Music Picks: Woody Allen & His New Orleans Jazz Band, Jane Monheit, Manhattan Murder Mystery | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Music Picks: Woody Allen & His New Orleans Jazz Band, Jane Monheit, Manhattan Murder Mystery 

Also, Fishbone, Luciana Souza, Infected Mushroom and others

Thursday, Dec 22 2011
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fri 12/23

Nero

MUSIC BOX

click to enlarge PHOTO BY FARLEY MAGADIA - Naama Kates: See Tuesday.
  • PHOTO BY FARLEY MAGADIA
  • Naama Kates: See Tuesday.

Location Info

The British electronic dance music duo of Dan Stephens and Joe Ray just released their debut full-length, Welcome Reality, this month, but the songs that comprise the album have been tearing up dance floors for more than a year. Songs like "Me and You" and last summer's hit "Promises" — written with vocalist and frequent collaborator Alana Watson — juxtapose dubstep's jarring bass lines with ethereal vocals more commonly associated with progressive house tracks. Then there's "Crush on You," Nero's current club smash, based on samples from the Jets' mid-'80s hit of the same name. This is the jam of the moment, a pop song tweaked out to the point that it's too weird for radio. It doesn't matter that Nero plays to an audience largely too young to remember the Minnesota siblings behind the original. —Liz Ohanesian

Dir En Grey

HOUSE OF BLUES

Dir En Grey might be one of the planet's biggest cult bands: almost unrecognized on Main Street, yet — despite singing in their native Japanese — able to sell out theater-size venues across continents. They long ago traded in their early alt-pop leanings for a riff-based, prog-metal approach, which has restlessly evolved over eight albums and a jet-lagged decade of international touring. Dum Spiro Spero, released in August, is a spiky yet atmospheric offering that lurks somewhere between (former tour mates) Deftones' dark art and deft Dream Theater–ish shreddery. The album's slightly stale nü-metal musk is more than masked by vocalist Kyo, who summons a tonal and emotional range (from conversational, confessional murmuring to an androgynous howl) unimaginable to the Fred Dursts of this world. —Paul Rogers

Also playing:

BRANDON FIELDS ALL-STARS at the Baked Potato; OLD CALIFORNIO at the Satellite; RICHARD VISSION, DAVE AUDE at Vanguard; JON BRION at Largo.

 

sat 12/24

Infected Mushroom

AVALON/BARDOT

Considering the mainstream march of electronic music can be clocked by the accomplishments of dance star Skrillex, Israeli trance duo Infected Mushroom were ahead of their time with their last album, 2009's Legend of the Black Shawarma. The darkly inflected, rock-damaged record not only included a collab with Korn but also a Doors cover (both recent feathers in the Skrillex cap). While their music so far eschews the amped-up robot reverberations of dubstep, they share that other fella's interest in subverting genre, and are as likely to open a song with a slurry of Spanish guitar as to close it with a metal riff, or set the whole thing bumping to a vintage boom-bap beat. Better yet, the pair expand to a four-piece live, giving them more power to summon their own brand of scary monsters. —Chris Martins

Tom Ranier Quartet

Vibrato

If you're looking for an evening of calm before the Christmas Day storm, Herb and Eden Alpert's Vibrato supper club in Bel Air may have your prescription. House bassist Pat Senatore has put together what should be a relaxing night headlined by pianist Tom Ranier. Ranier's current day job is as a primary accompanist on TV's Dancing With the Stars, but he's also acknowledged as one of the finest jazz pianists in Los Angeles, and a much-in-demand session player. Veteran trumpeter Steve Huffsteter has appeared on dozens of TV show and film soundtracks. Rounding out the quartet is talented drummer Dick Weller. Sit back and enjoy an evening of fine jazz and a dinner to match. Christmas morning will be here soon enough. —Tom Meek

sun 12/25

Cal Bennett

PIPS

The story behind PIPS restaurant on L.A.'s Westside is an unusual one. Owner Derrick Pipkin used to frequent the eatery on La Brea years ago, as a boy, and the place held fond memories. After seeing the space sit empty for several years, Pipkin decided to take a chance in 2010 and open his first restaurant, serving pizza, pasta and salads to both eat-in and takeout diners. PIPS has been successful enough with its food that Pipkin recently removed the small bar just inside the entrance to expand his kitchen. The inside space also has a comfy stage with a group of regular performers, including Sunday's entertainment, saxophonist Cal Bennett. There's also a heated patio for cool winter days and evenings. PIPS' Christmas Day menu is a Champagne brunch that promises easy jazz, mimosas and a lazy Sunday afternoon to relax — after the kids awaken you at 4 a.m. to discover what Santa brought this year. —Tom Meek

 

mon 12/26

Manhattan Murder Mystery, George Glass

THE SATELLITE

Matthew Teardrop is an Everyman icon in the making. On Manhattan Murder Mystery's new EP, Women House, the L.A.-via-Virginia resident gruffly howls about coming from a poor family and always being out of luck, and grinds out this little nugget of blue-collar ire: "It's hard for me to believe there's still people who can bring in 15 thousand a year, and spend seven dollars on a beer." Craft brew–swilling hipster he is not. To wit, the next couplet talks about bashing congressmen with baseball bats before the ragged guitars of "City Hall" give way to a fierce harmonica solo. The man does booze, however, and parts of MMM's eponymous LP were recorded on a three-day malt liquor bender in a friend's garage ("We were doing Edward 40-hands," he told L.A. Record). Think Zevon and Springsteen but really pissed. —Chris Martins

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