Hail In The Yours Elevated Spirit !Nanny Said That : Honeies !Forget-Keep.To.Be.Delighted-In.Companionship.&.Company-Of.Commune-With.My.CommunionLoveliness.Flowers-NotThanks ExNannyfriend & ExDadfriend.
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
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The Sea and Cake aren't concerned with doing anything new. Rather, all they want to do is be themselves and try out new sounds of interest while playing unapologetically contented music, and that's why we love them. On record, the long-standing Chicago indie band has traveled from pop to jazz, rock, electronica, lounge and even dance without ever completely settling on one style or another. Coasting along for nearly 20 years, The Sea and Cake have earned their title of masters of subtlety for their seemingly effortless ability to master the serene art of flow. Their latest experiment in tranquil pop, The Moonlight Butterfly, was released this year on Thrill Jockey. —Lainna Fader
KORN at Hollywood Palladium; PUSCIFER at Orpheum Theatre.
At first glance, Lana Del Rey might seem like any vapid, young pop singer, with her sullen-model pout and glamorous press photos. But when she opens her mouth, her voice sounds soulfully ageless, communicating a bottomless sadness in just a few world-weary phrases. Her new single may be called "Video Games," but there's nothing fun or playful in the way she intones her solemn lyrics, as a harp rustles restlessly like a bird opening its wings. It's sad, it's grand, and it's compellingly moody. The only time Del Rey allows herself to smile in the accompanying video is when she muses, "I heard that you like the bad girls." Just a few years ago, this bad girl was known by her birth name, Lizzy Grant, but in reinventing herself, Del Rey has imbued herself with a fascinating new persona that somehow feels truer, even as she gets farther away from who she used to be. —Falling James
If the past 70 years have taught us anything, it's that people will boil in flames for something they believe in. Cue Peter Murphy and his grueling, yearlong tour in support of his ninth solo studio album, titled, uh, Ninth. His latest live actions involve mostly songs from Ninth, hits like "Cuts You Up" and "A Strange Kind of Love," and Bauhaus songs with which for years he'd tease audiences by playing a few bars and then no more. It's a singularly weird experience watching the goths grind to a conflicted halt when "She's in Parties" turns on a shilling into that sleek, dubby masterpiece ebbing away. With the sterling pop of She Wants Revenge. —David Cotner
Critics widely despise The Kooks, apparently for the lack of a single original musical or lyrical thought in their shaggy heads. Well, geez, guilty as charged and an all-the-better indie-pop band for it. Never stuck for a melody, harmony or lilting groove, and tackling universal themes of lust and longing with a wry wink and grin, they share more than just letters with The Kinks. Like all great pop groups, these winsome Brits can imbue well-worn progressions and potentially stale sentiments with deep, if fleeting, meaning. Luke Pritchard's cursory flicks through loneliness and nostalgia offer opiate escapes that, quite consciously, change absolutely nothing. A musical make-out session, The Kooks are a visceral blast that neither invites nor rewards over-analysis. —Paul Rogers
Devon Williams is a talented singer-guitarist who most recently was spotted in the blissful pure-pop combo Lavender Diamond. He got his start in the late 1990s with the contrarian Epitaph Records punk band Osker, but the music on his new solo album, Euphoria, is light-years from that kind of sound and fury. His new power-pop songs sound stubbornly out of time — not just because they evoke the distant past of Brian Wilson's lightly psychedelic late-'60s and Robyn Hitchcock's revisionist '80s pop — but because his cheery melodies and rainbows-and-unicorns arrangements seem so oblivious to the New World Depression that we all live in. Perhaps Williams' love songs are from a lost place in time, or perhaps they work as a euphoric (so to speak) escape from the dreary drudgery that surrounds us. Either way, you won't find new pop songs that are any dreamier. —Falling James
TENNIS at the Satellite; PISTOL ANNIES at House of Blues; TEETH, BRANNIGAN'S LAW at the Smell; DANIEL ROSENBLUM SEPTET at Blue Whale.
At this summer's Rock the Bells, the inimitable neo-soul singer from Dallas strolled out and immediately showed why she's become a hip-hop muse (she's been romantically attached to Andre 3000, Common, The D.O.C. and Jay Electronica). Cutting her catlike eyes from side to side and swiveling her hips languorously, she flirted easily, tongue-in-cheek, just like all good Southern girls are taught from the time they toddle. And then those famously warm, honeyed vocals flowed over the crowd and chilled it out so much there wasn't much need for the weed they were packing. Incredibly comfortable and charming onstage, not only does she demand your attention but you just can't help but heap it on her. Hey, if some of the best rappers are mesmerized, how could you expect to tear your eyes away? —Rebecca Haithcoat
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