Music Picks: John Lee Hooker Jr., Faun Fables, Tribute to Dolly Parton | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Music Picks: John Lee Hooker Jr., Faun Fables, Tribute to Dolly Parton 

Also, Ray LaMontagne, Wait. Think. Fast., Crooked Fingers and others

Thursday, Sep 2 2010
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Click here for a Q&A with FYF Fest's Sean Carlson.

FRIDAY/SEPTEMBER/3

THE DELTA MIRROR AT SPACELAND

click to enlarge The Family Hooker: John Lee Hooker Jr.
  • The Family Hooker: John Lee Hooker Jr.

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Being self-conscious isn't always a bad thing. The Delta Mirror's bio describes the L.A.-based band as channeling the "broken records of mid-'90s hip-hop ... bent circuits of electronica, dead IDM laptops and broken shoegaze strings." It's a pretty astute summation. The consistency between those disparate sounds is the "busted up" element. The group's songs are decidedly damaged — with titles like "He Was Worse Than the Needle He Gave You" and "A Song About the End" — so perhaps that's why all of the narratives on their full-length debut, Machines That Listen (Lefse Records), take place within a hospital. Nine different rooms, to be exact, one for each track, where singer Craig Golden attempts healing through purging via his Interpol-like black baritone. Karrie K. provides some airier vocal support, but mostly her duty is to tend to the pulse — the bass — while David Bolt manipulates a slew of electronic devices, patching together all those emotions and ideas into a gorgeous Frankenstein's monster. (Chris Martins)

ZOMBELLE AT SPACE 15 TWENTY

Zombelle's story closely resembles that of Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls. Evidently tired of singing in someone else's band, she dropped out of whatever outfit she was a part of and picked up a guitar, then strummed her way to a full-on artistic reinvention. But unlike Dee Dee (government name: Kirstin Gundred), Zombelle's identity is still shrouded in mystery, which only adds to the creepy enigma that courses through her spare, weird guitar songs. Often, she's armed with an acoustic, laying down dark folk that brings to mind Beck's earliest experimentations. The song "Go to Her" is a perfect example of this, her voice layered many times over, vacillating between a deep growl and a high, Devendra-like warble. But she also dabbles in the electric arts, using an ax to generate sludgy texture, and God-knows-what to spruce it up with lo-bit beats and what sounds like swarms of insects (see "Do It Casanova"), while her haunted cry becomes a choir of tortured souls. (Chris Martins)

Also playing Friday: MUMIY TROLL at the Roxy; STEREO TOTAL at the Echoplex; SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS, LYNDA KAY at the Echo; EARTH WIND & FIRE at the Hollywood Bowl; ADLER'S APPETITE, STONEBREED at the Canyon; CECI BASTIDA at the Glass House; MEDIA BLITZ, SUMMER VACATION, IMPERIAL CAN at Pehrspace; THE MAU MAUS, SYMBOL SIX, THE BILLYBONES at Redwood Bar & Grill; WAILING SOULS, MIGHTY DIAMONDS at Saint Rocke; MARY WILSON at Catalina Bar & Grill; LINDA HOPKINS' BLUES REVUE at Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill.

 

SATURDAY/SEPTEMBER/4

JOHN LEE HOOKER JR. AT HARVELLE'S

The Chicago singer John Lee Hooker Jr. might be heir to John Lee Hooker Sr.'s legacy, but he nonetheless has his own style, which is closer to the Windy City electric-blues sound than to his father's earthy, traditional grooves. Following a lifetime of hard knocks (involving drugs, alcohol and jail), Junior burst onto the scene in 2004 with his belated debut album, Blues With a Vengeance, which he aptly described as "celebratory redemption." He actually got his start at an early age, performing as a teenager in his Detroit hometown with luminaries like the great Jimmy Reed and appearing on his father's 1972 album Live at Soledad Prison. In the intervening decades, Junior had his own life lessons to learn, experiences that inform the randy yet wise lyrics on such tunes as "Blues Ain't Nothin' but a Pimp." He recently released his fourth album, Live in Istanbul, Turkey, which features the florid soloing of guitarist Angelo Santi. (Falling James)

A TRIBUTE TO DOLLY PARTON AT WILL GEER THEATRICUM BOTANICUM

Nestled in the hills of Topanga lies the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, an open-air theater ringed by trees that evokes a more pastoral, peaceful era. Many of the venue's play productions have a local flavor, with participation from actors and crew in the neighborhood adding to the down-home, folksy vibe. This afternoon's homage to Dolly Parton will likely have a similar feel, with Topanga native Inara George rounding up some of her friends from the L.A. pop-folk underground, including mellow chanteuse Eleni Mandell and the Lavender Diamond's Becky Stark, George's partners in the vocal supergroup the Living Sisters. George also sings with the twee-pop combo the Bird & the Bee and is, of course, the daughter of the late Little Feat leader Lowell George. Other guests who'll work "Nine to Five" to re-create old Parton favorites (especially the chillingly heartbreaking classic "Jolene") include Paul Simon's songwriter son, Harper Simon, as well as Phillip Littell, Alex Lilly, John Gold, Juliana Raye, Justine Kragen, James Combs, Erica Canales, Sara Melson, Charlie Wadhams, Mike Viola, Dan Bern, Wendy Wang and Mike Andrews. Starts at 3 p.m. (Falling James)

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