Music For Your Weekend feat. Summer Nights and World Festival artists Damian "Jr Gong" Marley, Black Pumas and Pavo Pavo

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Black Pumas Photo by Greg Giannukos

This weekend we’re diving into some artists you can see at upcoming KCRW events (two of them FREE) across all points of Los Angeles. Let’s ride!

Damian “Jr Gong” Marley – “Reach Home Safe”

Yes, mi lion! The weekend is back! And Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, is definitely also back with new music! His newest single features his characteristically poignant lyrics, urging you not to drink and drive for the sake of everyone around you. “Reach Home Safe” has that laid back reggae beat that’ll surely get the party jumpin’ (and everyone will be responsible doing so).

You’ll have a chance to get dem hips swingin’ when Damian Marley hits the stage at the Hollywood Bowl for KCRW’s World Festival on July 7th (along with Third World and Kabaka Pyramid). With the recent advances in cannabis legalization, I believe it’s an understatement to say this show, will BE LIT! But be safe out there!

Pavo Pavo – “Mystery Hour”

One of my favorite Summer Nights series is at the Hammer Museum. I actually had my second gig as a DJ for one, a long, long time ago, in this very galaxy not too far away. This year, the first Hammer show of the season kicks off with Pavo Pavo (July 11th), alongside our very own DJ’s Anne Litt & Dan Wilcox. 

Pavo Pavo’s sound is indie-pop, with some orchestral instrumentation mixed in at times (possibly from members’ Eliza & Oliver’s background in a string quartet). It’s perfectly cool and chill for a Cali summer eve but has enough synths for you to jam out on your Thursday night at the Hammer Museum. 

Black Pumas “Black Moon Rising”

Black Pumas has had quite a rise in their short career. The track “Black Moon Rising” had been circulating for quite a bit around KCRW, but there was some mystery behind this band out of Austin, TX. I’d heard Jeremy Sole & Jason Kramer spin them as far back as April 2018, and I was immediately thirsty for more sounds from this soulful band. Their album finally dropped this past Friday and it is already in my ‘best of pile’ for the end of the year! What hooked me wasn’t just the vintage sounding soul or the emotion and flawless precision of Eric Burton’s voice; but it was the hints of hip-hop breaks & beats that make the sound of the band a true delight.

This past March at SXSW, the entire KCRW crew got a chance to see Black Pumas showcase, and unanimously decided the band was amazing. Enough so that on August 3rd, Black Pumas will be performing at our kickoff Summer Nights event at KCRW HQ’s studio courtyard.

By the way, if you dig this band, check out Adrian Quesada’s other projects. Quesada is a Grammy Award-winning producer/guitarist, whose projects include Grupo Fantasma, Brownout, and a stint as a member in Prince’s band.