THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
Built to Spill, Quasi at the Troubadour
Hey, Built to Spill will be doing their 1997 Perfect From Now On album in its entirety in these special nights at the Troub. We must report that these L.A. shows are sold out, though. For those of you thinking about trying to get tix or maybe sneak in, keep in mind that Boise, Montana’s best have never made a better album, not nothing that ever topped the guitaristically glorious epicness of those eight Perfect tracks, which to this day still beam a righteous radiance that makes us feel pure and beautiful, and increasingly brings a tiny tear to the eye (nostalgia, don’t you know). Reportedly the band is just now peaking as a live proposition, too, so this should be an entirely awesome spectacle to witness — heartwarming, at very least. Then Quasi (former BTS man Sam Coomes and Sleater-Kinney’s Janet Weiss, now joined by bassist Joanna Bolme), is not just still around, but currently doing some of their strongest work, as evidenced by the turbulent and somewhat indefinable charms of their last one, When the Going Gets Dark (Touch and Go) Also Wed. (John Payne)
Also playing Thursday:
Toadies at The Roxy; Tim Finn at the El Rey.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
Brian Wilson at the Hollywood Bowl
Few performers are better suited to preside over the end of yet another endless SoCal summer than Brian Wilson, who brings his band (as well as the L.A. Phil) to the Hollywood Bowl this weekend for three season-concluding shows of Beach Boys hits and stuff from Wilson’s just-released solo disc, That Lucky Old Sun. The new album’s quality depends upon your perspective: Compared to the gloriously realized version of Smile that Wilson finally released in 2004, its relatively straightforward pop tunes don’t really inspire much in the way of amazement (alternate title suggestion: More Songs About Traffic and Sand). As a singer, though, Wilson sounds in finer fettle than he has in years, which lends the material on Old Sun — some of it penned in partnership with his old pal Van Dyke Parks — a healthy, optimistic glow. No one makes the mundaneness of everyday life in this town sound as enticing as Wilson does. Also Sat.-Sun. (Mikael Wood)
Citay at Tangier
Ezra Feinberg’s great, great Citay makes a new/old kind of music ideal for listening and/or hair-tossing — kind of like all those proggy rock and teen-beat combos that wailed so grandly and unself-consciously back in the early ’70s. Citay’s eponymous debut album on Important Records was a wondrously wiggy casserole stirring in the fragrant greenery of the folkie bits on those ancient Led Zep or Sabbath albums of lore with the unison-guitar glories of ’70s rock à la Thin Lizzy, Mike Oldfield, Heart and Boston. It’s a lavishly widescreen rock sound that’s further explored on the band’s latest set, Little Kingdom, again produced and instrumentally augmented by master painter Tim Green of the Fucking Champs. There’s something about these twin-lead epics that sounds gruesome on paper but are so smartly conceived and gorgeously laid out, a really majestic but heavily rocking sound that Feinberg and friends will replicate and even further intensify with their onstage mini-orchestra. (John Payne)
Mirah & Spectratone International at the Troubadour
K Records singer Mirah’s new collaboration with Spectratone International, Share This Place: Stories and Observations, might be better named The Secret Life of Insects. Despite the project’s simplistic Free to Be You and Me–style title, the CD comes off as dark and engrossing rather than educational and cutesy when Mirah coos such lyrics as “I vanquish you with kisses, a dubious caress” and “We communicate with chemicals.” While Mirah’s not the first musician to sing from an insect’s point of view (the Urinals’ “I’m a Bug” and Magazine’s “A Song From Under the Floorboards” predate this album by nearly 30 years), she plunges wholeheartedly into the buggy mindset on a series of fancifully fantastic songs that are intended to accompany animated short films by Britta Johnson. Black Cat Orchestra leader Kyle Hanson and cellist Lori Goldston lay down some intriguing settings that wander from traditional Old World folk to artier experimentation, ending up somewhere between the Dagons’ febrile dreaminess and Rasputina’s fairy-tale exoticism. When Mirah sings, “It’s an expressive art . . . secreting quiet and dependable,” she could also be describing Goldston’s and Hanson’s mysterious, rippling musical pulses. (Falling James)
Also playing Friday:
SMOKEY ROBINSON at L.A. County Fair, Fairplex, Pomona; TRICKY at Henry Fonda Theater; ROB DICKINSON at Hotel Café; KASEY CHAMBERS, SHANE NICHOLSON at McCabe’s; JASON FALKNER, OLIVER FUTURE, HONEYHONEY, ARI SHINE at the Roxy; GUTTERMOUTH, YOUTH BRIGADE at Safari Sam’s; DIE ROCKERS DIE at the Smell; QUETZAL, UPGROUND at Temple Bar.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
Nightwish, Sonata Arctica at the Wiltern