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This Month in Rock

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You know its officially summer when the Hollywood Bowl schedule is in full swing and your local Whole Foods boast empty shelves of wine and cheese. Yes, the sun is out later and perfect temperatures always serve as a pleasant compliment to any night of music, but that isn’t to say that there’s nothing going on in your favorite sweaty rock venue. July happens to be a jam-packed month, and we’d like to give you a little breakdown.

Outdoor Music Events

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Its pretty much a given that any outdoor venue will feature a few nights of leisurely musical performances. Today marks the kickoff of the Summer Wine and Jazz concert series presented by KJAZZ, running every Tuesday until the end of August at Hollywood and Highland. Traveling further east you’ll find the Macarthur Park Summer Concert Series featuring jazz, Latin, and world music everyday from the 9th through the 13th, with more performances added throughout the month. And we can’t forget to mention the Music in the Zoo series, featuring a mix of eclectic latin and jazz performances on the 8th and the 22nd at the LA Zoo.

In terms of the Bowl, pretty much any night will be spectacular, what with the fireworks and all. Spend your Fourth of July weekend with Randy Newman and the Dodgers, who are celebrating their 50th year playing in L.A. Or you may choose a Monday night of more radio-friendly music, including Stevie Wonder on the 7th, Feist on the 20th, and Gnarls Barkley on the 27th. These and any number of brilliant classical music pieces (including a performance of Carmina Burana and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth, just to name a few) are a simple reason to shell out a couple twenties for a perfect night of music.


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Ahh summer festivals. What better way to spend a day than moshing amongst your sweaty, sunburned rock peers than at this year’s Mayhem Fest? Boasting an all-star lineup of heavy metal favorites including Disturbed, Slipknot, and our personal fan-favorites Dragonforce (you may recognize them as the performers of final song you get to unlock in Guitar Hero III), trek over to the Glen Helen Pavillion in San Berdoo on the 13th and you won’t be disappointed. But if that’s too far to get your metal fix, check out the Summer Slaughter Tour at the House of Blues on the 11th where the Black Dahlia Murder, Kataklysm, and Vader will be rocking the Strip.

If metal isn’t your game then you’ll definitely want to check out the Download 2008 Tour. Hosting an unprecedented night of awesome indie rock, the tour will feature headliners the Jesus & Mary Chain, Gang of Four, Datarock, Ghostland Observatory, the Duke Spirit, and so many more bands you’d normally set out to see at Spaceland on any given night, only this time they’re under one roof on the 20th at the Gibson Amphitheatre. And let’s not forget good ol’ Hootenanny, the rockabilly freak fest featuring headliners Mike Ness and Tiger Army held at the Oak Canyon Ranch on the 5th in Irvine.

Finally, we can’t talk about festivals without mentioning the Hard Summer Music Fest, where N*E*R*D, MSTRKRFT, Spank Rock, Kid Sister, and Dim Mak super-star Steve Aoki will be lining up the beats at the Shrine on 19th. All we can say is, don’t forget your glowsticks and pacifiers.


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July is sporting some pretty stellar residencies, especially for all you east side LAisters. The Silverlake Lounge is hosting a Monday night series with Eagle Rock indie troupe Princeton, who infuses classical instruments into an uplifting, ambient sound. Travel over to Spaceland to check out LA alt-rockers Under the Influence of Giants as they play a free show every Monday this month. And as if you didn’t have enough to do on your July Mondays, head over to the Echo to check out local folk rockers Jail Weddings with different supporting artists for each free performance.

For a different, low-key vibe you’ll definitely want to check out this month’s Dub Club at the Echoplex, featuring Tom Chasteen, Roy Corderoy, the Dungeonmaster and Boss Harmony every Wednesday this month. And if you’re too lazy to trek east, Metal Skool successors Steel Panther always show hair-metal fans a good time during their Monday night acts at the Key Club.

If jazz is your fix, Safari Sam’s is the place to be. The Blackbird Cabaret transports visitors back to the 30’s with a speakeasy vibe featuring music, comedy and burlesque every Monday this month. And finally, Hollywood hot spot the Green Door will be hosting Lo Hi Fi every Saturday night, featuring a rotating list of well known rockers (Chris Cornell, Weezer, and Pink are lined up to appear) performing for a posh yet intimate crowd.

Noteworthy Shows

Bloc Party will be blowing up the Mayan Theatre on the 29th, but not before UK electro-pop pioneers Yaz show ‘em whats what at the Orpheum on the 10th and 11th. Vanguard rapper Dizzee Rascal will be playing what’s sure to be a killer set at the Echoplex on the 24th, only two weeks after Ratatat performs on the 12th. We’re also super stoked to report that Hammer Museumon Wilshire will sport a different indie rock set every Thursday this month, including Nico Vega on the 3rd, the Deadly Syndrome and Miss Derringer on the 10th, The Duke Spirit and Io Echo on the 17th, and Tokyo Police club with the Afternoons on the 24th. And despite our best efforts, we have to mention the Coldplay shows at the Forum on the 14th and 15th, but haven’t those tickets been sold out since 1987?

So there you have it, rockers. If we forgot to mention anything worth listing, feel free to leave it in the comments section. Enjoy your July!