Friends, enemies, & the aloof: I present to you my first magazine cover story!
In the Cause & Effect issue (number 165) of FLAUNT magazine, I interview LA Philharmonic director & conductor Gustavo Dudamel. It’s available now physically and also digitally here: https://www.flaunt.com/content/gustavo-dudamel.
“Think about it. What is art, ultimately? What is culture?” he asks, gesticulating with his hands as if conducting, though in a much more subdued manner than when he takes the podium. “It is a people’s identity. Do you know what I mean? The great artists, the geniuses, no matter where they live or where they were born, gave all of humanity a gift… This means that when we play Beethoven in Peru, for instance, we can play him as a European composer with a Peruvian identity, or a Venezuelan one, or Argentine, or Japanese.”
Statue of David Beckham. Photo by Ivan Fernandez (Afroxander).
David Beckham returned to Los Angeles this past weekend to add another trophy to his extensive collection. However, this is one award he won’t be able to take home as the LA Galaxy honored its former star player with a large statue of his likeness. His is the first to grace the newly christened Legends Plaza located at Dignity Health Sports Park’s main entrance.
“This city has always felt like home to me,” said Beckham, flanked by members of Dignity Health, AEG, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, Rob Stone of FOX Sports, former teammates Chris Klein and Robbie Keane, and former Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.
More at LA Taco: https://www.lataco.com/david-beckham-statue/
The link above leads to a paper I wrote (and rewrote) last year. It touches on the possibility of association football as a global aesthetic based on the ideas of Chinese philosopher Li Zehou, specifically within his work found in Four Essays On Aesthetics: Towards A Global View.
I wrote about the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League (1970s) for L.A. Taco:
Perolli’s crew burned through the opposition, and won the Western Division Trophy. Weeks later, they won the NASL Championship Trophy after they defeated the Miami Toros (unrelated to the former LA/SD team) after penalties. It was the first time a professional soccer final was televised nationally in the United States.
“It was one of the most exciting games of the season,” says Gregory, “because we tied the game in the last minute, three to three.”
That debut season would be the only year that the Aztecs ever won a title. Their sister indoor squad didn’t fare any better as they won a single division championship in their final year, 1981. Gregory sold the team after the first season. He and Perolli accomplished the goals they set for that first year and he wanted to focus on his medical career.
“It grew so fast that it grew right out of my hands,” he remembers. “I was a doctor and I was actively practicing and I could never have handled it after that.”
Read the rest at L.A. Taco!
This one goes out to my fellow gamers and football fanatics! Below are short takes with links to the full reviews of both Pro Evolution Soccer 19 by Konami and FIFA 19 by Electronic Arts. Both reviews were published on Gamecrate.
Writing about sports video games eventually evolves into an exercise of avoiding sounding like a broken record. The scenario depends on what the new, annual replacement brings to the table. Five years after my first review of a Pro Evolution Soccer title for this website, the scenario now teeters a bit into the negative side of things than the positive as Konami have delivered another solid entry but with fewer extras that gamers have come to expect from sports titles.
Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 19 & the power of football without many extras
The Champions League is here! I’m not simply referring to the annual return of the Union of European Football Associations’ insanely popular football (nee: soccer) tournament. Electronic Arts has committed a huge coup with FIFA 19 as it’s the first title in the franchise to feature the European tournament in fully-licensed glory, along with the Europa League and the Super Cup. The inclusion marks another step forward for the franchise in EA’s quest to create the total digital football experience.
Review: In FIFA 19, champions, and a franchise, rise
I invite everyone to read my latest futbol article in L.A. Taco about “El Trafico,” the rivalry between the LA Galaxy and LAFC.
Carlos Vela of LAFC heads in the first goal of a 2 – 2 draw against the Galaxy.
Story link: www.lataco.com/who-are-the-real-l-a-soccer-fans-a-look-at-the-growing-rivalry-of-galaxy-vs-lafc/
This tug of war over the identity of the real Los Angeles is exactly what gives both teams the hallmark of being from L.A., according to Christopher Hawthorne, Chief Design Officer for the city of Los Angeles, who spoke to L.A. Taco about this subject in an interview.
“The real L.A. is a place where the boundaries between city and county, center and edge, urban and suburban, dense and low-rise, surface and interior, and even public and private, tend to be blurrier or tougher to parse than they are elsewhere,” Hawthorne told L.A. Taco.
“Which I guess is a way of saying that what’s quintessentially L.A. about our soccer teams is the way their rivalry is framed by these larger questions or anxieties about authenticity, and what does and doesn’t qualify in the American context as a ‘real’ city.”