The first weekend of summer here in LA last weekend was one for the record books, temperatures climbing way up into triple digits in the valleys and not much better downtown. I usually avoid such temperature extremes, but you get used to it after a few days and weekends aren’t so bad anyway what with less traffic and turmoil. The Seun Kuti show Friday night at Cal Plaza was even a bit warm though quite tolerable, considering the immense talent of dad Fela’s ‘Egypt 80’ band and son Seun himself. Saturday would be a challenge, though.
The others were free, including a ‘solstice’ 60’s festival in
But the show must go on of course, so we all persevered in the heat. I got there in time for the acclaimed
Dengue Fever came on next, looking like assorted apostles, fishermen and farmers following Cambodian lead singer Ch’hom Nimol to the altar of entertainment, there to make sweet and savory offerings to lesser gods as they play out their fantasies in real life until it becomes legend. For the uninitiated the story goes that these guys discovered 60’s Cambodian pop while on a backpack tour there in the 90’s and subsequently delayed while recovering from… guess what? Dengue Fever. I myself listened to and watched old ‘Cambodian Bandstand’ videotapes for hours while in Sihanoukville; they’re killer. From there the Holtzmann brothers perused the Cambodian clubs of
AfroBeat Down followed with some danceable rhythms, but by then I was hot and hungry and ready to get back to the main action on the other side of town. There the Raveonettes were finishing up their rave-on set to audience applause, so we grabbed a pizza to await the Kinky show. Kinky, like Nortec, is a Mexican group, this time from
This weekend may be a little less festive, but there’s no shortage of music.