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
Also playing Sunday:
PEACHES, DRUMS OF DEATH, DJ TRAVIS KELLER, EVIL BEAVER at the Henry Fonda Theater.
MONDAY, JUNE 8
Metric at the Wiltern
To make their new album, Metric had to split up into separate parts to recharge their creative batteries after several years of hard touring to promote their breakthrough 2005 CD, Live It Out. That album, of course, featured such memorable tracks as the sinuously beguiling pop song “Poster of a Girl” and the exhilarating “Monster Hospital,” whose inverted Bobby Fuller lyrics (“I fought the war/but the war won”) made it seem like a passionate anthem against the war in Iraq. Lead singer Emily Haines stepped away from such in-your-face intensity to release a couple of solo CDs of somber, mortality-themed piano ballads (2006’s Knives Don’t Have Your Back and the 2007 EP What Is Free to a Good Home?) under the name the Soft Skeleton, while bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key worked with their side project, Bang Lime. Eventually, the individual band members — including guitarist Jimmy Who, who was off building his own recording studio in Toronto — came together again as Metric for the new album, Fantasies, which ranges from the shimmering bubblegum pop of “Sick Muse” and the angular twists of “Satellite Mind” to the electro-pop sweetness of “Twilight Galaxy.” Biggest and baddest of all is the massive album-closer, “Stadium Love,” which Haines says is set in “a gladiator-style enormo-dome where” monster trucks, wild animals and even spectators fight to the death in a bloody and appropriately apocalyptic finale. (Falling James)
Also playing Monday:
OLIVER FUTURE, OTHER LIVES, BAND OF SKULLS at the Echo; CASTLEDOOR, HOPEWELL at Spaceland.
TUESDAY, JUNE 9
Patrick Wolf, Living Things, Jaguar Love, Plastiscines
at the Roxy
Brought to you by the folks at New York’s downtown style mag Nylon, this hipster-bait quadruple bill brings together four acts who don’t have much to do with one another but who are all fairly awesome in their own ways. English art-pop eccentric Patrick Wolf has a new one out this summer called The Bachelor, on which he flexes his appealing drama-queen croon over constantly undulating electro-folk arrangements; for extra cool points, it features a guest appearance by English art-film eccentric Tilda Swinton. Living Things are a band of pissed-off garage-rock bros from St. Louis, who rarely let their anticapitalist rhetoric get in the way of a fist-pumping chorus. Portland’s synth-punk Jaguar Love used to feature two dudes from Blood Brothers and one dude from Pretty Girls Make Graves, but earlier this year the Pretty Girl left. (Don’t they always?) Last but not least, Plastiscines, from France, are like the Donnas with French accents. (Mikael Wood)
Also playing Tuesday:
THE LEMONHEADS at Spaceland; SECRET CHIEF 3, KAYO DOT at El Rey Theatre; GASLAMP KILLER, BIG MOVES, POLLYN at the Echo; PRICE, BUSHWALLA, RAINING JANE, MACEK, LINDSEY RAY at the Hotel Café; WHITE WIZZARD, CAREFUL NOW at the Scene; THE TRAGICALLY HIP at the Troubadour.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10
Crystal Antlers, Constantines, I Was a King at The Echo
Former chimney sweeps Crystal Antlers are a wickedly undefinable bunch whose recent long-player, Tentacles, (Touch and Go) has earned major huzzas for its punky prog noize of highly ambitious sprawl. All well and good, yet the buzzing swarms of organ/guitar interscratch and tricky drum polybeats tend to make the band’s soaring squawk — refracting Harmonia via the Velvets and the entire Nuggets catalog — cloud over pealing melodies embedded in the songwriting, a beautiful lyricism that will lift them far above the rutting psych-rock herds below. Constantines’ latest, Kensington Heights, and its companion-piece EP, Too Slow for Love (both Arts & Crafts), find the Canadian band pummeling their reliably passionate, post-punk indie-rock with a seasoned confidence and an intriguing, compressed rage. Kensington was named Rock Album of the Year for 2008 by the Associated Press. Fuzz-toned Norwegian power-pop band I Was a King open in support of their eponymous debut (The Control Group), a ’60s/’90s psych-drenched beauty that features Sufjan Stevens, Danielson, Ladybug Transistor and Serena Maneesh. (John Payne)
Also playing Wednesday:
RAINBOW ARABIA, SPIRIT VINE, VOICES VOICES at Spaceland; PATRICK PARK, BUTTERFLY BOUCHER at the Hotel Café; HONEYHONEY, NICOLE ATKINS at Largo at the Coronet; CHASING KINGS, MR. GNOME at the Silverlake Lounge; THE TRAGICALLY HIP at the Troubadour.
THURSDAY, JUNE 11
Camera Obscura at the Henry Fonda Theater
There are certain songs that make such an impact on your psyche that specific times/dates/weather conditions can be recollected when thinking about that first moment when the melody, voice, sound entered your world. It’s one of the wonders of music appreciation — and neurology — that a consciousness can be permanently altered through a series of notes to create a song like, say, “Dory Previn,” by the Scottish band Camera Obscura. The slow, languid ballad is about escape, about disappearing under the covers, about being sick of whatever and vanishing inside a song, and a singer — someone like ’50s songstress Dory Previn. It’s a simple tune about a feeling. What’s beautiful about it is the way Obscura vocalist Tracyanne Campbell conveys the idea while creating the circumstances for a similar escape — into a song called “Dory Previn.” It was raining. I was driving. “Dory Previn” came on the radio. It had the echo and feel of an old Phil Spector hit, “Be My Baby” or “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)”: Beauty wrapped inside of desperation enveloped by sonic comfort. “How I adore you, Dory Previn,” sings Campbell, “turned you up to eleven.” The band’s new album, on the great 4AD label, is called My Maudlin Career, features more snapshot narratives and smart, girl group–classicist pop, and manages to collect a dozen gorgeous such moments. (Randall Roberts)