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Music Picks: Ooh La La Fest, Pavement, Beach House 

Also, Kris Kristofferson, the Black Keys, Bettye Lavette and others

Thursday, Sep 23 2010
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FRIDAY/SEPTEMBER/24

Rx BANDITS AT THE TROUBADOUR

Those who've experienced them in person know that Seal Beach's Rx Bandits are one of the most rip-roaring, fantastically furious live bands on the planet. Chalk it up to their early days as horn-blazing ska-punk revivalists, a phase they've grown through quite gracefully. Though they were once part of the Drive-Thru Records stable, RxB always displayed an ear for the avant-garde, and time has proven them to be as prog(ressive) as the Mars Volta, though well grounded in deep dub riddims and punk-pop emotiveness (the latter needed to effectively deliver singer Matt Embree's political treatises). The band's last three albums — The Resignation (2003), And the Battle Begun (2006) and Mandala (2009) — show a veteran live act finally realizing its on-record potential, even as its membership dropped from six to a hornless four. Now, over the course of three evenings, the band completes the circle by performing each album in its entirety (on respective nights). Three-night passes sold out almost immediately — a testament to what's in store for those yet to be baptized by the Bandits. (Chris Martins)

click to enlarge "I am Kris Kristofferson."
  • "I am Kris Kristofferson."

Location Info

CROM, EARTHLESS, BASTARD, LSDJ'S AT SPACELAND

Metallic heaven comes in many shades of hell. San Diego's veteran drone-metal artistes Earthless, whose pummeling hypnosis draws on minimalist Krautrock motorik and multimovement epicry, offer an intense visual focus in the multilimbed mayhem of human octopus drummer Mario Rubalcaba. Crom (not to be confused with the German epic metal band of the same name) offers a witty, L.A. grindcore-'n'-more mishmash of death/speed/thrash/sludge. They bring the kinda prog-oriented techie thrills, lotta breaks into double- and triple-time awesomeness and plenty cookie-monster vocals from frighteningly determined and grim hooded figures who impress as much with their ultraviolent sonic spew as with their good humor about it all. Also: Iceland's death/black/extreme punishers Bastard and the bad-trippin' boombastics of the LSDJ's. (John Payne)

WILLIE NELSON & FAMILY, RYAN BINGHAM & THE DEAD HORSES AT THE GREEK THEATRE

Willie Nelson has been releasing records like a man half (maybe even a third!) his age lately, and virtually all of them have staked out their own little plot of distinct stylistic turf. Countryman, from 2005? Reggae. American Classic, from last year? Standards. This spring's T Bone Burnett–produced Country Music? Well, you can probably figure that one out. Even as he's demonstrated his range, though, Nelson has really only driven home the point that he sounds, above all, like Nelson; his is a voice that belongs up there (if not in power, then in familiarity) with Sinatra's and Aretha's. At the Greek he's slated to take the stage as Willie Nelson & Family, which we understand will include at least his son Lukas. There's no telling who else might show up. Ryan Bingham, a recent Academy Award winner for his and Burnett's theme from Crazy Heart, opens in support of his straight-talking new Junky Star. (Mikael Wood)

Also playing Friday: WAR at Fairplex; BOWZER'S ROCK & ROLL PARTY at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts; RATATAT at Fox Theater Pomona; THE GHOST OF A SABER TOOTH TIGER at Hollywood Forever Cemetery; RANCID, ADOLESCENTS, THELONIOUS MONSTER at the Music Box; DIRTY PROJECTORS at the Wiltern; SPIRIT VINE at Five Stars Bar; DUNGEN at Pappy & Harriet's Palace; SUPAGROUP, ANGUS KHAN at Three Clubs; THE DAVE LIEBMAN NY QUARTET at Vitello's.

 

SATURDAY/SEPTEMBER/25

WAVED OUT II AT THE ECHO & ECHOPLEX

While so many festival promoters appear to obsess over offering something for everyone down to the last microgenre, the music lovers behind Waved Out go straight for the goods: psych rock, garage rock, folk rock, rock rock — the various hues of American guitar music, with a few twists within reason. Like headliner Dungen, the Swedish psychedelic giants whose latest album, Skit i Allt (that's "Fuck it all" in Sverige), is rich with Hendrixian guitar work, Pink Floyd–like spaceyness and bizarre jazz chords. But many of the bands playing the two-venue, all-day extravaganza hail from the Left Coast, from L.A. prog power trio the Entrance Band, to tropically tinged locals Lord Huron, to San Francisco malt-shop rocker Hanni El Khatib and his neighbors in the hazy, dazed Young Prisms. Brooklyn's Sharon Van Etten is sure to be a highlight as well, with her warm, often electric, Vashti Bunyan–inspired folk. Expect comedians and food trucks as well, all thanks to the locally based Aquarium Drunkard blog. (Chris Martins)

EPICENTER TWENTY TEN AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY

This rap-and-rock festival debuted last summer at Pomona's Fairplex; this weekend Epicenter returns in a two-day edition at Fontana's Auto Club Speedway (behold: growth in the music industry!). Eminem and Kiss share headlining duties Saturday night, and while the glam-rock gods are sure to entertain, don't be surprised if they're outdone by Detroit's finest, who's riding high on what may turn out to be the year's biggest-selling record (not to mention a series of reportedly mind-blowing stadium gigs with Jay-Z). Blink-182 and Rise Against top Sunday's somewhat lower-wattage lineup, though punk fans should arrive early for a solid undercard that includes Bad Religion and Against Me! Hip-hop heads are advised to show up Saturday for an appearance by Big Boi of OutKast; his recently released solo debut won't rack up Eminem-style sales, but it could be the year's best rap album. With Bush, Papa Roach, Suicidal Tendencies, Biffy Clyro and others. Also Sunday. (Mikael Wood)

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