John Lennon would have turned 70 next week, and among the events celebrating the legendary Beatle are two shows this weekend featuring a reconstituted Plastic Ono Band, the loose collective of musicians Lennon assembled 40 years ago.
His widow Yoko Ono and son Sean Lennon (the musical director who pulled the project together) gave a performance in New York in February. Featuring an eclectic group of guest artists, the concert included songs from both the Ono and John Lennon -- a nod not only the Beatle's legacy but to Ono's pioneering exploits in avant-garde music.
The L.A. stops on the "We Are Plastic Ono Band Tour" give eclectic a Left Coast bent. Guest for the shows include Perry Farrell, RZA, Carrie Fisher, Vincent Gallo, Harper Simon, Cornelius, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Haruomi Hosono and Merrill Garbus (aka Tune-Yards) -- plus Iggy Pop, Nels Cline and Mike Watt appearing on Friday night and Lady Gaga and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon on Saturday.
At the Orpheum Theatre, tonight and Saturday.
-- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (you didn't sleep on his latest release Mojo, did you?) plays the Hollywood Bowl tonight and the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on Saturday.
-- The annual Ooh La L.A. Festival celebrating French bands brings the Bewitched Hands and Revolver to Spaceland tonight, and the Gotan Project and General Elektriks to Club Nokia on Saturday.
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-- Saturday's Eagle Rock Music Festival brings all manner of local rock to stages along Colorado Boulevard, including The Soft Pack, Darker My Love, Frankel, Walking Sleep, Wait. Think. Fast., the Submarines, Seasons, Moses Campbell, Nosaj Thing, the Gaslamp Killer, Nobody, Blank Blue and Lucky Dragons. The beat scene folks will be well represented -- Low End theory is curating one of the stages.
Also Friday: School of Seven Bells and Active Child at the Echoplex; the Sword and Karma to Burn at the El Rey; Neon Indian, Prefuse 73 and Miniature Tigers at the Music Box; the Avett Brothers and Brandi Carlisle at the Nokia Theatre; Aimee Mann at Largo; Gary Jules at the Hotel Cafe; Fountains of Wayne and Jilly Sobule at the Troubadour; Foster the People and Superhumanoids at the Echo; Orgone and the Soul of John Black at the Roxy; Jesse Malin and Moneybrother at Brixton South Bay's Dive; Pato Banton in Brixton's main room; Fight From Above at the Viper Room; Vamps at Avalon Hollywood; Mucca Pazza at the Bootleg Theater; AIDS Wolf and XBXRX at the Smell; Rufio at the Glass House in Pomona; Animal Eye at Pehrspace; and Learning Music at Echo Curio.
Also Saturday: Carrie Underwood at the Hollywood Bowl; Matt & Kim and Fang Island at the Mjusic Box; the Blood Arm and the Franks at Spaceland; Tea Leaf Green and Truth & Salvage Co. at the Troubadour; Keaton Simons and Marina V at the Hotel Cafe; Hayes Carll (two shows) at McCabe's; Rufio at the Roxy; David Allen Coe at Brixton South Bay; and Candygram for Mongo at the Viper Room.
Also Sunday: Belle & Sebastian and Jenny & Johnny at the Palladium; Yoko Ono at the Grammy Museum; Matt & Kim and Fang Island at the Glass House in Pomona; Guitar Wolf at the El Rey; the Cooling Time, Dead Country and the Hounds Below at Spaceland; Dead Meadow and John Carpenter at the Echoplex; Aimee Mann at Largo; He's My Brother She's My Sister and Amanda Jo Williams at the Bootleg Theater; and Black Milk at the Roxy.