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Dance your L.A. summer away for (almost) nothing

You don't always have to shell out big bucks for good live music. Check out the venues below for a few ideas for an inexpensive night out.

July 07, 2011|By Ramie Becker, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Photo by Joey Maloney
Photo by Joey Maloney

Paying steep prices for concert tickets is such a pre-recession mentality. This summer, the city's cup overflows with free (or practically free) pop, rock and dance music options, no matter what neighborhood or musical genre you call your own. Here's just a taste of the summer's offerings.

Cee Lo Green The voice behind smash hits "Crazy" and "Forget You" gives a free concert for the launch of the new 5 Towers outdoor stage at Universal CityWalk. The venue, decked out with a jumbo video screen and thousands of LED fixtures, will be presenting a host of free pop, rock and Latin music shows in the coming months. See website for a full lineup. Universal CityWalk, 100 Universal City Plaza. Thursday, 8 p.m.

Red Devil Disco For the more adventurous club kids (or kids at heart), the creative team behind Miss Kitty's rolls out its latest night life concoction. DJs Xian Vox, Slash Fiction and Nelstar spin dark disco, electro and underground indie dance tracks, plus gender-bending go-go dance and more. $1 drinks from 9 to 10 p.m. The Dragonfly, 6510 Santa Monica Blvd. Friday, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Free entry before 10 p.m., $7 after. (323) 466-6111.

Afternoon Delight Pool Party House music maven Adam Auburn will be heating up this hip poolside party, along with DJs Roy Davis Jr., West Coast Collective, David Bullock, Zack Hill, Steven Dimitri, Reza Fathali and more. Future parties scheduled for Aug. 20 and Sept 17. Free entry before 3 p.m. with RSVP to Custom Hotel, 8639 Lincoln Blvd. July 16. 1-8 p.m.

Saturdays off the 405 The popular sunset series wraps up with two of L.A.'s best buzz acts. Indie it-band Best Coast plays its signature lo-fi pop on Saturday, and Lord Huron (a.k.a. Ben Schneider) brings experimental folk on July 30. Both shows begin at 6 p.m., with a cash bar, appetizers and 20-minute gallery tours available. J. Paul Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Drive. 6-9 p.m. (310) 440-7300.

Pershing Square Downtown Stage Summer Series Thursday nights at Pershing Square become a hot summer destination, with an eclectic bag of retro favorites including Flock of Seagulls, the Romantics, 10,000 Maniacs, the English Beat and Stan Ridgway. Runs July 16 through Aug. 20. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Free. (213) 847-4970.

Crystal Antlers The band's intense, expansive sound has made rock critics drool, and now the Long Beach crew has hunkered down at the Echo for a weekly residency. Monday nights were made for indie-psychedelia. The Echo, 1822 W. Sunset Blvd. Mondays through July 25. 8:30 p.m. (213) 413-8200.

LA Font Garage rock with pop influence, LA Font fills the niche for those who like indie tunes reminiscent of the mid-'90s. They'll be playing the Silverlake Lounge every Monday in July. Each week features a different set of opening acts, see website for complete lineup. Silverlake Lounge. 2906 Sunset Blvd. Mondays in July. 9 p.m. (213) 908-5344.

No Age The Sub Pop-signed duo take their eccentric style of noise pop/punk to MacArthur Park. Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park. 2230 W. 6th St. July 21, 7 p.m. Free. (213) 384-5701.

Ceci Bastida Fusing Latin-flavored alt rock with politically charged lyrics, Ceci Bastida has developed a big reputation in the Los Angeles music scene. Get to the park early, this cross-culture phenom draws a crowd. Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park, 2230 W. 6th St. July 30. 7 p.m. Free. (213) 384-5701.

March Fourth Marching Band Vaudeville circus meets modern-day marching band in this Oregon-based performance troupe, which brings a "kitchen-sink" mentality to its high-energy shows, combining musical influences that include Fela Kuti and Fleetwood Mac. Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park, 2230 W. 6th St. July 14. 7 p.m. Free. (213) 384-5701.

Tenlons Fort For his first L.A. show in more than a year, Buzz Bands LA Songwriter Night welcomes this contemplative tunesmith, as well as the Sweet Hurt, CMG & We Are the Night, and Paul Layton. For $5, it's a full night of quality song craft. Lot 1 Café, 1533 W. Sunset Blvd. Tuesday. 8 p.m.

Daedelus, Austin Peralta, Teebs Dublab and Brainfeeder Records showcase three artists who stretch the boundaries of electronic-based music. Folk, jazz and world music all play a part in an evening of beat-driven experimentation. Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park, 2230 W. 6th St. Aug. 20. 7 p.m. Free. (213) 384-5701.

Mia Doi Todd L.A.'s own neo-folk songstress drops in to present new material from her latest release, "Cosmic Ocean Ship." Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park, 2230 W. 6th St. Aug. 25. 7 p.m. Free. (213) 384-5701.

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