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Music Picks: Plastic Ono Band, Ooh La LA Fest, Belle & Sebastian 

Also, Marianne Dissard, Bad Company, Matador 21 and others

Thursday, Sep 30 2010
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FRIDAY/OCTOBER/1

SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS, ACTIVE CHILD AT ECHOPLEX

When New York's School of Seven Bells arrived in 2008 with their debut album, Alpinisms, there was a lot to prove. The trio's audio mastermind Benjamin Curtis had left the successful band he was known for, Secret Machines, while twin vocalists Alejandra and Claudia Deheza retired their post-rock outfit On!Air!Library! altogether in order to focus on this scrappy project. Alpinisms made the sacrifice worth it by taking the squelchy, husky feel of classic shoegaze and swirling in bits of modern electronica and warm, dreamy psychedelia. SVIIB's new one, however, Disconnect From Desire, finds the group already established and doing a lot of honing. In some cases this results in a blander version of Curtis, Deheza and Deheza, but for most of the album — and in particular emotionally charged songs like "I L U" and "Windstorm" — this translates to bigger swoons, a better pulse and more memorable melodies. Opener Active Child is a locally stationed multi-instrumentalist who uses his considerable talents to make lush and layered electronic soundscapes. (Chris Martins)

click to flip through (3) AIDS Wolf
  • AIDS Wolf
   
 

Location Info

OOH LA LA FEST WITH REVOLVER, THE BEWITCHED HANDS ON THE TOP OF OUR HEADS AT SPACELAND

Actually, there are plenty of countries around the world that rock, and the French do so many other things so well that maybe they do protest a bit much with these events aiming to "prove" their legit rock cred. In any case, for its second annual affaire in L.A., the Ooh La LA fest presents round two of the New French Rock, tonight with the U.S. debut of Revolver, recently nominated for the French Grammy for their recent disc Music for a While (Astralwerks), which has gone gold back home. The trio of Ambroise Willaume (vocals, guitar, piano), Christophe Musset (vocals, guitar) and Jérémie Arcache (vocals, cello) make a really savory sort of chamber pop that draws from the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, the Beach Boys and the Beatles, with dollops of baroque composers Henry Purcell and John Dowland thrown in. Reims' The Bewitched Hands on the Top of Our Heads offer a nicely moody and hugely hummable folk-psych-laced melodic pop. (John Payne)|

THE AVETT BROTHERS, BRANDI CARLILE AT THE NOKIA THEATRE

Following a decade-spanning string of buzzed-about indie releases, North Carolina's Avett Brothers went big-time last year with the Rick Rubin–produced I and Love and You. That's big-time in an industry sense — they've since played Bonnaroo and opened amphitheater shows for John Mayer — but also in a musical one: On Love, the Avetts open up their down-home roots-folk fare to encompass a bit of the sweeping arena-indie grandeur for which Arcade Fire are so renowned. When they sing, in the title track, "Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take me in," you can almost hear a boroughful of hipsters shrugging their assent. Co-headliner (and fellow Rubin client) Brandi Carlile is a Seattle-based singer-songwriter whose incredibly powerful voice is worth hearing even when her material isn't. With Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, a funky soul-rock bunch from, um, Vermont. (Mikael Wood)

AIDS WOLF, XBXRX AT THE SMELL

Back around 2003, Montreal belched forth a frighteningly intense musical aggregation who thought to call themselves AIDS Wolf. Yannick Desranleau (aka Hiroshima Thunder) and Chloe Lum are the band's core members, people who prefer to make a very, very harsh, remorseless and not so paradoxically exhilarating sound built on subtle and extreme dissonance, neck-breaking percussive polyrhythms and what appear to be some genuinely new takes on compositional form. Yes, it bears some surface resemblance to the No Wave bands of New York's late '70s, and yes, it's also quasi-Beefheartian, but this simmeringly ugly-beautiful non-categorizable thing that is the band's new March to the Sea (Skin Graft) record is like an object lesson in modern, progressive, painfully pure music, with a special bonus: an even creepier version of Throbbing Gristle's "Very Friendly." In AIDS Wolf's view, "The landscape is all ears and the distance is deafening." (John Payne)

PLASTIC ONO BAND AT THE ORPHEUM

This all started earlier this year in Brooklyn, with a tribute to the original live lineup of the Plastic Ono Band (John, Yoko, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, Jim Keltner) and a lineup of guests who reflected the tastes, in the words of producer and musical director Sean Lennon, "of my mom's generation." The L.A. shows should be quite different, as Sean and Yoko have invited a stellar roster of far more relevant figures who are more than happy to come out as proud Ono-philes. Brooklyn can keep Bette Midler and Paul Simon. We get Nels Cline, Iggy Pop, the RZA, Mike Watt, Perry Farrell and the current avatar of truly massive art-pop, Lady Gaga. (See also Saturday and the music section). (Gustavo Turner)

MATADOR 21, "THE LOST WEEKEND" AT THE PALMS IN LAS VEGAS

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