THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
Eleni Mandell, The Frames at the Henry Fonda Theater Eleni Mandell has sung a little bit of everything, showing her down-home cowgirl persona on 2003s Country for True Lovers and revealing her inner late-night chanteuse on her jazz-inflected 2004 EP, Maybe, Yes. Her new CD, Miracle of Five, contains such trademark idyllic ballads as the delicately rendered Salt Truck and more rocking tunes like the intriguing and exotically mesmerizing tale of her missing better half, My Twin. Regardless of the genre she dabbles in, all of Mandells recordings are distinguished by breathily beguiling vocals and a faintly bohemian attitude that separates her from most mainstream pop singers. Shes an ideal mood-setter for Irish headliners the Frames, whose best songs support Glen Hansards soft vocal mumblings (which sound perhaps a bit too much like Cat Stevens) with austere washes of piano and violin. The title track of the Frames latest CD, The Cost, swims slowly with restlessly turning guitar chords, while Falling Slowly lives up to its title with gentle piano accents. While much of this morose wallowing isnt always as captivating as Hansards recent side project, the Swell Season, there are some moments of quiet grandeur. (Falling James) Also playing Thursday: COMMON at the Wiltern; LUCINDA WILLIAMS at El Rey Theatre; GOO GOO DOLLS at Greek Theatre; SECRETARY BIRD, BEN KWELLER at the Echo, 6:30 p.m.; KATHRYN WILLIAMS at Hotel Café; SOULIVE at House of Blues; PUNK BUNNY, HAWNAY TROOF at Knitting Factory; BANGKOK FIVE, THE BINGES at Malibu Inn; DOLLYROTS, KILLOLA at Safari Sams; JOHN VANDERSLICE, BODIES OF WATER at Troubadour.Wolf Parade at El Rey Theatre
Wolf Parade, Montreals other white meat, premieres songs from a forthcoming Sub Pop album, their first since 2005s Apologies to the Queen Mary. Theyre miles away from their days opening for fellow citizens Arcade Fire. What took them so long? Devotion in art, as in anything else is not a commodity produced on demand or regurgitated by assembly line, despite Internet-fueled lust for the Now and the Wow leaving an impression of never-ending creativity for only pennies a month. Their signature song, Ill Believe in Anything, with its lyric Give me your eyes/I need sunshine, is emblematic of their trail-blazing passion plays, a communal-rock sensibility that makes floors of concert halls ripple with the impact of stamped feet and a missing sense traveling like a laser from guitar straight to the goose-bumps they ably and repeatedly summon. (David Cotner)
The Transmissions, Death to Anders, One Trick Pony at Spaceland
You know how once in a while a band starts to play and the song is so enticingly trippy, you just stand there transfixed, forgetting that you have a $5 beer in your hand? Thats what the Transmissions Ill Run It can do to you. Delicate, floating guitar notes weaved into a heavy groove make for music youll want to spend some quality alone time with. Yeah, its all been done before, but lead singer Christian Biel has a urgency and sadness to his voice that will make you want to rub his tortured brow with a cool cloth. Also on the bill: like-minded air-gazers Death to Anders, who kick it with a shot of country, and One Trick Pony, who named themselves after a cliché. The Transmissions also at the Echo, Mon. (Libby Molyneaux)
Also playing Thursday:
RODRIGO Y GABRIELA at Grove of Anaheim; BUILT TO SPILL, CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN at Henry Fonda Theater; MONDO GENERATOR at Alexs Bar; SARABETH TUCEK, AM at Hotel Café; WATKINS FAMILY HOUR at Largo; THE BRUNETTES, FERRABY LIONHEART, MEZZANINE OWLS at the Troubadour (see Music feature).