Can it get any more real that Sharon Jones? Well, it can't get any more heartwarming.
The leading lady of the Dap-Kings is, after all, a rising star at 54, having shucked the uniforms of her previous careers (corrections officer at Rikers Island, and armor truck guard) for the bright dresses of music's leading soul revivalist.
Jones and her eight-pack of ace musicians did it the hard way, releasing albums on independent Daptone Records until 2007's 100 Days, 100 Nights reached enough ears to confirm that, yes, the unfettered soul of the '60s and '70s could still be a commercial force in an age of unctuously overproduced R&B.
The band's latest, I Learned the Hard Way (released in May), was recorded to eight-track tape, but with the straightforward arrangements and the way Jones pounds her emotional turf, it could have been made on a Dictaphone and it'd still be powerful. Jones' live shows feel like old-school celebrations too -- her band, supported by the fiery U.K. funk/soul/blues quartet the Heavy, plays the Wiltern Theatre on Saturday.
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Elsewhere: Got a touch of festival fever? Electric Daisy Carnival goes off today and Saturday at Exposition Park and the L.A. Coliseum, with the likes of Deadmau5, Armin van Buuren, Groove Armada, Moby, Benny Benassi, Infected Mushroom Above & Beyond, Sasha, BT, Armand Van Helden and MSTRKRFT performing. Here are your set times. ... And the Vans Warped Tour, with Andrew W.K., Motion City Soundtrack, the All-American Rejects, Dillinger Escape Plan, Street Sweeper Social Club, kicks off today at the Home Depot Center in Carson. We'll be covering. On Sunday, the fest hits Seaside Park in Ventura.
Also tonight: Black Francis at the Mint; Los Tigres Del Norte at Disney Hall; Miss Derringer at the Viper Room; Ty Segall and Sonny & the Sunsets at Spaceland; Jon Brion at Largo; the Rescues at the Troubadour; Travie McCoy at the Echoplex; the Grease Sing-a-Long at the Hollywood Bowl; Jim Hanft at the Echo; Head Like a Kite and Smoosh at the Bootleg Theater; Andy Clockwise at the Hotel Cafe; Moses Campbell at Pehrspace; the Monthlies at Echo Curio; Warren G at the Key Club; Eddie Levert, Dennis Edwards and Johnny Gill at Club Nokia; Lemon Sun and Jail Weddings at the Long Beach Aquarium; Black Elephant at the Smell; Jeremy Toback at the Hotel Cafe; and Go West Young Man at Casey's downtown.
Also Saturday: Danzig at Club Nokia; Black Francis' second night at the Mint; Everest at KCRW's Summer Nights (7 p.m.) at One Colorado in Pasadena; Lou Barlow at the Bootleg; Authority Zero at the Roxy; A Place To Bury Strangers, Light Pollution and Useless Keys at Spaceland; Future Islands and xbxrx at the Smell; Abe Vigoda at LA Record's party at the Nomad Gallery; Dead Man's Bones at Eagle Rock Center for the Arts; Slant at the Troubadour; the ABBA Fest at the Hollywood Bowl; Fishbone at Pomona's Fox Theater; the Backstreet Boys at Gibson Amphitheatre; Greg Brown at McCabe's; DJ Quik at the Key Club; Elevaters at the Hotel Cafe; and Kid Infinity at 3 Clubs.
Also Sunday: Goldfrapp and Buena Vista Social Club at the Hollywood Bowl; Night two of Dead Man's Bones at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts; Jonathan Wilson and Farmer Dave Scher at McCabe's; Fuxa and LSD & the Search for God at the Echo; Neil Hamburger at Spaceland; the Atlantic Line at Echo Curio; Dan Janish (5 p.m.) at Grand Ole Echo at the Echo; and Elefant's Diego Garcia at the Viper Room.