Music Picks: Dr. John, Herbie Hancock, Sunset Strip Music Festival | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Music Picks: Dr. John, Herbie Hancock, Sunset Strip Music Festival 

Also, Funkfest, Chromeo, Slayer and others

Thursday, Aug 26 2010
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FRIDAY/AUGUST/27

RON EMORY AT THE BLUE CAFÉ

When the mighty Orange County punk veterans T.S.O.L. deign to perform a rare concert these days, they're usually part of some massive traffic jam of a bill like the Warped Tour, where they're often buried anonymously among a horde of modern corporate-punk pretenders and emo whiners, or — if they're lucky — shunted off harmlessly onto some "Legends of Punk" side stage. Yet there was a time in the early 1980s, after the suicide of the Germs' Darby Crash, when T.S.O.L. were the genuine leaders of the Southern California punk scene. (Who can forget how they stood down the L.A.P.D. and soothed the maddened crowd at the infamous near-riot at S.I.R. studios?) As lead singer, the devilish and charismatic Jack Grisham still grabs most of the attention, especially in the wake of his celebrated campaign for governor of California in 2004. But it's guitarist Ron Emory who makes the band go, powering classics like "80 Times" and "Code Blue" with sinisterly heavy, overdriven, almost metallic riffs and meteoric lead-guitar flashes. Tonight, at the Blue Café's recently reopened Long Beach location, Emory steps out from beneath the shadows (to paraphrase the old T.S.O.L. album title) with songs of survival, recovery and sobriety, from a new solo CD, Walk That Walk, which includes contributions by Grisham, Social Distortion singer Mike Ness, the Knitters' Jonny Ray Bartel and the Offspring's Dexter Holland. Also at Spaceland, Sun. (Falling James)

click to flip through (4) Nico Vega. See Friday.
  • Nico Vega. See Friday.
     
 

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MELLODRAMA: THE MELLOTRON MOVIE AT THE EGYPTIAN THEATRE

The Mellotron is the creakily quirky keyboard first developed in the 1950s that uses pre-recorded strips of magnetic tape to simulate orchestral textures. The instrument looms large in rock/pop's history, with the Beatles, Genesis, King Crimson and many others using its distinctively canned effect to expand and color their fields of sound. No band did more to popularize the Mellotron than the Moody Blues, whose keyboardist Mike Pinder was among the instrument's early developers. Pinder will be on hand tonight for the L.A. premiere of Mellodrama: The Mellotron Movie, a fascinating documentary on the instrument's history. There'll be in-person talks and Mellotron demonstrations by Pinder, Bigelf's Steve Frothingham, Richard Chamberlin of the Chamberlin Company (the pioneer of what became the Mellotron), filmmakers Murray Lerner and Dianna Dilworth, and Brian Kehew, author of the rather awesome Recording the Beatles book and Who keyboard technician. Also tonight, the premiere of the concert film The Moody Blues: Threshold of a Dream. Presented as part of the Mods & Rockers Film Festival. (John Payne)

SUNSET STRIP MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010

Though Friday's show is essentially a warm-up for the Sunset Strip Music Festival's outdoor extravaganza Saturday (see below), it nonetheless boasts some worthy SoCal stalwarts. At the cozy Cat Club, Golden State's elegant, organically epic post-U2 pop (as recently heard on Deadliest Catch) should alone justify your trip. Over at the Key Club, Nico Vega — always more of a live experience than a studio band — will have torsos twisting with their deceptively groovy, skeletal rock & roll (and necks craning for damaged-debutante vocalist Aja Volkman). San Diego's P.O.D. (yes, "Youth of the Nation" and all that), their metal made interesting by Caribbean and Latin flirtations, will be better than you expect at the Whisky. Full lineup at sunsetstripmusicfestival.com. (Paul Rogers)

BORIS AT EL REY THEATRE

" 'I love sushi!' exclaims the woman in the thick-rimmed glasses. 'I love Japan, period,' says the middle-aged man in the blue shirt, slight Southern drawl lending a down-home earthiness to his earnest proclamation. 'J-Rock!' screeches a greasy-haired delinquent, quite obviously high on something. 'Oh, my, someone should be watching over that poor child,' Kobayashi thinks to himself. But, before he can finish that thought, a rotund man bursts forth from the masses, the makeup on his face still smeared across his fleshy visage. 'Girugamesh!' the horrifying painted man exclaims, stabbing the air vehemently with two massive, pudgy digits." All right, you will find very few (if any) weeabos at a Boris show. This is the dark underbelly of all the infantile Nippophilia rampant in L.A. — these Japanese geniuses are cosplaying the hardest '70s hard rock–meets–Nick Drake in a stylish squat that houses the obscurest psych record collection you've ever seen. Oh, yes, they will melt your fucking face. You were warned. Go MySpace them, then buy tickets before they sell out. With Red Sparowes and Helms. Also at the Glass House, Sat. (Gustavo Turner)

Also playing Friday: FRANK SINATRA JR., LENNY WHITE BAND at Catalina Jazz Club; ASIA at Club Nokia; THE LITTLE ONES, DOWNTOWN/UNION at the Echo; THE SHANTS, CAVE COUNTRY, RICKY STEIN at Echo Curio; THE JULIANA THEORY at the Glass House; CYNDI LAUPER, ALLEN TOUSSAINT, DAVID RHODES at the Greek Theatre; SOMETHING CORPORATE at the Grove of Anaheim; JOHN WILLIAMS AND THE MUSIC OF THE MOVIES: LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC WITH JOHN WILLIAMS at the Hollywood Bowl; JAYME STONE at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; E HULA MAU at Long Beach Terrace Theater; GAMBLE HOUSE, WALTER MEEGO, MYSTERY CLAWS at Pehrspace.

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