Music Picks: Janet Jackson, John Escreet Quartet, DJ Quik, Charles Bradley | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Music Picks: Janet Jackson, John Escreet Quartet, DJ Quik, Charles Bradley 

Also, Charlie Haden Quartet West, John Williams, Philip Glass and others

Thursday, Aug 25 2011

fri 8/26



Location Info


This arty R&B dude — a charter member of the Philly-based neo-soul crew that also included Musiq Soulchild, James Poyser and the Roots — closed a nearly decade-long gap between studio albums last year with Airtight's Revenge, for which he teamed with L.A.'s Plug Research. Now he's on a U.S. tour in support of both the disc and autism research; according to the singer's publicist, Autism Speaks will be on hand at El Rey to accept donations. Even minus the good cause, Bilal is worth checking out: Like his 2001 debut, 1st Born Second, Airtight's Revenge bogs down a bit with headphone-fodder slow jams. But in its best material he finds a way to connect Al Green–style seduction with TV on the Radio–style experimentation. He's a devoted head-and-heart guy. —Mikael Wood

That Dog



Second chances rarely happen in real life, but tonight and Sunday, pop geeks get another opportunity to worship at the altar of That Dog, the recently reunited local alt-pop band. In their '90s heyday, the group seemed poised for massive success, and not just because its members had connections to the music industry: Lead singer Anna Waronker is the daughter of Warner Bros. record producer Lenny Waronker, bassist Rachel and violinist Petra Haden are the daughters of jazz bassist Charlie Haden. Those connections may have helped somewhat, but what makes the band stand out are their ebullient pop melodies, which are powered by a punky energy, and unusual arrangement twists, such as the way Petra's violin adds depth to Waronker's cheery vocals. Every dog will have its day, and maybe That Dog's day has finally arrived. —Falling James

Rough Church



One of the best pop auteurs in America is hidden right here in plain sight — seemingly a million miles from the Hollywood limelight, as he patiently assembles his brain-teasing, relentlessly catchy records and stubbornly toils away at no-cover shows at places like Taix. Former Ferdinand leader Greg Franco (who has collaborated with Kiwi legends David Kilgour and Chris Knox) may not be good at blowing his own horn or selling himself to the great unwashed, but he sure has a way with clever lyrics and putting mesmerizing alt-rock melodies beneath them on his new album, The Wow Signal, by his latest project, Rough Church. "Librarian Warlord" is a fanciful revenge-of-the-intellectual-nerds scenario, while "Beth Orton" is a heartfelt homage to a distant muse. Elements of pure pop exaltation and Minutemen-style post-punk experimentation collide intriguingly on tracks like "Error 404" and "Carpal Tunnel." —Falling James


John Williams



John Williams has composed some of the most pervasive soundtracks of the past few decades, racking up more than 100 scores and a ridiculously fruitful collaboration with director Steven Spielberg. The native New Yorker's music has played such a prominent role in American popular culture that it's hard to imagine our lives without the majestic horns and sweeping strings of the Star Wars theme or the ominous Jaws motif he created with just two notes. Tonight, Bowl-goers will be in for a treat when the maestro conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in a medley of his greatest hits and more, including an appearance by troubadour James Taylor reading the narration for Williams' suite from the 1969 film The Reivers. It's sure to bring cinematic memories flooding back. Don't forget your lightsabers. Also Sat. —Laura Ferreiro

Also playing:

ATMOSPHERE at Greek Theatre; JOHN VANDERSLICE, PATRICK PARK at the Echo; JON BRION at Largo; CHICANO BATMAN at California Plaza (noon show); LIL WAYNE at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater; DEVO at the Canyon Club; RUMSPRINGA, MAINLAND at Bootleg Theater; ALLAN HOLDSWORTH at the Baked Potato; JOE-LESS SHOE at Exhibit [A] Gallery (Long Beach).


sat 8/27



Thankfully, our viral-breakout reference points have expanded beyond the Tay Zondays and Keenan Cahills of the world. East Oakland spitter/music video director Kreayshawn, following the rise of fellow Bay Area MC Lil B, and in the wake of Odd Future's sudden omnipresence, is the latest to use the Web as her personal PR army. The 21-year-old daughter of a punk rocker (her mother was a member of the Trashwomen) dropped her "Gucci Gucci" video in May — it's since racked up an incredible 11 million views — and while naysayers point at its bougie-brand name-dropping as a sign of a pop-princess, hook-heavy future, this "asexual" high school dropout, who told L.A. Weekly her SXSW show in March had only 10 attendees, is no diva. "I can't even wear heels," she said. "I have wide feet." —Dan Hyman

DJ Quik, Suga Free



Legendary Compton rapper-producer DJ Quik plays his first show in a decade with longtime collaborator Suga Free. Several years ago they had a falling-out over undisclosed matters, but earlier this year Quik announced that he and Free had begun work on a new record to be released this fall on Quik's Mad Science Recordings. Since debuting in the early 1990s, Quik has released four albums that have been certified either gold or platinum and produced acclaimed work with Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Janet Jackson, Rick James and Ludacris, among many others, becoming one of the West Coast rap scene's most revered figures. He produced pimp-turned-rapper Suga Free's debut, Street Gospel, the first of many projects for the pair, and this show is their only scheduled appearance. —Lainna Fader

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