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January 05, 2006



Mehta is back with L.A. Phil

Zubin Mehta returns to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Bruckner's awe-inspiring Eighth Symphony and Prokofiev's Janus-faced First Violin Concerto. Bruckner's symphony was described in Promethean terms in a program note at the 1892 premiere, but Vienna's leading music critic of the day, Eduard Hanslick, ridiculed the idea. Hanslick's opinion has failed the test of time. Prokofiev's concerto looks back to Romanticism in its outer movements and forward to aggressive 20th-century modernism in the third. Violinist Lisa Batiashvili will be the soloist.

Los Angeles Philharmonic, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., L.A. 8 tonight. $15 to $129. (323) 850-2000;

* Also 11 a.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.


Some dirt with reggae

They play a hybrid of punk and funk called "Dirty Reggae," which also served as the title for the debut album by the Aggrolites. Now the Los Angeles quintet is working on the follow-up, for release later this year on Epitaph-affiliated Hellcat Records. The working-class, jumpsuit-clad crew kicks off the new year with a headlining show (supported by proto-punks Left Alone and Spider) that figures to be heavy on danceable, shout-along anthems.

The Aggrolites, House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 7:30 tonight. $13. (323) 848-5100.


A birthday improv

After a year that found local hero Nels Cline earning some long overdue national exposure as the newest member of Wilco, the intrepid guitar explorer celebrates his and twin brother Alex's 50th birthday with two nights of improvisational mayhem. Tonight is slated to be a duo of Cline and his equally gifted percussionist brother, while Friday's roster of special guests reads like a who's who of West Coast underground jazz.

Nels & Alex Cline, Club Tropical, 8641 Washington Blvd., Culver City. 8 tonight. $10. (310) 559-1127;

* Also 8 p.m. Friday.



French gangsters

Claude Sautet's 1960 gangster saga "Classe Tous Risques" received a minimal U.S. release the first time around, and in a dubbed version called "The Big Risk" at that. Lino Ventura, seen as a heavy in recent revivals such as Jacques Becker's "Touchez-pas au Grisbi" and Louis Malle's "Elevator to the Gallows," took on a leading role here, playing a French thug on the run in Italy working his way back to Paris. Jean-Paul Belmondo also stars. Viewed as a bridge between eras, the film is now seen as a classic example of the French gangster genre.

"Classe Tous Risques," unrated, opens Friday at Landmark's Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A., (310) 281-8223.


The last of the First

This month's First Fridays concludes the Natural History Museum's winter series of nighttime events featuring round-table discussions, dance, film, fashion and musical performances focusing on the museum's exhibition "Collapse." Highlights include TreePeople founder Andy Lipkis and former United Nations task force member Jagmohan Maini in a discussion about conservation efforts, along with entertainment by taiko drumming group On Ensemble, DJ Mr Riddims, click.BOOM, musicians Eleanor Academia, the Black Swan and Rikki Rockett.

First Fridays at the Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. $15. (866) 468-3399.



A skewed viewpoint

Stan Ridgway has been spinning his yarns in one form or another for a good 2 1/2 decades, starting with Wall of Voodoo in the early '80s and continuing through his solo work and his periodic side project Drywall. The latter has its third album, "Barbeque Babylon," ready to roll, so fans might expect a preview of some of its bent narratives (like the one about the day they buried the Pope, and the midlife-crisis mantra "The AARP Is After Me") when the singer hits the stage.

Stan Ridgway, Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 8 p.m. Saturday. $15. (949) 496-8930.

* Also 7 p.m. Sunday at McCabe's, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. $16. (310) 828-4497.


'4 Hands,' dreams of stardom

Two actors play multiple characters -- and two pianos -- in Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt's musical comedy, "2 Pianos 4 Hands," tracing the 15-year saga of two young musicians hoping to attain their dreams of concert pianist stardom. With Richard Carsey and Tom Frey.

"2 Pianos, 4 Hands," Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Opens 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $20 to $59. (949) 497-2787.* Runs 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Exception: 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 19. Ends Feb. 5.


Musical comedy

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