MONDAY, May 6, 2019 / 9:30-11 p.m. / The Downtown Independent
A poignant, unflinching slice of British-Jamaican street life, Franco Rosso’s “Babylon” premiered at Cannes in 1980, but was never released in the U.S. and received an X-rating in the U.K. for being too controversial.
Co-written by Martin Stellman (“Quadrophenia”) and shot by two-time Oscar winner Chris Menges (“The Killing Fields”), the film follows a young South London DJ, played by Brinsley Forde, frontman of reggae group Aswad, as he tries to get by while battling racism and xenophobia on a daily basis.
The film’s tension is tempered by the dancehall scene’s smokey euphoria and a great score by Dennis Bovell.
Award-winning master illusionist Helder Guimarães is known for his unique approach to sleight-of-hand magic and storytelling. His one-man-show “Invisible Tango” promises mind-blowing illusions as Guimarães explores the place for mystery in the modern world.
The show is directed by legendary film producer and director Frank Marshall — he’s worked on “Jurassic World,” “Indiana Jones,” “Goonies” and “Back to the Future” — and features original music by Moby.
“The audience is going to experience an intimate, symbiotic relationship between the sounds and the visuals, and not one sense will be left to its own devices,” Moby says.
WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 / 8-11:30 p.m. / Palace Theatre
FKA Twigs just released “Cellophane,” her first solo material in more than three years. Twigs’ only full-length studio album, “LP1” was released back in August 2014, followed in 2015 by the “M3LL155X” EP. After extensive world touring, a health-scare in 2017 led to the removal of six fibroid tumors from her uterus, putting her music career on pause.
The artist admits the ordeal shook her confidence to so much that she wasn’t sure she would ever perform again. After some time and immersion in dance, particularly pole-dancing, Twigs got her groove back and is set to reveal new music in a handful of shows, including two nights at the Palace Theatre.
THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 / 7-9 p.m. / Bootleg Theater
Comedians Mitra Jouhari, Catherine Cohen and Patti Harrison host a night of laughs dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of “guy stuff.” They have put together a yet-to-be-revealed lineup of local comedians to impart their wisdom on the subject so the gals can fulfill their life-long dreams of fitting in with others.
This mighty triumvirate of ladies may have trouble navigating the brains of men, but their comedic creativity is getting them noticed.
Cohen is in town visiting from New York. She’s appeared on the most recent seasons of “High Maintenance” and “Broad City,” and soon will share the big screen with Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae in Michael Showalter’s feature film, “Lovebirds.” L.A.-based Harrison has been described as “upsettingly funny.” She too has appeared on “High Maintenance,” as well as “Shrill” and several shows on Comedy Central. Last but certainly not least, Jouhari is a writer and performer living in Los Angeles where she writes for “Big Mouth” on Netflix. Adult Swim recently picked up a pilot from her sketch group, “Three Busy Debras.”
Todd Rundgren’s concert tour revolves around his recently released autobiography, “The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams and Dissertations.” The book documents his life and career up until his 50th birthday with 200 pages worth of anecdotes, encounters and photos. The concert setlist sticks to hits and deep cuts from this time frame, which runs through 1996, and even includes a few tunes by his late-’60s psych band, The Nazz.
Rundgren broke into the mainstream with his 1972 double-LP “Something/Anything?” on which he played all instruments, sang all vocal parts and served as producer. That album’s hit singles “I Saw the Light” and “Hello It’s Me” both remain staples of classic rock radio.
However, Rundgren cannot be pigeon-holed into any one category. He’s constantly experimented with music genres throughout his career, and his influence is felt in many varieties of pop and rock music. He’s also produced records for Meat Loaf, Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, XTC, Grand Funk Railroad and Hall & Oates. His 1982 smash “Bang The Drum All Day” is as ubiquitous a tune as they come, heard everywhere from commercials to movies to sports arenas. He might not play it. Allegedly, he is over that one.
After debuting along the 10 freeway at this year’s Desert X biennial, Chemehuevi artist Cara Romero’s billboard-size portraits will make their way to Santa Monica for Indigenous Now, a day-long celebration of art and performance by indigenous artists. This year’s theme is “Kuuyam,” the Tongva word for “guest.”
Attendees are encouraged to wander Tongva Park’s six acres for encounters with Romero’s photographs, as well as a new sculptural installation by artist-activist L. Frank, dance-rituals by Santa Fe’s Dancing Earth and music by singer-songwriter Kelly Caballero and rapper Jessa Calderon.
Indigenous Now kicks off Santa Monica’s 6th Annual Art in the Parks, a summer-long series of free art installations and performances scattered around the city’s parks.
SUNDAY, May 12, 2019 / 7:30-10 p.m. / Largo at the Coronet
2012 was tough for comedian Tig Notaro. Pneumonia turned into a life-threatening intestinal infection followed by breast cancer and a double mastectomy, a bad break-up and the sudden death of her mother. In processing her experiences through humor she not only healed herself but also made a huge impact when her stand-up set went viral. In addition to several specials on Netflix and HBO, the two seasons of her semi-autobiographical TV show on Amazon, “One Mississippi,” are worth binging immediately.
This year, Notaro decided to turn her monthly appearance at comedy club Largo at the Coronet into a talk show. “Tell Me Everything” revolves around candid one-on-one interviews with her favorite, generally humorous, friends. So far she’s hosted Olivia Munn, Cheryl Hines and Laura Dern, and tonight Notaro interviews Alia Shawkat, best known for playing Maeby Fünke on “Arrested Development.”