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
1154 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Region: Out of Town
This young British folkie has been touring steadily for much of the year behind A Winter's Tale, the impressive debut he released in February after catching a spark with a song from the first Twilight soundtrack, "Let Me Sign." (Long co-wrote that tune, performed in the movie by his pal Robert Pattinson.) Now he's back in the United States playing shows and selling a limited-edition EP called The Backing Singer, which features appearances by the Secret Sisters and Catherine Pierce of the Pierces. Like A Winter's Tale, it's unapologetically old-timey stuff sure to appeal to fans of Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons. Unlike Mumford, though, Long brings some indie-scruffy sex appeal to his act. Blame Pattinson. —Mikael Wood
Bad Vibes is the debut LP this visual artist–turned-musician dropped out of college to make for the rapidly expanding electronic label Friends of Friends. Now at the forefront of a new generation of talented West Coast producers, Shlohmo's latest sounds are gentler and sleepier than his early tracks. Subtle bass lines, emotive melodies and hazy atmospherics indicate an exciting new direction for the young artist, whose roots are in dubstep. Tonight he plays Bad Vibes — one of the best beats albums of the year — live, in full, alongside some of L.A.'s top beat makers: Matthewdavid, Teebs, Groundislava and D33J. —Lainna Fader
This singer seems determined to reinvent herself with the release of her third album, Unbroken, moving away from the buoyant teen pop of her early releases and turning into a relatively mature dance-pop diva. With songs like "Mistake," "Fix a Broken Heart" and the title track, the former Camp Rock and Sonny With a Chance star appears to acknowledge the personal troubles that have brought her so much recent notoriety — from dealing with a short-lived romance with Joe Jonas and punching out a Jonas Brothers backup dancer to getting treatment for an eating disorder and self-mutilation issues. On Lovato's new single, a weepy piano ballad, she vows to rise again "like a skyscraper" from the wreckage of her life. If anything, her problems make her more interesting and human than other Disney Channel ingénues, and she's newly hip enough to pull off a convincing R&B jam with Missy Elliott and Timbaland. —Falling James
ASSEMBLAGE 23 at Das Bunker; CHEAP TRICK at Greek Theatre; INARA GEORGE at Bootleg Theater; BRIGHT EYES at Hollywood Forever Cemetery; HANK3 at the Roxy; LE BOEUF BROS. at Blue Whale; METRONOMY at Echoplex; JANIS SIEGEL at Vitello's.
KDAY Fresh Fest
Game has received some of the year's worst reviews for The R.E.D. Album, which finally came out last month following a series of delays. But it's hard to understand anyone who's enjoyed a Game record being disappointed. If anything, R.E.D. presents the rapper's frustrating contradictions with more energy and character than he's mustered in the past; it's dislikable, sure, but in the most compelling way. Tonight he headlines radio station KDAY's annual blowout, which was topped last year by another complicated hip-hop icon, Ice Cube. Also on the bill: Bay Area veteran E-40, fresh from a jocular appearance alongside Big Boi on Game's album; former G-Unit foot soldier Young Buck; speed-rap old-timer Twista; Mack 10 and WC of Westside Connection; and, according to KDAY's website, "surprise guests." Hazard a guess? —Mikael Wood
Burkina Electric is a collaboration of six performers and dancers from Burkina Faso (that landlocked West African nation formerly known as the Republic of Upper Volta), Germany and Austria. One of Africa's first electronic groups, they came together via Austrian composer and percussionist — and band linchpin — Lukas Ligeti, who linked up with singer Mai Lingani and guitarist Wende Blass from Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, and electronics wizard Pyrolator from Dusseldorf, Germany. On their truly international debut, Paspanga, Burkina Electric blend the rhythms and sounds of traditional West African music with 21st-century electronic dance grooves. Tonight they play with Washington, D.C.–born turntablist/producer DJ Spooky. —Lainna Fader
Juxtaposing a surreal Southwestern landscape with images of soaring seagulls and a fiery sunset, the design of Ladytron's latest album, Gravity the Seducer, resembles a 1970s prog-rock album cover. But the English band's sleek and shiny sound remains the same as ever, with leader Helen Marnie cooing her abstract, romantic pleas over endless waves of synthesizer. What sets Ladytron apart from other electropop acts is the way Marnie's occasionally poetic confessions lend warmth and personality to the sometimes icily robotic backing. While falling for the seduction of gravity, Marnie sees mirages, discovers an enchanted "Moon Palace" and finds herself walking in her sleep, moving from the extremes of "Melting Ice" to "Ninety Degrees." Earlier this afternoon, Ladytron perform a DJ set at Amoeba Music. —Falling James
DREAM THEATER at Nokia Theatre; WILLIAM ELLIOT WHITMORE, JAMES VINCENT McMORROW at Bootleg Bar; JUNIOR BOYS, YOUNG GALAXY at El Rey Theatre; EPICENTER FESTIVAL at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre; MARC ANTHONY at Gibson Amphitheatre; TONY BENNETT at Staples Center; LUCKMAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA TRIBUTE TO HORACE SILVER at Luckman Fine Arts Complex; MIKE MILLER TRIO at the Baked Potato; HAR MAR SUPERSTAR at Satellite.
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