~WORTH THE DRIVE~

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

Brett Dennen California singer-songwriter Brett Dennen looks like he’s 14, but don’t hold that against the 26-year-old. In fact, it’s one of his charms: the guy sounds wise beyond his years. His voice has been compared to Billie Holiday’s, and the stuff he sings about could have come from Woody Guthrie’s songbook. He first emerged on the neo-folk scene alongside such mellow strummers as Jack Johnson and James Blunt, though his main inspirations are, naturally, much older: Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley — the classics. His music has been featured in everything from cable service commercials to Grey’s Anatomy, and he recently toured with John Mayer, expanding his fan base to the point where he can headline places like the El Rey Theater, where he’ll perform on March 29. Just think where he’ll be when he starts to look like he’s in his twenties.

El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 936-6400

~ WORTH THE DRIVE ~

~ WORTH THE DRIVE ~

Antibalas Afrobeat, the Nigerian descendent of James Brown-style funk, was created, perfected and owned by essentially one man: Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. However, the saxophonist-rabble rouser-musical visionary has been dead for 10 years now. So, it has been left to somebody to pick up the torch. His son, Femi, is the logical successor, but Brooklyn’s Antibalas make a strong case for being the heirs to the throne. Not that they’re necessarily after the crown. Their mission statement is to take Kuti’s invention and expand its borders, and on their latest album, Security, the nine-piece collective do just that. Employing producer John McEntire of noted indie experimentalists Tortoise, the band retains its polyrhythmic grooves and political anger but moves them toward a more expansive sonic landscape. At its core, though, Antibalas is a hardcore dance band, just as Afrobeat is hardcore dance music, so shuffle your feet to the Troubadour to catch their set on March 22.

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

Amy Winehouse When UK soul singer Amy Winehouse croons “They tried make me go to rehab/But I said, ‘No, no, no’ ” on her hit single “Rehab,” it isn’t meant to be metaphorical, sarcastic or even funny. It is what really happened. In 2006, her management actually did suggest she check into a rehabilitation facility for what they perceived to be her alcohol abuse. And what did the 23-year-old Endfield, England, native say? Well, it’s right there in the lyrics. The British press has been obsessed with the vocalist’s wild behavior ever since she dropped her jazzy, platinum-selling debut Frank in 2003. But with her followup, Back To Black, receiving major hype stateside, perhaps the rest of the world will focus on what’s truly great about her: her voice. On tracks like the aforementioned single, Winehouse (who is appropriately named) sounds like a Cockney-accented refugee raised in the Deep South. Her music references everything from pop to contemporary R&B and hip-hop to old-school girl groups, with a rebellious and, yes, boozy spirit that is all her own. Welcome the international buzz artist of the young year when she makes her first LA appearances on March 19 and 20 at the Roxy and Spaceland, respectively.

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

El Perro del Mar In English, El Perro del Mar translates to “the Dog of the Sea.” Never mind that the woman with the Spanish alias, Sarah Assbring, is from Gothenburg, Sweden. She claims the name came to her when she was sitting on a beach in Spain, alone and depressed, and was approached by a lone dog that attempted to bond with her. The experience influenced her to become a songwriter, and many of her gorgeous, lilting pop tunes reflect something equivalent to that scene: a little melancholy, but filled with warmth and beauty. She released her first two EPs in her native country, the second of which, 2005’s You Gotta Give To Get, earned her the attention of music fans abroad for its ’60s girl-group style title track. Her American and UK full-length self-titled debut — basically a collection of re-recorded old material — dropped in late 2006 and wowed audiences with its breathtaking charm. Now, the Scandinavian songstress is working up new songs for her suddenly expanded fan base, and will likely play a couple when she performs at the Jensen’s Recreation Center and Hotel Café, both in Los Angeles, on March 13 and 14, respectively.

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

~WORTH THE DRIVE~

Albert Hammond Jr You may know Albert Hammond Jr. as the curly-haired guy with the guitar who stands next to singer Julian Casablancas during Strokes performances. But he wants you to know that he’s more than just a supporting cast member for the conquering Brooklyn hipster quintet. He’s an artist too, dammit. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: His dad is the singer-songwriter with whom he shares a name. And after hearing his debut solo effort, Yours To Keep, you’re likely to wonder why Casablancas is the one writing all the songs on his band’s albums. While Hammond has developed a punchy rhythm and lead style of guitar that is instantly identifiable, the 12 tracks on his debut record are definitely not merely extensions of the Strokes, but melodic, bittersweet pop rock that stand on their own, with or without his famous pedigree. Hammond and his three-piece band follow up a sold out show at the Troubadour earlier this year with a likely-to-sell-out performance at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles on March 6.

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia

    August 22 @ 8:00 am - October 23 @ 8:00 pm
  2. Loni Love Headlines Levity Live

    September 20 @ 7:30 pm - September 22 @ 9:00 pm
  3. 2019 Quilt Rooms and Gardens Tour

    September 21 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  4. 3rd Annual Southeast Ventura County YMCA Reach For The Stars Gala

    September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  5. Premiere Party for “Beyond Function: Fiber, Wood and Clay”

    September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  6. Fundraiser for Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute (CIMWI)

    September 21 @ 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  7. Oxnard National Drive Electric Vehicle (EV) Showcase

    September 22 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
  8. Chamber On The Mountain presents Tomer Gewirtzman, Pianist

    September 22 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  9. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    September 23 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  10. Dancer’s Body Barre

    September 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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