Summer IS a time for family gatherings, as celebrating lifelong ties combines with avoiding nosy Uncle Steve's questions at the barbecue. That same familial feeling can extend to seeing live music, especially this season.
Grown-up college rockers can see how R.E.M.'s legacy trickled down at the Hollywood Bowl on May 29, when the band shares a bill with 1990s inheritors Modest Mouse and even younger scions the National. And hip-hop fans can celebrate the longtime bond between chanteuse Erykah Badu and the Roots, June 12 at the Greek Theatre.
Jazz is one of music's most intergenerationally oriented forms, and the Playboy Jazz Festival (June 14-15 at the Bowl) covers much territory. Artists include Poncho Sanchez, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Dee Dee Bridgewater doing her Malian-flavored material and Herbie Hancock.
Country's modern family man, Brad Paisley, shares a bill with Jewel at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine (June 14). Classic rock god Robert Plant and bluegrass royal Alison Krauss trace their kinship lines via material from their 2007 album "Raising Sand" at the Greek Theater (June 23-24).
June is also Old Home Month for L.A. rock fans as Weezer, the Offspring and Motley Crue all release new albums, and on June 24, the reunited Stone Temple Pilots make a stop at the Hollywood Bowl. Crue Fest brings the Sunset Strip legends to the Hyundai Pavilion in San Bernardino, with favorite sons Buckcherry in tow (Aug. 2). And tease your hair again when Poison, Sebastian Bach and Dokken rock the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Citywalk (Aug. 23).
If your family's a bit more fabulous, you have three big chances to party: the resurrected New Wave duo Yaz at the Orpheum (June 8-11), George Michael at the Forum (June 25) and the pride-oriented True Colors tour, headlined by Cyndi Lauper and the B-52s, at the Greek (June 28).
The popular Rock the Bells fest, headlined by "conscious" rap pioneers A Tribe Called Quest, comes to the Hyundai Pavilion (Aug. 9). And Radiohead -- the Internet generation's Grateful Dead -- will soothe and uplift the Southland at the Hollywood Bowl (Aug. 24-25).
For those who'd rather try something new, the El Rey has dreamy L.A. rockers Low vs. Diamond (May 18) and French-Israeli chanteuse Yael Naim (June 24). And in shows that will probably mix nostalgia with moments of pondering its foibles, the incomparable Randy Newman plays with the L.A. Philharmonic during "A Ball at the Bowl With the L.A. Dodgers," (July 2-4).