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For middle-class blacks, Inglewood is more than a city — it’s a place where the dream of a better future is being put to the test. ERIN AUBRY KAPLAN, however, finds that loving the idea of Inglewood is easier than loving Inglewood itself.

QUARK SOUP: I Think, Therefore I Am — Sorta: MARGARET WERTHEIM on USC’s virtual cyborgs.

MARC COOPER has some advice for Democrats thinking about taking on John Roberts: Fold.

CELESTE FREMON examines the SWAT team’s fatal decision in the case of Suzie.

CHRISTINE PELISEK wonders where the LAPD’s openness is on the Devin Brown shooting.

ERIN AUBRY KAPLAN ponders the state of black L.A.

JEFFREY ANDERSON tells of an upcoming congressional showdown in the case of an FBI whistleblower.

Web Exclusive CHRISTINE PELISEK on the latest police crackdown on the Vineland Boyz.



Joshuah Bearman: Leveraging the Infosphere

Marc Cooper: Blowing up political myths and deceits

Doug Ireland: Analysis from veteran political journalist Doug Ireland

Judith Lewis: Restoring environmental truths and decency

Web Exclusive
Baquet Begins - Updated: Inside the L.A. Times upheaval. By NIKKI FINKE

Web Exclusive
Whip It Good: How To Cure Hollywood’s Summertime Blues, The Sequel by NIKKI FINKE


Joel Stein calls out Pottermaniacs — GENDY ALIMURUNG finds nobody’s listening.

JUDITH LEWIS uncovers bio-bling.

LINDA IMMEDIATO hangs with the hooligans for the Real Madrid match.





GLORIA OHLAND peruses downtown’s Fashion District.

In STYLE, KATERI BUTLER cruises summer street style.

Plus downtown discounts in THE SHOP.


We write, you write...


SCOTT FOUNDAS looks back on the picaresque career of Don Siegel, while Clint Eastwood and other Siegel collaborators remember the late director.

ELLA TAYLOR rocks out with Gus Van Sant’s Last Days.

A review of The Island.


The D-Lister’s Guide to Reality-Show Happiness: ROBERT ABELE talks to Kathy Griffin about putting her own life before the camera.

The Voyeur: GENDY ALIMURUNG on Holiday Reinhorn and her Big Cats.

Also, Bruce Bauman's And the Word Was by ANTHONY MILLER

Music Men: STEVEN MIKULAN reviews Out of Tune and Purlie.

Human Hand: HOLLY MYERS on Margaret Kilgallen’s passion.

High on Fire, drunk on Jack: GREG BURK on metal’s heaviest sludgesters.

SCOTT THILL finds the Silversun Pickups feeling ever so much better.

Jack Nitzsche gets boxed.

10 questions with Brendan Benson.





Any Given Sundae: JONATHAN GOLD on the ice cream revolution.

ASK MR. GOLD about carnivorous cravings.

WHERE TO EAT NOW: Dinner and Drinks Downtown.


>Picks of the Week
>Music Picks of the Week

>Neighborhood Movie Guide

> Crossword

July 22 - 28, 2005





Goldspot at Hollywood & Highland.

The stars aligned for Goldspot recently — after years of tilling the fringes of L.A.’s play-to-your-friends club scene — with the release of their elegantly singable debut album, Tally of the Yes Men. Taste-shaping KCRW DJ Nic Harcourt embraced the disc, and crowds swelled accordingly (tonight’s an outdoor KCRW show, along with local post-punk folkers Earlimart). Gorgeously oblivious to fads and fashion, Goldspot have woven their Cure/R.E.M./Smiths patchwork with threads of exotic melody lingering from main-man Siddhartha’s Indian upbringing. Onstage they rightly bask in the strength of their material, and Siddhartha’s a willing focal point, complete with love-it-or-hate-it affected-eccentric demeanor. And note to bands everywhere: Goldspot reign in the instrumental volume, allowing Siddhartha to examine every nuance of his Buckley/Orbison timbre. 6801 Hollywood Blvd. (323) 467-6412. (Paul Rogers)

Beck, The Decemberists at Pacific Amphitheater.

Guero found Beck making a slight return to his cut-and-paste Dust Brothers roots, but now he’s on tour with a full band — you know, guitars and drums and stuff. Will his enablers make the automated grunge-rock of "E-Pro" grungier? Will they intensify "Missing"’s lighter-than-air fake-Brazilian groove? Will they have to fake the funk that motors "Go It Alone"? As always with this dude, expect the unexpected. Example: his choice of an opener. Portland-based indie-folk big shots the Decemberists probably cling to the pre-digital notion of cutting and pasting; Picaresque, their latest, exudes a handmade charm. Still, they’ve been known to surprise, too: Last time I saw them, they were at least 14 times heavier than I thought they’d be. I mean, for a bunch of librarians. 100 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa. (213) 480-3232. Beck also at Gibson Amphitheater, Fri.-Sat., July 22-23. (Mikael Wood)

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The Go! Team at the Troubadour.

Feeling jaded? Been cutting people off in traffic, or smirking at strangers and cussing under your breath? You need to feel some love, you cynical fuck, you need to let the Go! Team have a go at your soul, and if these six coed Londoners can’t get you moving with the sonic Prozac they throw down, you might as well be a corpse. They look like a high school drill team, but technically they’re a well-greased machine. The Go! Team combine the altruistic power pop of the Jam and the easy soul of the two-tone style with TV-theme-song catchiness and an AM-radio richness — all without a lick of sarcasm, thank God. It’s sunshiny music for people who hate hippies. So put away your brooding indie rock for one night and get down with the Go! Team kids. (Wendy Gilmartin)

Kings of Leon, The Secret Machines, Shout Out Louds at the Wiltern.

Kings of Leon are rock & roll, from their Southern upbringing as an actual band of brothers who mixed religion and alcohol down to their long hair and tight shirts (thrift-store bought, of course). Lead singer Caleb Followill yelps, howls and growls — almost always off-pitch — through Aha Shake Heartbreak, a series of quickies pumped out with pure pleasure and part persistence. Their garage-band archetype, chiming guitar riffs, and lyrics about easy women, hard drugs and quick fame quickly seduce the inner rocker. Teaming up with the Secret Machines, who top off the sounds of Pink Floyd and the beats of Led Zeppelin with distorted riffs and electronic mayhem, the Kings will deliver a night of debauchery and wild ruckus. Even the slightly more sensitive Swedish indie-pop group Shout Out Louds promise a fun prequel. Also Sat. (Katherine Chan)

The Mutaytor at the Henry Fonda Theater.

The collective of musicians, acrobats, fire-eaters and dancers that is the Mutaytor might be akin to a theatrical acid trip onstage, but these people are anything but mindless freaks. Each brings a skill, a dynamism and a drive to the project that make it cohesive and purposeful even while it feels freeform and, yes, a bit freaky in presentation. The 30-piece ensemble, which emerged out of the Burning Man scene, gives you something to look at nonstop, but the musicians also expel some entrancing sounds — persistent tribal beats, looping techno wallops and even rockin’ riff action. Expect an all-new production at this hedonistic gathering, which also features the Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque in a performance called Enchantself and DJ Wolfie’s wild house and breaks mixes. (Lina Lecaro)

Ray Wylie Hubbard, I See Hawks in L.A. at McCabe’s.

Though he’ll forever be remembered for the satirical "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," made famous by Jerry Jeff Walker, legendary Texan Ray Wylie Hubbard — the headiest headneck of the Outlaw Movement — wrote dozens of killer, smart songs. More recently, he’s chosen "to play in the mud," perfected his slide-guitar technique, waxed lyrical about "The Knives of Spain," and cracked wise in the anti-yuppie howler "Screw You, We’re From Texas." I See Hawks in L.A. are our hometown cosmic cowboys; like Ray Wylie, they’re equal parts spiritual seekers and honky-tonk storytellers, creating an American West of honor and wisdom. Does that ethos exist in a time of spilt blood? Did it ever? It does tonight at McCabe’s. (Michael Simmons)

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Zolar X, Ruins Alone, Genghis Tron at the Knitting Factory.

A night of, well, music from beyond the spheres, or something. Silver-Spandexed Zolar X, L.A.’s semi-legendary early-’70s proto-glam punx, beam down after 25 years’ gardening in another galaxy to bring us chuckly Zolarian power pop (hyped as "the missing link between the Stooges and Chrome" — nah, they ain’t that tough). Death-ray ax minister Ygarr Ygarrist is joined by original mates Eon Flash on drums and Ufoian Ufar on bass; great big fan Steve Jones has been playing cuts from Zolar’s new Timeless CD on his radio show, and in return has been promised eternal life. Then there’s ungodly proggy grindcore-ambient-bubblegum from Poughkeepsie’s rather awe-inspiring Genghis Tron, and hey — Japan’s brutal Zeuhl beasts Ruins Alone, on this tour apparently in search of a new bass player; they’ll be joined tonight by Yoshimi of Boredoms. (John Payne)

The Anger Management Tour at Hyundai Pavilion.

Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records camp, Eminem and 50 Cent, have had much financial success (both are platinum-selling) but are, at the same time, the most beef-havin’, Kevlar-wearin’ rappers. Anger Management is a fitting name for this tour, as Eminem has been under attack by Source magazine over his allegedly racist remarks toward blacks. And 50 Cent, who hasn’t been humbled enough from getting shot nine times, has a history of physical scuffles with other rap dudes including his own ex–G-Unit mate the Game, whose homie ended up getting shot by a 50 Cent security member. If only these dudes would stick to the art of rhyme & flow . . . until then, check out badass DJ Green Lantern, ATL crunksters Lil John & the East Side Boyz, D-12 and Obie Trice. (Ben Quiñones)

Darkest Hour, Bleeding Through, Zao at Avalon.

Though not exactly roiling in blackness, Darkest Hour have listened to their share of Cradle of Filth records: Vocalist John Henry bears traces of the larynx-damaged rasp of Lord of the Rings’ Gollum on an amphetamine binge, which makes perfect sense in our gone-to-shit world. The D.C. band’s Undoing Ruin is an airtight matrix of hardcore chug, thrashy speed and technical execution, but — side-stepping the reach-exceeds-their-grasp pitfall — the knotty package’s punishment quotient never flags for a second. Goofy as it sounds, Bleeding Through’s black-metal/hardcore hybrid actually works, rocking gothy synths with headstone-crunching riffs. Zao — formerly one of the most spastic metalcore outfits (throwing in references to Scripture when they could) — have cooled their righteous ire of late, but they’ll suffice for warm-up duties. (Andrew Lentz)

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Femi Kuti, Mos Def, Daara J at the Hollywood Bowl.

The son of Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela (a mantle that must make Rolan Bolan realize how easy he’s got it), 43-year-old Femi Kuti has done his best to keep his father’s legacy alive with a seemingly never-ending groove built around propulsive beats, a tireless bass pulse and his own hard sax spurt. His real talent, though, may be in networking, as he showed on Red Hot + Riot, an excellent (and eclectic) 2002 tribute to Fela that he helped organize. Tonight, Femi reaches out to the irrepressible Mos Def, back to music after his turn in The Hitchhiker’s Guide earlier this year, to emphasize the ties connecting African dance music with American hip-hop, then unbreaks the circle a little more with Daara J, the kinetic rap trio from Senegal. (Mikael Wood)

Megadeth, Dream Theater, Nevermore, Symphony X at Verizon Amphitheater.

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine has heaved his carcass into two punishing tours in less than a year — guess his crippled arm musta visited Lourdes and he’s unretired now. Well, he did sound as if he was copping rock jollies again with last year’s songwriterly The System Has Failed, while proving (as if doubt remained) that he is the band. Plus, he’s got a new greatest hits, and a video package is imminent — hey, raising kids is expensive! Time for him to bury the hatchet and reunite with Metallica. The Gigantour lineup delivers plenty more heaviness, too, like the unblushing theatrical excess of Dream Theater and the ancient-modern power burst of Nevermore (new album this week). But pay attention to the second stage, where New Jersey’s Symphony X takes the soufflé outta prog and substitutes prime meat for a satisfying old-skool repast. Real singing all over this bill; the art is not yet lost. (Greg Burk)

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The Sights at El Rey Theater.

Before the White Stripes and the Von Bondies helped the rest of the world rediscover the fabled lost city of Detroit — you know, back in 1998 — the Sights were a band of high school friends who began messing around with their Motown and ’60s garage-rock influences, just looking for some fun. Like seemingly every other Motor City band, the Sights recorded their first album, Are You Green? (Fall of Rome), at ubiquitous producer Jim Diamond’s Ghetto Recorders, and, without really trying, the Sights were soon stirring up bidding wars and touring heavily. They released Got What We Want in 2002; their self-titled third album, out this year on James Iha’s Scratchie Records, kinda puts the Stripes’ latest to shame. The Sights are working hard for your love, with actual melodies and an easy historicism that’s smart and open-ended, dancing the Small Faces, Beatles, Motown, Zombies, Who and Badfinger into the present day like it ain’t no big thing. Cool. (Kate Sullivan & Falling James)

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Run Run Run at Spaceland.

As you read this, hundreds of bouncy, cheery pop-choppers are descending upon Los Angeles as part of this year’s International Pop Overthrow fest. But you won’t find a lot of bubblegum and smiley faces at this locals-only IPO show. Living and making music in L.A. means even the pretty stuff often has a dark, introspective underlayer. Take Run Run Run. The L.A. quintet blend gorgeous, billowy melodies with the kind of strident, aching instrumentation you might find from a noise-rock combo. Yet the stuff on their latest EP, The Endless Winter, is anything but noise. It’s hook-filled, wistfully seductive and three times more intense onstage. Which goes for everyone on this bill, including the surprise guests (hint: think of a number between one and 90). (Lina Lecaro)

Stevie Nicks at Gibson Amphitheater.

You know that recent Bewitched remake, in which Nicole Kidman portrays a real witch pretending to be a fake witch on TV? What if it turns out that Stevie Nicks is a genuine witch cleverly disguised as a lace-enshrouded singer pretending to be a Welsh witch? The first evidence of Nicks’ magic powers came in the mid-’70s when she and Lindsey Buckingham transformed Fleetwood Mac from a seemingly washed-up British blues-rock warhorse into the definitive purveyors of a dream-dusted soft-rock SoCal sound. Ever since, Nicks has used that distinctive voice, which blends whiskey-throated rawness with a warmly burnished glow, to add a hazy shade of mysticism to her solo albums and ongoing collaborations with the Mac. Whether Nicks is an actual Wiccan or merely playing dress-up — and please don’t burn her at the stake just to find out — her music has an entrancing power that stands out even more during rock’s current state of demystification. Also at Arrowhead Pond, Sun. (Falling James)


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Etta James, Buddy Guy at the Hollywood Bowl.

Los Angeles’ own Etta James is a vernacular tradition bearer of the highest order; her evolution from the growling mid-’50s R&B temptress (who came on like gangbusters with the lascivious romp "Jump With Me Henry" and "Strange Things Are Happening Every Day"’s wild gospel-in-overdrive) to the smoldering ’60s soul vocalist responsible for classics "Sugar on the Floor" and "Tell Mama" was not a matter of osmosis — she directly shaped each idiom with an active hand, and ranks today as the sole survivor of a once-glorious R&B coven. With Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy, who also stands tall as one of the last of his clan, this fabulous pairing is practically a now-or-never proposition. Get it while it’s hot. (Jonny Whiteside)

Nikki Corvette at King King.

School’s out (forever?) and the sun is heating up, which means it’s finally time for some "Summertime Fun" courtesy of the fabulous Ms. Nikki, who brightened the late-’70s Detroit punk scene as leader of Nikki & the Corvettes, belting out some of the giddiest, most exuberant power pop this side of Blondie. After one classic self-titled album in 1980 on Bomp Records (which was an acknowledged influence on the Bobbyteens and the Donnas), Corvette moved to L.A. and successfully resurrected her career a few years ago. She sounds as sweetly pure and (deceptively) innocent as ever on her recent Japanese import CD, Nikki Corvette’s Wild Party — a collection of riotous remakes of her favorite tunes by the Saints, Gen X, Alice Cooper and Wanda Jackson — and tonight’s a rare chance to catch her locally before her upcoming Japanese tour. (Falling James)

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Next Thursday


Black Eyed Peas, Talib Kweli at the Greek Theater.

L.A. hip-pop heavyweights the Peas couldn’t be accused of selling out more virulently than they already are if they played a concert of bowdlerized advertising jingles for rich private-school kids aboard the Goodyear blimp. (Has this happened yet?) But what the defenders of backpacker integrity miss is how much fun the Peas’ records are: Monkey Business, the foursome’s latest, swerves from high-sheen surf rock to chattering fake dancehall to Saturday-afternoon granola disco with very little concern for the ethical consequences. Opener Kweli has faced the hip-hop community’s skepticism, too, for a handful of pop-wise radio jams he’s taken part in since his late-’90s collaboration with Mos Def as Black Star. (Also a factor: opening slots like this one.) But, despite a welcome ear for hooks, he’s a stylish, honest surveyor of the streets. (Mikael Wood)

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