The Ettes, Sade, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Benefit for Nick Curran 

Also, Kendrick Lamar, the Punk Rock BBQ, Katy B and others

Thursday, Aug 18 2011

Page 2 of 4


sat 8/20


click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY JOSEPHCULTICE.COM - Kim Lenz performs at the Benefit for Nick Curran: See Friday.
  • Kim Lenz performs at the Benefit for Nick Curran: See Friday.

Location Info

Sunset Strip Music Festival



Despite some valiant recent efforts (Hinder, Avenged Sevenfold), no band has better mastered debauchery as a brand than Mötley Crüe. That and bassist Nikki Sixx's pop-in-metal-clothing songwriting make this Sunset Strip–synonymous band utterly worthy as both SSMF headliners and honorees. [See Page Two.] Bush get beat around as Brit Nirvana-bes, but this lazy labeling insults the quality of their early tunes; sheer commitment as a live force; and a frontman (Gavin Rossdale) who still provokes mass panty-wetting. Hype-man Flavor Flav may have dragged Public Enemy's name through the reality-show mire, yet they remain a vital, vitriolic hip-hop power that will have SSMF's security earning their checks. PE's pioneering embrace of rock influences (including collaborating with Anthrax as early as 1991) makes them far from incongruous on this guitar-y bill. —Paul Rogers

Davie Allan & the Arrows



In the mid-1960s, most guitarists were playing guitars that had clean, tinny tones, and they picked out crude, simple solos that sound laughably stiff and wimpy today. Davie Allan was just one of a zillion local surf guitarists with a similarly polite sound when he decided one day to crank up the distortion and max out his fuzz pedal, bringing a Link Wray power to the iconic instrumental "Blues' Theme," from the soundtrack of Roger Corman's 1966 biker film The Wild Angels. At the time, such a fuzz-saturated guitar sound was unique, and Allan went on to become a literal link between Link and the hard-rock and metal guitarists of the late '60s and early '70s. The San Fernando Valley homeboy comes full circle with an early-afternoon set at this Northridge music store. —Falling James

Rock the Bells



In its new incarnation as a four-city minitour, this hip-hop fan's nirvana again kicks off its summer run in San Bernardino, thankfully trading in last year's parking lot for an amphitheater. The emphasis remains on full-length renditions of '90s classics; the only change is a decade time shift. Instead of Snoop and Tribe, we've got Black Star and Common. The unquestionable draw is Nas, in full-on street-poet mentality, for his groundbreaking debut, Illmatic. The ladies also drop by: Lauryn Hill again shimmies to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (let's hope a year has improved her chops) and the Queen of Neo-Soul, Erykah Badu, will swoon to Baduizm. It's not all old-school: NOLA's Curren$y and UGK-bred Southern spitter Big K.R.I.T, best classified under "Hip- Hop's New Hope," help carry the torch. —Dan Hyman

Mad Decent Block Party



Diplo has been making some mainstream moves this year, producing "Beat of My Drum" by Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud and scoring a writing credit (alongside The-Dream) on Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)." For his label Mad Decent's roving Block Party, though, he's keeping things pretty fringe-y, especially here in L.A.: In addition to a headlining set by Major Lazer, Diplo's digital-dance-hall duo with Switch, we'll get appearances by electro-garage guy Bosco Delrey, in-house Mad Decent knob-twirler Derek Allen and Sacramento-based punk-rap crew Death Grips, among others. Still, shit's free, and given Diplo's rapidly expanding Rolodex, you never know who else might show up. —Mikael Wood

Semi Precious Weapons, Sabrosa Purr



The flailing onstage antics of beyond-camp frontman Justin Tranter and bassist Cole Whittle are both the best and the worst things about Semi Precious Weapons. While their relentless gyrations have helped make SPW an act few wish to follow (though Lady Gaga was happy to on her recent Monster Ball Tour), they also can almost obscure the band's fearsome musicianship, natty knack for glam-pop hooks and Tranter's deliciously indignant timbre. Local foursome Sabrosa Purr also are about more than just songwriting. But in their case, it's Prince versus Jane's Addiction groove and mood that massage their message. With a slinky new rhythm section aboard, this is as good as it's gotten for the Purr. —Paul Rogers

Also playing:

BRAINFEEDER SHOWCASE at Levitt Pavillion; PHRANC, PETER CASE at California Plaza; BLACK ELEPHANT at the Smell; AMOS LEE, CALEXICO at Orpheum Theatre; CEREBELLION at Cobalt Café (Canoga Park); JAMES PANTS at Skybar; JIM KWESKIN at McCabe's.


sun 8/21


The Punk Rock BBQ



The Punk Rock BBQ is really so much more than just a punk rock barbecue. Sure, there will be plenty of searching and destroying from the Raw Power Rangers — in which mild-mannered Insect Surfers guitarist Dave Arnson suddenly morphs into one of the wildest Iggy clones ever — and amped-up bands, like the Ingrates and the Double Negatives. But you also get glamorously rocking power pop from Three Way (with former Celebrity Skin guitarist Jason Shapiro) and the unique, poetic, snake-charmed jazz-punk soothsayers Saccharine Trust. But for my money, which is nothing, since this show has no cover, the most ragingly, rockingly, explosively ramblingest group of the day is the longtime local trio Backbiter. These guys have the technical ability to passionately re-create the entire Tommy album note for note, are deeply punk-informed by such idols as the Dead Boys and the Dictators, and yet their own songs sound like lost freedom-rock classics. Yes, classics. —Falling James

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