Last Concert Café has seen its share of weirdness, but the arrival of Bernie Worrell and his funky orchestra may just be the topper. A child prodigy on piano, Worrell is a founding member of George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He's is also known for his contributions to Talking Heads. And as he approaches 70, he's still got the fire in his fingers and that watch-this sense of humor that was such an important element in the Parliament Funkadelic.
Dax Riggs came to public attention through his mid-Nineties metal band Acid Bath. Certainly one of the stranger musical combos ever put together in the swamps of South Louisiana, Acid Bath was a hard-touring unit who built up a cult following, particularly along the Gulf Coast. Led by Riggs, whose voice is as compelling and distinctive as any metal band singer, the band was known for including elements of psychedelia and other styles in its musical mix. Acid Bath disbanded following the death of bassist Audie Pitre.
Few bands have the success story of Syracuse, N.Y.-originated Ra Ra Riot. Formed around Syracuse University in 2006, within six months they were the darlings of college radio, in a year they were the budding stars of the indie rock world.
It didn't hurt that they have these trance-inducing dance beats at the core of their music, and it didn't hurt that they look like scruffy poster children for the generic indie rock band. But the real selling points for Ra Ra Riot's baroque pop are smart songwriting and dramatic performance. The songs are busy yet lush, made so by the staccato violin of Rebecca Zeller and cello by recently departed original member Alexandra Lawn. Vocalist Wes Miles couples pretty boy looks with a rather feminine voice and that combination is definitely moving some records for the band.
Loaded with a ton of rave press -- even a shout-out as the new saviors of rock -- Swedish metal crew Graveyard hits Fitzgerald's Saturday night, paired with another trending band, The Shrine. The double bill promises to be a pleasurable assault on the ear drums.
Touring behind their highly acclaimed third album, "Lights Out," which Rolling Stone magazine describes as somewhere "between Slayer and Howlin' Wolf," Graveyard is rapidly becoming a world wide phenomenon. Festival favorites all across Europe, the band, which only started in 2007, has become a sure-thing sell-out headlining act. Their show Sunday at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles was packed to the rafters. The band counts 65,000 Facebook friends.