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Summer Splash | Pop Music / Critic's Pick

May 22, 1997|ROBERT HILBURN

For all the talk about the fickleness of pop audiences, it's amazing how many acts from the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s continue to tour successfully. Some simply get by on nostalgia, but the best move forward with the passion and command of the most relevant new attractions. This summer's lineup includes standouts from different pop decades.

Johnny Cash, who'll be at the Greek Theatre on June 14, has been helping shape country and rock since the '50s, and his recent work with producer Rick Rubin shows that he remains in top form. George Clinton, who has been setting the tempo in funk and R&B since the '70s, brings his P-Funk Allstars to the Universal Amphitheatre on July 30 and 31 as part of a "Smokin' Grooves" bill that also includes vocal sensation Erykah Badu.

Sinead O'Connor--whose confessional style in the late '80s helped open the doors for the likes of Alanis Morissette and PJ Harvey--headlines the Greek Theatre on Aug. 16. U2, on a splendid creative roll since the early '80s, tries to live up to the enormous expectations of its landmark "Zoo TV" tour when its new tour reaches the Memorial Coliseum on June 21 with Rage Against the Machine, an invigorating '90s hard-rock entry. The highly touted Prodigy may give us a peek into the dance-rock scene of the 21st century when it performs at the Mayan Theatre on Wednesday.

And remember: Sleater-Kinney on Tuesday at the Troubadour . . . Me'Shell Ndegeocello on June 2-3 at the House of Blues . . . Emmylou Harris on June 22 at the Coach House and June 25 at the House of Blues . . . the Wallflowers and Fiona Apple on June 28 at the Universal Amphitheatre . . . the Lilith Fair festival with Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Tracy Chapman, others on July 9 at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre.

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