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Santa Monica’s Free Pier Concert Series Kicks Off This Week

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark


Rusty's Surf

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Jorge Casuso

July 8, 2013 – The 29th annual Twilight Concert Series on the Santa Monica Pier kicks off Thursday with the Florida alt-rock band Surfer Blood and closes out near summer’s end with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Cliff.

Along the way, the ten-week concert series that attracts tens of thousands to the iconic pier will offer a punk duo, an Australian one-man band, roots music, beach gothic, boogaloo, reggae and plenty of fusion in between.

The free series “will again present free concerts across the musical spectrum drawing an audience as diverse as the acts onstage,” Santa Monica tourism officials said.

“Join the crowd that stretches from the Pier deck to the beach and beyond as the Santa Monica Bay’s gorgeous summer days blend into enchanting evenings of family, friends, music and magic.”

Following is this year’s schedule:

July 11 –Surfer Blood, an alt rock band from Palm Beach, Florida, mixes “lo-fi clangor, glo-fi harmonies, punchy retro-garage concision, (and) never-out-of-style classic rock songcraft,” writes Pitchfork. Opening is the alt-rock band Terraplane Sun.

July 18 – Singer-songwriter, rapper and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, who has been nominated for ten Grammys, is a pioneer of the neo-soul movement. Los Feliz rock band The Record Company will be the opening act.

July 25 – LA-based punk duo No Age creates a noisy experimental rock that is hummable. The show opens with Southern California garage rockers the Tijuana Panthers.

Aug. 1 – Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Xavier Rudd is a one-man band that mixes Western and indigenous instruments to convey a socially-conscious message. Aus Rocks Us will open the show.

Aug. 8 – LA musician Hanni El Khatib incorporates doo-wop, blues and garage sounds to create songs he says are for anyone who has ever been shot or hit by a train. The opening act is Bombino, the internationally acclaimed Nigerian Tuareg guitarist and songwriter.

Aug. 15 – Formed in Birmingham, England in 1978, The English Beat fuses ska with pop, reggae, soul and punk and have toured with R.E.M., David Bowie and Talking Heads, among others. Opening are Maxwell Smart & Rusty’s EAC.

Aug. 22 – LA singer-songwriter and producer Nick Waterhouse creates a sound with roots in Rhythm & blues, jazz, and soul. Opening act the Boogaloo Assassins recreate the boogaloo craze that swept East Harlem and Latin countries in the 60s.

Aug. 29 – Trombone and trumpet player Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue mix jazz, funk and rap to create a new kind of New Orleans sound. The Venice-based roots and jazz collective Dustbowl Revival opens the show.

Sept. 5 – Hailing from Santa Barbara, Gardens & Villa can make even the mountains and ocean seem claustrophobic with a sound that is “ideal for summertime strolls through a cemetery,” writes Pitchfork. Opening the show is Mr. Little Jeans, a.k.a. Monica Birkenes, whose pop dances mix nature and electricity.

Sept. 12 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Cliff helped popularize raggea with such classics as “The Harder they Come,” also the title of the film he starred in. East LA’s The Delirians open the show with their mix of traditional Jamaican music and barrio soul, funk and R&B.

The Thursday night concerts will be emceed by DJs from 89.9 FM KCRW, the media partner for the Twilight Concert Series.

Concertgoers are encouraged to take the Big Blue Bus. Parking will be available in the lot north of the pier at 1550 Pacific Coast Highway, however parking on the Santa Monica Pier deck will be closed.

The City of Santa Monica will provide a free bike valet, stationed on the beach next to the bicycle path on the south side of the pier.

More information about the Twilight Concert Series can be found at

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