By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
2700 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Category: Community Venues
Region: Los Feliz
5515 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Region: Mid-Wilshire/ Hancock Park
SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO AT THE AVALON
It's not such a revelation at this point that what you'd loosely call indie rock and electronic dance can make pleasantly strange bedfellows, but U.K.-based production and remix fellas Jas Shaw and James Ford brought their Simian Mobile Disco to especially fine flower on their recent Temporary Pleasure(Wichita). With the spaced-out soul delights of the duo's ambience-drenched house holler firmly intact, the album found our primates of the month digging nostalgically into deep Britpop roots in a coldly techno'd set humanized substantially by guest vocalists including Beth Ditto of the Gossip, Jamie Lidell, Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor and Yeasayer's Chris Keating. SMD will offer a ripping DJ set tonight, all the better for a bone-rattling soak in what they do best: simply gargantuan, booming waves of electronic ecstasy. (John Payne)
Also playing Friday: POCAHAUNTED, INCA ORE, TUNNELS, & SLAVES at Echo Curio (see music feature); THE LOONS, PETER CASE at Rhino Records Pop-Up Store; NAS & DAMIAN MARLEY at the Wiltern; FROG EYES, MOUNT ST. HELEN'S VIETNAM BAND at the Echo; MOSES CAMPBELL, TERRORDACTYLS, STELLALUNA at the Smell; INDIAN BURN, GANTAZ WARRIOR at Space 15 Twenty; PLANTS AND ANIMALS at Origami Vinyl; LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE at the Oak Canyon Ranch; LUKAS NELSON at the Canyon; WINGED THINGS at Pehrspace; THE GROOVY REDNECKS, FAST OTTOS at Weber's Place; PITBULL at Nokia Theatre.
TOPANGA DAYS COUNTRY FAIR AT TOPANGA COMMUNITY CLUB
The steep hills of Topanga Canyon, perched on the northwestern edge of Los Angeles, are about as sylvan and natural as a place can get and still be close to the big city. At one time, before gentrification changed the rustic feel and character of the neighborhood, Topanga attracted a horde of counter-culture artists, actors and musicians, including such residents as Neil Young, Wallace Berman, Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Teri Garr, Dean Stockwell, Will Geer and Woody Guthrie. Despite its remote location atop a winding mountain road, the old Topanga Corral used to be a late-'60s hot spot that featured such luminaries as Canned Heat, Etta James, Little Feat and Emmylou Harris. The annual Topanga Days Country Fair aims to recapture much of that vibe at this weekend's three-day festival, which is headlined by longtime Canyon locals Canned Heat on Saturday. While the current version is a shadow of the band's classic 1970s lineup — when leader Bob "The Bear" Hite was still alive and schooling such young musicians as the Gun Club's Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Blasters' Phil and Dave Alvin in the mysteries of the blues — Canned Heat remains a beloved Topanga fixture. Saturday's highlights also include former Lone Justice country-pop singer Maria McKee, who got her start in the late '70s doing Fleetwood Mac–style harmonies in the Bryan MacLean Band, which was led by her late brother, a founding member of Love. Sunday becomes a whole lot funkier with Meters founder Leo Nocentelli bringing in his Meters Experience, as well as a set from Ziggy Marley, who's expanded his trademark reggae sound into children's music in recent years. Memorial Day continues with more music, as well as a parade in honor of the late Topanga Canyon patriarch Will Geer. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Also Sun.-Mon. 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Road. topangadays.com. (Falling James)
ROSIE LEDET AT HARVELLE'S
Rosie Ledet probably pumps her own gas. The Louisiana singer already pumps her own accordion, somewhat of a rarity in zydeco bands, which are usually led by men. Singing in English and Creole French, Ledet draws upon traditional blues and zydeco styles but infuses them with soulful pop and R&B influences. With playful songs like "You Can Eat My Poussiere," she's also more overtly sexual than most zydeco performers. Last year, however, Ledet was at the center of a disturbing controversy after reportedly having a miscarriage and then hiding the baby's body in a band mate's storage shed so she could continue a concert tour. After the band member called police, Ledet was investigated by the authorities but ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. Still, one can only wonder how such a deep personal tragedy might affect her music, which has historically been so ebullient and festive. (Falling James)
Also playing Saturday: EMITT RHODES EVENT at Rhino Records Pop-Up Store; WAR, TOWER OF POWER, AVERAGE WHITE BAND at the Greek Theatre; 400 BLOWS at Spaceland; CAPTAIN AHAB, BITCHES at the Smell; SAY ANYTHING at the Palladium; DJ QUIK'S GROOVE, PARADOX, FANTANA at the Key Club; GAMBLE HOUSE, MYSTERY CLAWS, SLEEPING BAGS, SPECIAL GUEST at Pehrspace; LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE at the Oak Canyon Ranch; RANGERS, SWANOX, M. GEDDES GENGRAS at Echo Curio; "BEARRACUDA" at the Echoplex; ENRIQUE BUNBURY at House of Blues.
JAZZREGGAE FESTIVAL AT UCLA
Plenty of fine acts here worth braving the shade-free sun farm that is UCLA's Intramural Field during JazzReggae Festival, which this weekend celebrates its 24th year in business (in one form or another). Headlining Sunday's putatively jazz-centered bill are Raphael Saadiq, the former Tony! Toni! Toné! member who has become one of our most dependable purveyors of playfully retro-minded R&B, and Q-Tip, the former (and future?) Tribe Called Quest member whose solo work is generally better the less jazzy its aim. Also scheduled to appear Sunday: neo-soul crooner Bilal (recently signed to L.A. indie Plug Research), local lady Georgia Anne Muldrow and—hey, what do you know?—the UCLA Latin Jazz Big Band. Nas & Damian Marley top Monday's reggae line-up in support of Distant Relatives, their uneven new duo album. Show up early, though, for Barrington Levy, the Jamaican dance-hall great, and Nneka, whose Concrete Jungle is one of the year's finest polyglot pop discs. Also Mon. (Mikael Wood)
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