Tonight's installment of Grand Performances at California Plaza -- one of our town's finest, free music al fresco opportunities -- figures to be especially grand.
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, the composer/producer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist who boasts a resume longer than most Mel Gibson diatribes and whose stylistic forays span electronica, avante-garde jazz, hip-hop, classical and pop music, brings a 15-piece ensemble to downtown Los Angeles for a two-set program that figures to be as musically adventurous as the man himself.
The classically trained violist will direct a group that includes Bilal, Flying Lotus and Chris "Daddy" Dave, taking on the work of J Dilla, Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock and Guru, as well as his collaborators' original material. (URB.com had a link to a download of tonight's playlist.) And there's talk of guests too -- Aloe Blacc, anyone?
The DJs for the event, which kicks off at 8, will be KCRW's Aaron Byrd and Jeremy Sole (another Atwood-Ferguson collaborator).
Tonight's highlights: Rage Against the Machine, joined by Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, play the Palladium in a show protesting Arizona SB 1070. ... Robyn and Kelis kick off their "All Hearts" tour at the Music Box. ... Lyle Lovett and His Large Band take on Walt Disney Concert Hall. ... Jackson Browne and David Lindley hold forth at the Greek Theatre. ... And country star Keith Urban, along with the Avett Brothers, play a big Grammy Foundation benefit at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA.
Also tonight: Delta Spirit and David Vandervelde at the El Rey Theatre; Alejandro Sanz at the Gibson Amphitheatre; Tony Lucca's record-release show at the Mint; Jon Brion at Largo; Queensryche at Club Nokia; Sleepy Sun and Miranda Lee Richards at Spaceland; Tyrone Wells at the Hotel Cafe; Ana Tijoux and Money Mark at the Bootleg Theater; Spacehog at 3 Clubs; Rademacher at Casey's downtown; John Carpenter at the Echo; Armenian Space Station at the Troubadour; Purple Melon at the Viper Room; Kitten at the Smell; iLLFX at the Roxy; Tan Dollar at Echo Curio; and free in-stores at Vacation Vinyl (Rosetta) and Origami Vinyl (Standing Shadows).
Saturday's highlights: The Game brings his game to Club Nokia. ...
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Reventon Super Estrella 2010 at the Staples Center features Enrique Iglesias, Nelly Furtado and Daddy Yankee, among others. ... The sold-out LA Food Fest at the Rose Bowl features music by the Deadly Syndrome and Warpaint. ... And Colombia's Bomba Estereo brings its tropical electronica to the Getty Museum.
Also Saturday: Pinback at the El Rey Theatre; 311 and the Offspring at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre; the Toadies at the Troubadour; Minitature Tigers and the Spinto Band at Spaceland; the Aggrolites at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach; Hi Ho Silver Oh at the Redwood Bar; Signal Hill at Pehrspace; Stevenson RAnch Davidians at Casey's downtown; Eliza Rickman at the Hotel Cafe; Zen Robbi at the Roxy; Scatter Suns at the Viper Room; Juiceboxxx at the Smell; and a night of old punk at the Echoplex with Luis & the Wildfires, the Desperados, the Rhythm Shakers, Don Juan Y Los Blancos and others.
Sunday's highlights: Gangi, Lucky Dragons and Swahili Blonde team up for the show at the Bootleg Theater. ... And a benefit show by Everclear, original scheduled for the Ford Amphitheatre, has been moved to the Viper Room.
Also Sunday: Jimmy Cliff and others at Reggae Night IX at the Hollywood Bowl; Gangi at the Bootleg Theater; Telegram at Cinespace; Tera Naomi at the Hotel Cafe; a 5 p.m. in-store at Amoeba with Dave Gleason & the Country Ways; the Spits and No Bunny at the Echo; the Psychedelic Cowboys at the Echoplex; Neil Hamburger at Spaceland; and Manhattan Murder Mystery at Echo Curio.