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Show reviews: Refused and The Bronx at The Fonda; Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at 98.7 FM; Sandy Yang, SheKhan, and howardAmb at The Smell

Last week got off to a great start with Monday night’s Refused show at The Fonda. But Friday wasn’t bad, either. I got to attend a free matinee by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at a local radio station and then saw some friends at The Smell. When this particular gig was posted by JSBX on FaceBook a couple of days before, I sent an email to the contact, and actually received an invite to attend the performance at a ClearChannel building in Burbank. Weird but cool, right? The performance took place in a black box of a small room with a cozy stage and a few rows of pillows to sit on, but a full-on mixing board and pro speakers....

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OFF! record release party with FIDLAR and Spider Fever; Cinco de Mayo with Los Lobos, X, and Mariachi El Bronx; Junghaus at Pehrspace

Before starting his set, Keith Morris explained why OFF! wanted to have its eponymous LP release show at the Whisky. Even though the Sunset Strip landmark is now a cheesy venue that seems more concerned with selling drinks to poseurs and T-shirts to tourists than rad shows, it is a symbol of L.A.’s matchless musical history from psychedelic rock like the Doors and Love to first-generation punks the Germs and X to more recent metal shows that even I saw like Guns ‘n’ Roses and Michael Monroe (not to mention touring bands like SNFU, Scream, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, NOFX, and Green Day, as well as the first Descendents reunion shows…). Add to that OFF! Openers Spider Fever seemed...

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Night at the Museum II – Natural History Museum

The LA Natural History Museum isn’t as large as what you might see in NYC, but it does have a First Friday program featuring an open museum and separate admission for the bands who were in this case, Mariachi El Bronx and El Haru Kuroi. Both great bands sporting a Latin flavor. The sound isn’t at it’s best inside of a museum, but the energy was high and the bands played great. Yet, the museum itself is a spectacle. On a first friday you can check it out for the price of admission, but do be careful. $10 parking. Why so high? Perhaps it’s because the museum has been redone and each of the sections I got to see looked...

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