Even if the only ink you sweat is your printer cartridge and your idea of iron comes in your vitamin supplements, there's a lot to recommend at this weekend's Ink-N-Iron Festival: the tunes. Among the the tatted masses, meticulously coiffed pompadours, corseted pin-up girls and acres of machines with eye-dazzling chrome, a pretty good music festival has broken out at the seventh annual three-day event at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The headliner tonight is the legendary Merle Haggard, whose new album makes a statement that's sort of perfect for the proceedings, "I Am What I Am." The familiar strains of X will echo across the harbor on Saturday, and Sunday's finale is anchored by crazy German psychobilly sextet Mad Sin -- hey, their merch includes voodoo dolls. Rev. Horton Heat, Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Stiff Little Fingers and Hepcat also join in, along with local favorites such as the Aggrolites and the Bronx, the latter doing double-duty as a punk band on one day and as their alter-egos Mariachi El Bronx on another. Please remain standing, however, for Sunday night's coronation of Best Overall Male and Best Overall Female. You gotta have ideals.
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Elsewhere: It's a festival of a different sort Saturday and Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl, where the 32nd installment of the Playboy Jazz Festival goes off with wine, cheese and the likes of Chick Corea, Gerald Albright, Les McCann, Kurt Elling, Jake Shimabukuro, Salif Keita, George Benson, Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Hutcherson and Robert Randolph's Family Band, to name a few. ... Electro fans will be out in force tonight, with the Glitch Mob playing the Music Box, but the buzzy pick is Pitchfork-endorsed Spanish quartet DeLorean, who will perform at the Echo. ... Henry Rollins does three nights of spoken-word beginning tonight at Largo. ... Dr. John holds forth at the Canyon Club in Agoura. ... And post-rock stalwarts Tortoise headline the Troubadour on Saturday.
Also tonight: Iglu & Hartly at the Roxy; Good Old War, Yukon Blonde and Audra Mae at the Troubadour; Karen Elson at McCabe's; Helen Stellar and the 22-20's at Spaceland; Basia at Club Nokia; Former Ghosts at the Smell; Dirt Dress at Pehrspace; Cranky George at the Bootleg Theater; Lindsey Haun, Gregory Alan Isakov and the Idyllists at the Hotel Cafe; Imaad Wasif and IO Echo at Space 15 Twenty; Exodus at the Key Club; Attika at the Viper Room; Jesse Malin & the St. Marks Social and Chris Shiflett & the Dead Peasants at Alex's Bar in Long Beach; and Jaguar Love at Thesex.
Also Saturday: Murs at the House of Blues; Los Tigres del Norte at the Fox Theater in Pomona; Mayer Hawthorne's free show at the Getty Museum; Alex Cuba at the Mint; Rose's Pawn Shop at Spaceland; the Tartans at the Smell; Hot Hot Heat's free show at One Colorado in Pasadena; MewithoutYou and David Bazan at the Music Box; the Super 70's Soul Jam at the Greek (with the Stylistics, the Chi-Lites and Harold Melvin's Bluenotes, among others); Greg Laswell and Brian Wright at the Hotel Cafe; and Which One's Pink? (doing "Dark Side of the Moon") at the Key Club.
Also Sunday: Drake Bell at the Roxy; Leslie & the Badgers and Eleni Mandell at McCabe's; Beth Hart and Garrison Starr at the Echoplex; a second night of Greg Laswell at the Hotel Cafe; and Wang Chung at Warner Center Park in the Valley.