Best pop retro album: Tpahznt, "Yerevan-Moscow;" Arthur Ispirian, "Asum en Te"; Janette, "Norits Kez Hed"; Hooshere, "Provenance"; Mher Sahakyan, "Khoske Massisi."
Best newcomer: Artin Karapet, "Tears of Passion"; Zulal, "An Armenian a Cappella Folk Trio"; BBR, "Bambir"; Hooshere, "Provenance"; Mihran, "It's My Time."
Best rap and hip-hop album: Mihran, "It's My Time"; Twins, "2Wins"; Tin Tin, "One Night."
Okay, I tease. I don't know anything about Armenian music, and perhaps only slightly more about Armenian culture, despite the fact that Los Angeles is host to one of the largest Armenian communities in the world.
I used to live in Los Feliz (LA neighborhood) and would run into them quite a bit whenever I walked around. What I remember most are the penetrating stares I'd get when I walked past them or in front of their homes. I don't think I ever had someone smile at me. Actually, there was one man who would take his son on long walks around the neighborhood. I'd run into him quite often and we would exchange polite nods or smiles. But for the most part all I got were cold stares. That's how I interpreted them at least. Could be a cultural difference, or perhaps I seemed obnoxious.
Then again, it could be that the older Armenians have the horror of the 1915 genocide that took 1.5 million of their people at the hands of the Turks. I suppose that might be the case. Right after I wrote the last paragraph I googled "Armenian Genocide" and read some heart wrenching stories. I am now feeling shame for muttering "Damn the Armenians" when I was stuck in my car on Franklin Avenue for 40 minutes on April 24th, the much-celebrated Armenian Independence Day. There's a lot of honking and flag-waving and traffic. Lots of traffic. And, come to think of it, some smiles.
For Angelenos, there's a photo exhibit at the Downey Museum of Art called
Traces of Identity: An Insider's View of the L.A. Armenian Community, 2000-2004.
If I can figure out where Downey is, I might go.
Get ready for a post about me not knowing anything about Downey, and then discovering the Downey genocide of 1986. I'm pretty no genocide ever took place in Downey, but I just want to state that I'm totally against genocides.