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Music Picks: Duran Duran, Jessie Evans, k.d. lang, The Dodos, Swahili Blonde, 

Also, Janet Jackson, Greg Laswell, The Crystelles, Big Audio Dynamite and others

Thursday, Apr 7 2011
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fri 4/8

Hunx and His Punx, Shannon and the Clams

@ the Echoplex

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BILLY AND HELLS - Jessie Evans: See Sunday.
  • PHOTO BY BILLY AND HELLS
  • Jessie Evans: See Sunday.

Location Info

[See Page Two.]

 

Caitlin Rose

Largo

[See Page Two.]

 

The Dodos, Reading Rainbow

@ EL REY THEATRE

As a general rule, folk music isn't the sort of thing that lends itself to adjectives like aggressive and riotous, but San Francisco's the Dodos have put their own distinctive stamp on the genre. Though they're only a duo, singer-guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber bring a whole lotta sound to the stage, mostly by way of their furious playing. True masters of their instruments, the former is famous for his virtuosic fingerpicking, while the latter is an expert in West African Ewe percussion. Their brand-new fourth album, No Color, is one of the best they've ever made, featuring nine miniature anthems led by Long's pretty, droning croon. —Chris Martins

The Naked and Famous

@ THE ECHOPLEX

MGMT fans perplexed by last year's willfully out-there Congratulations should check out these blog-buzzed New Zealanders: On Passive Me, Aggressive You, their just-released-in-the-States debut, the Naked and Famous mimic the synth-rock sound of "Kids" and "Time to Pretend" with a precision the folks behind Rebecca Black's "Friday" might admire. (No wonder Gossip Girl recently scored a scene with the band's "Young Blood" — great taste, lower billing!) The N&F heat-seeking machinery doesn't always run at full power; sometimes they let their love of Nine Inch Nails lead them into boring indie-drone bits. But you can probably bet that tonight, in the first of two headlining gigs they're playing before joining England's Foals for a string of dates, they'll keep things less passive and more aggressive. Also Sat. —Mikael Wood

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

@ THE TROUBADOUR

Formed by Idiot Flesh/Faun Fables singer/multi-instrumentalist Nils Freykdal and populated by numerous stars of the Bay Area prog-/avant-rock scene (Tin Hat Trio, Book of Knots, Skeleton Key), SGM presents multilayered spectacles packed with sets and props and wicked puppets and a steamily wicked air of ritual, all of which might have something to do with the Apocalypse. Worth experiencing at the very least for a glimpse of the homemade musical instruments the ensemble employs to create its otherworldy soundscapes: the Slide-piano Log, the Percussion Guitar, the Electric Pancreas, the Vatican, the Pedal-action Wiggler and the Viking Rowboat. —John Payne

Swahili Blonde, Xu Xu Fang

@ BOOTLEG THEATER

Former Weave drum-thumper Nicole Turley got her hands on a big batch of synths, guitars, effects and recording equipment that she didn't quite know how to use. But she felt confident in the powers of passion and intuition, and when the dust settled she'd given birth to a batch of dubbed-out pastiches of skewed rhythms and head-turningly unfamiliar melodic patterns. Check out Swahili Blonde's Man Meat on Manimal Vinyl, on which Turley's odd visions are aided immeasurably by an inspired band that includes violinist Laena Myers-Ionita, ex–Chili Pepper guitarist John Frusciante, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor and multi-instrumentalists Stella Mozgawa and Michael Quinn. The band's newly formed stage lineup reportedly is killer as well. Also nicely noirish psychedelia and such from ex-Warlocks man Bobby Tamkin's Xu Xu Fang. —John Payne

Also playing Friday:

PAPERCUTS, BANJO OR FREAKOUT, FINCHES at the Satellite; DIPLO at Vanguard L.A.; THOMAS ADÈS at Walt Disney Concert Hall; ANAMANAGUCHI, PEELANDER-Z at the Roxy; SUSAN JAMES at Coffee Gallery Altadena; FERRABY LIONHEART, HENRY WOLFE, CHARLIE WADHAMS at Hotel Café; FUNERAL PARTY, GRASS WIDOW at the Echo; JOHN MELLENCAMP at Nokia Theatre; RON SEXSMITH at Largo.

 

sat 4/9

The Residents

@ El Rey Theatre

[See Music feature.]

 

Six Organs of Admittance

@ McCABE'S

Six Organs of Admittance is the brainchild of nimble-fingered guitarist-singer-soundscapist Ben Chasney. His recent Asleep on the Floodplain pulls a light blanket over the darker implications of its misty dreams in droney excursions built on flickering acoustic guitars, enveloping harmoniums and ambient fields of looped 12-strings and clanky percussives. On past efforts Chasney's wove deceptively lulling tales of mystery that exploded furiously in one's face from time to time. But Asleep seems determinedly mellow, not exactly blissed-out but sort of grateful for the opportunity to be heard. —John Payne

Mack 10, Glasses Malone

@ KEY CLUB

In a time when hip-hop hailing from South L.A. is associated with skateboards (Odd Future) and self-professed squares (Kendrick Lamar), it's nice to be reminded of those halcyon days when the region's rap was all about stickups and cars with hydraulics. Inglewood's Mack 10 stepped into G-Funk history in 1995 with singles celebrating those things ("Foe Life," featuring Ice Cube, and "On Them Thangs") and went on to become a star member of hardcore trio Westside Connection. He's continued making records that hark back to that old West Coast sound. His most recent is Soft White, featuring collaborations with Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and gruff-voiced Watts MC Glasses Malone, who joins Mack 10 for this night of gangsta rap revival. —Chris Martins

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