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Music Picks: Prince, Amanda Jo Williams, Kendrick Lamar, Xzibit, Civet, 

Also, Miguel, L.A. Bluegrass Situation, Heidecker and Wood, the Ditty Bops and others

Thursday, Apr 21 2011
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fri 4/22

Prince

@ The Forum

click to enlarge PHOTO BY NORMAN JEAN ROY - The Ditty Bops: See Wednesday.
  • PHOTO BY NORMAN JEAN ROY
  • The Ditty Bops: See Wednesday.

Location Info

We saw the first Inglewood show from Prince's 21-Nite Stand residency last week. Yup, it's obscenely good. Pro tip: DO NOT LEAVE THE VENUE unless security forcibly ejects you. Even if it looks like the show is over, it ain't. Prince's "encores" the first night turned into an extra 90 minutes of gems and obscure jams. Go. —Gustavo Turner

Lil Wayne & Nicki Minaj

@ Staples Center

Rescheduled from Thursday. It's Weezy and Pink Barbie. Go say hi. —Rebecca Haithcoat

Hirax

@ BLVD. CAFÉ

Long Beach's Hirax are one of those fascinating acts who are strictly underground at home but full-blown metal idols abroad. Hence, though they've recently headlined tours in Japan and Latin America, they find themselves at the modest (but devoted) BLVD. tonight. If Hirax sound like they could be sharing stages with the fledgling Metallica and Slayer (see this week's Music feature), that's because, having formed in 1984, they did exactly that. Reunited in 2000 (though only wonderfully Warriors-esque vocalist Katon W. De Pena is an original member), Hirax continue to do it proudly old-school, and their well-crafted, agile thrash is elevated by De Pena's heroic, Iron Maiden–indebted timbre. Hirax may have had 20 different members to date, but their punk-spirited, melodic metal mission remains defiantly undiluted. —Paul Rogers

Yefim Bronfman

@ WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

The jaw-dropping technique and keen musical smarts of pianist Yefim Bronfman make this challenging program an intriguing prospect. He'll tackle Brahms' B-flat Concerto (1881), a thorny, multifarious and quite long work whose speckled (some might say schizoid) emotional turf shifts — from tranquil violin/horn delights to end-of-the-world piano crashing-bashing and back again — would seem to require a certain virtuosity just to tie it all together. Bronfman also addresses the somber reveries of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1, "Winter Daydreams," with acclaimed Slovakian conductor Juraj Valcuha leading the L.A. Phil. This is a midday event (11 a.m.) to start your weekend not with a whimper but a bang, and a sigh; an "Upbeat Live" event with composer-conductor-performer Russell Steinberg starts at 9:45 a.m. Also April 21 and 23 at 8 p.m. —John Payne

Also playing Friday: MIMOSA, PAPER DIAMOND at El Rey Theatre; IN THIS MOMENT at Galaxy Theatre (Santa Ana); EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS at the Echo; WOODS, NO JOY, WAMPIRE at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock; OTMARO RUIZ GROUP at Blue Whale; HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN at McCabe's; THE LOVELY BAD THINGS at the Smell; BLACK APPLES, TRMRS, AGENT ORANGE, LA GHOST at the Echoplex.

 

sat 4/23

Prince

@ The Forum

See Friday. Do whatever you have to do to score tix. Then go. For the love of God — GO! —Gustavo Turner

 

The Big Four

@ EMPIRE POLO CLUB (Coachella, Indio)

[See Music feature.]

 

Robert Plant & Band of Joy

@ THE GREEK THEATRE

We'd advise you to check out Robert Plant at the Greek this weekend even if he'd pledged only to play stuff from last year's Band of Joy, on which the former Led Zeppelin frontman offered up lovely-freaky goth-roots versions of tunes by Los Lobos, Richard Thompson and Low, among others, with crucial input from Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin — both of whom are out on the road with Plant. In fact, though, Plant is peppering his current shows with the overhauled likes of "Black Dog," "Ramble On" and "Houses of the Holy" — about as close to a Led Zep concert as you're likely to get at the moment. With the North Mississippi Allstars, paying tribute to their father, the late, great Jim Dickinson. –Mikael Wood

Kendrick Lamar

@ EL REY THEATRE

The Compton rapper seems to share Tupac's soul; better still, he seems an evolution of it. Candid vulnerability, and a voice that sounds as though he's just inhaled great mouthfuls of smoke (even though he abstains from weed), are why Lamar is on everybody's lips, from Dre and Snoop to the tastemakers at XXL magazine. For once, it's OK to believe the hype. –Rebecca Haithcoat

Johnny Thunders Tribute Night

@ REDWOOD BAR & GRILL

"You can't put your arms 'round a memory," as Johnny Thunders once put it, but that shouldn't stop Kevin K and a horde of punk acolytes from paying tribute tonight to the late New York Dolls guitarist. The famously sarcastic Thunders likely would sneer and crack wise about such retro sentimentality: Although everyone from the Sex Pistols to Aerosmith has been lifting his licks and his image since the 1970s, no one comes close to capturing the insolent wit and cocky presence of the real John Genzale. Thunders also pointed out that "Singin' from your grave/It's so very hard to do," but the seedy tales in "Born to Lose" and "So Alone" will come back to life through sets by true believers like the Neurotics, Barrio Tiger and the Crazy Squeeze. —Falling James

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