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 Sunday: LOS CENZONTLES at House of Blues.
8800 Irvine Center Dr
Irvine, CA 92603
Category: Performing Arts Venues
Region: Out of Town
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5515 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Region: Mid-Wilshire/ Hancock Park
2301 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Category: Music Venues
Region: Out of Town
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Category: Attractions/Amusement Parks
Region: Out of Town
I AM NOT LEFT HANDED AT MOLLY MALONE'S
This London trio describes itself as "mostly Irish"; its "female vocal, male harmonies, plus a delicate balance between acoustic and electric" act has been compared to 10,000 Maniacs, Rilo Kiley and Suzanne Vega. The material on their EPs is extremely promising and this gig will be a chance to catch them in an intimate pub setting. (Gustavo Turner)
Also playing Monday: FAMILY OF THE YEAR at Silverlake Lounge.
EFTERKLANG, BUKE AND GASS AT THE TROUBADOUR
Copenhagen's Efterklang offer excruciatingly lovely, frozen slabs of ambient wintry wonderworld cloaked in sustained airy drones — tiny electronic crackles like the crunch of twigs 'neath the boots on a trek across the tundra. The evocative atmospheres that pervade their latest album, Magic Chairs (4AD), are the result of very tastefully picturesque orchestrations twined with signal processors and studio atmospherics. They also offer a raft of excellent melodies, which they're not as often credited for. Also Brooklyn duo Buke and Gass, whose just-out Riposte on the choice Brassland label presents a piquantly pointy-headed pop played on homemade hybrid instruments, spiced with loping African polyrhythms and other odd meters. B&G's happily lopsided "song" structures are custom-designed to encourage deep-in-thought chin-stroking even on the dance floor. (John Payne)
Also playing Tuesday: RATATAT, DOM at Club Nokia; FURTHUR at the Greek; KELE, DOES IT OFFEND YOU YEAH at the Music Box.
THE CHARLATANS UK, GIANT DRAG AT EL REY THEATRE
Soldiering on after past tragedies, including the death of keyboardist Rob Collins in 1996, the Charlatans UK continue to wind up their mournfully melodic songs, even as music styles have come and gone in the many years since the British band started in 1989. Singer Tim Burgess croons elegiac anthems like "I Don't Care Where You Live" and "My Beautiful Friend" with tuneful panache, as guitarist Mark Collins and keyboardist Tony Rogers weave together trippy entrails of hypnotizing sounds. The Charlatans return to the States with selections from a new album, Who We Touch. Adding considerable allure to the evening is an opening set by local alterna-rocker duo Giant Drag, who don't play live as much as they should. Singer Annie Hardy intones gently lulling tunes that are contrasted by her soaring, surging guitar lines and drummer Micah Calabrese's heartbeat rhythms. Hardy's blend of distorted, Sonic Youth–style riffs and cottony vocals is positively enchanting. (Falling James)
THE XX, WARPAINT, ZOLA JESUS AT THE HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM
The most surprising part about The xx winning Britain's most prestigious music award, the Mercury Prize, isn't actually the fact that the dour indie act's eponymous debut album beat out far more accessible fare by the likes of soul chanteuse Corinne Bailey Rae and folk phenomenon Mumford & Sons. What's shocking is that singer Oliver Sim — who'd be first choice for the lead in a Dracula prequel — actually appeared gracious and glowing when he received the honor. On album, the deadpan Sim and his breathy emotive foil Romy Madley Croft weave a slow and deliberate path through a minimal stew of gothic pop and new-wave soul. It doesn't sound like a celebration, but it does deserve to be celebrated for its cool confidence, and The xx live show is a mesmerizing thing full of black getups, gold crosses, ghostly croons and coifed dos. L.A.'s moody grunge-pop girl group Warpaint opens, in advance of their October Beggars debut, The Fool. (Chris Martins)
Also playing Wednesday: THE AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT, CALDER QUARTET at the Ford Amphitheatre.
ALL FOR THE HALL AT CLUB NOKIA
Nothing is more antithetical to the spirit of musical creativity than the idea of placing folks in a hall of fame. By the time some fussy, hidebound and conservative organization gets around to entombing — er, enshrining — a musician in such a musical mausoleum, it's a sure sign that the honoree's songs stopped being relevant many years earlier. Nonetheless, tonight's All for the Hall event, a fund-raiser for the Country Music Hall of Fame, is worthwhile, if only for the chance to see Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson, as well as the relatively lightweight pop-country starlet Taylor Swift. Harris somehow always manages to bestow her own grace on such glitzy affairs. No matter how pompous the occasion, Harris' aching, piercing harmonies lend a gravitas and feeling of soulfulness that evoke the primacy of country and real roots music. Apart from his forays into stardom as a Hollywood actor, Kristofferson has always been an incisive songwriter, with such memorable hits as "Me & Bobby McGee" and "Sunday Morning Comin' Down." The combination of Harris and Kristofferson on the bill should go a long way toward counterbalancing the sycophantic, self-congratulatory smarminess of such events. (Falling James)
DARK DARK DARK AT HAMMER MUSEUM
Built around the introspective piano musings of Nona Invie, the mini-symphonies of Minneapolis-based chamber-folk sextet Dark Dark Dark offer a beguilingly beautiful experience. The collective was founded by multi-instrumentalists and singers Invie and Marshall LaCount, songwriters with a deep love for somewhat disparate musical strands including minimalism, pop, New Orleans jazz, Americana and Eastern European folk. While that sort of eclecticism is hardly unique these days, this particular combo seems imbued with a special expertise in the tricky maneuverings of texture, harmony and (especially) acoustical tone. This darkly delicate instrumental imagery is heard to best effect on their new Wild Go album, a 10-song set of highly cinematic magic on which Invie's soaring, haunting voice and piano are juxtaposed against wonderfully spare drumming, an evocatively reverbed e-guitar and waterfalls of banjo and accordion. (John Payne)
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