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
2200 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Region: Out of Town
5515 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Region: Mid-Wilshire/ Hancock Park
1123 Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Van Dyke Parks, Clare & the Reasons at McCabe’s
Van Dyke Parks is the celebrated composer who's perhaps best known for his sunny and smiley collaborations with Brian Wilson, but he's also worked with everyone from the Byrds, Tim Buckley and Harry Nilsson to Laurie Anderson, Randy Newman and Cher. And, unlike so many pop geezers from the '60s generation, Parks has remained interested in new ideas over the ensuing decades, producing, arranging, recording and otherwise mixing it up with such modern folks as Mari Iijima, Danger Mouse, Joanna Newsom and the Bird & the Bee's Inara George. Of course, Parks' own songs are a wonderfully fantastic amalgam of Americana, classical, folk, pop, blues jazz, psychedelia — basically, everything vital that's ever happened on this continent tossed together in a dense, madcap, egalitarian fashion. Clare & the Reasons are yet another group he's helped out. Led by Clare Manchon (the daughter of folkie Geoff Muldaur) and multi-instrumentalist Olivier Manchon, the Brooklyn duo whip up the airiest of pop soufflés on their second album, Arrow (Frog Stand Records), highlighted by smart, nonsyrupy string arrangements and Clare's delicately fine vocals. The Reasons even make Genesis' "That's All" sound perfectly ... reasonable. (Falling James)
Dengue Fever at Kidrockers at the Echo
These kids today, they don't know what real music is. Why, if they were smart they'd harass their parents into taking them to Kidrockers, where this very special Valentine's Day event features exotic beat auteurs Dengue Fever. The L.A.-based combo's mishmash of vintage Cambodian lounge pop, surfin'-&-spyin' skanks and evocative psychedelia features birdlike Cambodian singer Chhom Nagol, along with founders Ethan and Zac Holtzman on Farfisa, bargain-basement synth and slippery Strats — a sound just faithful enough to the stuff the Holtzman Bros. found on old cassettes behind fish markets in Phnom Penh. The band recently released a documentary film on DVD, Sleepwalking Through the Mekong, that follows Dengue to Cambodia in 2005, when they became the first Western band to perform Khmer rock since the fall of the Khmer Rouge. (Show starts at 1 p.m.) (John Payne)
Also playing Sunday:
JOHN WIESE, LASSE MARHAUG at the Smell; BUILD AN ARK at Amoeba Music; THE DELFONICS, THE INTRUDERS, THE PERSUADERS, JOE BATAAN at Gibson Amphitheatre; MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, SET YOUR GOALS, GARFUNKEL & OATES at House of Blues; THE MAU MAUS, THE GEARS, A PRETTY MESS at the Redwood Bar; DANIEL LANOIS' BLACK DUB at Spaceland; NORMANDIE, NIGHT HORSE, YOURS TIL DEATH at the Troubadour.
Gamble House at Silverlake Lounge
Gamble House is stained with perpetual sunset. It's a pensive, pretty place neither fully glowing nor utterly gloomy, where the imminent night implies both romance and solitude. Fairly compared to Grizzly Bear and Elliott Smith, these focused locals (originally the solo expression of Ben Becker but now a quintet) have been steadily adding blogs to their warm buzz, and this will be the third night of a monthlong Monday residency. Gamble House embroiders, but seldom clutters, unpretentious tunes and understated vocals with woozy harmonies, organic dynamics and knits of acoustic, oft-arcane instrumentation (including banjo and glockenspiel). It's ethereal, lip-chewing stuff all right, but Becker and co. allow themselves a carnivalesque, slightly celebratory side evoking some prancing Wicker Man–y procession — full of color and culture, yet knowing way too much to be truly happy. (Paul Rogers)
Also playing Monday:
USELESS KEYS, AUSHUA, WE BARBARIANS, SCIENCE at the Echo; THE RUBY FRIEDMAN ORCHESTRA at the Hotel Café; ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO at L'Kegg Gallery; PRINCETON, LE SWITCH, WADE RYFF & FRIENDS, ADAM STERN at Spaceland; PETER WEISS, JOSH KLINGHOFFER, BLACK CHURCH at the Echo Curio.
Los Lonely Boys, Alejandro Escovedo, Carrie Rodriguez at House of Blues
The Texas band of brothers Los Lonely Boys aren't doing anything terribly new — their most recent release, 1969, is an EP of faithful, fairly straightforward classic-rock covers — but their easygoing blues-pop is nonetheless enjoyable. Henry Garza's guitar playing might not sting as much as Stevie Ray's or be as wildly open-minded as Jimi's, but he's generally more soulful than most rock speed merchants. On 1969, veteran British engineer/producer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, Television, the Stones) gives JoJo Garza's bass and, especially, Ringo Garza's drums more punch than they've had on previous recordings. Alejandro Escovedo was around in the earliest days of punk with the Nuns and helped clear the way for the alt-country scene with Rank & File and the True Believers in the 1980s, but the Austin singer-guitarist didn't really get heavy until the start of his solo career in the early '90s. He can be as poppy as Los Lonely Boys on songs like "Swallows of San Juan" and "Sister Lost Soul," from his most recent album, Real Animal, but Escovedo also has a perverse fascination with murder and mayhem on harder, weirder punk chants like "Chelsea Hotel '78" and "Nuns Song." Carrie Rodriguez is a violinist who's toured with Escovedo and recorded several albums with Chip Taylor. She's likely to play fiddle with Escovedo tonight, but don't miss a minute of her opening set, because she's also an intriguingly varied songwriter with a sweetly appealing voice. The title track of Rodriguez's 2008 album, She Ain't Me, is a sad but purty slice of pure country pop, while earlier songs like "7 Angels Revisited" trip out into a dreamily rustic psychedelia. A version of Taylor's " '50s French Movie," from her recent concert CD, Live in Louisville, is contrastingly raw, with woozy, bluesy slide guitar bumping and grinding against Rodriguez's little-girl-lost purr. (Falling James)
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