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Abe Vigoda & Wild Nothings @ NHM First Fridays, 3/4/11

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By James Thomer/Special to LAist

Earlier this week I had an urge to see live music while being stared at by a wild buffalo. Where in the world could I find an event such as this!? Perhaps... if a certain museum of Natural History served as a venue for up-and-coming indie bands... and perhaps this festivity would include an educational lecture... Hmm. It's a great idea! Suppose it was biweekly -- no, monthly! -- and of course it would have to fall on party Friday. Maybe the first of each month would be fitting. I will call it... First Frida--Damn it! Someone's already done that.

As a matter of fact, First Fridays at the Natural History Museum have been running 8 years strong, and the folks in charge continue to keep programming fresh and interesting every time, even for the regulars.

This month, Dr. Janet Kubler conducted a lecture on biomimicry and explained how it can give humans ideas for improvements of our daily life. For example, the inspiration for velcro came from burrs sticking to a man’s socks. Hopefully in the future we can harness the organizational skills of a swarm of locusts to clear up some traffic on the 405.

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Musical acts Abe Vigoda and Wild Nothings ended their month-long tour together this week in the Diorama Hall, and their groove-inducing beats and 80‘s nostalgia sold out this month’s band passes.

Strangely, the two bands fit in a sort of natural progression of maturity with each other: Abe Vigoda seemed like the burnouts at your local community college, while Wild Nothings were the well-groomed, well-dressed, university types. Each of them even had matching rolled-up slacks. Nostalgia was the underlying theme of the night, with Abe Vigoda’s Juan Velazquez remarking he hadn’t been to the museum “since preschool”. Obviously he’s missed the memo as to what First Fridays are.

Next month in April, The Pinker Tones will be performing and Dr. Steven Finkel will conduct a lecture on microbiology. Be careful though, it’s April 1st, so it might be held at LACMA instead.