Rock Picks: Rutlemania, Kinky, Angels & Airwaves | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Rock Picks: Rutlemania, Kinky, Angels & Airwaves 

And other March 14-20 concerts

Wednesday, Mar 12 2008
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THURSDAY, MARCH 13Brother Ali at the Troubadour

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click to flip through (6) Blink and you’ll miss them: Angels & Airwaves
  • Blink and you’ll miss them: Angels & Airwaves
 

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Blink and you’ll miss them: Angels & Airwaves

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The Rutles always had a surlier image than their rivals the Rolling Stones.

Victor Tavares

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Jason Collett, doing pull-ups with a come-hither expression

The truth is here and — not coincidently — so is Brother Ali. The albino Minneapolis rapper might be white, but he's no foolish Vanilla Ice dilettante. The devout Muslim doesn't just sound black, he combines the full force of his thoughtful and rebellious rhymes with the understanding of 400 years of oppression and slavery, powered by every outsider's secret weapon: truth. Truth is relative, but Ali's 2007 CD, The Undisputed Truth (Rhymesayers), examines the vanishing concept from all angles, from the personal to the political, to come up with a new, clearer understanding. "You don't need to hear my race in the song ... Your ears might help you to see," he suggests on "Daylight." He delves into reggae rhythms on "Freedom Ain't Free" but never strays far from the cold, hard realities of the slinky-funky "Uncle Sam Goddamn" ("Welcome to the United Snakes") and the somberly grooving "Letter From the Government" ("I ain't dying for no president, sending kids to die when we didn't even elect the bitch"). Liner-note testimonials from Rakim, Saul Williams and Umar Bin Hassan underscore Brother Ali's impact. (Falling James)

George Tabb benefit at Safari Sam's

Remember when you watched the World Trade Center towers fall and wondered about all that dust everyone was inhaling as they fled? Remember how you forgot all about it because who did you know who was actually there? Well, now you know someone. George Tabb — venerable punk activist and Maximum Rock 'n' Roll columnist — has World Trade Center Syndrome, a malady from which countless thousands of firefighters and citizens suffer, and the number's dropping all the time, if you catch my meaning. Tabb, age 46, has PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease — translation: kidney calluses that create a kind of agony at which even Satan winces) as a result of him living near Ground Zero, and, to help defray the costs of his medical expenses, all ticket revenues tonight go toward that end. Mike Watt & the Missingmen open up, along with Money Mark, the Latin funk of OO Soul, the garage-psych stylings of Woolly Bandits, former Zappa guitarist Mike Keneally and others. (David Cotner)

Also playing Thursday:

CLUTCH, MURDER BY DEATH, MAYLENE & THE SONS OF DISASTER at Henry Fonda Theater; SAY ANYTHING, MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA, BIFFY CLYRO at Avalon; STAN RIDGWAY at the Canyon; ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE, DANAVA at the Echoplex; NELLIE McKAY at Largo; OLLIN at Seven Grand.

FRIDAY, MARCH 14

The Crystelles, Bavab Bavab at Echo Curio

The striking Gitane Demone might be best known for her stint in Christian Death in the ’80s as well as collaborations with the late Rozz Williams in the ’90s, but her new band with Zara Kand, the Crystelles, doesn’t sound like goth punk as much as it evokes a jangly, garage-blues reduction of the Gun Club or perhaps Mr. Airplane Man. Demone wails appropriately demonically on “Song for a Politician” over a dirty, rootsy guitar. The effect is spooky without invoking bats and belfries; the chill comes from the way her dispossessed singing tangles with the mournful guitar. “A Dream That Is Ever Near” is a lo-fi cabaret chanson — assuming that the cabaret is located in hell. Bavab Bavab are a local duo who concoct strange soundscapes mingled with artful poetry. That might sound pretentious, but the music from their 2006 CD, Fire Petals in the Sky, is exotically engrossing with childlike piano melodies mingling with weird sound effects and hazy vocals. 1519 Sunset Blvd. The Crystelles also at the Echo, Sat. (Falling James)

Also playing Friday:

PARTICLE, ROBBY KRIEGER BAND at El Rey Theatre; UGLY DUCKLING, PIGEON JOHN at Blue Cafe; DERRICK CARTER at the Dragonfly; BAD RELIGION, FLIPPER at House of Blues; FISHBONE at the Key Club; NELLIE McKAY at Largo; SMASH FASHION, PEACHFUZZ at the Scene; ARIEL PINK at the Smell; VOCO, LISTING SHIP at Tangier.

 SATURDAY, MARCH 15

Rutlemania at the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre

The Rutles were much more than just a wickedly dead-on Beatles parody when they starred in the 1978 mockumentary All You Need Is Cash, which set the template for ensuing rock satires such as This Is Spinal Tap. Monty Python’s Eric Idle deftly exaggerated Paul McCartney’s wide-eyed tics and fussy mannerisms in his rubber-faced portrayal of Dirk McQuickly, but it was the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s Neil Innes who took the joke to another level with his sublime, lovingly crafted soundtrack. Tunes like “Goose Step Mama” and “Blue Suede Schubert” cleverly mimicked the early Beatles, but “Let’s Be Natural” and the surprisingly poignant “Joe Public” were so artfully written, they ranked with the best of John Lennon — no joke. Like Lennon and McCartney, Innes and Idol had a strained relationship for many years, but they’ve buried the hatchet to come together with the other Rutles for a series of film screenings and related activities to mark the film’s 30th anniversary. Tribute act the Fab Four will do a set of Rutles favorites, although it’s a serious shame that Innes apparently won’t be performing beyond a Q&A with the cast (do look for him to return to L.A. later this year). Also Sun., 5 p.m.; Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m. For details, go to www.ModsAndRockers.com. (Falling James)

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