Music Picks: Skrillex, Diplo, Wu-Tang Clan, The Health Club | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Music Picks: Skrillex, Diplo, Wu-Tang Clan, The Health Club 

Also, Art Lande, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Gilad Hekselman, The Stitches, The Villains and others

Thursday, Jan 19 2012
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fri 1/20

The Stitches, The Villains

ALEX'S BAR

click to enlarge PHOTO BY KEVIN WESTENBERG - Rumer: See Tuesday.
  • PHOTO BY KEVIN WESTENBERG
  • Rumer: See Tuesday.

Location Info

The Stitches might have started in 1994, but the Orange County quartet blasts out a bratty, feral sound that places it in 1977, the beginning of the codified punk era. Whereas most latter-day O.C. punks tend to imitate either the guttural intensity of hardcore or the more radio-friendly corporate punk of the Offspring and Blink-182, the Stitches have stubbornly stuck to a primal style that draws upon such proto-punk inspirations as New York Dolls, the Pagans and the Adolescents. Former skate hero Mike Lohrman snarls with a distinctive rasp on raucous original ditties like "Livin' at 110" and "My Baby Hates Me," powered by Cleveland transplant Johnny Witmer's goosed-up Johnny Thunders guitar squalling. The Villains are led by Steve Baise, a driving force in the beloved early-'90s NYC garage-rock combo the Devil Dogs. —Falling James

The Good Natured

ECHO

These U.K.-based goth-pop specialists released one of last year's most intriguing EPs. In the six songs (and one remix) that comprise Skeleton, the three-piece has combined all the drama and a melancholic pop sensibility that rivals those classic tracks you remember hearing on a smoky nightclub dance floor. Singer Sarah McIntosh possesses a controlled wail so bold and impassioned that it could make you shiver. With songs like "Skeletons," "Wolves" and "Be My Animal," she carefully weaves dark imagery through songs of love and lust without crossing the line into goth cheesiness. If you like your music ever so slightly spooky, the Good Natured is the band to watch in 2012. —Liz Ohanesian

King Tuff

THE SMELL

The rhinestones on the back of his jean jacket say KING TUFF (all caps, naturally) and the rock & roll on his debut record says, "Secure a comfortable seat whilst I deploy my royalist ripping upon you." In the past, multi-instrumentalist Tuff — of the Brattleboro, Vt., Tuffs — helped bands like Feathers and Witch make space-y folk and doom-y heavy metal, respectively. But when left unsupervised in his home studio, he smashes out song after dreamy glam-punk song and plays every single thing himself. Now relocated to L.A., he has formidable punk band Audacity backing him. That tuff-to-find debut now sells for hundreds of dollars to people who rightly understand certain music IS better than hot water or hot food, but there's a Sub Pop release due early next year to ensure the King doesn't lose touch with his loving subjects. —Chris Ziegler

Wallpaper

EL REY THEATRE

Last year was a big one for Oakland-to-L.A. funk-rap underdog Wallpaper, aka magnetic lothario Ricky Reed. He's the sort of dude to wear his sunglasses at night, plus two pair in the morning to help neutralize a Four Loko hangover. But as 2011 proved, he's also the kinda guy to wrangle Bay Area titan Too $hort for a song about "a grown-ass woman with a grown ass"; to co-write (with Rivers Cuomo) Cee-Lo Green's self-effacing new single, "Anyway"; and to be animated by Superjail! twisted genius Christy Karacas for MTV's Liquid Television relaunch. By bridging weird to pop to just plain legit, Reed has guaranteed himself a future that'll make good on the larger-than-life shows Wallpaper throws. Accompanied by double drummers and stunning singer Novena Carmel, Reed is every bit the charismatic pied piper of party his viral "#STUPiDFACEDD" single implies. —Chris Martins

Also playing:

SCHOOLBOY Q at Troubadour; HIROKAZU KOSAKA and LAFMS SHOE at the Getty Center; ADAAWE at the Skirball Museum; MICHAEL LANDAU at the Baked Potato; CHRIS MINH DOKY & THE NOMADS at Catalina.

 

sat 1/21

Wu-Tang Clan

CLUB NOKIA

It's hard to believe that nearly two decades have passed since nine bold rappers from Staten Island banded together to form an unorthodox, hardcore hip-hop group. Hardly anyone thought this formula would work, except the swaggering members of Wu-Tang Clan themselves. Now widely considered one of the most successful and influential hip-hop acts of all time, they're guest-lecturing at Harvard, publishing books and still selling out amphitheaters around the world. They recently reunited for a series of dates across the country, which winds down soon after tonight's gig. Original members RZA, GZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa are expected to be on hand, and rumor has it a new album is due out this spring, so it should be more than just a blast from the past. —Laura Ferreiro

Gilad Hekselman

BLUE WHALE

Having already hosted Anthony Wilson and Larry Koonse, and with NYC standout Jonathan Kriesberg looming, Blue Whale has an endless parade of incredible guitarists this month. How about adding one of the most exciting young guitarists living in New York? Demonstrating exquisite technique, Hekselman can get people cheering within a few choruses. Since winning the 2005 Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition, the Israeli-born guitarist has collected many fans back East; now he ventures West to gain new admirers. Expect to see equal numbers of guitar geeks and pretty coeds in the first row of ottomans. With former New School colleague Dave Robaire on bass, Kneebody saxist Ben Wendel and another New York resident, exceptional drummer Ferenc Nemeth, who deserves his own paragraph of accolades. —Gary Fukushima

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