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
BUDWEISER SUPERFEST AT GIBSON AMPHITHEATRE
This R&B road show has been off the road since 1999, but Budweiser Superfest is back this year with what might be the strongest soul-music bill you'll see all summer. North Carolina–based Anthony Hamilton does an impressively D'Angelo-ish slow-burn thing, but throws in a dash of laid-back country twang that's led to left-field collabs with Josh Turner and John Rich. Tonight expect a sampling from the three excellent studio discs he's released over the past seven years, though don't be surprised if he skips "Cool," the lead single from 2008's The Point of It All — it features a Miller Genuine Draft shout-out from guest MC David Banner. Kem, from Detroit, goes in a smooth-jazzier direction that, along with dude's bald head, might remind you of the lesser work of Seal. New Jersey's street-but-sweet Jaheim released the very solid Another Round earlier this year. And Raheem DeVaughn is ambitious enough for all four of these guys; his latest is called The Love & War MasterPeace. With Abraham McDonald and Hal Linton. (Mikael Wood)
HERCULES & THE LOVE AFFAIR AT THE ECHOPLEX
5515 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: Mid-Wilshire/ Hancock Park
Andy Butler and his Merry Disco Pranksters descend on Echo Park with their always effective update on the sounds of Casablanca (the label, not the movie). Their record is many a DJ's go-to for that elusive instant indie-dance-floor filler, and their notoriously decadent live show should pack a few surprises. Pity Derek Jarman didn't get to work with them. Recommended. (Gustavo Turner)
Also playing Saturday: JOHN PIZZARELLI & JESSICA MOLASKY at Catalina Jazz Club; JOHN HEARTS JACKIE, THE CLOUDS, CHILDREN OF THE KAI, ALYSSYNDRA & THE DAYMAKERS at Echo Curio; LOS LONELY BOYS, TIERRA, EL CHICANO at the Greek Theatre; HARRY CONNICK JR. & HIS BIG BAND with THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC at the Hollywood Bowl; BILLY IDOL at the Hollywood Palladium; EMPIRE OF THE SUN at the Music Box; CHARANGA CAKEWALK at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; GOD'S IMAGE CHOIR at Long Beach Terrace Theatre; "WEIRD AL" YANKOVIC at Pacific Amphitheatre; PUFFY AREOLAS, ZIG ZAGS, KILL KILL KILL, EXPLODING FLOWERS at Spaceland; THE BAND OF HEATHENS at the Viper Room.
Levon Helm is enjoying an unexpected late-career resurgence, following the 2007 release of Dirt Farmer, his first album in a quarter century. The longtime resident of Woodstock is fondly remembered, of course, as the drummer of the Band and the lead vocalist on two of the group's biggest hits, "The Weight" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Helm takes up where he left off on Dirt Farmer with his new CD, Electric Dirt, a set of easy-going blues-folk-country rambles where his craggily stolid vocals rub up against old-timey fiddles and guitars. Even as his songs are rooted in venerable tradition, Helm remains in the here and now, and it's to his credit that — unlike so many classic rockers from the '60s — he has the wisdom to reach out across the generational divide and tour with someone as young and hip as Jenny Lewis. The Rilo Kiley leader and former child actor has been on a long, strange trip of her own, evolving from a straightforward alterna-country singer into a glam-pop diva. Keep an eye out for her latest project, Jenny & Johnny, a collaboration with songwriter Johnathan Rice. (Falling James)
FREE FOR ALL FEST AT THE ECHO AND THE ECHOPLEX
Have you been suckered into paying $80-plus for a night out at a show put on by a big-time concert promoter, with their mysteriously termed "convenience" fees? Well, consider doing something semiradical by throwing your support behind the Free for All Fest, presented by indie-roots-music blog When You Awake. Free for All aims to ease the cost of a night out — and get the bands themselves a bigger, fairer slice of the pie — with a pay-what-you-want, ticketless music and arts experience. And, just as important, this is an all-ages event, meaning that for once the experience can be shared with people who'll likely benefit the most from it. A big bonus: This event has been curated with intelligence and taste, as Akron/Family, Langhorne Slim, Frank Fairfield and Dustbowl Revival will be joined by a dozen or more up-and- comers including sterling punkabillyists Don Juan y los Blancos and the moody blue Dreamcatcher. There'll be food trucks on-site, an art studio and crafts area and lots more fun stuff to do, see, hear and experience. Starts at 4 p.m., goes till midnight; see freeforallfestival.com for all the deets. (John Payne)
Also playing Sunday: JOHN PIZZARELLI & JESSICA MOLASKY at Catalina Jazz Club; JIM MESSINA at the Coach House; BRIAN MCKNIGHT, R N R feat. RICK BRAUN & RICHARD ELLIOT, PATRICE RUSHEN & FRIENDS, MTL EXPRESS, SPENCER DAY at the Hollywood Bowl; BAND OF HEATHENS at Hotel Café; VIJAY IYER at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; TOM CAUFIELD & THE CALLING at Molly Malone's; ZZ TOP at Pacific Amphitheatre; PRIMUS, WOLFMOTHER at Santa Barbara Bowl; THE SPITS, PERSONAL & THE PIZZAS, SIAB CITY, THE ANOMALYS at Spaceland; YOUNG THE GIANT, VOXHAUL BROADCAST, MISSISSIPPI MAN at the Troubadour; CABO VERDE CRETCHEU at the Waterfront.