Sept. 1-2: FYF Fest @ L.A. State Historic Park....Sept 1-3: African Music & Arts Festival @ Leimert Park Village....Sept. 2: Onaje Murray, Takahito Mori, Jeff Littleon & David Cowan @ Hal’s....Sept. 1: Luciana Susana w/ Larry Koonse, Darek Oles & Scott Amendola @ The Broad Stage....Sept. 2: Open Gate Theater Presents: The Other Tree & Slumgum @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts....Sept. 6-9: Jacaranda Music Series Presents: The John Cage 100 Festival @ various Santa Monica venues....Sept. 7: Michael Dessen Trio @ The Hammer Museum....First Friday Jazz Presents: Justo Almario Quartet @ East L.A. College Recital Hall....Gerald Wilson w/ The Anthony Wilson Nonet @ LACMA....Sept. 8: Billy Childs, John Clayton & Jeff Hamilton @ Vitello’s....A Tribute to John Coltrane w/ Azar Lawrence, Alphonse Mouzon, Bill Henderson & Henry Franklin @ The Mint....Sept. 9: Dwight Trible and the Cosmic Band w/ Nailah Porter @ Agape Spiritual Center....Charles Wright & Friends at Catalina’s....Sept. 11: Alan Ferber Expanded Ensemble @ The Blue Whale....Swans w/ Xiu Xiu @ The Henry Fonda Theater....Sept. 12: Charles Owens Quartet @ The Lighthouse Cafe....Sept. 13: Theo Saunders Quartet @ Crowne Plaza LAX....2 x 3: Duos + Trios w/ Hans Fjellstad, Ted Byrnes, Andrew Tholl, Devin Hoff & Corey Fogel @ MIA....Sept. 14: Vinny Golia Sextet @ Hammer Museum....Kamasi Washington & The Next Step @ LACMA....Sept. 18: The Gaslamp Killer & Friends @ The Mayan....Sept. 19: Band of Skulls @ The El Rey....Sept. 20: The Wild Beast Concert Series Presents: Voices and Echoes w/ Akio Suzuki, Gozo Yoshimasu & Otomo Yoshihide @ CalArts....Ross Hammond Quartet @ The Blue Whale....Sept. 21: Aram Shelton Quartet @ Hammer Museum....Double Naught Spy Car @ TAIX....Sept. 22: People Inside Electronics Presents: Trees and Branches: Cage, Jarvinen and Tempwerks....Sept. 23: Animal Collective, Flying Lotus & Huun Huur Tu @ Hollywood Bowl....Sept 25: David Binney Quartet w/ John Escreet, Eric Revis & Alex Cline @ The Blue Whale....Sept 27: Gavin Templeton Quartet w/ Matt Politano, Hamilton Price & Brian Mayall (8pm show) @ Curve Line Space Gallery....Sept. 28: 10 Year Anniversary of Light in the Attic Records w/ Rodriguez, Shin Joong Hyun, Michael Chapman, Stephen John Kalinich, and DJ Sipreano @ The El Rey....Daniel Rosenblum Quartet @ South Pasadena Music Center....Miles Davis House ("the ultimate jam session") @ Dim Mak Studios....Kim Richmond Ensemble w/ vocalist Cathy Segal-Garcia @ Private Home Concert (RSVP: email@example.com or 818-368-8839)....Sept. 29-30: The 31st Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival & 36th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festivals w/ Ndugu Chancler, Munyungo Jackson, Azar Lawrence, Patrice Rushen, Justo Almario, Bobby Rodriguez @ Watts Towers Art Center....Sept. 30: Wilco & Joanna Newsom at the Hollywood Bowl...Bonnie Barnett w/ Anders Nilsson @ Battery Books & Music...East Side Story w/ The Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble @ Club Mayan
FYF @ L.A. Historic Park (9/01-9/02)
Ooh, this’ll be a pickle of a Labor Day weekend wonnit? Luckily they’re not that far from one another. (Downtown → The Crenshhaw…perhaps another L.A. Relay is in order.) We’ll get right off by saying that the one FYF act we’d love to see is Desaparecidos (7:55pm Sunday, Main St. Stage), alongside Grandaddy one of the most unlikely reunions of 2012. Their only album Read Music Speak Spanish was released back in 2002 to mixed reviews, mostly due to the critical genuflecting over Lifted..., lead singer/Robert Smith impersonator Conor Oberst’s “legitimate” release under his Bright Eyes moniker. Well, we loved the side project more then and we love it even more now; it has a surreal, brutal, dashed-off quality, containing many of the Oberstian tropes we now know and love (especially atmospherics recorded snatches of banal conversations with plenty of tape hiss) and some pretty terrifically unhinged songs like “Manana” (where Oberst’s shrieking vocals remind one of an unholy union between Trent Reznor and Jack White) and “Greater Omaha” as well as new (!!) material like "Backsell" and “MariKKKopa." But to make a synth-driven punk concept album charting the urban sprawl of Omaha, Nebraska drives it right into influential status (The Suburbs, American Idiot….anyone? anyone?). Oh yeah and there are some other bands and stuff: Sleigh Bells (8:55pm Saturday, Main St. Stage), Fucked Up (5:25pm Saturday, Spring St. Stage), Chromatics (6:35pm Saturday, Spring St. Stage), The Vaselines (4:55pm Sunday, Hill St. Stage), Red Kross (3:10pm Saturday, Spring St. Stage), Nite Jewel (5:15pm Saturday, Broadway St. Tent), Dam-Funk (11pm Saturday, Broadway St. Tent), John Maus (2:40pm, Saturday, Broadway St. Tent), HEALTH (8:20pm Spring St. Stage) and Aesop Rock (4pm Sunday, Hill St. Stage). Then there’s the anti-comedy of Maria Bamford, Eric Andre, Neil Hamburger and the late-added David Cross, who undoubtedly will lay into the pierced-and-tattooed hipsters of the first and second rows, so bring your thicker skin.
African Arts & Music Festival @ Leimert Park Village
Also this weekend we suggest a trip south to Leimert Park Village for the African Arts & Music Festival, which has expaned this year to three days and is wonderful counterpoint to the swath of Pitchfork-inspired indieness downtown. Among our picks: rap/spoken word sista Medusa (3pm Saturday), the quintet of the newly engaged sax-fiend Azar Lawrence with vibist Onaje Murray, bassist Trevor Ware, drummer Alphonse Mouzon and percussionist Munyungo Jackson (3pm Sunday), no doubt ‘shedding for their upcoming John Coltrane tribute a week later, Kamasi Washington and the Next Step Big Band (3pm Monday) and The Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra (5pm Monday) closing out the final day. Stick around each night after the fest closes for ‘Leimert Park After Dark,’ where local haunts like the World Stage, the Barbara Morrison PAC, Adassa Café and Mavericks Flat throw open their doors to patrons until the wee hours. And it’s all free. Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Charles Wright & Friends @ Catalina’s (9/09)
Who is Charles Wright you ask? One who does not go gently into that goodnight, for one. His songs have been covered by Wilco (“Comment”), sampled by N.W.A. and have popped up as pivotal deep-cut backdrops for films like Boogie Nights (the tense, jumpy “Do Yo’ Thang” plays over William H. Macy’s New Years’ Eve murder/suicide) and One Day In September. The eccentric bandleader of the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band, who reportedly refused to work with electronic drum machines because he felt they were evil and a health hazard (he blamed them on causing his heart attack), is celebrating the release of his new CD. The only problem: It’s an exclusive listening party, not open to the public – but has that ever stopped any Angeleno before? In their heyday, Wright’s & Co. were groove improvisers—jazzbos disguised as funketeers—whose in-the-moment vamps were hammered out into actual singles like “Ninety Day Cycle People,” “Doin’ What Comes Naturally,” “Love Land” and the buoyant hit “Express Yourself” that amounted to a lost link between the 60’s hippie-soul of Sly Stone and the harder-edged funk-isms of James Brown. (In fact, the Beast just watched the band’s terrific drummer James Gadson—who had amazing hair—demonstrate how Brown’s drum patterns influenced musicians of his generation in Pasadena last month.) Less craftsmen than inheritors of the scrappy, record-in-the-studio-that-morning-release-it-that-night ethos, the 103rd St. Band predated the hard ‘70s L.A.-based funk of War, Shuggie Otis and Rufus. The night will be hosted by Garrett Morris and has an impressive array of drop-ins including Bobby Womack (who just got the career resuscitation that’s currently owed Wright), Little Richard (!!), Sly Stone (!!!!) and Barbara Morrison. Looks like the Beast will need break out the “Catalina Bus Boy” disguise from the closet.