Music Picks: Tinariwen, Colbie Caillat, A.R. Rahman, Best Coast 

Also, Monopoly, David Bazan, Gravespawn and others

Thursday, Jul 7 2011

fri 7/8


Washed Out, Chain Gang of 1974, Class Actress

click to flip through (2) Tinariwen: See Wednesday.
  • Tinariwen: See Wednesday.

Location Info



Mexican Summer first captured the one-man bedroom synthpop project Washed Out with 2009's Life of Leisure EP, recorded after singer Ernest Greene's return to the rural town of Perry, Ga. Handpicked by Battles to perform at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas in December alongside heavyweights Flying Lotus, Four Tet and Junior Boys, Washed Out crafts gorgeous pop with shoegaze textures and woozy synths perfect for the warm summer days ahead. He'll release his debut full-length, Within & Without — recorded with Ben Allen, co-producer of Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion and Gnarls Barkley's St Elsewhere — on Sub Pop Records next month. Chain Gang of 1974 and Class Actress open. —Lainna Fader




As part of the museum's ongoing exhibition "Houdini: Art and Magic," Autolux performs at a special event billed as "Into the Night: Music and Magic." The local trio's shadowy alt-rock songs should provide an appropriately enigmatic soundtrack to the festivities, which include a screening of Harry Houdini's 1920 serial Mastery Mystery, sleight-of-hand tricks by various magicians and additional music by Superhumanoids and DJ Anthony Valadez. In much the same way that the great Jewish magician was fascinated by the transition between confinement and freedom — and even between life and death — Autolux's recent album Transit Transit charts a course through the "golden age of feeling nothing." Whispery, shell-shocked vocals swim around dreamily in a sea of spare piano chords, evoking Syd Barrett, before floating into a "Headless Sky." ­—Falling James

John Doe & Jill Sobule



These two veteran singer-songwriters recently released a fan-funded live disc they made with a handful of A-list session pros at the Pass, the old-school L.A. recording studio on Cahuenga near Universal City. Now Doe (best known as the frontman of X) and Sobule (best known for having a hit called "I Kissed a Girl" before Katy Perry did) are out on a brief West Coast duo tour, playing songs from the record, such as Doe's Byrds-y "Walking Out the Door" and a cover of the Association's flowery mid-'60s hit "Never My Love." They've also worked up a scrappy new take on "I Kissed a Girl" that wisely dials down the original's considerable twee factor. Also Sat. —Mikael Wood

Sonny & the Sunsets, Wounded Lion



The easygoing San Francisco combo Sonny & the Sunsets amble amiably down a "trail leading back to a dream" in their bluesy country-folk tunes. The music to "E.S.P." may seem lifted straight from Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released," but the lazy, hazy mood in the surreal walkabout "Death Cream" is distinctly the band's own. Wounded Lion have an even more unique sound, with jittery Velvet Underground riffs and No Wave attitude paired with a garage-rock immediacy on the local group's self-titled recent album. Fuzzed-out guitars squall like airplanes on "Degobah System," while "Carol Cloud" comes off like a bubblegum mutation of Richard Hell & the Voidoids. These earthbound Lions even get a little philosophical, looking to the sky for inspiration on "Hanging Ancient Circles," the euphoric pop jangle "Belt of Orion" and the kookily retro "Crünchy Stars." —Falling James

Steely Dan



You either really like Steely Dan — or you really don't. They are Rock & Roll Hall of Famers — but they were inducted by Moby. They tried to mix the wit of Dylan with the slickness of jazz — but they ended up sounding like the Miami Vice soundtrack for math majors. They started off as the two biggest hipsters in the Brill Building — but they've always been championed by middle-management types with a PowerPoint fetish and Up in the Air–style wheelie suitcases. They've lusted after the forbidden underage fruit — but they ended up begging unreadable pseudopornographer Rikki Ducornet not to lose their numbers. They also gargle Seth Rogen's balls, and mine and yours, and everyone's you know. —Dave Parkman

Also playing:

VANESSA CARLTON at Largo; FUTURA at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock; DESTRUCTION OF A KING at Glass House (Pomona).


sat 7/9


Best Coast



Bethany Cosentino, lead singer and guitar player of Best Coast, has become a fashion icon by keeping her style, much like her lyrics, simple and fun. Blending surf and indie rock over driving drumbeats, Best Coast's sound is a throwback to 1950s rock & roll dance halls and the sun-and-fun California of the early 1960s, while echoing Blue Album Weezer and tapping into the zeitgeist of indie-pop stars like Arcade Fire. Crazy for You, their debut full-length, is filled with songs like "Boyfriend" and "When I'm With You" that remind us it's OK to be happy when we listen to music. Relentlessly catchy and filled with simple and precise guitar riffs, Best Coast will force you to see the sun is still shining, the weather is free and you live in beautiful Southern California. Plus, this all will happen near the Magritte sculptures and the kaleidoscopic garden at the Getty. ­—Joe Lapin

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