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Music Picks: Soweto Gospel Choir, Garbage, Neon Trees, Jennifer Leitham 

Also, Kitty, Slaughterhouse, James, Chairlift and others

Thursday, Apr 5 2012
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fri 4/6

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

EL REY THEATRE

click to flip through (2) PHOTO CREDIT - Garbage: See Monday.
  • PHOTO CREDIT
  • Garbage: See Monday.
 
 

Location Info

These U.K. early-rock kids put out a self-titled debut over here in 2009, which earned them a left-field opening slot with Coldplay and not much else. (Unless we're counting a permanent space in my living room party-music stack.) It's not clear that Smoking in Heaven, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis' latest, has done much more to establish the band in this country. (Unless we're counting a press-time chart position of No. 11,403 on Amazon.) But, people, listen — both these records are totally great, with catchy, ska-inflected tunes about getting one's mojo working and going back to the land of make-believe. Given the music's willfully lo-fi vibe, there's no reason to believe they won't carry it off perfectly at tonight's show, the second of three U.S. dates they're playing this month. —Mikael Wood

Slaughterhouse

Henry Fonda Theater

Every member of this rap "supergroup" has been involved in some form of controversy: Joe Budden beefed with everyone from Jigga to Wu-Tang; Royce Da 5'9" and Eminem weren't speaking; Joell Ortiz supposedly disrespected Big Pun; Crooked I got fed up with Em and Dre and split for Death Row. But when they joined forces in 2009, each MC put ego aside. The cohesive evidence is in their 2009 eponymous debut. Musical output has been scarce since, save for a 2011 EP and several instances of upstaging their label mates (see Yelawolf's remix for "Hard White [Up in the Club]"). But now, at long last, the Shady Records–signed crew is set to drop its sophomore release, Welcome to: Our House, this summer. Call it aural redemption. —Dan Hyman

Lalah Hathaway

CLUB NOKIA

Among the many things shared by Esperanza Spalding's and Robert Glasper's new albums is the appealingly earthy voice of Lalah Hathaway. On the former she and Spalding add new lyrics to Wayne Shorter's "Endangered Species," while the latter finds her singing lead in a trippy version of "Cherish the Day" by Sade. (That's what we call range.) Tonight this Chicago-based daughter of the late, great Donny Hathaway hits Club Nokia in support of her own Where It All Begins, which came out late last year on the revived Stax label. It's a strong if sadly underappreciated disc with a sound somewhere between traditionalist neo-soul and future-shock R&B. If you helped drive Jill Scott's The Light of the Sun to No. 1, you'll dig what Lalah's putting down. —Mikael Wood

Sara Serpa

BLUE WHALE

At her last gig here, she mesmerized the crowd with an elegant, intellectual style, and her supple voice, which is pitch-perfect and flawless. All the females in the room wanted to sing like her; all the males wanted to date her — she's perfect for Hollywood. Sorry boys, she's married to stellar guitarist André Matos, and he's also better-looking than any of you guys. Vardan Ovsepian's piano playing is as beautiful as they are. Bassist Ryan McGillicuddy has a beautiful 2-year-old girl. Steve Hass's name leads one to believe he is not beautiful but rather that he might rock at drumming, which he does, and actually he's not bad-looking. This music is challenging and gorgeous, just like the band that plays it. —Gary Fukushima

Also playing:

HANNI EL KHATIB at Satellite; HIGH PLACES, BEAR IN HEAVEN at the Echo; TAKE, FREE MORAL AGENTS at the Echoplex; CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS at Royce Hall; CHILLY GONZALES at Hollywood Forever; JOHN K. SAMSON at Troubadour; DIANNE SCHUUR at Catalina.

 

sat 4/7

The-Dream

EL REY THEATRE

Aside from choice selections — most of the Scandinavian variety — pop songwriters are rarely, if ever, recognized for their efforts. Terius Nash, the songwriting brain behind mega pop smashes such as Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," now better known as The-Dream, wasn't content playing second fiddle. Thanks to a trio of distinctively lush solo R&B releases, bookended by twin gems in his 2007 debut, Love/Hate, and his fully realized 2010 effort, Love King (we'll excuse the mediocre Love vs. Money in between), Nash has followed his own ambition to become, in addition to one of the most in-demand R&B songwriters, a legitimate, respected artist in his own right. His next LP, the oft-delayed LOVE IV, is tentatively set for release this summer. —Dan Hyman

Feedtime

THE ECHO

Things evolve differently in Australia, perhaps because the country is a remote island. In the same way that marsupials became bigger and stranger in that antipodean greenhouse, Australian punk music morphed into something distinctly unusual compared to punk rock in the rest of the world. The reclusive Sydney trio Feedtime is a good example. Churning out thick guitar riffs and sludgy tempos, Feedtime are sort of an Australian equivalent to Flipper, with elements roughly similar to the Stooges and Wire lurking in their torturous banks of sound. After 33 years of sonic mayhem Down Under, Feedtime are only just now making their L.A. debut, featuring the anti-hits from their new Sub Pop box set, The Aberrant Years. —Falling James

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