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Music Picks: Digital Underground, Beady Eye, Erykah Badu 

Also, Jane Birkin, Human Drama, Big Jay McNeely

Thursday, Dec 1 2011
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fri 12/2

Allen Stone

ECHO

click to enlarge PHOTO BY NICOLE NODLAND - Lana Del Rey: See Wednesday.
  • PHOTO BY NICOLE NODLAND
  • Lana Del Rey: See Wednesday.

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In the unlikely event that Mayer Hawthorne hasn't satisfied your current need for a nerdy white soul dude, consider checking out Allen Stone tonight. He's a scraggly-haired Seattleite who looks like he should be selling you comic books or telling you why Occupy Wall Street doesn't need a coherent set of demands. Stone's on tour in support of a new self-titled (and self-released) disc that he'll happily let you stream for free on his website. Like his look, it's looser and scrappier than Hawthorne's latest, with a bit more gospel in it. In fact, at certain points the record sounds like Robin Thicke jamming with the brothers of Hanson — a scenario I'm surely not alone in having imagined. Right? —Mikael Wood

Digital Underground

KEY CLUB

In "Freaks of the Industry," these Bay Area funk-rap legends presented a series of multiple-choice queries for such common conundrums as where one should put "it" during stealthy coitus in a house full of guys who'd clown if they heard "that clappin' sound." Tough decisions. As to whether to attend a D.U. concert, there's but one logical answer: Dig out your Groucho nose-and-glasses combo, and practice your best Humpty Dance, because these dudes party like it's 1990. With costume changes, keyboard solos and outsize personalities, Shock G and his smooth-rapping crew resemble a pimped-out, posi-vibes P-Funk. They're the original hip-hop hippies and they stay true to the peace ("Dowutchyalike"), love ("Kiss You Back") and party ("Same Song") platform that made them a true classic in the genre. —Chris Martins

Girl in a Coma

THE ECHOPLEX

Singer-guitarist Nina Diaz is modern girl-rock's take on Patsy Cline. Her eight-years-elder sister, drummer Stephanie "Phanie" Diaz, and Stephanie's BFF, bassist Jennifer Alva, discovered Nina on her own front porch in San Antonio at age 12, singing. After five years playing casual gigs on borrowed equipment and practicing in Grandfather Diaz's red-carpeted bedroom, the older girls, who had big dreams of becoming the next Babes in Toyland, gave Nina free range to write and compose 13 original tracks for their first album. They were signed by rock royalty Joan Jett to her label, Blackheart Records, that year, and the trio has been on an upswing ever since, becoming personal favorites of Amanda Palmer, Tegan and Sara and Morrissey. Girl in a Coma are swinging through L.A. to promote their fourth full-length album, with as much thumping bass, crashing cymbal and Texas twang as ever. —Erica E. Phillips

Also playing:

FOOL'S GOLD, MIA DOI TODD, WHITE DENIM at Orpheum Theatre; LORD HURON at Skybar; PRISCILLA AHN at El Rey Theatre; WARPAINT at Galaxy Theater (Santa Ana), JOSH NELSON'S "DISCOVERIES" at Vitello's.

sat 12/3

Beady Eye

WILTERN

Aug. 28, 2009: the day Oasis died — or, rather, the documented peak of the Gallagher brothers' endless bickering. Liam and Noel's storied history of disagreement made it hardly shocking when they announced they were through. Though, with their mammoth egos, it was only a matter of time before they started writing again, if for nothing else than to piss off one another. Liam, Oasis' primary singer, acted first by forming Beady Eye (he had contemplated retaining the Oasis name) with three former members of the band. Their debut, Different Gear, Still Speeding, is as close to a new Oasis record, in terms of sound and styling, as you're likely to hear. Noel followed suit with a solo release this fall, but for Oasis purists, Beady Eye are the way to go. —Dan Hyman

Human Drama

Boardner's

In the world of goth clubs, there are bands whose songs drive people to the dance floor and ones whose shows bring out the masses to the club. Human Drama fall into the latter category. Their sound — frequently a mix of acoustic guitar, strings and piano — was too fragile, too maudlin for the dance floor. But, topped by founder/frontman Johnny Indovina's heartfelt vocal delivery, it made for emotional concerts. For 20 years, the band was a staple in L.A.'s club scene, playing virtually every live-music club that catered to the corset-and-Docs crowd. Then, in 2005, they split. They return, for one night only, at Boardner's Saturday night goth haunt, Bar Sinister. The venue will mark a perfect, if only temporary, return for the group. —Liz Ohanesian

Jane Birkin

LUCKMAN FINE ARTS CENTER

Jane Birkin came out swinging in Swinging London in the 1960s with roles in films like Blow Up and Wonderwall, but what really vaulted the British actress into the limelight was her long musical and romantic relationship with French singer-songwriter/actor/gadfly Serge Gainsbourg. Their sensual 1969 single "Je t'aime ... moi non plus," which culminated in a series of Birkin's orgasmic sighs was, of course, banned in many countries but was also a huge hit. They continued with their playful provocations and collaborations (most notably, the birth of their daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, in 1971), but Birkin also busied herself with various film roles and solo albums. In more recent years, she's been a committed member of Amnesty International and has kept Serge's music alive in duets with such fans as Bryan Ferry, Beth Gibbons and Beck. —Falling James

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