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The Refugees at the Getty Center
Langhorne Slim, Samantha Crain & the Midnight Shivers at Spaceland
“If I ever make a sound that seems nervous or unfound, take it as a child skippin’ town,” Samantha Crain sings on the title track of her new CD, Songs in the Night (Ramseur). Indeed, there is a childlike delight and wonder to the 22-year-old Oklahoman’s breezy folk-pop songs, which are given added jangle and sparkle by her indie-rocking backup band, the Midnight Shivers. Crain’s melodies have a Feist-y buoyancy, even as she confides on “Bananafish Revolution” such evocatively strange lyrics as “The trees were my audience applauding ... That piano, it’s the angels/Calling me home.” There’s a similarly charming folkie intimacy on the acoustic-guitar ballad “Scissor Tales,” where she admits to her lover, “I’ve been standing out in the rain/So you’ll come dry me off again.” The Shivers open tonight for the Brooklyn folk-pop crooner Langhorne Slim, whose rootsy rambles sometimes venture into pleasingly soulful territory. (Falling James)
Also playing Saturday:
BLACK DICE, RICHARD BISHOP, WOLF EYES, EARTHLESS at Gilbert’s; BISHOP LAMONT at the House of Blues; DAVE SEAMAN at Avalon; KARYN ALLYSON at the Catalina Bar & Grill; JULIAN LAGE GROUP at McCabe’s; GREG LASWELL, BUDDY, BRIAN WRIGHT AND THE WACO TRAGEDIES, AUSTIN HARTLEY LEONARD at the Hotel Cafe.
SUNDAY, MAY 31
The Curious Mystery, Audacity, Devon Williams, Moonrats at the Smell
A lot of Smell quadruple bills are populated with at least one toss-away act, a 45-minute exercise in trying-too-hard obviousness or enthusiastic misguidedness that tends to deflate the whole bill. This Sunday show, however, ain’t one of them. Moonrats is a project of Aska Matsumiya, whose work as vocalist to Aaron Rose’s instrumentation in the Sads is singular in its beauty, and whose new AsDSSka project with analog synthian David Scott Stone is exquisite. Moonrats writes sturdy guitar-drum-maraca songs with choruses and hooks. The Curious Mystery are from Seattle, and make guitar rock with meandering structures, a fearless willingness to wander into extended instrumental passages, and at least two guitarists who like to explore the fretboard. They like to jam, basically, but not in a navel-gazing way; more like in a Television/Tom Verlaine/Richard Lloyd kind of way (though they sound little like said NYC art rockers). Audacity is a seriously underrated treble-punk band from Long Beach that likes noise, the chorus-as-tantrum, and the collision of the two. Devon Williams is a songwriter with a little bit of Anglophilia in his pop sensibility, likes a good “ooh ooh” chorus and a touch of feedback and echo in his guitar sound. The songs on last year’s Carefree reveal an Angeleno artist gaining confidence and earning respect. (Randall Roberts)
Also playing Sunday:
PROPAGANDHI, BRIDGE AND TUNNEL at the Echoplex; CALE PARKS, MEREDITH MEYER at Pehrspace; ROSEWOOD THIEVES, HE’S MY BROTHER SHE’S MY SISTER, HENRY WOLFE at the Bootleg Theater.