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Friday, June 12
Ink-N-Iron Kustom Culture Festival
The annual Ink-N-Iron 72-hour occupation of the Queen Mary is a ritual of all-around frantic proportions, with a roster of more than 50 rock & roll bands and almost 300 working tattoo artists, plus vendors, art displays, magicians, pole dancers, a pin-up pageant, even a car show. Amongst the fray are some renowned performers, including venerable rockabilly empress Wanda Jackson, whose eye-popping wardrobe, provocative vocals, volcanic guitar and use of a mixed-race band in the mid-1950s qualify her as the most legit nonconformist you’ll find aboard. Also appearing: wild Sun Records shouter Sonny Burgess; Los Angeles’ clown princes of punk, The Dickies; and London’s unstoppable malefactors U.K. Subs. (And that’s just Friday.) Since 1976, Subs leader Charlie Harper has preached his untamed, fireball brand of punk rock with magnificent zeal, and his participation here — especially because this is Ink-N-Iron’s last hurrah in Long Beach before it moves to its new home in Nashville — is not to be missed.
Also Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14. With Pennywise, Wanda Jackson, The Bouncing Souls, Sonny Burgess & the Legendary Pacers, U.K. Subs, The Dickies, D.on Darox & the Melody Joy Bakers. — Jonny Whiteside
Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick
With set lists that draw heavily from their late-1970s heyday, both Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick would appear to be artists who peaked creatively decades ago. While there’s definitely an air of classic-rock nostalgia that hangs over their co-headlining tour, these musicians are still capable of new surprises and shouldn’t be underestimated. Cheap Trick have largely stuck to their ’70s and ’80s hits in recent years, but the quartet from Rockford, Illinois, are still agile enough to whip out their distinctive interpretations of entire Beatles albums at the drop of a hat, and they have many recent, underrated songs that sometimes rank with their early classics. Long before Frampton became a ’70s pop star noodling sunny licks and crooning through a talk box, he was a tough, reputable blues guitarist with Humble Pie. His latest album, Hummingbird in a Box, reveals newfound acoustic eloquence. — Falling James
For the past 20 years, DJ Lady D has been one of the finest ambassadors of Chicago house. Well-known as one-fourth of the all-female crew Superjane, she’s known for a sound that strikes an exquisite balance between sophisticated, disco-influenced club sounds and the sweaty, gritty edge of warehouse parties, which is as relevant now as it was in the latter half of the 1990s. Sets heavy on vocal tracks make her more stylistically accessible for dance-music newcomers, although the Lady D sound is still tightly connected to the house underground. A producer as well as a DJ, Lady D’s latest track, “All Night Long,” branches out into bassier terrain, and even experiments with a calypso interlude, while still keeping the beat steady. Christi Mills, Ricardo Torres and Mr. Bootsauce also will be on the decks. — Liz Ohanesian
Saturday, June 13
Playboy Jazz Festival
In its 37th year, the annual Playboy Jazz Festival remains one of the most well-attended outdoor jazz events in Southern California. This is the second year the PJF is being largely run by the L.A. Phil, featuring a Saturday lineup with jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter as well as the Gerald Wilson Orchestra (led by his son, Anthony Wilson), plus Eddie Palmieri, Aloe Blacc and Tower of Power. Sunday’s program includes trumpeter Terence Blanchard, Snarky Puppy, Ozomatli, and a group of young lions led by pianist Robert Glasper celebrating the 75th anniversary of the iconic Blue Note jazz label. The PJF is a great way to enjoy a wide variety of jazz in one of America’s greatest outdoor concert venues. Also Sunday, June 14. — Tom Meek
With a debut album out and the attention of the Obama family (Malia’s a fan!), it’s no wonder Joey Bada$$ seeks “World Domination.” That’s the name of the New York–bred rapper’s current tour promoting B4.DA.$$ (pronounced “Before Da Money”), which also features Denzel Curry and Mick Jenkins and hits the West Coast, Europe and Japan. Often compared to Nas, Bada$$’s conscious, lyric-centric, East Coast style is loved by both backpack hip-hop fans and new-to-rap college dudes looking to show off the enlightened rhymes they’ve memorized. While he didn’t win BET’s Rookie of the Year in 2013, he did woo us by performing “Chicken Curry” on Fallon, and has managed to turn viral WorldStarHipHop fame into a real career, which is pretty badass indeed. — Lina Abascal
Metal for Nepal
The Metal for Nepal organization has done an excellent job in the past six weeks working with metal promoters worldwide to raise money for the victims of the earthquakes that have ravaged the Himalayan nation. The Los Angeles arm of those efforts is a strong local lineup of newer acts with sounds that throw back to ’90s hard rock and metal. East L.A. rockers Kyng have made their name by cranking out powerful hard rock loaded with catchy riffs and melodies, earning the endorsement of Metallica’s James Hetfield and scratching the itch for fans of the ’90s era of Corrosion of Conformity. The riffage of Thrown Into Exile is a bit crunchier, with a groove metal–meets-industrial sound reminiscent of such ’90s greats as Machine Head and Fear Factory. Also featuring Kaustik and 16. — Jason Roche
Sunday, June 14
Folktale Fest VI
A seriously “other” POV is valuable in a money town like L.A., where art and music created for the love of doing it can so easily be ignored into nonexistence. Since 2004, a most worthy little label called Folktale has been releasing music by artists in danger of being underappreciated for their off-the-rock-biz-map ethics and values. This ongoing series of shows at Pehrspace has presented a veritable treasure trove of the choicely alternative sounds featured on the label, as well as visual and performance art by similarly inclined futurist compatriots. Tonight’s lineup includes non-biz-as-usual sonics by Napa’s John Thill, Phoenix’s Treasure Mammal, L.A.’s own Whitman and Arlington, Virginia’s Clark 8. There will also be a “cyber performance” by Charlyne Yi and original artwork by Ron Regé Jr., Rhonda Turnbough and Jeremy Szuder. — John Payne
Monday, June 15
Jedi Mind Tricks
"I don’t wanna deal with the darkness,” Vinnie Paz raps on Jedi Mind Tricks’ new album, The Thief and the Fallen. But he soon realizes that there’s no escape from the social oppression and moral ambiguities that surround him in daily life. “When you pray for the rain, you gotta deal with the mud,” he warns. “I don’t rhyme over nothing if it don’t sound sick,” Paz continues, as musical partner Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind’s dense blanket of harsh, aggressively unsentimental grooves envelops the Philly duo. The heaviness relents, but only a little, on “Fraudulent Cloth,” as Stoupe backs Paz’s fiery raps with a more languid R&B vibe, which is broken up by guest Eamon’s soulful vocals. “What’s the physiology of love? What’s the physiology of pain?” Paz wonders, as Eamon adds an aching rejoinder, “Just waking up is a struggle today.” — Falling James
"You look so good when you’re sad, you look good when you’re bad,” Faith Holgate coos admiringly on “Molly,” from Pins’ new album, Wild Nights. As Lois McDonald’s spidery reverb guitars slink across Sophie Galpin’s lo-fi drums, Holgate gushes with adoring harmonies: “You are the perfect storm, you’re where I belong.” But Holgate is more ambivalent on “Too Little Too Late” when she declares moodily over a creeping sea of ominous organ, “Your voice is just a noise, and it’s playing in reverse.” The Manchester, England, quartet segues from romantic garage-pop into heavier moments of swirling mystery and punky intensity on Wild Nights, as producer Dave Catching gives the songs room to breathe instead of overpowering their stark simplicity with too much studio embellishment. “Wild nights in the kitchen” (another lyric from “Molly”) have never sounded quite so intriguingly dangerous. — Falling James
Tuesday, June 16
A Tribute to Harry Nilsson
Let’s jump into the fire with this all-star local lineup paying tribute to the indomitable Harry Nilsson, whose talents for songwriting, singing and stubbornness all add up to something like immortality, albeit immortality won slowly. Nilsson died in 1994 after decades of iconoclastic recordings, but only a few years ago The Guardian called him “one of the forgotten stars of the ’70s.” And while that deserves qualification — particularly here in L.A., where there’s a stack of Nilsson vinyl in every serious collection — it’s true that Nilsson never got as far into the regular world as, say, Randy Newman. But then again, he also got a lot farther out, following impulse and inspiration toward songs that no one else could have sung. But tonight, they’ll try: Notable locals such as Henry Wolfe and canyon-country heartbreaker Leslie Stevens will join Nilsson’s son Kief and many more at this tribute. — Chris Ziegler
Wednesday, June 17
Jaga Jazzist, Taylor McFerrin
Jaga Jazzist are ostensibly a jazz band, but on the sprawling new track “Oban,” from their latest album, Starfire, the Norwegian group wanders freely all over the musical map. The nearly 13-minute opus has the grandeur and scale of prog-rock, as saxophones emerge from a murk of propulsive synthesizers and subtle vibraphone tones. Eventually, the synths transform the piece into a throbbing mass of rippled sounds that threatens to sweep across the dance floor like a pulverizing tidal wave. Jaga Jazzist are led by three brothers, Lars Horntveth (sax, clarinet), Line Horntveth (flute, tuba) and Martin Horntveth (drums), but the entire group moves seamlessly from the aptly spacey wanderings of the title track into more intensely detailed flurries of keyboards and guitars. Opener Taylor McFerrin takes the sinuous jazz influence of his father, Bobby, and pumps it up with psychedelic R&B expansiveness. — Falling James
Thursday, June 18
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Mystikal’s husky, animated delivery was a hallmark of No Limit, the label established by Master P that, at its peak, touted a roster of platinum-selling Southern rap acts. Mystikal’s 1997 No Limit debut, Unpredictable, sold more than 2 million units, and his Neptunes-produced 2000 hit “Shake Ya Ass” is still rinsed regularly in urban radio formats and on dance floors internationally. After a six-year prison stint for sexual battery and extortion, the New Orleans native signed with Young Money/Cash Money in 2011, but that partnership was short-lived. He told NOLA.com last September that the split was amicable: “They gave me a fantastic opportunity. It didn’t work out?...?.” Mystikal can be heard most recently on the Mark Ronson track “Feel Right.” Described by some critics as the “James Brown of hip-hop,” Mystikal usually puts on an energy-packed show, so do not miss this Southern rap innovator’s return. — Jacqueline Michael Whatley