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Friday, June 27
BET Experience 2014
Following last year's wildly successful inaugural event, BET Experience returns with an equally star-studded roster of performances from some of the biggest names in R&B and hip-hop. Headlining the three-day affair are Grammy Award winners Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Maxwell, Outkast and Jennifer Hudson. Marsha Ambrosius and rap darlings A$AP Rocky and Ty Dolla Sign also are scheduled. Gold and diamond VIP ticket packages confer insider access to all related BET events, including the BET exhibit at the Grammy Museum, celebrity basketball tournament, genius seminars and official after-parties; a pair of tickets to The 14th Annual BET Awards also is included. Performances by Trey Songz, Rick Ross and Love and Hip Hop star K. Michelle are scheduled as well. Also Saturday-Sunday, June 28-29. - Jacqueline Michael Whatley
Chuck Prophet & ?the Mission Express
On his new album, Temple Beautiful, Chuck Prophet takes listeners on a musical travelogue through the city of San Francisco. With homages to Willie Mays and Harvey Milk and references to Jim Jones and the old Mission District, Prophet is clearly celebrating the vanishing, virtually mythic, classic incarnation of the city, long before it turned into a soulless yuppie enclave. Joined by such quintessential Bay Area musicians as the Flamin' Groovies' Roy Loney and Tubes drummer Prairie Prince, Prophet duets with his vocalist wife, Stephanie Finch, and segues from jangling power-pop anthems ("Castro Halloween") to austere ballads ("Museum of Broken Hearts"). Backed by the aptly named Mission Express, the singer also brings along a string section tonight to cast aloft dreamy tracks such as "He Came From So Far Away." - Falling James
Though they've been regulars on the L.A. punk scene for years - minus a small sojourn to New York City - sister act Jennifer and Jessica Clavin finally are starting to garner widespread acclaim. Beginning with their first three singles and a well-received debut album, the duo, better known as Bleached, have been touring relentlessly for the better part of the past year, and show no signs of slowing down. Their blend of sunny, melodic California pop and the grimy punk they grew up listening to at the Smell has made them a staple with the Burger Records crowd and beyond. - Daniel Kohn
Saturday, June 28
If you love local bands, independent record labels and music marathons, the first official Lolipalooza is for you. A record store and label, Echo Park's Lolipop Records has been releasing underground cassettes and vinyl since 2010. Its dedication to music has earned it a massive roster of bands you've heard of and bands you haven't, with a solid future of bands we'll all want to hear. The three-stage music festival is all-ages and spans Lolipop's catalog of psychedelic and garage rock, featuring Dale Bozzio, Mystic Braves, Froth, So Many Wizards, Feels (formerly Raw Geronimo) and more. Tickets are only $20, which includes entry to the pre-party on Friday. - Britt Witt
Sharon Van Etten
EL REY THEATRE
Brooklyn singer-songwriter Van Etten offers a pleasingly painful intimacy on her new Are We There (Jagjaguwar). Delivered with a confidence of vision that she strongly hinted at on her well-received 2012 album, Tramp, these are the songs of a young woman alone, fending for herself on a planet she finds curiously indifferent to the hopes and fears she and we all have to face. Van Etten hasn't quite "found" herself on Are We There, and that's kind of the point; she asks a lot of questions, offers no clear answers, but forges on ahead, urging us all on, too. - John Payne
Sunday, June 29
While it might seem strange that Devo is already gigging just a few months after the death of guitarist Bob Casale in February, this Hardcore Devo tour actually was planned before his passing and focuses on the band's early experimental tunes, many of which pre-date Casale joining the band in the mid-1970s. Although the Ohio punk/new-wave combo came to widespread public attention in the late '70s, Devo actually started in 1972, when they turned their shock over the shootings of Kent State students by the National Guard in 1970 into a supremely weird and unsettling form of artistic subversion. It should be fascinating to hear the surviving Devo-tees resuscitate such ancient oddities as "Be Stiff" and "Bamboo Bimbo," although it's a shame that the group's most inventive drummer, Alan Myers, died last year. - Falling James
Röyksopp and Robyn
Röyksopp and Robyn have been teasing the masses with guest appearances on each other's songs. With the mini-album Do It Again, the Norwegian soulful techno duo and the Swedish dance-floor queen finally combine forces. Two 10-minute epics, pulsating techno ballad "Monument" and electronic symphony "The Idle Hour Club," bookend Do It Again and provide a strong scaffold for the rest of the album. "Sayit," a call-and-response love song for robots complete with robust basslines, taps into the mechanical, while "Every Little Thing" does the opposite, foregrounding the vulnerability of Robyn's voice. The title track revives mid-'90s percolating trance synths, which combine with Robyn's sugary pop vocals to make it an instant club classic. It's a full album's worth of moods realized in five songs. ? - Lily Moayeri
Grand Ole Echo's Warren Zevon Tribute
Warren Zevon was an L.A. legend, but his heart belonged to Echo Park, through the bad times and the good. He was calling it out by name in his harrowing "Carmelita" and showing it off to European documentary makers with a cult-famous visit to the Burrito King on Sunset in 1977. (Of course, it was the Pioneer Chicken stand on Alvarado that actually made it into his lyrics.) Now the Grand Ole Echo and a rotating selection of Americana musicians are paying tribute to the man and his myths - his werewolves, Thompson gunners, French inhalers and desperadoes - with a show that's walking distance from Zevon-ian history. The longer you live in L.A., the more Zevon's songs soak into you, adding light and shadow to the landscape and humanity to the city's history, and there can't possibly be a better reason to hoist a guitar and a cocktail glass in tribute. - Chris Ziegler
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