FRIDAY, August 29
Though she once refused to sign my photo of Patty Smyth for a joke, I can’t stay mad at Patti Smith any longer. Patti Smith: Dream of Life gets its L.A. premiere thanks to American Cinematheque’s “Rock Docs: A Celebration of Rock Documentaries” series. The film was directed by fashion photographer Steven Sebring (uh-oh) and was 12 years in the making. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Aug. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $9. (323) 466-FILM.
SATURDAY, August 30
The good news about this year’s Long Beach Blues Festival is that the action has moved from the scorched playing field at Long Beach State to the breezier, water-adjacent Rainbow Lagoon. It’s always a dilemma choosing which day to go. This year, on Saturday you get Chuck Berry, John Mayall, Pinetop Perkins with the Bob Margolin Band, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, among others. That’s an extremely solid lineup of many hours of blues. On Sunday, it’s the Taj Mahal Trio, Booker T. Jones, Charlie Musselwhite, Eddie Floyd, Joe Louis Walker — I say go Sunday. No, wait — Saturday is a no-brainer. Ah, hell, just get a hotel in Long Beach for the weekend. Rainbow Lagoon, Shoreline Dr. & Linden Ave., by Marina Green Park, Long Beach; Sat.-Sun., Aug. 30-31, 2-10 p.m.; $50, $45 in advance; $75 weekend pass. (213) 480-3232.
SUNDAY, August 31
To me, Irish step dancing looks like what you’d do if you could only use your lower extremities to get a snake out of your pants. “Hilarious tales about the disappointing daughter of an Irish dancing-school mistress” is the description of Maire Clerkin’s The Bad Arm: Confessions of a Dodgy Irish Dancer. Need more convincing? “Bashingly good jigs punctuate stories of dysfunctional family strife, accidental alcohol abuse and a life dedicated to work avoidance.” The show was a sellout when it debuted in June, and you only have a few weeks to catch it here before you are ashamed and disgusted with yourself for missing it. Bang Studio, 457 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; Sun., Aug. 31 & Sept. 28, 8 p.m.; Thurs., Sept. 11 & 18, 8 p.m.; $14, $12 in advance. (323) 653-6886.
MONDAY, September 1
It’s Labor Day. You can either stock up on back-to-school socks and underwear, or have a BBQ — or hit the Pico Rivera Sports Arena for top-notch ranchera music by Pepe Aguilar. Google “Pico Rivera” and “Jonathan Gold” for where to eat first. Pico Rivera Sports Arena, 11003 Rooks Rd., Pico Rivera; Sun.-Mon., Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 1 p.m.; $70. (562) 695-0509.
TUESDAY, September 2
School starts today for many LAUSD kids. What better way to start the academic year than playing hooky and catching Love Me or Leave Me, the story of torch singer Ruth Etting, starring Doris Day and James Cagney? Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; Tues., Sept. 2, 1 p.m.; $2. (323) 857-6010.
WEDNESDAY, September 3
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Sicko lounge act The Lampshades used to play almost every Saturday night at I.O. West, sometimes to rooms barely half-full. Now that “Kassie,” a.k.a. Kate Flannery, is a regular on The Office, tickets might be tougher to get. Along with “Yori” (Scot Robinson), the Lampshades work the scotch-soaked, mascara-running piano medley to fine, sleazy effect. No matter how many bands you’ve seen, you have never heard “Mandy” meets “Brandy” with The Andy Griffith Show theme song and “Candy Man” thrown in for bad measure. Caution: May contain polyester. Tonight’s show features “Sinatra’s singing bastard,” Rudy Casoni. Steve Allen Theatre, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., Sept. 3, 8 p.m.; (323) 666-4268. Also on the first Saturday of the month at I.O. West (see Comedy listings).
THURSDAY, September 4
To be read in haughty, overenunciated tone of NPR commentator: And now, dear Hoopla reader, we move from the lowbrow to the highbrow with the Getty Villa’s classical outdoor production of Agamemnon. You, of course, know this story as the first of the Oresteia trilogy, which tells the tale of the House of Atreus in spell-binding fashion. Now give us your pledge money or I will never stop talking, ever. Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy., Pacific Palisades; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; through Sept. 27; $38. (310) 440-7300 or www.getty.edu.