Music Picks: Goldfrapp, Concrete Blonde, Sally Seltmann, Black Francis | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Music Picks: Goldfrapp, Concrete Blonde, Sally Seltmann, Black Francis 

Also, Electric Daisy Carnival, the Adicts, Lou Barlow and others

Thursday, Jun 24 2010


Frank Black, aka Black Francis, seemingly has a lot more time on his hands these days after the Pixies decided to cancel a scheduled appearance at a music festival in Tel Aviv this month, in protest of Israel's deadly attack on a flotilla of Turkish boats attempting to bring supplies to the quarantined Gaza Strip. (Gorillaz and Klaxons also dropped out of the festival, and Gil Scott-Heron and Elvis Costello are among the other musicians boycotting Israel.) While it's debatable whether such a protest is really the equivalent of "cultural terrorism," as some critics in Israel have alleged, it temporarily frees Black from his nostalgic Pixies obligations and offers the chance to hear newer tunes by his Black Francis persona in an intimate small-club environment. Black's solo songs from 2009's The Golem and the recently released Non Stop Erotik are more weirdly eclectic than his Pixies oldies and are well worth a listen. Also Sat. (Falling James)

One of Long Beach's original gangstas, Warren Griffin III became a near-perfect conduit for the G-Funk sound when he adopted the alias and supersmooth flow of Warren G. He got his start in 1990 with the group 213, which aligned the 19-year-old with the similarly velvet-voiced pair of Snoop and Nate Dogg. Griffin is Dr. Dre's half-brother, and he actually had a hand in linking up his crew mates (though, wisely, not himself) with Death Row Records. He maintained his exceptionally laid-back rap even while he was "getting jacked" and "breaking [him]self," as the lyrics of the Grammy-nominated hit "Regulators" famously detail, and on through six albums, including 1999's jazz-rock fusion, I Want It All. The gangsta image never really stuck to Griffin, whose songs have always seemed far better suited for summer barbecues than gritty club floors. Befitting this image, Griffin's done a great deal of charitable work in his hometown, inspiring the mayor of Long Beach to declare the first seven days of August "Warren G Week." (Chris Martins)

click to flip through (5) Danzig, black-clad man-beast
  • Danzig, black-clad man-beast

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"Super blooming beats, funkdafied freaks and full-size carnival rides" is what the Electric Daisy Carnival advertises, and we'll be damned if it doesn't deliver. Merry-go-rounds abound during this two-day dance-music festival, while on the freaky side, you'll find various dancers (go-go, burlesque, pole), athletes (acrobats, contortionists, aerialists) and swallowers (swords, flames, pills). Musically speaking, there's enough bump for this entire city's amassed trunks. Virtually all of the big names in big beats are scheduled to show, from freshly risen stars like Deadmau5 and Swedish House Mafia (whose sets reportedly involve steam jets, giant wolf heads and forest nymphs) to techno mainstays like Kaskade, Armand Van Helden, Sasha, Z-Trip and Dieselboy. A handful of high-profile DJ sets are on deck as well — Moby, Basement Jaxx, BT, Infected Mushroom, Groove Armada — and, thanks to will.i.amand Spank Rock, the MCs won't go unrepresented either. This year Electric Daisy is popping up in Denver, Dallas and Puerto Rico as well, but Southern California is where it all started 14 years ago. (Chris Martins)

Also playing Friday: LOS TIGRES DEL NORTE at the Music Center; HEAD LIKE A KITE, SMOOSH at Bootleg Theater; GRUPO FANTASMA at El Rey Theatre; OTTMAR LIEBERT & LUNA NEGRA at Catalina Jazz Club; WARPED TOUR at Home Depot Center; KAY, THE PALOMINOS at Weber's Place; THE RESCUES at the Troubadour; IRON BUTTERFLY at Coach House; THE VENUS, TD LIND at El Cid; BROTHER SAL, LINDSAY RAY, SCOTT MELLIS at Hotel Café; BACKSTREET BOYS at the Pechanga Showroom Theatre.



"Somewhere someone's listening to the sound of a record spinning," Sarah Jaffe confides on "Summer Begs," from her new album, Suburban Nature. "Secrets are for keeping/That's what gives them their meaning/It's your certain proclamation, and it needs no explanation." Explanations may not be needed for her gentle folk-pop music, but it's worth noting that the Texas singer-guitarist reveals more intelligence and thoughtfulness than most mellow songwriters. "Before You Go" starts out as an acoustic campfire tune, until the drums kick in and her soaring vocals take on an eerie aspect. "Clementine" and "Wreaking Havoc" are solemn, vulnerable songs that are shaded movingly with moody swells of violin and cello. Meanwhile, the austere echoes of "Swelling" evoke the painful intimacy of Cat Power's balladry. Jaffe opens tonight for Lou Barlow, the founding member of Dinosaur Jr. who went in a more folkie direction with his ensuing projects Sebadoh and the Folk Implosion. Following his recent reunion with Dinosaur Jr., Barlow last year released his second solo CD, Goodnight Unknown, where his Cat Stevens–style ruminations were augmented by such guest stars as Imaad Wasif and Lisa Germano. (Falling James)

You could call them the soul-funk historians of Brooklyn, 'cause Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings come off so wise about their brassy brand of '60s and '70s R&B/related hot stuff. But precisely why they never come off like pointyheads pulling chops from a book owes to the gritty authenticity beaming out from singer Jones (maybe something to do with her having spent several years as a corrections officer in big, bad NYC). Jones' authority rings true on hurtin'-for-certain wailers like "How Long Do I Have to Wait for You," from the band's recent album, I Learned the Hard Way (Daptone), and she's known to improvise on any number of juicy topical matters like bank fraud and the big oil spill, so hold on to your hats. This is a classic soul revue on a stage loaded with heart (and brains), pumped with precision by Jones' masterful Dap-Kings combo. (John Payne)

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