Music Picks: Grizzly Bear, Muse, Dark Dark Dark, the Charlatans UK | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Music Picks: Grizzly Bear, Muse, Dark Dark Dark, the Charlatans UK 

Also, Tonya Watts, Modeselektor, Heart and others

Thursday, Sep 16 2010
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FRIDAY/SEPTEMBER/17

UPROAR FESTIVAL AT VERIZON WIRELESS AMPHITHEATER

Brought to you by the same folks responsible for Taste of Chaos and Mayhem Festival, the newly inaugurated Uproar tour pairs as headliners two hard-rock acts without much in common beyond recent No. 1 debuts: Chicago-based Disturbed (whose Asylum bowed atop the Billboard 200 last week) churns out a chunky brand of industrial-tinged everyman metal, while Orange County's Avenged Sevenfold (whose Nightmare topped the charts in August) spikes Metallica-style thrash with a theatricality descended from Guns N' Roses. As far as songs go, there's no question of the latter band's superiority; they've got at least a half-dozen new-school classics to their credit, including "Almost Easy," which the USC marching band performed at the Rose Bowl last year. But Disturbed's live show packs a powerful fuck-the-man punch. Also on the bill: Stone Sour (with Corey Taylor and Jim Root of Slipknot) and Hellyeah (with dudes from Pantera and Mudvayne), as well as Halestorm, Airbourne, Hail the Villain and New Medicine. (Mikael Wood)

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY RANDEE ST NICHOLAS - We (heart) Heart.
  • PHOTO BY RANDEE ST NICHOLAS
  • We (heart) Heart.
 
 

Location Info

ZOLA MOONAT STARBOARD ATTITUDE

Unlike so many blues singers, Zola Moon doesn't live in the past. Her "postmodern blues" tunes may echo the powerful declamations of Koko Taylor and Etta James, but they're infused with a non-retro perspective and bohemian spirit that often evoke her literary heroes Charles Bukowski and Tennessee Williams. By writing about her own experiences and day-to-day frustrations, the South Bay singer makes the music feel immediate and palpably real instead of dispiritingly predictable. Considering her impressive back-catalog of original love songs and soulful ballads, it's ironic that her seventh and latest album, Undercover, is a set of classic-blues remakes. As such, the CD is a fine showcase for Moon's fiery vocals, and she infuses her non-slavishly faithful versions of songs by Robert Johnson and Big Mama Thornton with plenty of her own brassy personality, while lead guitarist Michael "Monster" Carter unreels dizzily agile solos all around her. (Falling James)

MARINA AND THE DIAMONDSAT EL REY THEATRE

One of the problems with U.K. buzz bands is that, by the time they arrive stateside, their material seems to be a little shopworn. This was not a big problem in the Beatles era because everyone was on speed and bands kept churning out singles and albums, but given current "release cycles," U.K. acts tour their material a year (or way over a year — see Florence and the Machine) after the initial excitement spreads through the blogosphere. Marina Diamandis' inventive melodies and powerful, theatrical pipes have been making noise online since last summer, but it's only now that we get a chance to see her in a proper theater setting. She's been lumped with La Roux, Little Boots and, yes, Florence in a new wave of British songstresses, but we think she stands out. Oh — she loves/hates Hollywood, so make sure to yell out that she looks like Shakira and Catherine Zeta-Jones! (Gustavo Turner)

Also playing Friday: MEN at the Echo (see Music feature); LOCAL NATIVES at the Music Box; PARSON RED HEADS at Spaceland; THE ADICTS at the Key Club; RAKAA at the Airliner; SAM AMIDON at the Bootleg; PRIMUS, MARIACHI EL BRONX at Club Nokia; TOWER OF POWER, AVERAGE WHITE BAND at Fairplex; THE OTMARO RUIZ TRIO at the Blue Whale.

 

SATURDAY/SEPTEMBER/18

JEFF THE BROTHERHOODAT THE SMELL

The Napoleon Dynamites of rock & roll, Jeff the Brotherhood rather overdo the dork shtick, but are awkwardly irresistible all the same. Nashville siblings Jake and Jamin Orrall (both ex–Be Your Own Pet) lustily straddle stoner Ramones riffs, shambling Sonic Youth–isms, motorik beats and mumbled slacker vocals with both the naive abandon of first-timers and an innate, shaggy sexiness that can never be learned. Jake looks like he just scooped up an electric guitar and could magically play the Sabbath-y fuck out of it, while Jamin disciplines his minimalist kit with digital meter and Neanderthal glee. Their latest full-length, Heavy Days, handily ups Jeff the Brotherhood's muscle and melody, but it's their loose-limbed, kegger-ready live show that separates them from the post–White Stripes slew of garage-pop duos. (Paul Rogers)

PHOENIX, GRIZZLY BEAR, GIRLS AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL

It's been a huge year for Phoenix. Ever since the French pop band's fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, dropped in May 2009, the reverberations have been traveling around the globe, forecasting the arrival of the quartet itself. The group is just wrapping up a (mostly) sold-out world tour, interrupted only by a dozen or so festival stops. Oh, and that time when they stopped to accept the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album, beating David Byrne and Depeche Mode, among others, with their winning mix of propulsive rhythm, tight riffing, clap-along choruses and inescapable hooks. If nothing else, Grizzly Bear have made a vocal fan of Jay-Z in that time and been covered by Michael McDonald, two odd but significant honors that illustrate the Brooklyn group's musical breadth. Theirs is a sort of catch-all modern classical played out on rock instruments. San Francisco's Girls are not girls at all, but four dudes playing a distinctly Left Coast blend of surf, pop and punk. (Chris Martins)

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