Pop & Hiss

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Levitt Pavilion's unexpectedly rad summer season in MacArthur Park starts Wednesday

July 7, 2009 |  5:50 pm


If you can't muster the yupster energy to procure the Camembert for a night at the Hollywood Bowl this summer, MacArthur Park's Levitt Pavilion is starting its summer season Wednesday night with a set from the Miami Latin pop singer Gabby Villanueva. There's a lot to like about the series -- it's always free, there are usually five shows a week, and it's a quick jaunt to one of my favorite bars in Los Angeles.

But the lineup this year has a few especially interesting bookings. The rock violinist (and known ripper) Lili Haydn plays Thursday, modern bluegrass bigwig Jim Lauderdale plays on the 18th, I See Hawks in L.A. and the Chapin Sisters do sly California country on Aug. 1, and the freakily inviting San Francisco Brazilian band Bat Makumba rolls in on Aug. 28.  There are also loads of Latin pop acts that I, in a shortcoming as a critic, need to learn much more about, but really, any night is worth taking a chance on and helping yourself to a street cart paleta or a Mama's Hot Tamale.

-- August Brown

Photo: Chapin Sisters, by Theo Allen