By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Ah, Kris. The stuff of legend: the Rhodes scholar who chucked it all and took a job as a janitor in Columbia’s Nashville office just so he could pitch his songs to Johnny Cash (and, after Cash fought the label to include the “wishin’, Lord, that I was stoned” line when he’d cut Kris’ “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” the damn thing hit No. 1). The guy who gave Billy Joe Shaver his earliest break when he covered Billy Joe’s “Good Christian Soldier.” The guy who went to Hollywood, guzzled tequila with Sam Peckinpah and memorably told pissed-off A Star Is Born producer Jon Peters — in front of Barbra Streisand and a huge crowd of extras — “If I need any shit from you, I’ll squeeze your head.” Then, of course, there are all those songs: “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “Beat the Devil,” “The Taker” and, at this just-him-and-his-guitar session, you’ll get a rich snootful of ’em, thrown down under the most intimate of circumstances. Citrus College, 1000 W. Foothill Blvd., Glendora; 2 p.m. (Jonny Whiteside)
Also playing Sunday:
TEGAN & SARA, GIRL IN A COMA at Henry Fonda Theater; CARRIE RODRIGUEZ at Joshua Tree Lake Campground, 4 p.m.; MARY J. BLIGE, ROBIN THICKE at Gibson Amphitheatre; TONY CLIFTON & HIS KATRINA KISS-MY-ASS ORCHESTRA at House of Blues; THE SKATALITES at the Key Club; DICK DALE, BRIAN WILSON, AL JARDINE at the Roxy; AMY FARRIS, DEAD ROCK WEST at Safari Sam’s, noon.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20
Pinback at the Echoplex
Nothing else sounds like Pinback, and for that alone the San Diego duo deserve a fucking medal. Their wistfully propulsive weaves of articulate bass, understated guitar, beatbox (or beatbox-inspired) grooves and conversing voices come from a place of both contentment and disquiet, at once transmitting optimism’s comforting glow and the clanking chill of solitude. Rob Crow and Zac Smith are staring into space the morning after, yet their view is pristine. Last year’s Autumn of the Seraphs is a more consistent if less spectacular continuation of Pinback’s breakthrough third album, 2004’s Summer in Abaddon, and (despite the respective titles) actually finds them somewhat merrier. There’s something almost around-the-campfire communal about the pair’s vocal interplay, yet the math-y musicality and Rolex rhythms still evoke first-generation video games and, occasionally, possessed cash registers. Don’t be misled by their multipiece, instrument-swapping live incarnation (or prog-worthy album titles): Pinback’s songs are painstakingly choreographed, precision-guided expressions, not meandering jam-band gumbos. This is intelligent, gorgeously muted music for functioning stoners and oversensitive boys and girls everywhere. (Paul Rogers)
Also playing Monday:
GIRL IN A COMA at Amoeba Music, 7 p.m.; RADEMACHER, LE SWITCH, THE HENRY CLAY PEOPLE at the Echo; RUPA & THE APRIL FISHES, FISHTANK ENSEMBLE at the Roxy; DISTORTION FELIX, NOT IN THE HOUSE at Spaceland.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22
CONOR OBERST & THE MYSTIC VALLEY BAND at Henry Fonda Theater; VNV NATION at El Rey Theatre; GIRL IN A COMA, VON IVA, JESSIE DELUXE at Alex’s Bar; TIPPA IRIE at the Echoplex; MARTIN SEXTON at House of Blues; SUBURBAN LEGENDS at the Knitting Factory; JOHN C. REILLY at Largo at the Coronet; DANNY B. HARVEY at Taix; FELICE BROTHERS at the Troubadour.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23
Sunburned Hand of the Man at the Smell
Los Angeles doesn’t always get the attention of the Eastern Seaboard’s weirdoes and schizoids. Thankfully, tonight we’ll be visited by indefatigable New England mesmerists Sunburned Hand of the Man. Not so much a planet but an entire constellation intersecting Sonic Youth’s Ecstatic Peace galaxy, Sunburned spew out as many CD-Rs and vinyl sides a year as most so-called “normal” bands do their entire careers. Seems they’ve taken S.Y.’s decree from the late ’90s to release a thousand records literally. Touring this time as a sextet, this amorphous assembly of instrumentalists — crumbled drums, lithe bass, wild woodwinds, bubbling oscillators, hives of distortion and astral trails emitted from a battery of guitars — mold impromptu monoliths doused in phosphorescent liquids and gelatinous smoke. Hardly sticking to a single mode, style or even tonal palette, the Sunburned collective’s holistic experimentelia applies skill and savagery into its pursuit of all-in psych montages. This August, the group lost bass/synth man Adam Nodelman to a sudden and still-unresolved death. But if there’s one thing Sunburned is capable of, it’s always moving on. They’re absolutely regenerative. (Bernardo Rondeau)
The “intelligent niceness” substrata in contemporary music offers bands like Stereolab, Monade and High Llamas, groups that have decided to take back the sweet & sentimental we all secretly crave to consciously exploit it for hypermodern dividends of emotional complexity and brain-tickling potential, even. Stereolab have — rejoice — come back really, really strong with their new Chemical Chords album (4AD), wherein founder Tim Gane and revolving crew zero in again on the very best space-age sounds of the ’50s and ’60s. Bossa nova, nouvelle chansons, classic Britpop, Motown and Philly soul are favorite stew parts, and the group find incredibly resonant ways to chop them all up and serve them heartbreakingly anew. While the favored constituent parts won’t seem surprising to longtime fans, the renewed invention and vigor will. Monade, meanwhile, is Stereolab singer-guitarist Laeticia Sadier’s own side project, roughly within the same brainy-romantic grounds as Stereolab, and heard to devastating effect on the newish album Monstre Cosmic (Too Pure). Singer/multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift mines a sweetly harmonized mixed bag of ’70s pop, early blues, ragtime, Bacharach and DeBarge. (John Payne)