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
WANDA JACKSON, BEST COAST at Club Nokia; JENNY & JOHNNY at the Standard Hollywood; BREAKESTRA at the Echo; THE HENRY CLAY PEOPLE at the Satellite; DJ QUIK at Key Club; PINK MARTINI at Walt Disney Concert Hall; GRAM RABBIT at Bar Sinister.
1154 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Region: Out of Town
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., No. 301
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Region: Chinatown/ Elysian Park
111 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Category: Music Venues
Region: Out of Town
Stitching the accessible West Coast punk of Bad Religion and the Descendents to Agnostic Front's blue-collar, East Coast hardcore, Los Angeles' Rotting Out are no revolution but rather a deceptively nuanced exploration of their subculture's fractured backstory and current status quo. Less po-faced than so many street-punk crews, Rotting Out's fast, feverish delivery is more a much-needed kick in the pants than an unwelcome brick to the face. Moving bassist (and former guitarist) Walter Delgado into their vacated vocalist role at first appeared desperate, but in fact he lends this year's Street Prowl a sore-throated indignation that seldom sounds preachy. This pit will be the ultimate New Year's Eve hangover zapper and a furiously positive start to 2012. —Paul Rogers
MOSES CAMPBELL at the Smell.
"Wise beyond their years" is a phrase used too liberally, but what else would you call a crew of 21-year-olds whose music combines the organic grandeur of Arcade Fire, the careening sonics of Cursive and the wistful vamping of Wild Beasts? There are only four members of Chasing Kings, but they make the noise of a much bigger band, thanks to those clanging keys and rolling guitars while husky-throated singer Matt Schwartz sings about marquee topics like fulfillment, empathy and aging. "Once upon a summer/We were desperate to be younger," he calls out on "The Current State of Our Future," from 2009's EP of the same name, and the sentiment is believable. This band knows too much for its own good. This residency should be good testing ground for the Kings' upcoming full-length, for which they raised $15,000-plus independently via Kickstarter. —Chris Martins
SEASONS at the Echo; PRINCETON at Bootleg Bar.
If it's possible to make a percussion instrument sing, then Chris Dingman should write the manual. The vibraphonist wields his choice of armament in a way that avoids antagonism — there's no hitting the listener over the head with mallet pyrotechnics. Instead, he employs a lyrical, harmonic-based thoughtfulness and a stealthy virtuosity. His debut album, Waking Dreams, is a masterful, personal testament, full of complex harmonies and rhythms, yet there's a clarity of theme and purpose throughout. Hailed as one of the new and more original jazz voices in New York, Dingman brings with him some old friends from his tenure in Los Angeles: drummer and fellow Monk Institute colleague Zach Harmon, pianist Josh Nelson and bassist Hamilton Price. This is easily one of the best jazz concerts of the early new year. —Gary Fukushima
Too often Rusko, aka Chris Mercer, is lumped in with dubsteppers whose take on the moody electronic genre is, in Mercer's own words, a "masculine, dance floor–orientated, distorted mess." The Leeds-reared, Silver Lake–living producer does things his own way, whipping the original style's wobbly bass and stormy atmosphere into a larger-than-life pop froth, which explains why he's made beats for M.I.A. and been tapped to remix Basement Jaxx. He also has taken strides into the arty, bringing in Dirty Projectors siren Amber Coffman for his 2010 single "Hold On" and using the video for the uplifting "Everyday" as an opportunity to shed light on the forgotten community that calls the Salton Sea home. Witnessed in person, all of Rusko's best traits seem even bigger and brighter than usual, and the energy the man brings to the stage is pretty much unprecedented among his laptop-rocking brethren. —Chris Martins
It's been a heady five years for L.A. pianist Kris Bowers since his 2006 graduation from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. First he was given a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. While at Juilliard, Bowers not only began working with jazz greats including Terrell Stafford and Louis Hayes but also cultivated an interest in hip-hop, performing and recording with notables, including Jay-Z and Kanye West. In September, Bowers won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano competition, with prizes that include $25,000 cash, a contract with Concord Records and a visit to the White House to meet with President Obama. While home for the holidays, Bowers performs tonight at Catalina with Walter Smith III, Sam Gendel, Gene Coye and Palmdale's Joshua Crumbly. —Tom Meek
KEY LOSERS at the Smell; ANTHONY B at Echoplex; ANTHONY WILSON TRIO, L.A. JAZZ QUARTET, MARK FERBER/ALAN FERBER GROUP at the Blue Whale.
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
Even in a world seemingly bursting with astounding new piano prodigies, France's Jean-Yves Thibaudet slays all. Technical wizardry he's got, of course, and in a hugely varied field of play (from Puccini and Strauss to Satie and Ellington); that's coupled with a rare sensibility for his instrument that combines brash, fresh intellect with unsappy feeling in his repertoire. It's a facility — call it a gift — that will serve him well in these performances of the many moods of Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 along with Dvorák's Hussite Overture and the Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3, "Organ." The L.A. Philharmonic is led by conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, who brings his own high-powered, youthful brand of brilliance to the music. Also Sat.-Sun. —John Payne
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