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Angelique Kidjo at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Entrancing Beninoise singer Angelique Kidjo brings her awe-inspiring rhythmic stew to Disney Hall. Discovered by Island Records' Chris Blackwell, the singer arrives in support of her new album, Õÿö. (Randall Roberts)
Also playing Sunday:
SCREAM, THE HOLLOYS at the Echo; ANARCHIST CAFE DAY PARTY at the Smell; LOUIS PRIMA JR. & THE WITNESSES, SARAH SPIEGEL at Dragonfly; TRIO ELLAS at Eastside Luv.
Moonrats, Adanowsky, Aska, SoKo at Spaceland
Local three-piece Moonrats is long overdue for an Eastside residency. The band formed in 2005 after singer Nathan Thelen left Pretty Girls Make Graves and relocated to Los Angeles, and it's since more than proved its songwriting mettle. Moonrats makes rock music that's easy to love, but always teetering on the edge of wildness. Splashy textures and aqueous guitar tones make for a dreamy and dissonant pop, with vocals that are instilled with Jeff Tweedy twang. Earlier in the night, the band's keyboardist (and then some) Aska performs songs from her Manimal-signed solo project. She's a classically trained pianist with husky vocals and a knack for hauntingly beautiful songs played out on a range of instruments and sprinkled with electronic effects. Equally notable and wholly unexpected is the presence of Adanowsky, aka Adan Jodorowsky, who just so happens to be the son of legendary Chilean film surrealist Alejandro Jodorowsky. The 30-year-old received his first guitar lesson from George Harrison and now specializes in a strange, jazz-tinged folk music. (Chris Martins)
Also playing Monday:
THE DELTA MIRROR at the Echo; ZAIMPH, STELLAR OM SOURCE, THE PACIFIC CITY, NIGHTLIFE VISION BAND at Echo Curio; JUICEBOXXX, BABY BIRDS, DON'T DRINK MILK, CUP O' NOODLES at Pehrspace; LAARKS, COSTA NOVA, THEORY OF FAITH at the Viper Room.
The Magnetic Fields, Mark Eitzel at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre
Touring in support of 2008's Distortion, New York's Magnetic Fields dispensed with that album's Jesus and Mary Chain–inspired noise-pop arrangements, recasting fuzz bombs like "California Girls" and "The Nun's Litany" as hushed quirk-folk tunes. The choice wasn't entirely aesthetic; front man (and part-time Angeleno) Stephin Merritt suffers from a sensitivity to sound known as hyperacusis, so dude can't hang with the crunch of live electric guitars. This time through town they won't have to adjust: On Distortion's follow-up, the just-released Realism, the Fields make use of a bunch of small acoustic instruments Merritt discovered in various L.A. music shops. Of course, one shouldn't take the gentler sonics as indication that Merritt's signature wit has mellowed. "I want you crawling back to me," he sings in "You Must Be Out of Your Mind," "Like an appendectomy sans anesthesia." Expect more such sweetness tonight. With another fantastic songwriter, Mark Eitzel of American Music Club, as opener. (Mikael Wood)
Also playing Tuesday:
GEORGE THOROGOOD at House of Blues; SIGNALS, I.E., JUICEBOXXX at the Smell; THE HOUNDS BELOW, MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS, RACHEL DEAN & WAR CHILDREN at Spaceland; NICE NICE, WE BREAK CAMERAS, BULLIED BY STRINGS at the Echo; BACKYARD TIRE FIRE, OLD CALIFORNIO, WHEELHOUSE at the Mint; PEACE LOVING, HORAFLORA, HEADLIGHT, LOLA LOSHKEY at Echo Curio; GABY MORENO, LUCY WOODWARD, JESSE MACHT at the Hotel Cafe; THE NOSES, INSTANT PUSSY at La Cita; SHIROCK at the Roxy.
El Perro Del Mar, Taken by Trees at the Troubadour
Have you ever been mellow? The Swedish singer Sarah Assbring, aka El Perro Del Mar, has, and presumably always will be, on the basis of her work so far. Her recent album, Love Is Not Pop, is a song cycle that's supposedly inspired by the music of Lou Reed, although there's precious little white light or white heat in Assbring's gently lulling pop songs. Still, airy melodies like "Gotta Get Smart" and "Change of Heart" have a mesmerizing quality that makes up for the sometimes-anonymous backing. Taken by Trees is the latest band from former Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman, who went to Pakistan to record her 2009 album, East of Eden. She sings in a haunted/haunting whisper, with newfound exotic touches from the Sufi musician Sain Muhammad Ali. A few years ago with the Concretes, Bergsman crafted a cleverly slowed-down, austerely lonely remake of the Stones' "Miss You" that was more somberly affecting and sincerely moving than the original version. She tries the same trick with Taken by Trees' ultramellow remake of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine," which isn't nearly as successful, especially when compared with her own glassily pretty originals. (Falling James)
Also playing Wednesday:
MIDLAKE, MATTHEW & THE ARROGANT SEA at El Rey Theatre; SHOOTER JENNINGS & HIEROPHANT at the Viper Room; THE HOLLOYS at Amoeba Music; SHRINEBUILDER, STORM OF LIGHT at the Echo.
Galactic at El Rey Theatre
In obvious homage to the city that birthed them, these experienced New Orleans groove merchants have never shied from enriching their stylistic gumbo with new ingredients: For 2003's Ruckus they hired Dan the Automator to lend his future-funk expertise, while their 2007 Anti- debut, From the Corner to the Block, featured guest appearances by a slew of underground MCs, including Mr. Lif, the Gift of Gab and Boots Riley of the Coup. Still, Galactic's latest is undoubtedly their most bumptious and boldly flavored yet. Named after a local soup of the kitchen-sink persuasion, Ya-Ka-Mayfinds the group in collaboration with old-school Crescent City royals such as Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, as well as with bounce-music new jacks like Cheeky Blakk and Big Freedia. The latter will join Galactic at El Rey (and perform a solo show the night before at El Cid), as will Cyril Neville of the Meters and the Neville Brothers. (Mikael Wood)