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 Saturday:
JACKSON BROWNE, TIM ROBBINS, RYAN BROWNE, MILES ROBBINS at the Ivy Substation Theater; KID SISTER, FLOSSTRADAMUS, THE VERY BEST, TOTALLY MICHAEL at the Echoplex; ABE VIGODA, THESE ARE POWERS, MI AMI, MOSES CAMPBELL at the Smell; FRANK FAIRFIELD at Amoeba Music (2 p.m.); DANIEL JOHNSTON, HYMNS at the Henry Fonda Theater; BARRY MANILOW at the Hollywood Bowl; ANDY at the Kodak Theatre; ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN, SHE WANTS REVENGE at the Nokia Theatre; CYPRESS HILL SMOKE-OUT FEAT. GOODIE MOB, GETO BOYS, DEVIN THE DUDE, OTHERS at San Manuel Amphitheatre; CATIE CURTIS at McCabe’s; CRAIG ROBINSON & THE NASTY DELICIOUS at the Mint; MONSTERS ARE REAL, THE VOODOO FIX, OTHERS at Relax Bar.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25
Linda Ronstadt & Mariachi Los Camperos De Nati Cano at Gibson Amphitheatre
Some of Linda Ronstadt’s old fans can’t get into the various musical styles she’s essayed over the past 20 years. Such folks only want to hear the old country-rock tunes from her 1970s heyday, such as “When Will I Be Loved” and “You’re No Good.” Others prefer her pop-rock hits like “Just One Look” and “Ooh Baby Baby.” And some people can only get behind her ’80s jazz-pop phase, where she reveled in covers by Billy Strayhorn and Rodgers & Hart. But it doesn’t really matter which genre the Arizona singer essays; she’s become masterful at all of them, and her legendarily powerful vocals have only become more soulful and intuitive in recent years. Tonight, she’s paired with Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, who are impressive performers in their own right. Violinists march into the audience, drawing rich, shimmering tones from their strings, while the group’s singers trade off on lead vocals on a series of supremely romantic ballads. Unlike so many mariachi bands, these guys avoid the usual clichés. With only two trumpets, they’re less brassy than most groups, preferring a richer and subtler blend of violins, acoustic guitars, guitarrón and even harp. When Ronstadt comes onstage and twines her gorgeously honeyed vocals with Los Camperos’ warm strings, the results can be spellbinding. (Falling James)
Also playing Sunday:
ENNIO MORRICONE at the Hollywood Bowl; U2, BLACK EYED PEAS at the Rose Bowl; JELLO BIAFRA & THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, MIA, TRICLOPS at El Rey Theatre; CHRIS SMITHER at McCabe’s; TEGAN AND SARA at the Orpheum Theatre; RATS, DOMINIQUE LEON, LEARNING MUSIC at Echo Curio; GREG LASWELL at the Hotel Cafe.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 26
TEGAN AND SARA at the Orpheum Theatre; MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS, V.V. BROWN at the Roxy; CORREATOWN, FIRST AID KIT, JOAHNIE MENDENHALL at the Echo; OLIN & THE MOON, MICHAEL RUNYAN at the Echoplex; EMM GRYNER, MARIE DIGBY, CAITLIN KRISKO & THE BROADCAST, HOLLY COLE at the Hotel Cafe; MARC BROUSSARD, MATT HIRES at the Mint; LIGHT FM, NIGHTMARE AIR, MODERN TIME MACHINES at Spaceland.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27
Rose Melberg at Echo Curio
Based now in Vancouver, Canada, singer Rose Melberg originally came out of Sacramento and was a part of such low-key twee-pop bands as the Softies and Tiger Trap. Her new solo CD, Homemade Ship (K Records), is a carefully crafted set of introspective, mellow folk-pop ballads with spare acoustic-guitar backing. Tracks like “Old Days” ride along the cool breeze of Melberg’s glassy vocals. “I know it’s been a while, but give me a chance,” she coos gently on “Things That We Do,” before adding, “It doesn’t have to be romance.” Her airy songs work best as conversations in intimate settings, although the white-bread harmonies and easy-listening settings can get a bit claustrophobic and, yes, twee after awhile without enough musical variety to break things up. (Falling James)
Sunset Rubdown at the Troubadour
It’s kinda hard to believe that vocalist/keyboardist Spencer Krug’s Sunset Rubdown was originally intended to be a poppier catchall for his more radically noisy side project Wolf Parade. Krug’s personal brand of shambolic yet precision-hewn melodic marvels has developed apace; his second and third releases, Shut Up I Am Dreaming (2006) and Random Spirit Lover (2007), were case studies in impure pop hysteria, given to maniacally mangled mash-ups dripping with “classic” ’70s more-more-more production aesthetics. Krug has a way of injecting real excitement into pallid old pop, and his brand-new Dragonslayer (Jagjaguwar) finds him further pushing the palette while homing in on the essence of what might make us (or him) jump for joy — or shed a tiny tear. A joltingly fresh ear for what makes pop go ’round and ’round and ’round. (John Payne)
Also playing Tuesday:
BOYS LIKE GIRLS, COBRA STARSHIP, A ROCKET TO THE MOON, OTHERS at Club Nokia; DAN BLACK, WE HAVE BAND, SPEECH DEBELLE at Cinespace; THE VOYEURS, FLYING TOURBILLON ORCHESTRA, THE MONOLATORS at the Echo; MARC BROUSSARD, MATT HIRES at the Mint.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28
Pelican, Black Cobra, Sweet Cobra at the Troubadour
No one really knows how these things happen. One day, you and your metalhead buddies decide to start a thrashing band, and you want to give it a name — something that conveys a certain amount of sweetness (like, “fucking sweet, bro”) but also the requisite level of menace. You settle on Sweet Cobra, and get to work on crafting some riff-forward hardcore tunes. One day, your big break arrives: Sweet Cobra will open an entire tour for fellow Chicagoans and all-around heavy-rocking godheads Pelican. Except, wait, what’s that? The sludge band that plays right before Pelican is called Black Cobra? Fucking faux pas, bro! The Sweet snake isn’t bad, but the Black one is far deadlier. That San Francisco band is, like the quite excellent Pelican, signed to L.A.’s own Southern Lord Records, but while Pelican’s heaving, wordless soundscapes hew closer to post-rock, Black Cobra specializes in gnarly, dooming metal which is, incidentally, totally sweet. (Chris Martins)