pop Architecture documents the history of these structures which had their heyday from 1925-1934. Land and building materials were still inexpensive, and within a few years people traveling down the highway at a then-brisk 35 mph in their new cars would be treated to marketing at its finest: buildings that directly referenced the product sold (orange or ice cream cone), indirectly hinted at that product by use of its container (cream can), or commented on their name (the Brown Derby). Heimann has dozens of glossy photos alphabetized by building type (such animals, coffee pots, fruit, hats, chili bowls, tamales, and cameras) along with essays. Thanks to continued interest in preservation, some programmatic buildings have been saved and may live again (Tail o’ the Pup!). The book also has examples of the over-the-top film sets and themed buildings built in the era like the Egyptian Theater, Clifton’s Cafeteria, and the Tam O’Shanter Inn, all of which we can visit. California Crazy reminds me of all of the fun, whimsical architectural styles Los Angeles has to offer. -SB
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram - Kingfish (2019). If you don’t know it already, Kingfish is one of the most exciting young guitarists today. Blues legend Buddy Guy was so impressed that he had a huge hand in making this album happen. Christone was born in Mississippi and his interviews reveals a maturity and kindness that extends to his music. His playing seethes of emotion and he can make the instrument cry and sing like few others can. It was the same type of reaction I had the first time I heard B.B. King or Gary Moore. On top of that, Kingfish has a deep and warm singing voice. Buddy Guy guests for Fresh Out. Keb’ Mo’ sings on Listen and plays guitar on several other songs. My favorite songs on the album are Love Ain’t My Favorite Word, It Ain’t Right, Hard Times and That’s Fine By Me. The rockers are a blast but Christone just shines on the slow, soulful numbers. Drummer Tom Hambridge produced and co-wrote 11 of the 12 tunes with Kingfish collaborating on 8 of the songs. The album is on Chicago based Alligator Records which includes many of the most important living blues artists on its roster. So take a listen if you haven’t already and you’ll realize that all the fuss is more than justified. Also check out this interview with Kingfish in Rock & Blues Muse for more background on the album. -BW
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