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
Northern California's East Bay area has always been a sort of Bermuda Triangle for unconventional creativity — Oakland alone produced avant-garde poet Gertrude Stein, King Kong stop-motion-animation overlord Willis O'Brien and R&B spearhead Johnny Otis, while adjacent El Cerrito spawned Creedence Clearwater Revival. Richmond, long a bastion for Creole Louisiana émigrés (and top destination for touring Louisiana acts), has given the world Zydeco squeeze-box paragon Andre Thierry. No less an authority than Clifton Chenier proclaimed the kid a natural-born accordionist when he was but a toddler, and Thierry has definitely made good on the promise. With a deep, rolling, blues-centered drive, Thierry's accordion pumps out a coolly volcanic, gleaming, chrome and vermillion–toned grind, which, taken with a rubboard's propulsive, percussive hop, skip and bump, delivers an impossibly irresistible set of Frenchin'-the-Boogie grooves. (Jonny Whiteside)
1735 Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Also playing Sunday: FMLY FEST at COZY CASTLE; GANGI, THE DELTA MIRROR at the Bootleg; DAMIAN ROMERO, RENE HELL at Dem Passwords.
CAPTAIN AHAB, NICOLE KIDMAN, KEVIN GREENSPON, TRUDGERS AT PEHRSPACE
Nicole Kidman, the band, has a song called "Don't Take This too Seriously," and that might be a good subtitle for this show. That's not to say the talent amassed for this cozy strip-mall gig is somehow subpar, but these are artists who inject humor into their wildly diverse and uniquely inspired work. Headlining is Captain Ahab, who refer to their sound as ravesploitation, and it truly is that: a swarming mix of musical influences (rap, pop, electro, metal, punk) united by big beats delivered in incredibly sweaty doses. Jonathan Snipes mans the decks and mic, hollering out priapically obsessed obscenities while the svelte Jim Merson strips to his skivvies and bumps, grinds and thrashes with members of the audience. Kidman sound a lot like Daniel Johnston crooning unrequited love paeans to science teachers, and Miley Cyrus over spare guitar noise and Casio beats. Kevin Greenspon is a one-man band specializing in ambient textures and garage-punk ventures. (Chris Martins)
Also playing Monday: FMLY FEST at COZY CASTLE; FEEL FREE, DEVON WILLIAMS, RUN-ON SUNSHINE at the Smell.
PROJECT BLOWED 16TH ANNIVERSARY AT THE ECHOPLEX
Being booed by an Apollo audience must rank pretty high on the list of most mortifying experiences, but at least blinding footlights (and an orchestra moat) will shield you from your hecklers. If an audience began to chant, "Please pass the mic!" during your performance in the Good Life Café era of Project Blowed, you weren't booted off to a dark backstage to lick your wounds; you faced your fate. Much respect, therefore, to the MCs who walked through that particularly humiliating fire, and morphed the night into Blowed, the longest-running hip-hop open mic in the world. The rewards have been many, though — Scribble Jam Freestyle and Rap Olympic titles, not to mention shiny participants like members of what became Jurassic 5, Freestyle Fellowship and Nocando's recently shooting star, live in its trophy case. Tonight's anniversary features not only the mind-numbing talents of tongue twisters like Aceyalone, P.E.A.C.E., Nocando and Dumbfoundead but also big beat-banging masters like Dibia$e and Ras G. In other words, expect Cirque du Soleil–like cyphers that make you grab your head and gasp "WHOA." (Rebecca Haithcoat)
The Long Island diva Jane Monheit might not be the most adventurous jazz singer, but she has such a warm and vibrant voice that her interpretations of classic love songs are captivating nonetheless. Her arrangements of old jazz-pop standards are, well, standard, but with Monheit it's not about reinvention or experimentation. Instead, she has a gift for making romantic entreaties come across as sincere and moving instead of maudlin and saccharine. It doesn't hurt that the new mother is backed on her latest, Home, by such tasteful sidemen as guitarist John Pizzarelli, pianist Larry Goldings, violinist Mark O'Connor and her drummer-husband, Rick Montalbano. Versions of Rodgers & Hart's "There's a Small Hotel" and Billy Rose & Lee David's "Tonight You Belong to Me" (where Monheit's honeyed vocals are framed only by Pizzarelli's guitar) are rendered with care and a delicate touch instead of brassy, overwrought posturing. If you're in a sentimental mood during this sentimental season, Monheit and her crew likely will make you feel good without too much of a sticky-sweet hangover. Also Wed.-Thurs. (Falling James)
GREENHORSE AT SILVERLAKE LOUNGE
Greenhorse make hedonistic yet oddly wistful electro-pop that manages to maximize booty-shakin' without marginalizing melody. The L.A.-via-Wyoming duo of Chris Hackman and Shawn Day (both bassists by choice) manipulate saucy synths, "Blue Monday" beatboxes, sheens of guitar and sometimes androgynous voices to revisit Duran Duran, Howard Jones and the Human League — and thus rub shoulders with MGMT. Their 2009 Transcontinental EP could force even wallflowers out onto the floor but retains enough emotional fiber to chew on should you choose to remain against the wall. "Sunbreak" is an invitation to cocktail-blurred rooftop red carpets and slightly dangerous debauchery, while "Hot Night$" tips you off to the (notably more naked) after party. Greenhorse's website lists "TV and Film Clients" but they ain't no sterile soundtrack: They're too in touch, too tuneful and way too much wink-and-nudge fun for that. (Paul Rogers)
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