RIVER CITY TANLINES AT WOOLY BLVD.
The late Arthur Lee was backed for many years by the local power-pop band Baby Lemonade, but many fans might not realize that the longtime Angeleno formed one final version of Love after he moved back to his Memphis hometown. That lineup included River City Tanlines singer-guitarist Alicja Trout and former members of the Reigning Sound, and the Memphis Love reportedly had more of an elemental style that returned Lee to his garage-punk roots, although the band was only in the rehearsal stage when the singer died from leukemia in 2006. Trout was already something of a Memphis legend, having played with the Clears and dueled with Jay Reatard in the synth-punk group Lost Sounds. River City Tanlines are a more straightforward garage-blues power trio, with Trout joined by the rhythm section of Terrence Bishop and John Bonds, who've previously supported blues icons T-Model Ford and R.L. Burnside. No shrinking violet, Trout howls feral blues-rock stompers like "I'm Your Negative" and "He Said Yes," letting up for the occasional pop reverie like "Lookin' for a Line." (Falling James)
ROBYN, KELIS AT THE MUSIC BOX
Proving that there's more to the current electro-pop moment than Lady Gaga, these two dance-floor divas have teamed up for one of the summer's coolest road shows, which they're calling the All Hearts Tour. Last month Robyn released Body Talk Pt. 1, the first of three sets the Swedish singer is promising to issue before the end of 2010. It's got only eight tracks, but each one is a keeper — especially "Dancing on My Own" and "Cry When You Get Older," both of which pull off the priceless electro-pop trick of sounding happy and sad at the same time. Kelis just put out Flesh Tone, a powerful collection of sparkly disco anthems that reflect on some heavy personal-life experiences, including the birth of her son and her divorce from Nas. With Dan Black and Far East Movement. (Mikael Wood)
Also playing Friday: QUEENSRYCHE CABARET at Club Nokia; THE SPITS at the Echo; DELTA SPIRIT at El Rey; ALEJANDRO SANZ at Gibson Amphitheatre; JACKSON BROWNE, DAVID LINDLEY at the Greek Theatre; PLANET EARTH LIVE: LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC WITH GEORGE FENTON at the Hollywood Bowl; RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, CONOR OBERST & THE MYSTIC VALLEY BAND at the Hollywood Palladium; ZIGGY MARLEY, COMMON SENSE at Pacific Amphitheatre; KITTEN, PILLZ, DENSON SHORE at the Smell; SLEEPY SUN at Spaceland; LYLE LOVETT at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
THE GAME AT CLUB NOKIA
The Game can't seem to keep a friend for more than five minutes. Perhaps it's owing to the Blood's broken childhood in Compton, which mostly took place within Crip territory. Career-wise, early mixtape buzz and big-ups from Dr. Dre resulted in Game's placement within G-Unit, the budding gangsta crew led by 50 Cent. But that didn't last long. In fact, roughly within a year of the alliance, Game and his supposed partners had beef. Game denied that Fiddy had a heavy hand in creating his successful solo debut, 2005's The Documentary, while Fiddy took issue with Game's strip-club shenanigans and lack of loyalty when some cross-coastal static emerged. The drama continues to this day, leaving behind a wake of diss tracks (also directed at Jay-Z, Ja Rule and the Luniz's Yukmouth) and, according to lore, a bullet in Suge Knight's leg. Game's soon-out LP, The R.E.D. Album, shouldn't exist — he announced his retirement in 2008 — but confirmed collaborations with Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane and Justin Timberlake seem promising, even if they'll all end up hating each other in a couple of months. (Chris Martins)
PINBACK PRESENTS THE ROB AND ZACH SHOW AT EL REY
Apparently leaping from buzz band to veteran status overnight (sometime around their 2004 master understatement Summer in Abaddon), Pinback provide both optimistic morning glories and intricately contemplative home-alone night sounds. Zach Smith's partly polyphonic, head-bobbing nerd bass builds summery latticework with Rob Crow's windup guitars, as their androgynous, gently fraught voices mingle and merge to almost chloroformic effect. The pair's four albums to date prove that drum machines, in the right company, do have soul, and that pristine arrangements and visceral connection are far from mutually exclusive. Tonight they'll be performing in their two-piece "Rob and Zach Show" incarnation, reinterpreting Pinback faves in stripped-down fashion (with minimal use of backing tracks) and previewing tunes from their imminent new album — their first since '07's rather water-treading Autumn of the Seraphs. (Paul Rogers)
BOMBA ESTÉREO AT THE GETTY CENTER
The Getty Center can seem like a staid place sometimes, but the Colombian duo Bomba Estéreo should shake things up at the museum this evening. Charismatic singer Liliana "Li" Saumet belts out lyrics in Spanish and occasionally in English as her musical partner, Simón Mejía, backs her with a dazzling array of beats and sonic effects on guitar, bass and assorted electronics. Cumbia grooves are juiced up with hip-hop and reggae rhythms, and then Mejía layers things further and deeper with spacy touches that make the duo's soundscapes both danceable and head-spinning. Their third album, 2009's Blow Up (Nacional Records), was their stateside breakthrough, as Saumet proved that she could seduce listeners not just with rapid-fire raps like "Fuego" but also with more melodic songs like "Aguasala." The early-evening show begins at 6 p.m. with a set of trippy techno from Nortec Collective's Jorge Verdín, aka Clorofila. (Falling James)