Don't know where to go this weekend? Heard Mentality makes it easy–here's the rundown of great music coming to town.
Friday, May 28
Friday night finds Booka Shade in Irvine to help kick off this year's Lightning in a Bottle festival, also featuring such fine acts as Apparat and the Album Leaf. Tickets are $190-$205. The German duo, subject of our main story in this week's music section, spent much of the past decade helping fight against the perception that techno was somehow only a nineties memory; their Get Physical label has put out a slew of stellar songs and mix discs since 2002, while their own work, especially the now classic collaboration with M.A.N.D.Y., “Body Language,” has kept their profile strong.
Also on Friday night, Electric Children appear at the Puka Bar in Long Beach, headlining a bill also featuring The Cactus Pricks, the Rebel Set and Thee Invasion. Tickets are $5. As the names pretty readily suggest, it's a night of garage/psych sounds all around, with the Echo Park headliners out to showcase their own love for all kinds of freaked out noise and scuzzed spacerock blues. As a sample, consider their version of “Ejection,” originally done by Hawkwind and covered by the band for a Hawkwind tribute evening last year:
Saturday, May 29
On Saturday night, Dengue Fever bring their wonderful blend of music from around the world to the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa for what should be one of the most celebratory nights of the year. The Los Angeles-based group, another of our featured acts in the music section this week, has long since moved from simply seeming like a curio to being something of a musical law unto itself, where everything from classic garage/psych grooves to frenetic horn charts, all topped off by Chhom Nimol's wonderful, mainly Cambodian language vocals, shows how the band embraces past and present with skill. Tickets are $15.
Elsewhere that night, George Clinton will be back in the area Saturday evening with a new version of Parliament-Funkadelic at the House of Blues in Anaheim. While Clinton's story and that of P-Funk has been one of both titanic success and sad struggle on many fronts – this year alone, guitarist Garry Shider, the legendary “Diaperman” and longtime musical director for the whole enterprise, has been sidelined with a stroke and a cancer diagnosis-the instantly identifiable sound that P-Funk brought to the world still can't be beat. Tickets are $30.
Another veteran is up that evening for a show–Mike Watt, now well into his fourth decade of using bass as an instrument for creativity in all possible contexts that attract his interest. Taking a break from his highest profile gig of late – helping to anchor the current touring lineup of the Stooges, now showcasing their classic Raw Power album – Watt will be appearing with the Missingmen along with the Backdoor Preachers, the Three Heads and Shake at DiPiazza's in Long Beach; tickets are $8.
Sunday, May 30
Sunday afternoon at 3 pm finds Drums and Color playing the latest free show at the Lab in Costa Mesa, with Bobby Pena and the Stowaways opening. A quintet based out of Long Beach and our featured Locals Only artist this week, Drums and Color are perhaps that rarest of acts this century – a group that lists Radiohead as an influence that actually sounds like them. (A good example being “Prodigal,” which showcases a queasy, unsettled beauty in its arrangement suggesting songs by the UK legends like “Jigsaw Falling Into Place.”) They're still finding their own distinct sound but are doing so with style.