Rock Picks | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Loading...

Rock Picks 

For the week of June 7 - 14

Wednesday, Jun 6 2007
Comments
{mosimage}THURSDAY, JUNE 7

The Tennessee Three at Safari Sam’s

If, for whatever reason, you were a stupid-enough foot-dragger that you never saw Johnny Cash perform, then a brief explanation as to why this show is notable may be in order; on the other hand, for those who made the gigs, you already know that the Tennessee Three are one of the hard-hitting-est, deep-rolling-est and all-around knocked-out greatest little combos anyone ever put together. When W.S. Holland is on the riser, baby, you’re living right: He’s the Rat Scabies of Sun Studio, the cat who drove Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” breakout, a drummer of such fiery, complex ability that the ornery old bugger beggars description. With guitarist Bob Wootton taking the lead and a collective head full of country’s most dire and distinctive music, the Tennessee Three is, in a word, it. (Jonny Whiteside)


Unsane at Spaceland

Despite a name that sounds like a generic Sunset Strip band, Unsane are an awesome force of anti-nature, cranking out slabs of terror that are much heavier than mere metal. The NYC trio crawled out of the Lower East Side scene in 1989 alongside fellow post-noise saboteurs the Reverb Motherfuckers and Helmet, amping up the chaotic volume of early Sonic Youth and Unsane drummer Vincent Signorelli’s old band the Swans with their own fearsome intensity. Their new CD, Visqueen (Ipecac), is weighed down with doomy tempos and thick, terminally sludgy riffs. Chris Spencer’s octave-straddling guitar soars majestically over the beginning of “Only Pain” before it’s dragged inexorably back down into the pervasive quicksand. “It’s all the same,” he howls in grim resignation. On such cliché-prone songs as “Last Man Standing” and “Against the Grain,” Spencer doesn’t have anything new to say lyrically, but it doesn’t matter as his ragged judgments are buried under the density of his bending, fun-house-mirror guitars and Dave Curran’s muscular bass. The psychedelic epic “East Broadway” sounds like it was recorded beneath a rattling subway train, although most of these savagely cathartic tracks end abruptly, just like this paragraph. (Falling James)


Kaiser Chiefs at Henry Fonda Theater

If you’re like this die-hard Supergrass fan, you look at every Bloc Party/Franz Ferdinand/Art Brut upstart who walks through the Virgin American terminal at LAX with great suspicion. How dare you? You with your tight striped pants, your suede fringe vest and your ridiculous mutton chops! Nobody slices and dices power-pop with hooks from heaven and choruses written for the ages as well as the greenery-loving Oxford trio. Kaiser Chiefs deserve to be at the head of the class for tight, thrilling pop songs crafted with as much professionalism as the Jam. Lead singer and cowbell-ringer Ricky Wilson pulls off the charming “Every Day I Love You Less and Less” and makes us love him more and more. Here’s a tip: Wilson’s actually singing “I Predict a Riot” not “I’ve Got Tourette’s” on their 2004 single. (Libby Molyneaux)


Also playing Thursday:

GIRL IN A COMA, THE RANDIES
at Alex’s Bar; STEEL PULSE at the Canyon; MICE PARADE, TOM BROSSEAU at the Echo; THIRD WORLD at Key Club; DJ SHEPARD FAIREY at Knitting Factory; PEACHFUZZ, THE SHAKES, THE SCANDELLS at the Scene; MAE SHI, ANAVAN, KEVIN SHIELDS at the Smell; MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO at Temple Bar; LET’S GO SAILING, BEDROOM WALLS at the Troubadour.



{mosimage}FRIDAY, JUNE 8

Cesaria Evora at the Orpheum Theatre

There is a grand, rueful sadness underlying the morna music of Cape Verde chanteuse Cesaria Evora, even on the more uptempo, danceable songs on her latest CD, Rogamar. “Um Pincelada” weaves with violin and laid-back acoustic guitars as Evora’s restrained melody sails along, free of diva-ish over-emoting and melodrama. Bird-like flutes flutter around Evora’s serene phrasing on “Avenida Marginal,” whereas “Africa Nossa” percolates with percussive flourishes. The title song is also bright and festively breezy, whereas “São Tomé na Equador” is a spare, piano-flecked ballad, a hypnotic interlude before the beat picks up again. Another highlight is “Mar Nha Confidente,” in which she shares her romantic disappointment with the ocean as string-section tides rise and fall behind Evora’s pleas. The sea returns as an almost sentient presence in “Amor e Mar,” in which love and the ocean blend together while soulful harmonies console the Barefoot Diva. It’s all very tranquil and quietly mesmerizing. 842 S. Broadway. (213) 480-3232. (Falling James)


Morrissey at the Hollywood Bowl

The patron expat of Los Angeles, beloved even after relocating to Italy (did it have anything to do with the World Cup?), will have a none-more-victorious reinstatement tonight as he graces the Hollywood Bowl for a second time. It’s been 15 years, five albums and a couple of massive lawsuits — spectacles teeming with “evil legal eagles,” “accountants rampant,” “lawyer liar” et al as recounted in one song too many. Back then, Moz was cresting on the glam-racket Your Arsenal toward the career-best dizzy heights of Vauxhall and I. Now more adversarial than ever, a barrel-chested raconteur backed by an ever-expanding band of slick-hair anonyms, Morrissey is positively regal. Age may stop him from kicking anyone in the eye these days, but Moz’s big mouth still strikes. There’ll probably be a sour couplet here and a clunky tune there (please, please, please, no “Alma Matters”), but, crooning the glorious miseries of shut-in souls, amber-gold guitars jangling along, Morrissey remains the tormented ringleader to beat. (Bernardo Rondeau)


Also playing Friday:

CHRIS CORNELL, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, SILVERSUN PICKUPS
at Ventura Fairgrounds, 3:30 p.m.; FURIOUS FIVE, GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL & SCORPIO, SUGAR HILL GANG at Honda Center; REV. HORTON HEAT, DEADBOLT, CHARLEY HORSE at Queen Mary; REBEL REBEL at Anarchy Library; JOEY ALTRUDA, SAL CRACHIOLO at Bordello; RAVEONETTES ELECTRIC DUO, MIDNIGHT MOVIES, PITY PARTY at the Echo; DIPLO at Echoplex; IMA ROBOT, LOS ABANDONED at House of Blues; JON BRION at Largo; GLEN PHILLIPS, WATKINS FAMILY, GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS at the Roxy; ATOMIC SHERPAS at Taix; QUINTO SOL at Temple Bar; STEEL PULSE at Hollywood Park.



{mosimage}SATURDAY, JUNE 9

Joan Jett at L.A. Pride Festival at West Hollywood Park

When the Runaways disbanded in 1979, singer-guitarist Joan Jett was already considered washed up at the age of 19. Undeterred by the terminally sexist music industry and often-condescending media critics, she reinvented herself with a solo career that soon produced such classic anthems as “Bad Reputation” and “I Love Rock ’N Roll,” which was a No. 1 hit in 1982. With a sound that draws equally on glitter, punk and bubblegum, her music attracts an unusually diverse range of fans. Like Cheap Trick, she has the ability to cross over into the mainstream without being considered a sellout. How many other rock stars would have been hip (and prescient) enough to produce the Germs’ G.I. album in 1979 and star alongside Michael J. Fox in the 1987 film Light of Day — without losing her credibility? Her 2006 CD, Sinner, is a typically unpretentious affair with no-nonsense rockers like “Naked” and a juiced-up cover of Sweet’s “A.C.D.C.,” and she opens up her big, bad black heart with a touching version of the Replacements’ ode to freaks of all genders, “Androgynous,” the perfect theme song for this weekend festival. Sunday’s lineup includes Jett’s thrilling new pop-punk protégées Girl in a Coma. 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., W. Hlywd. www.lapride.org. (Falling James)


Also playing Saturday:

U.S. BOMBS, JAMES INTVELD, JAKE LA BOTZ
at Queen Mary; ONESIDEZERO, VOKEE at El Rey Theatre; O’JAYS at Greek Theatre; CHANNEL 3, SMOGTOWN at Blue Cafe; LOS LOBOS at the Canyon; JON BRION at Largo; GHOST MACHINISTS, KIND HEARTS & CORONETS, 8-BIT at Mr. T’s Bowl; SUKI EWERS, BEDROOM WALLS at Pehrspace; YOHIMBE BROTHERS at Temple Bar; BEN VAUGHN'S DESERT CLASSIC at Brennan’s Pub.



{mosimage}SUNDAY, JUNE 10

Cansei de Ser Sexy at Henry Fonda Theater

If Pippi Longstocking were a real girl (and she basically is — witness any trust-funded scenester babe with a weird sense of humor), Cansei de Ser Sexy would be her No. 1 band. Made up of five brunette she-foxes and one furry dude, C.S.S. are a Brazilian-bred parade float of DIY good times. The music sounds like it was conceived on the kitchen floor from toy-box detritus, as rakishly scrappy and outlandishly envisioned as any 4 a.m. alcohol-cyclone-inspired communal art project. What emerged on their self-titled 2006 record is primitive caffeine electro (sung in Portuguese and nascent English) that’s totally disposable, mostly crappy and sometimes perfect (at least three songs on the record have spent time as the jam). The band’s raison d’etre of wicked-sexy aggressive fun-ness is intended not for shit records but for heaving rooms of sweat-bombs. Viva Brazil. (Kate Carraway)


Also playing Sunday:

HACIENDA BROTHERS, JOE WOODS
at Queen Mary; TIFFANY, BEBE BUELL BAND, THE MOTELS, GIRL IN A COMA, THE RANDIES at West Hollywood Park, 1:30 p.m.; DENGUE FEVER, YOHIMBE BROTHERS, OZOMATLI at California Plaza, 3 p.m.; CHROME at the Echo; VARUKERS, NAKED AGGRESSION, FRESAS at Knitting Factory; JONNEINE ZAPATA at Molly Malone's; MIA DOI TODD at Tangier.



{mosimage}MONDAY, JUNE 11

The Pipettes at the Troubadour

Not since some mop tops sang “Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees” has a group made their own name sound so gleeful as these three bubbly Britons known as the Pipettes. “We are the Pipettes/And we’ve got no regrets/If you haven’t noticed yet/We’re the prettiest girls you’ve ever met.” How can you not love that? Especially when the sound is every bit as Wall of Sound–ish as anything that ever came out of Spectorville. The Pipettes may cite the Shangri-Las, the Crystals and the Ronettes as inspiration, but they are also a relation to Lush, Bis and Bananarama for their energy — set on high breeze. RiotBecki, Gwenno and Rosay are joined live by the four-piece Cassettes. “Pull Shapes” is the song of the summer. If you haven’t heard it, slather on the sunscreen first and get ready to catch their wave. (Libby Molyneaux)


U.S. Bombs, The Stitches, Smogtown at Safari Sam’s

Over the decades, the term punk rock has been used and abused, stretched and expanded to mean so many contradictory things that the phrase has — like the word hippie — lost almost all of its original meaning. These days, punk rock is used to describe such amoral corporate crap merchants as Good Charlotte and Avril Lavigne just as much as it refers to passionately revolutionary bands like the Avengers and the Clash. Tonight’s bill features some genuine punk combos you won’t see on the Super Bowl halftime show anytime soon, and while none are veterans of the Class of 1977, they all draw heavily on the non-hardcore sound of the early scene. The Stitches have been one of the best SoCal punk bands for more than decade, combining Michael Lohrman’s sneering, snarling vocals with Johnny Witmer’s Pagans/Heartbreakers–style guitar assault on insidiously groovy tunes like “Brains on Vacation” and a raucously rollicking version of Shane MacGowan’s “That Woman’s Got Me Drinking.” Smogtown have a more beach-punk sound, and their best song, “Static Ecstatic,” is an insanely catchy ride on a buzzsaw whirlwind. Don’t miss headliners U.S. Bombs, who are led by skate-punk hero and Die Hunns mastermind Duane Peters. (Falling James)


Burning Brides at the Echo

“We’re going to learn everything from bad habits,” Dimitri Coats howls on “San Diego,” from Burning Brides’ new CD, Hang Love. The Philadelphia trio have weathered a variety of storms in recent years — dealing with major-label hassles while recovering from their own personal bad habits — and the wreckage of those tempests has been turned into some deliciously nasty music. “Ring Around the Rosary” is fueled by towering grunge riffs and Coats’ dour, Kurt Cobain–influenced imprecations. “Your Nation Will Die” stalks along on Black Sabbath riffery and Melanie Campbell’s doom-ridden bass while Coats howls from a distant mountaintop. “She Comes to Me” breaks from the heavy mood — however briefly — as Coats embellishes his romantic yearning with jangly strumming before drummer Pete Beeman lays down some thunderous tom-toms. “Waring Street” has a driving groove and sinister melody, with Coats’ psychedelically ravaged guitar bubbling up in the break. Did we mention that these guys (and gal) rock? In an Echo Park scene that seemingly favors lightweight indie-rock acts, it’s nice to see an unrepentant, hard-rocking band turning up the volume and playing for free every Monday this month. (Falling James)


Also playing Monday:

WADDY WACHTEL
at the Joint; END OF THE WORLD at Knitting Factory; HEALTH, MAE SHI, ABE VIGODA at Pehrspace; BANG SUGAR BANG, RANDIES, CHUPACOBRA, GIRL IN A COMA at the Scene; THAILAND at Silverlake Lounge.



TUESDAY, JUNE 12

Zoé at the Knitting Factory

Though Zoé have been around since 1994, it wasn’t until last year’s Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea that the band hit glam dirt with straight-ahead, groove-laden songs about peace and love — heavy on the “love.” On the Zoé Web site bio (in Spanish), “Los Beatles . . . Placebo. . . the Cure y Stone Roses” are mentioned early on. Yo no speaky español, but it’s easy to see why this Mexico City five-piece are so beloved. They are practically the U2 of Mexico, regularly playing to crowds of 10,000. Singer León Larregui, guitarist Sergio Acosta, bassist Ángel Mosqueda, keyboardist Jesús Baez and drummer Rodrigo Guardiola sound nothing like many of their country’s counterparts, choosing a brand of rock en español with nary a hint of cumbia, tejano or other traditional Latin influences. Instead, they focus on anthemic fist-pounders spearheaded by lead singer’s Larregui classic, sexy voice à la Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers and INXS’ Michael Hutchence that is muy yummy. Also Wed. (Libby Molyneaux)


Also playing Tuesday:

BRIAN WILSON
at Pasadena Civic Auditorium; NE-YO, TREY SONGZ at House of Blues; LIFESAVAS at the Roxy; LACO$TE at the Smell; DAVE STEWART at Viper Room; JOHN DOE at Amoeba Music, 7 p.m.




WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13

Hot Chip at Henry Fonda Theater

London electro-hop-pop kids Hot Chip have just put out this very tasty collection of remixes called DJ Kicks on the superfine K7! Label. Play this record, hear how and why this band — for, alongside their rep as shrewd and smart remixers, they are a band, with guitars and drums and singers with turntables and software, etc. — is so utterly talked about and, more importantly, bumped & grinded to by those who would know: Hot Chip are sheer musical encyclopediaists all in a frenzy to give an almost retchingly eclectic array of pop’s historical figures a chance to say something new in the context of state-of-the-art wicked beatwork, where Diana Ross and Tom Zé and Ray Charles and This Heat and New Order and Funkadelic and about 500 other things all rear their lovely heads in startlingly fresh settings. Purchase this album ASAP and find the couple of others they’ve done under the aegis of the über-credible DFA label. There’ll also be a DJ set at Beauty Bar later tonight. (John Payne)


Jana Hunter, Imaad Wasif & Two Part Beast at the Smell

“Farm, Ca.” is such a wondrously strange song with its icy violins slithering in and out of a hazy acoustic-guitar reverie while a subdued Jana Hunter coos softly as if she’s got a mouth full of clouds. This lovely li’l ballad, from her 2005 CD, Blank Unstaring Heirs of Doom (on Devendra Banhart’s Gnomonsong label), creates such a weirdly pastoral mood of enchantment that you don’t even notice at first that she’s singing intriguingly cryptic lyrics like “Cackle on, snagtooth” and “Gold is not hip/Silver is in.” The CD’s opening track, “All the Best Wishes,” has a girl-group foundation, but because it’s drenched with ghostly harmonies and piercingly lonely reverb, it ends up being rather eerie. “The Earth Has No Skin” is also spooky, with disembodied a cappella voices floating away into space. “Heatseeker’s Safety Den” is a spare lo-fi tune whose only warmth comes from its raw acoustic guitar and the intimacy of its vocals. Hunter will likely unveil new songs from her upcoming CD, There’s No Home, on tonight’s bill with the gently lulling introspection of former Alaska! cat Imaad Wasif. (Falling James)


Datarock, 8-Bit at the Troubadour

Norway’s Datarock might be programmed to pump with precision, but their self-titled debut is anything but futuristic filler. It’s actually very, very retro, and in the best possible way. Think Haircut 100, Heaven 17 and even a little Talking Heads (influences encapsulated on the frolicking-fun dance-rock cut “Fa Fa Fa”). Other songs range from plain-&-pretty li’l ditties (“Ganguro Girl”) to dramatic disco duets (“I Will Always Remember You” with lo-fi pop princess Annie). Campy but not annoyingly so (though we’re not exactly sure what’s up with their red-track-suit-&-spacy-shades look), the duo’s charming vox, peppy riffs and slinky synths will make you smile even as they evoke ’80s new-wave beat boys at their most bittersweet. Also with Highland Park hard driver 8-Bit. (Lina Lecaro)



Also playing Wednesday:

UMPHREY'S McGEE, BANYAN
at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre; ROGER WATERS at Hollywood Bowl; LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM at Ventura Theatre; PEANUT BUTTER WOLF at the Echo; JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN, MEIKO, SUSIE SUH at Hotel Café; ZOÉ, BABASONICOS at Knitting Factory.



THURSDAY, JUNE 14

{mosimage}Ann Magnuson at the Hammer Museum

Ann Magnuson was such a charming presence at her recent Amoeba Music performance, gamely flouncing about in a billowing and unruly lavender ballroom gown as she merrily acted out roles from songs on her new CD, Pretty Songs & Ugly Stories. With production and arrangements by Kristian Hoffman, drumming by the redoubtable Joe Berardi, and stellar visitations from Abby Travis, Listing Ship’s Heather Lockie, D.J. Bonebrake, Rufus Wainwright and the Chapin Sisters, Pretty Songs is a frequently engaging affair with such breezily clever pop songs as the Mrs. Robinson lament “Old Enuf 2 B Yer Mom” and the sugary idyll “Is This Heaven?” (in which a newly reborn Magnuson finds herself “unafraid of death and ready to challenge the patriarchal state”). Despite the frequently campy silliness, tracks like “I Met an Astronaut” are indeed pretty songs, and memorable enough that they transcend mere novelty status. At times, one wishes the careful retro-pop arrangements borrowed more of Sparks’ savage wickedness and hard rhythmic bounce instead of just the Mael brothers’ whimsy — or even had some of the rock power of her old band Bongwater — but overall Magnuson is a delightful provocateur. 10899 Wilshire Blvd. (310) 443-7000. (Falling James)


First Annual Sunset Strip Musical Festival at the Whisky

This stellar hullabaloo is, in the very best sense, pure Sunset Strip, and as a tribute to the late, great James Brown — a performer to whom everyone in the business did not merely pay lip service to, but genuinely gave a damn about — it’s bound to feature some vibrant, lusty performances. The bill boasts J.B.’s own tighter-than-tight band, fronted by get-around soul man Ali Ollie Woodsen (who did 12 years as lead vocalist for the Temptations and has sung with perhaps the most demanding duet partner of all time, Miss Aretha Franklin), and the funk is going to be be laid on lustrous and heavy. With a small army of big-name performers, from Mellow Man Ace to Cypress Hill’s B-Real and Sen Dog, the ubiquitous Dave Navarro and Lord only knows who all else, expect more double-bumpin’ raw soul than anyone will be able to control. (Jonny Whiteside)


Also playing Thursday:

O.A.R., BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH
at the Wiltern; CHIP KINMAN & PCH at Blue Cafe; LEON RUSSELL, BOB MALONE at the Canyon; LITTLE GIRLS, FISH TANK ENSEMBLE at Fais Do-Do; JAKE SHIMABUKURO at Key Club; JILL SOBULE at Largo; NINJA ACADEMY at Mr. T's Bowl; MONOLATORS at Silverlake Lounge; CALVIN JOHNSON, JULIE DOIRON, JEREMY JAY at the Smell; SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM at the Troubadour; DEVIN SARNO & JESSICA CATRON, CELER at Echo Curio.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets