Pop listings: Taylor Mac and Motorbabe are among this weekend’s performers
Picks by August Brown, Mikael Wood and Jessica Gelt.
iHeartRadio Music Awards Even by radio station festival standards, this is a notably mixed bag. Cardi B, Backstreet Boys, Camila Cabello, Maroon 5, DJ Khaled and Charlie Puth are radio staples, for sure. But if they’re disparate, that probably says more about today’s taste- and era-jumping audiences. Forum, 3900 West Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. 5 p.m. Sun. $80-$180.
Lorde Well, she’s certainly seen a diamond in the flesh by now. When Lorde appeared, the idea that drove the young New Zealander’s music was a prideful alienation from the supposedly hollow pageantry of pop culture. In “Royals” she sang about not relating to rappers’ displays of the type of bling she’d glimpsed only in the movies; in “Team” she said she was “over getting told to throw my hands up in the air.” Lorde’s proposition was an effective one — so much so that pop culture welcomed her in spite of her disdain. “Royals” topped Billboard’s Hot 100 and won a Grammy Award for song of the year, while “Pure Heroine,” the singer’s 2013 debut, went triple platinum. Yet the outsider remains a powerful archetype, which is why even superstars like Taylor Swift — who quickly struck up an oft-photographed friendship with Lorde — try to present themselves that way. So on her follow-up album, “Melodrama,” Lorde, 20, still wants us to think of her as someone in a state of opposition. (M.W.) Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa Ave., L.A. 7 p.m. Wed. $39.50 - $99.50. staplescenter.com.
Taylor Mac The show features 246 songs. It’s 24 hours long, split into six-hour chapters. And, yes, you are expected to sit through all six hours. This is theater of the unexpected; it is theater of calamity; it is theater according to the gospel of Taylor Mac. Since the performance artist first staged portions of this delirious piece of experimental theater, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” at Joe’s Pub in New York City in 2011, the show has evolved into an artistic juggernaut and its creator heralded as a perspicacious shaman of the counterculture. In the lobby of the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on a recent afternoon, however, Mac shrugs off the hype surrounding his first tour of the full “24-Decade History.” He’s just a vessel for the art, he insists. The show, in which each hour of music represents a decade, seeks to tell the story of communities built as a result of being torn apart: the defiant triumph of minorities, LGBTQ people, women, the disabled and the chronically disadvantaged over the dominant cultural forces of homogeneity and oppression. (J.G.) Theatre at the Ace, 929 S., Broadway Ave., L.A. 6 p.m. Thurs.-Sat, Next Thurs-Sat. $45-$250. www.acehotel.com/losangeles/theatre
Motorbabe If any group has earned the right to sidle up to Lemmy’s old seat at the Rainbow Bar & Grill, it’s this L.A.-via-Philly-via-Australia trio. “Tribute band” doesn’t do justice to the live-wire ferocity this all-female group trio brings to these songs — it’s more like they took up the mantle of rock’s hardest-living frontman and kept the flame themselves. Try not to lose too much of your beer when guitarist Zebidy Tank takes her solos. With the equally brutal and uncouth metal quartet Gygax. (A.B.) 5 Star Bar, 267 S Main St., L.A. 8 p.m. Sat. fivestarbardtla.com
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