Monday, May 30

Bob Marley Exhibit & More @ Grammy Museum

ABOVE: The house Robert Marley was born & given by his grandmother on Nine Mile St.

Let me start off by saying how much I love LA. There are enough interesting things to see & do for a lifetime and then some in this great city. This post is about the Grammy Museum & how reggae's biggest start has impacted the music world. Keep in mind, there was supposed to to be no photography in the museum. These are all camera phone photos.

There was one point where I liked reggae music, then there was a point that came when I wanted to know ABOUT reggae music. I have spent the last couple years reading, listening & searching out the roots & history of the Caribbean & Jamaican music both folk & tradition reggae.

LEFT: "Judge Not" Robert Marley's first studio release (1963)
RIGHT: "Simmer Down" first pressing - The Wailers (1964)

Along with over twenty amazing photos, the Marley family has donated many many great artifacts from the legacy of Robert Marley's musical career. I felt this was an exhibit that would only help further my knowledge of one of reggae's most prominent figures... w/ neat tid-bits we might not always get to see in the public sphere.

ABOVE: The Kebra Nagast - The Lost Bible of Rastafarian Wisdom & Faith from Ethiopia & Jamaica

Much of the backdrop for reggae music is driven by religious & cultural views of the artist. While this is most commonly Rastafarian, there are many different sects w/ that one belief structure that all have different takes on their religion, just as any other culture. When these seep into the lyrics & morals of the songs presented.

(one of many walls)

The Grammy Museum is four floors of amazing interactive history about all different types of popular music history. One floor is dedicated to the last hundred years & also has a wonderful exhibit all about John Lennon. There are many hand written lyrics pieces & letters.

ABOVE: The originally penned lyrics for John Lennon's song Imagine

One of my other favorite portions was the area all about the history of American Jazz. Without going into too much detail, Jazz music history is another area that weaves roots so deep that must be explored over the coming years as well. However, it almost never fails, I find a Jazz artist I like & while looking into their discography I find links & traces to Blue Note Records somewhere.

ABOVE: The first release by Blue Note Records ever.

ABOVE: Daft Punk outfits from Kanye West's music video 'Stronger'

While walking through the entire museum there was a senior group that we talked with a few times & were really enjoying themselves. This older gentleman got down & played some electric drums reggae style. It was great!

Monday, May 16

Secret Stairs - Mother's Day!

Another great Secret Stairs adventure with the people that set in motion the pursuit of urban elevation exploration... my parents.

After receiving the book as a Christmas gift, friends & loved ones alike, have all been on one journey or another through a hidden Los Angeles neighborhood; enriched by the knowledge & history the author brings forth.

This past Mother's Day, after lunch at Bella's, we made our way south on the 110 to the Highland Park area. The first half of our walk was through the foothill neighborhoods that lined the arroyo seco area.

We learned a great deal about a long forgotten piece of Los Angeles history, the Great California Cycle Way (must see!)

Forging back over the river and up a flight of stairs that took us back into the quiet neighborhoods & further into the south eastern hills of Highland Park.

A new adventure in a part of town I had only been a few times. From back alley graffiti to San Gabriel Mountain views, this secret stairs really encompassed it all.

Thanks again Mom for turning me on to great new adventures!

Sunday, May 15

West Fork Bith Path - Hidden LA Gem

I'm going to come right out and say it... I went on the best bike ride I have ever been on this past weekend.

The West Fork Bike Path combines everything one could love about the mountains, hiking, rivers, waterfalls & puts them on a bicycle path through the canyons outside Azusa, California.

After a winding drive up Hwy 39, past two resivors, you will find yourself deep in the what I believe is call the San Gabriel Canyon. A ranger station meets you as you pass the second resivor & visitors must purchase a $5 day pass or opt for the risk of towing or ticketing.

The path begins at a bridge crossing & follows the river for 8 mile w/ a class 1 path. Slowly taking the rider past several small waterfalls, many people 'catch & release' fishing, along with a few families splashing around in the water.

The whole experience left me with a need for more adventure. Another ride will soon be taken through the canyon... who's coming next time?