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
THE VIC CHESNUTT BAND AT THE ECHOPLEX
Vic Chesnutt is a true legend, a real lifer who wrote his first song at the age of 5, was playing trumpet in a cover band with people twice his age at 16, and didn’t let a tragic car wreck — and his resulting paraplegic status — derail him from an incredible career in music. In just less than two decades, the Athens, Georgia, singer-songwriter has made 17 albums, each defined by its dark and gritty poetry, and each varying in Americana-tinged texture depending on who Chesnutt wrangles as his backing band. Michael Stipe produced his first two records, and he’s since enlisted Lambchop, Elf Power, Widespread Panic, Bill Frisell and Van Dyke Parks for his on-album supergroups. His latest, At the Cut, and its acclaimed 2008 predecessor, Dark Developments, skews toward spare post-punk at times — no doubt a result of having Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto onboard, alongside members of Silver Mt. Zion and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Incredibly, Chesnutt has brought this burly crew on the road with him, making this show a bona fide historic event. Warpaint opens. (Chris Martins)
Also playing Tuesday:
THE JAKES at Kaufman Hall; SWORDS OF FATIMA, NEW ROME QUARTET, LIGHTNIN’ WOODCOCK at the Echo; THE SECTION QUARTET HOLIDAY SHOW at Largo at the Coronet; VISE VIRSA, LONDON TO TOKYO, AM VS. FM at the Silverlake Lounge; FURCAST, BEAR FACE at the Bootleg Theater; SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD, WHISKY CHIMP at the Viper Room.
J. TILLMAN AT THE TROUBADOUR
Thanks to the antics of Keith Moon and John Bonham, drummers have the reputation for being rowdy gonzo types. J. Tillman, the drummer for the Seattle band the Fleet Foxes, definitely counters that stereotype — at least musically. Tillman, who was releasing solo albums before signing up with the Foxes, crafts quiet, spare music that suggests a Nick Drake raised in the Mojave or a Neil Young who never saddled up with Crazy Horse. His captivating new disc, Year in the Kingdom, casts a haunting, almost mystical aura. Tillman sings with a hushed intensity that conveys the solemnity of prayer, and there’s also an elliptically biblical quality to his lyrics in songs like “Age of Man” and the title track. However, it seems less religious proselytizing than spiritually confessional. Tillman’s languid, fragile music stands as more emotionally direct than the freak folkies but also more off-center than your strummy hippie singer-songwriter. However, the hirsute Tillman does fit in with the other cosmic mountain men of the Northwest neo-folk-rock scene. (Michael Berick)
Also playing Wednesday:
GRAMMY NOMINATIONS LIVE feat. BLACK EYED PEAS, MAXWELL, SUGARLAND at Club Nokia; SONUS QUARTET at the Bootleg Theater; LITTLE GIRLS at Bordello; ROYAL CROWN REVUE at the Mint; HELEN STELLAR, KAV, SQUARE ON SQUARE, NIGHTMARE AIR at the Echo; USELESS KEYS, SAMUEL STEWART, TWIN FIGHT at Spaceland; CORINNE BAILEY RAE at the Hotel Café.
BARONESS, EARTHLESS, IRON AGE AT THE TROUBADOUR
Following up last year’s acclaimed Red Record (Relapse), Georgia kingpins Baroness’ Blue Record (Relapse) proffers your de rigueur colossal, steaming piles of proggy power-sludge along with low-key respites of moody ambience. They chug most ferociously and funkily when called upon to do so, and their doom-laden lyrics waft windward atop foreboding-mode riffs lavishly ladled with, get this, melody! Baroness have the distinct healthy stink of a classic-rock band that’s gone real, real bad, and that’s good. San Diego’s ruthlessly psychedelic Earthless are players, featuring as they do human-octopus drummer Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes, the Blackheart Procession, Clickatat Ikatowi), guitarist Isaiah Mitchell (Nebula, Drunk Horse) and bassist Mike Eginton (Electric Nazarene). Their trance-inducing brand of deepest drone-pummel psychedelia is heard to hellishly righteous effect on their recent album, Live From Roadburn (Tee Pee Records). Your Texas-style metal moshing comes courtesy of openers Iron Age, whose thrashy new The Sleeping Eye (Tee Pee) will kick your can sideways, and you’ll thank them for it. (John Payne)
Also playing Thursday:
DIGABLE PLANETS at the Key Club; BOBBY LONG, JER COONS at the Mint; MOUNT ST. HELENS VIETNAM BAND, DIRT DRESS, SPIRIT VINE, ALLAH LAS at the Echo; ANDY CLOCKWISE, TRIXIE WHITLEY at Spaceland; BARONESS at the Troubadour.