Tonight's installment of Grand Performances at California Plaza — one of our town's finest, free music al fresco opportunities — figures to be especially grand.
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, the composer/producer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist who boasts a resume longer than most Mel Gibson diatribes and whose stylistic forays span electronica, avante-garde jazz, hip-hop, classical and pop music, brings a 15-piece ensemble to downtown Los Angeles for a two-set program that figures to be as musically adventurous as the man himself.
The classically trained violist will direct a group that includes Bilal, Flying Lotus and Chris “Daddy” Dave, taking on the work of J Dilla, Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock and Guru, as well as his collaborators' original material. (URB.com had a link to a download of tonight's playlist.) And there's talk of guests too — Aloe Blacc, anyone?
The DJs for the event, which kicks off at 8, will be KCRW's Aaron Byrd and Jeremy Sole (another Atwood-Ferguson collaborator).
Tonight's highlights: Rage Against the Machine, joined by Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, play the Palladium in a show protesting Arizona SB 1070. … Robyn and Kelis kick off their “All Hearts” tour at the Music Box. … Lyle Lovett and His Large Band take on Walt Disney Concert Hall. … Jackson Browne and David Lindley hold forth at the Greek Theatre. … And country star Keith Urban, along with the Avett Brothers, play a big Grammy Foundation benefit at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA.
Also tonight: Delta Spirit and David Vandervelde at the El Rey Theatre; Alejandro Sanz at the Gibson Amphitheatre; Tony Lucca's record-release show at the Mint; Jon Brion at Largo; Queensryche at Club Nokia; Sleepy Sun and Miranda Lee Richards at Spaceland; Tyrone Wells at the Hotel Cafe; Ana Tijoux and Money Mark at the Bootleg Theater; Spacehog at 3 Clubs; Rademacher at Casey's downtown; John Carpenter at the Echo; Armenian Space Station at the Troubadour; Purple Melon at the Viper Room; Kitten at the Smell; iLLFX at the Roxy; Tan Dollar at Echo Curio; and free in-stores at Vacation Vinyl (Rosetta) and Origami Vinyl (Standing Shadows).
Saturday's highlights: The Game brings his game to Club Nokia. …
Reventon Super Estrella 2010 at the Staples Center features Enrique Iglesias, Nelly Furtado and Daddy Yankee, among others. … The sold-out LA Food Fest at the Rose Bowl features music by the Deadly Syndrome and Warpaint. … And Colombia's Bomba Estereo brings its tropical electronica to the Getty Museum.
Also Saturday: Pinback at the El Rey Theatre; 311 and the Offspring at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre; the Toadies at the Troubadour; Minitature Tigers and the Spinto Band at Spaceland; the Aggrolites at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach; Hi Ho Silver Oh at the Redwood Bar; Signal Hill at Pehrspace; Stevenson RAnch Davidians at Casey's downtown; Eliza Rickman at the Hotel Cafe; Zen Robbi at the Roxy; Scatter Suns at the Viper Room; Juiceboxxx at the Smell; and a night of old punk at the Echoplex with Luis & the Wildfires, the Desperados, the Rhythm Shakers, Don Juan Y Los Blancos and others.
Sunday's highlights: Gangi, Lucky Dragons and Swahili Blonde team up for the show at the Bootleg Theater. … And a benefit show by Everclear, original scheduled for the Ford Amphitheatre, has been moved to the Viper Room.
Also Sunday: Jimmy Cliff and others at Reggae Night IX at the Hollywood Bowl; Gangi at the Bootleg Theater; Telegram at Cinespace; Tera Naomi at the Hotel Cafe; a 5 p.m. in-store at Amoeba with Dave Gleason & the Country Ways; the Spits and No Bunny at the Echo; the Psychedelic Cowboys at the Echoplex; Neil Hamburger at Spaceland; and Manhattan Murder Mystery at Echo Curio.