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
3790 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Category: Music Venues
Region: Out of Town
2700 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Category: Community Venues
Region: Los Feliz
LUDACRIS AT THE WILTERN
Lo and behold the new Ludacris, the Atlanta rapper-actor and now (sort of) feminist who declares that his most recent set, Battle of the Sexes (Def Jam), was intended to empower "the ladies." And indeed the album does occasionally cede front stage to a few bold and beautiful vocalists of "the female persuasion," including his longtime protégée Shawnna, plus strong shouts from up-and-coming supastars Monica and Eve. While, predictably, L and his buds do grab the reins and take over once again, the man can be commended for having such nobly progressive thoughts — and he even kinda chides Tiger Woods on the bonus track "Sexting." Whatever: Ludacris has loomed so long and so large in rap — and Battle is his third No. 1 on the Billboard charts — that it's entirely possible that nobody gives a damn what he's saying, but most everybody loves the way it sounds. (John Payne)
SILVERSUN PICKUPS AT THE GREEK THEATRE
While Silversun Pickups remain under Smashing Pumpkins' anguished sonic shadow (alternately twee/tortured guitars, quiet-bit/loud-bit dynamics, those nervy vocals), the sheer quality of their gorgeously unsettling second album, last year's Swoon, trumps any lingering sense of déjà vu. Swoon's bigger-budget strings 'n' things were little surprise after the success of SSPU's 2006 debut, Carnavas, but its leap in song craft and relative self-identity was shocking (though opener "There's No Secrets This Year" is stubbornly, almost comically, Corganesque). Semiwhispered verses, an orchestral sense of significance and ominous here-and-gone guitars lend "The Royal We" an elegant big-city menace, while "Catch & Release" becomes an exasperated, lustfully repeatable lullaby. There's something reassuringly classic about a local band simply making strong records, working hard on the road and then returning to headline a venue of the Greek's starlit grandeur. With the Henry Clay People and Against Me! (Paul Rogers)
Also playing Friday: GIN BLOSSOMS at Canyon Club; KENNY BURRELL QUINTET at Catalina Jazz Club; LIMELIGHT at Galaxy Concert Theatre; RENT feat. WAYNE BRADY, VANESSA HUDGENS et al. at the Hollywood Bowl; THE PHARCYDE at Key Club; BONGA + VODOU DRUMS at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; JENNI RIVERA at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE; STYX at Pacific Amphitheatre; CHUCK DUKOWSKI SEXTET, THE SHRINE, INSECTS VS. ROBOTS, DAHGA BLOOM at the Smell; EVAN VOYTAS, THE COOLING TIME, ALL WRONG AND THE PLANS CHANGE at Spaceland; WE ARE SCIENTISTS, REWARDS at the Troubadour.
LOST IN THE TREES AT MCCABE'S
This young North Carolina–based outfit recently signed with L.A.'s Anti- label, which next week will release a newly reworked version of Lost in the Trees' 2008 debut, All Alone in an Empty House. Full of dramatic string arrangements and folky acoustic guitar, Empty House belongs to the same indie-classical trendlet as Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest, St. Vincent's Actor and Illinois-era Sufjan Stevens. Lost in the Trees mastermind Ari Picker's tender sad-guy croon is sure to excite people who simply melt when Stevens sings about almost touching someone's blouse in the living room at Michael's house. Given the hushed, homey vibe of McCabe's guitar-lined show space, this Saturday-night gig will probably make for an ideal spot to see these kids. But it's not your only chance: They're also scheduled to play Spaceland on Monday, Amoeba Music on Tuesday and the Hotel Café on Thursday. (Mikael Wood)
WHISPERTOWN 2000 AT ECHO CURIO
Whispertown 2000 live up to the first half of their name with gentle folk-pop reveries that, indeed, evoke "Old Times," as leader Morgan Nagler sang on their 2008 album, Swim. That down-home vibe continues on their new EP, Done With Love, where Nagler's rootsy melodies are sweetened with Vanesa Corbala's harmonies. The local quartet aren't breaking any new ground, but Nagler's songs are so tunefully endearing that it's easy to see why they've attracted the support of members of Rilo Kiley, who helped them get their start, as well as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, who signed them to Acony Records. "I'm not trying to move fast/but I can't stay slow," Nagler sings, even as brothers Tod Adrian Wisenbaker and Casey Wisenbaker keep things moving at a restful and easygoing pace. (Falling James)
HARD SUMMER AT L.A. STATE HISTORIC PARK
Last year's Hard Summer Music Festival prefigured the raver madness that would follow in its wake: Nearly 18,000 kids descended on the Forum in Inglewood and, after some gate-crashing, the event was shut down before it could get off the ground. It was a prelude to June's Electric Daisy Carnival, the 160,000-fan event that saw its share of rowdiness and antirave controversy. As Hard act Digitalism sings on "Pogo," "There's something in the air," and that something wears neon Ray-Bans and checkered Vans. There's a whole new generation of dance-music fans, and the wave seems to be peaking this summer. Hard offers more artistic quality than the megaraves' hand-raising trance populists (dub punks Major Lazer, electroclash pioneer Tiga, psychedelic house icon Green Velvet). That doesn't mean, however, that Hard won't have the same off-the-charts youthful energy. Try to keep up. (Dennis Romero)
Also playing Saturday: KENNY BURRELL QUINTET at Catalina Jazz Club; THE DAN BAND at Club Nokia; ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI, PURO INSTINCT (FORMERLY PEARL HARBOR), MAGIC KIDS at Detroit Bar; HOT BISCUIT at El Cid; ALFREDO ROLANDO ORTIZ at Ford Amphitheatre; HELLO SEAHORSE! at the Glass House; RINGO STARR & HIS ALL STARR BAND at the Greek Theatre: RENT feat. WAYNE BRADY, VANESSA HUDGENS et al. at the Hollywood Bowl; JOAN ARMATRADING at Long Beach Terrace Theatre; JENNI RIVERA at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE; LAZHY, PROTECTME, BACK TO THE FUTURE THE RIDE at the Smell; THE DONNAS at the Troubadour.
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