Some of L.A.’s Museums Are Putting on Bonkers Summer Concerts, and You Didn’t Even Know About It

As if our cultural institutions could be any cooler
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As the summer months heat up, Los Angeles’ cultural institutions will be extending their visitor hours and lending their spaces to various summer concert series. With dozens of museums and galleries across the city, there’s an overwhelming amount of shows to see. So, consider this your crib sheet: Grab your iPhone, mark your calendars, and start plotting out where you’ll park now.

Broad Summer Happenings

June 25 – September 24, 8:30 p.m., $35

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One of L.A.’s newer cultural institutions has come up with an impressive lineup for their first ever Summer Happenings series. Each night, a multitude of acts across artistic disciplines—from performance art to live music—will present the audience with a visual or aural mirror of one of the Broad’s current installations. The whole thing kicks off June 25, with artists drawing inspiration from Cindy Sherman’s conceptual portraiture on display in her special exhibition Cindy Sherman: Imitation of LifePerfume Genius, a tender singer-songwriter from Seattle anointed with Pitchfork’s award for Best New Album, will play, and feminist performance artist Narcissister will provide masked choreography as performance collective Mutant Salon transforms visitors in a pop-up beauty parlor.

In a particularly Californian view of seasons, the “summer” series runs through late September, wrapping up with a high-octane salute to offbeat rave culture. The much-hyped PC Music affiliated DJ SOPHIE will play his high-saturation bubblegum electronic set as Vessel and Charles Atlas provide lush visuals. Julianna Barwick, Lauren Bousfield and Elysia Crampton will also be on site doling out intellectual electronica.


Disappear Here at the Hammer

July 7 – July 28, 6:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m., free

KCRW DJs and L.A.-based musicians take to the Hammer’s courtyard in celebration of the museum’s biennial Made in L.A. exhibition every weekend in July, but don’t miss July 14: Peanut Butter Wolf, the founder of Stones Throw Records, will pull from his personal collection of laser disc, DVDs, and VHS to create an audio visual set. Native Angeleno TOKiMONSTA (aka Jennifer Lee), the prodigious DJ known for being the first female to join Flying Lotus’ BRAINFEEDER label, closes out the series on July 28 with her blend of indie electronic and R&B. The Hammer’s galleries will remain open until 9 p.m. every Disappear Here night. Add in food and a cash bar, and you’ve got it—wait for it—made in L.A.


After 5 at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

June 23 – July 7, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., free

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Swiss gallery Hauser Wirth & Schimmel only opened its doors in March of this year, but the compound has already managed to orchestrate a string of live music performances punctuated by delicious food and drink. Sip a craft cocktail and eat a Russian hand pie (served out of an airstream trailer, natch) as you watch under-the-radar musical acts. June 30’s Madame Ghandi performance will bring electronic drums and vocals with a feminist tilt—lead musician Kiran Gandh went viral for running the London Marathon sans-menstrual products last year.


Sunset Concerts at the Skirball Cultural Center

July 21 – August 25, 8 p.m., free

This summer is the 20th anniversary of the Skirball’s Sunset Concert Series, which features artists who both honor and elevate traditional folk music. The free, no RSVP required series will lead off with San Francisco-based Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. Led by frontwoman Thao Nguyen, who’s worked with Andrew Bird and performed on Austin City Limits, they mix plaintive lyrics and Thao’s striking vocals atop a grooving beat. Prep for the show by listening to their live session on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic here. On August 11, the eight-piece M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, a New York-based group of Colombian immigrants, will perform their mezcla of psych rock, funk, Caribbean riddim and Afro beat.


Getty: Saturdays off the 405

July 9 – August 27, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. [July 23 show 5 p.m.–9 p.m.], free

The westside institution’s summer lineup is impressive on the whole, but they’re about to get all kinds of rad on July 23. Burger Records—darlings of the DIY scene, champion of the SoCal punk revival—is bringing five of their bands to museum on the hill, and the roster will be split between two stages, festival style. Catch brother duo The Garden (beloved by Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane for their California cool aesthetic) and then rock out with legendary ’90s pop punk duo The Muffs. It’ll be messy and fun, but that’s Burger Records. Give in and mosh a little.

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