It’s Labor Day weekend (when no one labors), the last gasp of summer! By the calendar, maybe, but here in the land of endless summer, it’s just another excuse to party.

OK, there’s school, and if you’re school age it’s tragic, marking the end of fun and freedom, again, but if you are a parent you are now emancipated from your mewling, begging, crying, whining, arguing, always hungry always bored, screen-addicted house-messing food-splattered chains (and that’s just the teenagers). So, you’re invited to a backyard or beach barbecue where you’ll eat and drink too much Sunday and spend those very last moments of summer sleeping it off until sometime Monday afternoon. Again. Right?

Wrong! There’s so much great music out there this weekend I just don’t know what to do. Sunday is the worst! The best!! Some right here in town, some a long drive away but oh so tempting.

Read ‘em and weep, make your choices, mark your calendars. Great live music does not leave you with a hangover, just a great big fat smile in your heart and soul.


Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome featuring the Lounge Art Ensemble with PETER ERSKINE, Bob Sheppard, Darek Oles (they’ve been doing these concerts, strictly classical, in the huge Mt. Wilson Observatory “acoustics rival the great cathedrals of Europe” dome all summer and I just now find out about it?! did you know and you didn’t tell me?! I suppose my neighbor Peter Erskine could have mentioned it but he keeps pretty busy and we don’t chat that often, yes, one of the greatest drummers alive, as my young son astutely informed me about 30 years ago, has been living right here in Santa Monica for decades, a modest man in a beautiful but modest home, and I can personally recommend this ensemble because I had them on my cable TV show a long time ago, thank you Peter, but with the now-late great bassist Dave Carpenter, this is music for the cosmos, “jazz, carte blanche,” fittingly in the 100-year old 20th century temple of science observatory with the 100” telescope that Edwin Hubble, perhaps the greatest astronomer of all time, manipulated to discover our place in an expanding universe, establishing the fields of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology, right there, whew — will I make the drive? I hope so, I’ll take a ride if you’re going, two shows, meet the artists afterwards, snacks and drinks, tell Peter I sent ya), Sun 3 and 5 p.m., Mount Wilson Observatory, Angeles Crest Highway, $50 (all proceeds after expenses to support the Mt. Wilson Institute in its mission to preserve, protect and promote the Observatory and the science accomplished there — so, support science, resist Flat Earthers).


TONIGHT! — FISHBONE, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (“c’mon, I don’t have to school ya on the Cosmic Masters of P-Funk, do I? — sure it’s Santa Ana but how far would you go if you thought this was your last chance to stand in front of legends? did you catch Sinatra? the Beatles? George Jones? von Karajan? — don’t say I didn’t give you a chance” … I wrote last week, before I knew the ever entertaining Masters of Musical Mayhem, the enduring Fishbone, would be on the bill, but I have demoted George Clinton to lowercase in tribute to my musically hip neighbor Neil who opined, I wouldn’t go around the corner to see that bloated gasbag Clinton — did he think I meant Bill?), 8 p.m., the Observatory, Santa Ana, $25.

MIKE WATT + THE SECONDMEN, DOUBLE NAUGHT SPY CAR (great local double bill as the “new” bookers at McCabe’s continue to expand its footprint while honoring its substantial 60-year legacy, Watt is a “Peedro” legend who cofounded the Minutemen in the late ‘70s, then Dos and Firehose, put in 10 years with the Stooges and dabbled in Foo Fighters, lifetime achievement award from Bass Player Magazine but he’s a cool regular dude, I used to catch Double Naught Spy Car Sunday nights at the late lamented Liquid Kitty, four great players who go all instrumental and all genre, for fun more than virtuosity, can’t wait to see what they bring to this stage), Fri 8 p.m., McCabe’s, Santa Monica, $15.

LA SANTA CECILIA (I love, love, love this group, so talented, so full of life, loco videos, LA Mexican-Americans who play the heck out of cumbia, bossa nova, boleros, a little weak when they switch to pop songs in English — why bother? — vocalist Marisol Hernandez can sing circles around big name stars and so emotionally that I laugh and cry even though I don’t understand a word, usually four musicians playing but sometimes they add a violin or harp or whatever’s called for, Jose “Pepe” Carlos is in the Yepes-de Lucia-Liebert class on his requinto guitar but rocks equally on accordion, I just love these guys), Sat 7 p.m., Burton W. Chace Park, Marina del Rey, free.

BROAD FEST featuring Adaawe, Jungle Fire, Element Band (I don’t know these groups, maybe I should, but I’m not going to spend another hour on youtube schooling myself, I have a life, you know, you look ‘em up but I can tell you this, I trust the people who book these kind of events here and when I’ve gone to the Broad Fest before I had a dang good time and discovered a couple of significant talents, this is a great afternoon opportunity — if you’re not already in Hollywood or headed for the hills of Angeles), Sun 2 p.m., the Broad Stage, Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, free.

Backyard Bash 2018 featuring SWEET, LITTLE CAESAR, WARRANT, Green Jelly, the Atomic Punks (when I mentioned this show to my mid-20s daughter she shot back, “Sweet? THE Sweet?!” — yes, “Ballroom Blitz,” “Little Willy,” “Fox on the Run,” “Love is like Oxygen,” Little Caesar had the hair but they are a powerful rockin’ band who do a lot of soul covers, is Warrant’s sprayed hair gray by now?, Atomic Punks for the Van Halen fans, Green Jelly for cartoon fans and maybe a lot to sit, or drink, through to get to the sweet stuff but the crowd is bound to be a sideshow to remember so just chill and scope or headbang away, your call, at the more than legendary Rainbow, adjunct to the incredibly legendary Roxy, it reeks of history and so much more you don’t want to know about), Sun 12 noon, Rainbow Bar & Grill, Hollyweird, free with 2 drink minimum.

RBG (she’s been absolutely elfin, a quiet but commanding member of the Supremes for a quarter century and now at 85 Ruth Bader Ginsberg has become a rock star, for all the right reasons, and this doc, wildly successful in theatrical release — !!! — and now premiering on TV, digs into her remarkable past to show why she stands so tall, lots of stuff you never knew, I’ll bet, just fascinating ), 6 & 9 p.m., CNN, free.

TWILIGHT ON THE PIER featuring Jarina de Marco, Quitapenas, Orquesta Akokan, Sister Mantos (new name for the venerable series, new night, new talent booker, if you want to hear it all you have to scuffle back and forth between the usual stage area, the amusement park, and the end of the Pier, at this point probably the less I say about it, the better, but hey, we saved the series, the tradition, the history), Wed 6:30 p.m., Santa Monica Pier, free.

BAND NAMES OF THE WEEK: Billy Club, French Vanilla, Honey Radar, Cat Scan, Keith Sweat, Xander Hitzig, Doug & the Slugs, Omar & the Stringpoppers, the Schizophonics, Somersault Queen, Flying Hair, Still Woozy, Small Forward, Armored Saint, the Saint Motel, the Future Is Female, Illuminati Hotties, Snake Chime Zen, Criminal Hygiene, Edison Moth, Sabrina is Not in This Chat.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at

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