Rock Picks: Siouxsie Sioux, Iron Maiden, Maceo Parker | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Rock Picks: Siouxsie Sioux, Iron Maiden, Maceo Parker 

Plus other Feb. 14-21 shows

Wednesday, Feb 13 2008
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THURSDAY, FEB. 14 

A girl named Sioux

Todd Seelie

Ivy leaguer St. Vincent

Beat your heart out: Wild Weekend.

The Black Lips, Pierced Arrows at El Rey TheatreAtlanta's stage-shredding terrors the Black Lips have perfected an imperfectly raw, shambling garage-rock sound that's often just as primally driving as their '60s influences the Seeds and the 13th Floor Elevators. "O Katrina," from their 2007 CD, Good Bad Not Evil (Vice), is certainly the crudest, hardest-rocking and least-contemplative song yet about the disaster in New Orleans, and it's pretty damn catchy too. Another cool thing about the Lips is the way they've championed the Oregon trio Pierced Arrows, gazing worshipfully by the side of the stage when the latter made their local debut last October. Pierced Arrows have a direct connection to the '60s: Fred Cole, who howled the garage-rock nugget "You Must Be a Witch" in 1968 with the Lollipop Shoppe and later fronted the beloved '80s underground band Dead Moon with his bassist-wife, Toody Cole. The Coles' new project, Pierced Arrows, has much of Dead Moon's snarling savagery on their debut 7-inch single, contrasting the scabrous wailing and dirty AC/DC riffs of Fred's "In My Brain" with the fuzz-pop charms of "Caroline," which burns with a "Jolene"-style restlessness under Fred's jangle-mangling guitar as Toody sings about a long-lost mystic teenage muse. Classic stuff. (Falling James)


Aretha Franklin at Nokia Theatre

There are divas, and then there's Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul rarely performs in Los Angeles these days, making this little gig in the barnlike Nokia Theatre a virtual command performance. The Detroit singer-pianist has been lying low for much of this decade, issuing a collection of mostly previously released duets, Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets With the Queen, in 2007. Her most recent album of new material, So Damn Happy, came out in 2003, although she plans to release A Woman Falling Out of Love sometime this year. In an era with so many R&B singers indulging in gratuitous vocal acrobatics, Franklin still stands supreme, belting it out with full force and plenty of fiery charisma. Raised by her late, legendary Baptist-minister father Rev. C.L. Franklin, she draws upon the power and spirit of gospel music while incorporating elements of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco and even opera throughout her 50-year career. She's also a mighty pianist, anchoring her most dazzling vocal flights on such vintage hits as "Respect" and "Chain of Fools" with emphatically earthy and percussively bluesy keyboard accents. All hail the queen. (Falling James)


Was (Not Was) at the Orpheum Theatre

This long-running Detroit art-funk combo — led by brothers (not brothers) Don and David Was — is scheduled to release its first studio album since 1992 later this spring; it's called Boo!, and according to the Internet it'll feature new material alongside reworked stuff from the band's extensive catalog. Fans fearing a half-assed reunion show can rest easy: For one thing, the Wases are promising to preview stuff from Boo! tonight; for another, they've still got a good bit of what once propelled them to an odd brand of semifame. When I caught Was (Not Was) at B.B. King's in New York in 2005, they grooved harder (and funnier) than their time away might've suggested. At the Orpheum, Don and David will be flanked by a cast of players including old-timers Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens, as well as Brian Wilson and Kris Kristofferson, each of whom are set to play three songs with the band. Wackiness will ensue. (Mikael Wood)


Also playing Thursday:

JILL SCOTT, RAHEEM DEVAUGHN at Gibson Amphitheatre; BARRY MANILOW, BRIAN CULBERTSON at Staples Center; FASTER PUSSYCAT, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES at Crash Mansion; VERY BE CAREFUL at the Echoplex; CHARLIE & THE VALENTINE KILLERS, KARLING ABBEYGATE, CHEATIN' KIND at Safari Sam's; ENTRANCE BAND at Silverlake Lounge; PENELOPE & DANNY B. HARVEY at Taix; ALO at the Troubadour.

 
FRIDAY, FEB. 15

Siouxsie Sioux, Rasputina at Henry Fonda Theater

From her early days with the Banshees and the percussion-heavy Creatures to her recent solo projects, Siouxsie Sioux has always possessed a serenely foreboding voice that sweeps majestically through her disparate songs, lending everything an air of doom-ridden grandeur. On her 2007 CD, Mantaray, she's in fine shape-shifting form, ranging from the seedily heavy glam-fuzz rocker "Into a Swan" and the spacy stomp "Here Comes That Day" to the coolly lush and shimmering ballads "If It Doesn't Kill You" and "Heaven Alchemy." Ms. Sioux is properly given credit for instigating punk rock (with such jaggedly morbid early tracks as "Carcass" and a truly demonic version of "Helter Skelter"), art rock ("Jigsaw Feeling," "Metal Postcard") and goth ("Christine," "Spellbound"), but her music also encompasses seductive cabaret chansons and pure pop. Regardless of genre, the charismatic, visually striking wraith infuses her songs with a dreamy veneer of magic and fantasy that should fit in nicely with openers Rasputina. The cello-driven Brooklyn trio's 2007 CD, Oh Perilous World, is a playfully surreal and sometimes chilling fairy-tale odyssey that involves Mary Todd Lincoln, blimp armies, Fletcher Christian's son and the war in Iraq. What a weird and wonderful World. Also Sat. (Falling James)

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