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 Tuesday: STEEL TRAIN, MATT EMBREE, YOUNG THE GIANT at El Rey Theatre; LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC, GRANT GERSHON, JESSICA RIVERA, CHRISTINE BRANDES, KELLY O'CONNOR, LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE at the Hollywood Bowl; SAM BRADLEY, CHARLIE MARS at the Hotel Café; THE RICHARD GLASER JAZZ BAND at Waterfront.
9081 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: West Hollywood
2200 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Category: Bars and Clubs
Region: Out of Town
FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE, TERENCE BLANCHARD AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL
With Fela! killin' 'em on Broadway and Knitting Factory Records in the midst of a massive reissue campaign, it's difficult to remember a time when stateside interest in the music of Fela Kuti was higher than it is right now. One result of the uptick in attention? A brief U.S. tour by Fela's son Femi Kuti, who keeps the spirit of his father's groundbreaking Afrobeat innovations alive with records and concerts that marry progressive politics to percolating grooves. In one of the funkiest cuts on Femi's latest album, 2008's Day by Day, he questions why the level of poverty in Africa is so out of proportion with the continent's natural splendor. Femi's hardly bashful about stretching out in the studio, but onstage is where he and his band, Positive Force, really find their legs — expect to use yours tonight. With Terence Blanchard, the celebrated jazz trumpeter, who's slated to premiere a new work with L.A.'s Lula Washington Dance Theatre. (Mikael Wood)
Also playing Wednesday: DIAMOND SNAKE at the Dragonfly; CATHERIN AD, GUGGENHEIM GROTTO at the Hotel Café; FEAR FACTORY, 36 CRAZYFISTS, AFTER THE BURIAL, DIVINE HERESY at House of Blues; THEATRE 360 at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; WE WERE LOVERS at Viper Room.
AU REVOIR SIMONE, ALEXA WILDING, GEORGE SARAH AT THE ECHOPLEX
"Every time that we say goodnight, goodnight, goodnight/I'm haunted by your eyes/And how long they've been crying," sing Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone on their 2009 LP, Still Night, Still Light. There's something just as haunting about the way they paint a romantic picture with little more than bubbling, momentous keyboards and the delightful way they make the phrase "goodnight, goodnight, goodnight" sparkle with such radiant optimism. "I hope you're coming with me," they sing, and you'd be a fool to resist the gentle entreaties in songs like the sleekly austere "All or Nothing" or the dizzily orchestral "Stay Golden." New York City songwriter Alexa Wilding first came to attention with ex–Sonic Youth drummer Bob Bert's International Shades before starting her own solo folk-pop career. Her mellow acoustic ballads, such as "Black Diamond Day," are distinguished by her fragile if slightly mannered delivery. The multitalented local classical/electronic composer George Sarah has worked with M.I.A., David J and Josh Haden and neatly describes his atmospheric soundscapes as "unrequited love songs with a minor-key introspection." (Falling James)
KONONO NO. 1 AT THE SANTA MONICA PIER
Scan the liner notes of The Imagine Project, Herbie Hancock's new star-studded follow-up to his Grammy-winning 2007 set of Joni Mitchell interpretations, and among the A-list likes of Pink, John Legend and Dave Matthews you'll find a more unexpected name: Konono No. 1, the Congolese street band known for fuzzing up the sound of the likembé (or thumb piano) with homemade amplifiers assembled, in part, from old car parts. In the six years since Belgium's Crammed Discs released the group's debut album, Konono No. 1 have traveled miles both literal and figurative, performing their trance-inducing dance music at shows in Europe and the United States and collaborating with art-world heavyweights such as Björk, who featured the band on her album Volta. And now they're here playing the Santa Monica Pier (!) in support of Assume Crash Position, a new disc whose propulsive forward momentum justifies the album's title. Can Oprah's approval be far behind?(Mikael Wood)
BENJI HUGHES AT LARGO
Although he racked up loads of fawning reviews — including a recent-ish piece in The Believer that called him "one of the best pop songwriters in America" — this North Carolina native didn't quite bust into the mainstream with his 2008 double-disc debut, A Love Extreme, which he made here in L.A. with producer Keefus Ciancia. So it should be interesting to find out what Benji Hughes has been up to lately at this Largo gig, the first of four Thursday-night shows there this month: Has the Leon Russell look-alike's lack of Top 40 love convinced him to dial down the stylistic adventurousness? Or has he perhaps burrowed even more deeply into his considerable idiosyncrasies, à la Prince during the mid-'90s Chaos and Disorderdays? Either way, keep your eyes peeled for celebrity guests — dude's got friends in high places. (Mikael Wood)
Also playing Thursday: LEON RUSSELL, THE SPAZMATICS at the Canyon; DON CARLOS, FORTUNATE YOUTH, JAAM KWEST at Coach House; SUGARLAND, MICHELLE BRANCH, WILL HOGE at the Greek Theatre; ADMIRAL RADLEY (see Music feature), THE HAPPY HOLLOWS at Hammer Museum; LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC, NIKOLAJ ZNAIDER at Hollywood Bowl; AMBER RUBARTH, GARRISON STARR, LEILA LOPEZ at the Hotel Café; JOHN MCEUEN at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; LEO RONDEAU at the Redwood Bar & Grill; SPELL TALK at Silverlake Lounge; LISA & HER KIN, PONDOROSA at Weber's Place.