Arts And Culture

Late night series at the Natural History Museum combines science, live music

Jan. 3, 2013, 12:19 p.m.

Friday January 4 marks the first night of First Fridays at the Natural History Museum. (Credit: NHM)

Starting this Friday, Expo Park's Natural History Museum is launching First Fridays (FF) -- the monthly after-hours series that combines DJs and live music with scientific discussion and late night tours of the museum.

In celebration of the museum's centennial this year, FF will be focusing on the past (and upcoming) 100 years of science.

"One hundred years ago the income tax was created, Igor Stravinsky’s 'The Rite of Spring' caused a riot in Paris, Henry Ford opened the first 'moving' assembly line, and the first prize was placed in a box of Cracker Jacks. And, 100 years ago, the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NHM) was born," according to a statement from the museum.

For one Friday a month until June, the NHM stays open until 10 p.m. with programming designed for "audiences of all ages" -- including an array of indie bands, tours of the museum and forums about topics ranging from earthquakes to fossils and the periodic table. Although FF takes place against a backdrop of science, the event typically draws crowds because of the musical talent it brings in.

The evening is presented by public radio and music station KCRW and the bands are booked by Spaceland Productions' Liz Garo -- who also books bands for Echo Park nightclub the Echo/Echoplex as well as a musical series at the Getty Museum.

This year's FF musical line-up includes the The Gaslamp Killer, Lord Huron and Justin Gage. The series kicks off January 4 at 5 p.m. with music in the DJ lounge, a beer and wine bar and food trucks. Museum tours begin at 5, 5:30 and 6 pm and the scientific discussion titled “Digging Snowmastodon: Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies,” begins at 6:30 p.m. Bands begin at 8 p.m. and go for about two hours.

Tickets for solely the museum portion of the evening are $12; admission to the museum and concert is $18. Pre-sale concert tickets are sold out for tomorrow's show but will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the door.

This is the ninth year the museum has hosted this after-hours series. Last year's performances included those by Mariachi El Bronx, Zola Jesus and Moving Units.

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