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
Silver Lake Jubilee Festival
Memorial Day weekend in L.A. means one thing for the music community: It's officially festival season. The Silver Lake Jubilee kicks it off with performances from a smattering of local artists (along with bigger musical acts like La Sera and Aloe Blacc), comedy routines and literary events. With their massive stage energy and mosh-ready attitude, Highland Park's own Fidlar are sure to be standouts. The weekend pass is the best way to go, allowing you both to chill and catch plenty of the acts spread out over six stages. Also Sun. —K.C. Libman
BAD VEINS at the Echo; DANZIG at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater; GLENN FREY at the Wiltern; LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III at McCabe's; HANDS at Origami Vinyl; JOHN PATITUCCI at Musicians Institute; PHIL O'CONNOR GROUP at Blue Whale.
The Roots, Booker T. Jones
Drake Stadium, UCLA
There isn't necessarily a lot of jazz in UCLA's annual JazzReggae Festival, but there will be a lot of thrilling music pumped out anyway over the course of this Memorial Day weekend. If it wasn't already clear that The Roots are one of America's greatest and most versatile live bands, the Philly hip-hop crew proved it yet again two weeks ago on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, where, on back-to-back nights, they laid down a seductively sprawling jazz-rock jam behind former Rolling Stones lead guitarist Mick Taylor before segueing seamlessly into a mechanically tight and funky groove for the Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. The Roots will be joined on Sunday (dubbed "Jam Day") by co-headliner Booker T. Jones, who's no doubt still in mourning over the recent death of his former Stax Records sideman, Duck Dunn, but has been fairly prolific lately, with several solo albums and collaborations with Elton John and Neil Young. Highlights on Monday (aka "Reggae Day") include Jamaican singer-rapper Shaggy, Tarrus Riley, Collie Buddz, Alison Hinds and Don Carlos. —Falling James
CAVE COUNTRY, DEADSTRING BROTHERS at Bootleg Bar.
Baron Von Luxxury, Harlan
On the surface, Baron Von Luxxury seems like an electro-disco geek lothario made in the image of Beck's Midnight Vultures. But spend a little time with this Silver Lake resident's new album, The Last Seduction, and you'll discover what makes him unique. He offsets his falsetto with a Bowie-esque croon, and his mirror-ball beats with Washed Out goop. Bedroom productions and marquee pop seem to hold equal sway over his every move, and songs like "Terry Richardson" drip with glitzy yet intimate sleaze. But as much pent-up sex as his songs do seep, they also tell a different story. Specifically, the tale of the Baron's dear, deceased friends Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, two artists (affiliated with Beck circa Sea Change) whose tumultuous ties to Scientology allegedly contributed to their suicides in 2007. Come for the disco, stay for the drama. —Chris Martins
EL REY THEATRE
On paper, the pairing of American concert violinist Hilary Hahn with German electronic composer–pianist Hauschka looks like one of those perfect-for-adverts things about how supposedly disparate musicians are bridging cultural/aesthetic gaps to find common territory in a new form of art blah blah blah. But the duo's new album, Silfra, makes hash of the hype by coming through with pieces that genuinely do suggest a fertile, fresh musical ground. Recorded in Iceland with Björk and Feist producer Valgeir Sigurdsson, most of the album's tracks came about via pure improvisation, with no retakes or editing. The collaboration between the Euro-classical Hahn and the new-electronic-school Hauschka feels chillingly exhilarating. They dive into uncharted places, and the album's tones, textures and blurred images shuffle ambiguously, mysteriously and beautifully. —John Payne
HARRIET, INCAN ABRAHAM, RIMPAU at Bootleg Bar; DUNES, BROKEN WATER, NAPS at the Smell.
John Daversa Small Band
For more than a decade, trumpeter John Daversa has nurtured a big band that has become one of the area's finest, most often seen crammed into the cozy Baked Potato on Sunday nights. In recent years, Daversa also has developed a quintet, which is set to follow last year's big-band album, Junk Wagon, with a BFM release this fall. The Small Band give Daversa a chance to stretch, especially when he pulls out the rarely seen EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), which combines his trumpet skills with a synthesizer. The Joint recently began a Tuesday jazz series, and Daversa's band (including saxophonist Katisse Buckingham, keyboardist Tommy King, bassist Jerry Watts and drummer Chris Wabich) is likely to blow the roof off. —Tom Meek
WINTERSLEEP at the Echo; VUM, IDES OF GEMINI, THE NOCTURNES at Bootleg Bar.
In many ways, The Clean are like New Zealand's equivalent to The Urinals. Each band started in the late 1970s, releasing obscure singles that melded lo-fi production and musical backing with an art-pop aesthetic that invoked predecessors like the Velvet Underground. Both groups are better known for the famous performers they've inspired rather than for their own idiosyncratic music, and both bands, coincidently, have been cited by Yo La Tengo as a major influence. The Clean's tangled history encompasses exotic, serpentine, Stooges-style riffs ("Point That Thing Somewhere Else"), euphoric pop-punk ("Oddity"), freaky instrumental passages ("Franz Kafka at the Zoo"), Hendrix-y psychedelia ("Alpine Madness"), sunny, Beck-like folk ("Golden Crown") and hazy pop ("Are You Really on Drugs?"). The Clean's latest album, Mister Pop, is no less eclectic and just as weirdly mesmerizing. —Falling James