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Summer Music: From Surf Rodeo to Baaba Maal to Thao and the Get Down to Ianna

July 16, 2016


Summer is such a fun time for free and low-cost outdoor concerts!

And this coming week is exceptional!

Here are a few highlights for Art Predator: Baabal Maal at the Annenberg in Century City (LA) Saturday July 16, Surf Rodeo on the beach in Ventura Saturday and Sunday July 16 and 17, and Thao and the Get Down Stay Down at the Skirball Center, LA on Thursday July 21. Read on to find out why!

Last Saturday we went to the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City in the heart of Los Angeles for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes with opener Imarhan. We went last summer to see   a double bill of X and Dwight Yoakum, and while standing in line to get in is a drag, it was worth it so we RSVP’d for this summer’s three Saturday’s in July bill–especially when I heard the line-up included my favorite African musicians, Baaba Maal from Senegal as well as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, who sing “Home” (featured in this Burning Man 2011 video).

So we will be making the trek again this Saturday for Baaba Maal, Classixx and Brazilian Girls. While there are food trucks on site, we will bring a picnic (no glass, alcohol or metal!), and find a spot to relax on the grass. Here’s one of Baaba Maal’s hits from 25 years ago that turned me into a fan:

Born in 1953 in Senegal to the semi-nomadic Fulani people, Baaba Maal has traveled around the world for the past 40 years to perform music and collaborate with the likes of Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Tony Allen and U2: “It’s part of my culture,” Baaba Maal says. “The songs travel from village to village, from country to country. It’s something natural to my tribe and this part of Africa.”

And now he comes again to LA. I hope these videos will encourage you to explore his music more. Baaba Maal always put on a wonderful show; while the stage is small, I am sure they will make it work!

Here’s a new song with Mumford and Sons that’s been getting a lot of KCRW radio play:

During the event, the exhibits REFUGEE and New Americans will also be open in the Annenberg Space for Photography and Skylight Studios, so be sure to check out both spaces before, during or after the concert. Definitely check out the interactive virtual reality experience. The openers are a lot of fun too, making it a great night of art and music under the stars.

If music under the sun and on the sand is more your speed, head to Ventura to Pierpont Beach where Seaward hits the sea for the Surf Rodeo Music and Surf Festival to hear The English Beat, Bob Log III, Tunnel Vision, Dirty Rice, Spencer The Gardner, The Pullmen, No Duh, State to State, Justine And The Highs, Mark Masson and Phriends, Ska Daddyz, Raging Arb And The Redheads, Sweet Reaper, The Navanax, SWMRS, Jukebox 101, The Jelly, The Hub Cap Stealers, The EJ Cox Band, Law, Residual Kid, Word Sauce, Herbal Rootz, The R&B Bombers, Hayley and the Crushers.

The 9th Annual Surf Rodeo Music & Surf Festival offers over 25 bands on two stages, Rodeo Style Surf Contest, Cornhole Tournament, Mechanical Bull Riding, Beach Activities, Beer Gardens on the Sand, Food Trucks and more! I’m looking forward to dancing in the sand to the English Beat from 7-8pm as well as other bands on Sunday. See the complete line-up here.

We attended this one day last year to hear Pato Banton and we had a blast! Weekend passes are $35; kids 10 and under are FREE! Get Surf Rodeo Tickets here.

The third music event I will be attending this week is also free: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down at the Skirball Cultural Center off the 405 between the 101 and Sunset.

When I first heard a song that sounded like “Open Your Hips To Me” on KCRW in late 2009, I was intrigued –loved the beat, the vocals, and I wanted to know the lyrics too! Eventually, I learned the song was by Thao and the Get Down Stay Down and “Open Your Hips To Me” is actually titled “When We Swam” and she’s singing “oh bring your hips to me”! I’m a fan of the quirky video too.

I have been wanting to hear the band live ever since, and while they are based in San Francisco it just has;’t worked out until now that they are playing a free show at the Skirball Thursday July 21 at 8pm to support their new album:

Find out if Thao and the Get Down Stay Down will be coming to your town.

DETAILS: All concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. FREE; no reservations Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets and limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis. No outside alcoholic beverages, glass containers, glassware, or chairs permitted.

Parking: $10 per car (cash only); street parking strictly prohibited. Concertgoers must show a parking stub in order to get entry tickets to the concert.

While the doors open at 7pm, you can arrive for a 6:00 p.m. dinner at Zeidler’s Café and full bar service is available during concerts. All Skirball galleries (except Noah’s Ark) are FREE until 10:00 p.m. and the current exhibition is about…

BASEBALL! Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American runs until October 30, 2016 and discusses “people whose contributions to baseball history went far beyond mere batting averages or stolen bases” including Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Fernando Valenzuela, and Ichiro Suzuki. Until September 4, check out “The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings: The Art of Ben Sakoguchi”– “Sakoguchi juxtaposes the iconic imagery of vintage orange crate labels from the 1920s to the 1950s with whimsical, eccentric, and sometimes scathing portrayals of America’s beloved sport.”

This blog post just mentions three music events– there’s also so much more going on out there this sumer including Shakespeare and other performances that include music like “Inanna Re-Strung” which is also tonight July 16 at 8pm at Art City Stone Garden, 197 Dubbers Street, Ventura CA 93001.


The performance re-imagines the Inanna myth through the writings of fourteen authors: Ann Buxie, Marsha de la O, Gaby LeMay, Ricardo Means Ybarra,
Ellen Reich, Hope O’Neil, Jean Colonomos, Judy Brow, Maggie Westland,
Jacqueline Craven, Margaret Dees, Linda Goldenberg and Phil Taggart.
It’s performed by Friday Gretchen, Fernando Albert Salinas, Nancy-Jean Pément,
Jean Colonomos, Judy Brow and Phil Taggart with music by Donna Lynn Caskey.

The $5 admission benefits Art City Studios. Learn more about it in this article from the VC Reporter:

What summer music and other events are you looking forward to attending?

PS If it’s entertaining wine events in LA you’re looking for, Weds 7/20/16 there are two, one with Rhone Valley Wines: A Land of Wines and Festivals and another with Stars of Pinot. I’m going to try to attend both!



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