YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

BEST BETS: Friday 7/26

July 25, 2002

8pm Pop Music

Ben Kweller has fronted a punk band, Radish, which put out a major-label album, then disbanded. Then he released a self-produced solo album ("Freak Out, It's Ben Kweller" in 2000) and an EP. Recently, he signed a deal as a solo artist with the indie label ATO Records. And he still hasn't turned 21. The musician, born in Greenville, Texas, and based in Brooklyn, N.Y., visits the Southland this week, performing songs from "Sha Sha," his new album, filled with melodic pop hooks and running stylistically from proto-punk to country-tinged rock.

Ben Kweller, the Roxy, 9009 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. With My Morning Jacket and Pony League. 8 p.m. $10. (310) 278-9457.

all day Movies

He's the man, the man with the Midas ... ahem, he's "Austin Powers in Goldmember." Actually, he's Mike Myers, who plays Austin Powers. And Dr. Evil. And any number of other characters as the spy spoof makes its third time-travel trip. Beyonce Knowles of Destiny's Child and Michael Caine join the usual suspects for the transition from swingin' '60s to funky '70s.

"Austin Powers in Goldmember," rated PG-13 for sexual innuendo, crude humor and language, opens Friday in general release.

all day Movies

"Happy Times" is a comedy about a lonely Chinese bachelor who at long last finds love but becomes desperate for the money to pay for an elaborate wedding. Directed by Zhang Yimou, whose historical epics, such as "Red Sorghum," "Raise the Red Lantern" and "Shanghai Triad," established him as a director of international reputation, the film is a bittersweet portrait of old-fashioned mores coming into conflict with modern entrepreneurship. Zhao Benshan, Li Xuejian and Dong Jie star.

"Happy Times," rated PG for thematic elements and language, opens Friday in selected theaters.

8pm Poetry

Poet Richard Anthony Dedeaux was once quoted as saying, "There are no mistakes in poetry." There's certainly no mistaking the original sound of three of the first voices to rise out of the ashes of the 1965 Watts riots--the Watts Prophets. Wordsmiths Father Amde Hamilton, Otis O'Solomon and Dedeaux will appear at C. Bernard Jackson's Legacy Tribute as part of the Grand Performances summer series. These performance poets, who began long before rap was popularized, took the tragedy of their times, fused jazz to their message and continue to update and incorporate thought-provoking social commentary in their presentations.

The Watts Prophets, Grand Performances, California Plaza Watercourt, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A., 8 p.m. Free. (213) 687-2159.

8pm Music

More than 30 local music makers performing over a two-night period make up the lineup at Earjam III, a sampling of "eclectic aural resonances" produced by Julie Adler and Jacki Apple. Among the many Friday performers are Ronit Kirchman, Vinnie Golia, Jacqueline Humbert, Many Axes (Susan Rawcliffe, Brad Dutz and Scott Wilkinson) and Wayne Peet.

Earjam III, Furious Theatre at Armory Northwest, 965 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, 8 p.m. $12; $20 for two nights. (323) 662-4683. Also Saturday, 8 p.m.

10pm World Music

Mali's venerated Super Rail Band returns to the Southland this weekend. After a decade-long hiatus, the band toured the U.S. last year and produced a string of enthusiastically received concerts. As one of the early practitioners of Afro-pop from the West African country--singer Salif Keita was once a member--Super Rail Band offers an intoxicating stew of Cuban jazz, American blues and rock and West African rhythm, all topped by the brilliant guitar work of Djelimady Tounkara.

The Super Rail Band, Conga Room, 5364 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 10 p.m. $18 to $45. (323) 938-1696. Also Saturday with Amadou and Mariam at California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A., 8 p.m. Free. (213) 687-2159.

8:30pm Music

Gershwin returns to the Hollywood Bowl, again, for two weekend performances showcasing vocalist Audra McDonald and pianist Kevin Cole. David Alan Miller conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the program is familiar: excerpts from "Porgy and Bess," "An American in Paris," "Rhapsody in Blue" and other hummable songs.

L.A. Philharmonic and soloists, Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 8:30 p.m. $3 to $90. (323) 850-2000. Also Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Times Articles