By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
WHAT THEY GOT THAT'S GOOD: Wu Tang Clan, tragically billed below Social Distortion, and the Futureheads, who toured their first album sounding more like the early Clash than any of these plaid-and-safety-pin noodleheads who only like "Janie Jones" because it barely demands you play guitar to cover it.
SATURDAY, AUG. 5
ROCK THE BELLS at NOS EVENTS CENTER, SAN BERNARDINO
WHAT IT IS: Flagship hip-hop festival that picks up everyone who doesn't sign on for Power's warped stadium shows.
WHAT THEY GOT: Wu Tang Clan doing an ODB tribute, Mos Def, De La Soul, Talib Kweli, Del, Visionaries, Living Legends and a generous scoop off the top of big independent/better major label hip-hop.
WHAT THEY GOT THAT'S GOOD: LA's Murs running with his excellent Murray's Revenge album plus that Wu Tang set that is probably gonna bulge with drop-ins per previous surprise blowout Rock the Bells appearances.
SATURDAY, AUG. 26 & SUNDAY, AUG. 27
SUNSET JUNCTION STREET FAIR at SUNSET BLVD. AND FOUNTAIN, SILVERLAKE
WHAT IT IS: People who would never go outside during the day going outside during the day and drinking to soothe the sensations of sunlight on their skin, plus funnel cake.
WHAT THEY GOT: A wide mess of LA's better local bands with vitamin shots from a few high-profile visitors—Cramps (visiting from . . . Glendale), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Hank the Wank III—to really make the already cheapo admission worth it.
WHAT THEY GOT THAT'S GOOD: Jesus and Mary Chain worship by Fall-backing-band Darker My Love, love doll superstars Redd Kross, along with Jesus and Mary Chain worship also by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and a lunchtime show by Lavender Diamond, pretty much the best band in Los Angeles.
SUNDAY, AUG. 27
AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE at ARROWHEAD POND, ANAHEIM
WHAT IT IS: The predictable terminal point of karaoke during late capitalism, plus all your favorite singing stars whose names you only dimly remember.
WHAT THEY GOT: This season's top 10, uprooted from the studio sessions where they were hacking out debut singles like cold cuts and reunited to fake smiles and make money one last time. King Taylor Hicks leads notable also-rans Lisa, Ace, Katharine, Blondie, Mumbles, Screechy, Lazy Eye, Chesty Hickand Hickie Hick through a canned set of classics.
WHAT THEY GOT THAT'S GOOD: I always had a soft spot for Kellie Pickler, whose dad was in jail and whose r's always slurred out the side of her mouth, just because she reminded me of where I grew up.