Niki & The Dove

Friday Aug. 31, at 8:30 p.m.

The Echo

Swedish electro-pop trio Niki & The Dove follow the May release of their album Instinct with a North American tour that launches Friday night at The Echo.

Since the group landed on the music scene in 2010, lead vocalist Malin Dahlström has drawn comparisons to Stevie Nicks with her vibrant style and mystic vocals on tracks such as “Tomorrow,” “Somebody” and “DJ, Ease My Mind.” Strong backings from keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf and drummer Magnus Böqvist give the trio a solid sound, even if they don’t quite measure up to the illustrious Fleetwood Mac.

Though the group has yet to gain much popularity in the United States, Niki & The Dove came in fifth place in the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll, suggesting that the budding band is slowly gaining international recognition.

If you’re into the indietronica/electro-pop scene and have been looking for a new artist to spice up your iPod, Niki & The Dove is certainly worth checking out.


L.A. County Fair

Begins Friday, Aug. 31 at 11 a.m

Pomona Fairplex

With the long week ahead, take your time and explore a longstanding L.A. tradition.

Since 1922, the L.A. County Fair has drawn hoards of visitors looking for a belly-filling, fun-loving time.

The fair provides everything one could want for a wholesome weekend: miles of fried food, a zoo’s worth of live animals and, of course, a ferris wheel.

Pig racing and goat milking demonstrations appeal to those looking for a classic fair-going time. Less conventional options include olive oil and wine tastings, tunes from Gwen in Doubt (a Gwen Stefani cover band) and performances by the Chinese Circus of Beijing.

It might be a trip from the USC campus, but when you realize all you can pack into a day, the trip will seem that much more worth it.

Tickets are $12 on weekdays and $17 on weekends.


Street Food Cinema

Saturday, Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Port of Los Angeles, Block Field

Indulge in a food-truck picnic, sway to the retro-sound of musician JD Bender and catch a hilarious flick. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.

You can do it all in one place, too: under the stars at Bloch Field in San Pedro.

This week’s screening, Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, stars ’SC alum Will Ferrell.

And if you’ve missed the summer’s events and can’t make it to Saturday’s festivities, fear not: Street Food Cinema has extended its season to Sept. 22.

General admission tickets are $10.


6th Annual Druid

Underground Film Festival

Saturday, Sept. 1, at 9 p.m.

Historical Monument 157

The Possession. Lawless. The Day. This weekend’s movie releases don’t offer much in the way of the unusual.

So if you’re in the mood for films about bathing cats, experimental police self-defense tapes or the “avant-weird,” take a break from Regal Cinemas and head over to North Broadway for the 6th Annual Druid Underground Film Festival. A $5 festival fee grants movie-lovers access to a screening of a series of shorts by a dozen filmmakers threatening to dominate the underground L.A. scene as well as a wacky hour-long mashup of random, sometimes creepy film clips.

But the festival’s not all about showcasing this year’s cinematic oddities. Legendary filmmakers Damon Packard, John Geary and Danilo Parra will be honored at the festival for their contributions to the world of independent filmmaking.

As DUFF blends comedy, horror and experimental film into one night of bizarre cinema, this weekend provides an escape from the ordinary.