By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
FRIDAY, August 25
You say summer’s nearly over and you have yet to get funky? You say you want to hear songs like “Shake Your Pants,” “Fishnet” and “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” done by the original groovesters who made them famous? You say you have $48 to $68, plus whatever for parking and beers? It’s The Funk Superfest with Cameo, Morris Day & the Time, S.O.S. Band and Whodini, all acts with the balls-to-the-beat sound and snazzy outfits that you need to get your sweat on. For those who’d rather not pay a dime, we know an operative with the complete skinny on sneaking up the hill next to the theater, but we’d get in trouble if we said any more. The Greek Theater, 2700 N. Vermont Ave.; Fri., Aug. 25, 7 p.m.; $48-$68. (213) 480-3232.
SATURDAY, August 26
The beer’s not cheap anymore. It’s 15 bucks to get in — and why do they even bother to call it a “donation”? Neighborhood families are expected to pay even if they just want to play the carnival games, which seems cruel. Yeah, there’s a lot to bitch about when it comes to the Sunset Junction Street Fair. Still, every year, we can’t resist digging out the straw hat, sneaking in a flask of vodka, and doing the Silver Lake shuffle up and down the boulevard, trying not to gawk at the sweltering leather daddies. Then we always end up hearing the band we came to see — X or Sonic Youth or Sleater-Kinney — while hiking back to our car in the hills. The musical lineup gets better every year, and this time they seem to have read my mind: Redd Kross, the Cramps, Hank Williams III, Dave Alvin. Like wow — that’ll be fun escaping from. At the junction of Santa Monica & Sunset blvds., Silver Lake; Sat.-Sun.,?Aug. 26-27; $15, $12 in advance. (323) 661-7771; sunsetjunction.org. See Music Pick.
Last week we ran a Pick of the Week — or GO, or whatever the hell we call those little boxes that used to be known quite successfully as “Pick of the Week” — on Revenge of the Book Eaters. Since the event is happening this week — tickets still available! — we thought you might like to know about it the week it is actually happening. Which is how a weekly newspaper generally works. So, again, Jenny Lewis, Aimee Mann, the Mountain Goats, Dave Eggers, Sarah Vowell, Andy Richter, John Roderick and others lend their talents to raise funds for 826LA children’s writing center. Royce Hall, UCLA; Sat., Aug. 26, 8 p.m.; $30-$40. (213) 480-3232.
SUNDAY, August 27
I have seen the future of rock — and it is Flametal. Imagine enchanting, intricate acoustic guitar work soaring into thrusting, evil heavy metal, complete with hand clapping. Now multiply that by 10,000. Yeah, it works, it rocks, and it’s pretty damn spellbinding. Benjamin Woods is the brainfather behind the whole thing. The Northern Cal–based band, complete with flamenco dancers, plays two very different venues this weekend: Bar Sinister and the Fountain Theater. Fountain Theater, 5060 Fountain Ave.; Sun., Aug. 27, 8 p.m.; $30. (323) 663-1525. Also at Bar Sinister at Boardner’s, 1652 Cherokee Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Aug. 26, mid.; $15, $10 in fetish, gothic or black attire. ?www.barsinister.net.
You’ll need a password to enter The Speakeasy, brought to you by Smart Gals (psssssst: It’s “flavin’ lady”). This month, they break out the funny with Jerrod Cardwell, a writer whose credits include Star Search. Artist Yuriko Etue designed the commemorative bookmark for the occasion. Mt. Hollywood Underground, 4607 Prospect Ave., Los Feliz; Sun., Aug. 27, 7-9 p.m.; $7, bookmarks $10. (323) 302-2257; www.smartgals.org.
MONDAY, August 28
As of press time, the Dodgers were profoundly not sucking, having won eight of their last 10 games. Yet, with 62 wins and 58 losses, they can still finish the season quite suckily, barely over .500. See them play the Cincinnati Reds and root, root, root. Dodger Stadium, Elysian Park; Mon., Aug. 28, 7:10 p.m.; also Tues.-Wed., Aug. 29-30; $6-$200. (213) 480-3232.
TUESDAY, August 29
If it’s Tuesday, it must be another encounter with the clever crowd at Comedy Death Ray: Mary Lynn Rajskub, Andy Kindler, Late Night With Conan O’Brien’s Andy Blitz, Nick Thune, Mishna Wolff, Mike Schmidt and others, hosted by Tom Sharpe and Martha Kelly. The show’s brainfather, Scott Aukerman, adds, “The last show before Labor Day is always special for us, because it’s traditionally a potluck, with every audience member providing one casserole per performer. But seriously, Mary Lynn’s hiatus from 24 can only last so long, so people shouldn’t miss one of the last chances to see her before she goes back to breaking down firewalls for CTU.” Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; Tues., Aug. 29, 8:30 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702.
WEDNESDAY, August 30
Of Marisha Pessl’s new Special Topics in Calamity Physics, author Jonathan Franzen wrote, “Beneath the foam of this exuberant debut is a dark, strong drink.” And that’s a good enough endorsement for me. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Wed., Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m. (323) 660-1175.
THURSDAY, August 31
At what point can we stop adding “former Dream Syndicate frontman” before typing “Steve Wynn”? Apparently never, though his musical output as a solo artist far exceeds his product as the leader of the seminal (there’s that dreaded word again) paisley underground pioneering group. Though he long ago abandoned L.A. for NYC, he’ll always be considered a hometown boy, largely because of one of the best L.A. song collections ever produced, Danny and Dusty’s The Lost Weekend, from 1985 (damn, I’m old). The prolific and poetic singer-songwriter’s recent album with the Miracle 3, called tick . . . tick . . . tick, is Bruce Springsteen’s best one in decades. The Fold in Silverlake Lounge, 2906 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Thurs., Aug. 31, 9 p.m.; $10. www.virtuous.com.?