Summer and Music kicks off the tunes with Soul Motion

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soul-motionFrom 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 28, Downtown Long Beach will be flooded by a brilliant line-up of Los Angeles and Long Beach bands so unusual in scope, it has mods talking to rockers.

Soul Motion, among the first of 40 shows featured in downtown Long Beach’s re-vamped Summer And Music (SAM) series, may very well be the only place in So Cal to find The Good Foot stepping on a Vespa accelerator, with each toe twisting to 60s mod power pop and turning to Latin, salsa and soul.

In other words, it’s a sound spread on Pine Avenue so funk-tastic, you’d be inert to miss it — that, and you couldn’t witness Soul Motion’s vintage scooter rally (FREE scooter parking and bike valet!).  

In between sets, DJ Dennis Owens of Long Beach soul institution “The Good Foot” will be spinning selects from the inimitable James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Herbie Hancock and other rarities. The New Fidelity will croon the Vespa-slinging, tunic-loving crowd with mod pop numbers tailored as perfectly as their sharp suits, while The Boogaloo Assassins—rolling 10 strong with a Latin-salsa-soul mix—will bring on a dance frenzy all their own.

And, by dinnertime (at which point you should visit one of Pine Avenue’s many eateries for a patio supper) Jack Johnson’s label, Brushfire Records, has two sweets to conclude your meal: ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra)—known for their floating harmonies and infectious energy—and Money Mark, Beastie Boys keyboardist-turned-boundary-hopping, fly lo-fi pop song writer capable of fusing hip hop, world beat, ‘70s soul-jazz and then some.

The Downtown Long Beach Associates and the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency gave this annual summer music series a face lift for a reason: there is too much incredible local music to ignore. In another show of good behavior, the organizations brought on two local event-savvy music gurus—Justin Hectus (co-founder of Schooled In Song) and Rand Foster (owner of popular Belmont Shore record shop Fingerprints)—to plan this summer of stellar sound.

Soul Motion is one reason to get out of your house on a Sunday night and make someone else do dishes while you catch a show. There are 39 other reasons coming soon. Keep your ear on Long Beach’s Summer And Music festival at

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