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Music Picks: Regina Carter, Madness, Melvins, Grace Woodroofe 

Also, Neon Indian, Moab, Damien Jurado and others

Thursday, Apr 12 2012
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fri 4/13

Melvins

TROUBADOUR

click to enlarge PHOTO BY TIMOTHY NORRIS - Gotye: See Thursday.

The local avant-metal masters have an intriguing disc due out in June, called Freak Puke, on which Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover team up with Trevor Dunn (of Mr. Bungle and Fantômas) for what sounds like chamber music from hell. Alas, that's not what they'll be playing tonight, one of the first few dates of a monthlong tour by the four-man Melvins lineup, featuring Osbourne and Crover along with Jared Warren and Coady Willis of Big Business. Last month that crew released a nifty little EP, The Bulls & the Bees, for free through Scion's website. Anyone worried about the ramifications of such a corporate alliance is advised to request "We Are Doomed." With New York noise rockers Unsane. —Mikael Wood

Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Tom Russell, Jon Langford & Jimmie Dale Gilmore

McCABE'S

Tonight's lineup is loaded with more superheroes than Marvel's upcoming Avengers flick. With so many roots-rock-folk-country-punk alpha dogs — each of whom can spin a merry yarn with the same ease that he can kick into a comfortable old ballad — on the same bill, it'll be interesting to see which dog will have his day and/or say. A onetime inspiration to his early acolyte Bob Dylan, the legendary New York folkie Ramblin' Jack Elliott keeps on ramblin' on, proving that he's more than a nostalgic trip, with recent albums like the apocalyptic folk-blues comeback A Stranger Here. Tex-Mex cowboy bard Tom Russell certainly is no stranger here, with tunes that have been covered by everyone from Joe Ely to the great Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Fellow Texan Jimmie Dale Gilmore has risen from the flatlands to cobble together a body of work that's pumped up with a honky-tonk pulse. Meanwhile, the Mekons' Jon Langford brings a boozy irreverence to everything he does, whether it's creating iconic paintings of American musicians or making some of that same classic American music from the viewpoint of a semi–grown-up English punk rebel. —Falling James

Karmetik Machine Orchestra

REDCAT

Featuring robotic instruments performing musical interpretations of traditional Indian morality tales, Samsara has its world premiere April 12-13 at REDCAT. Composer/robotics engineer Ajay Kapur and sculptor/theater designer Michael Darling conceived an event in which a human orchestra's performance on modified instruments interfaces world music with experimental compositions played on custom-built music machines. Musicians and dancers interact with these electro-mechanical instruments amid multiple speakers dispersed throughout the audience, creating a Gesamtkunstwerk where the spontaneous interplay among the dancers, the players, the machines and computer animation combines to tell the story. The event's ensemble of interdisciplinary performers includes interactive electronic performers Curtis Bahn and Tomie Hahn, choreographer Raakhi Kapur, animator Jason Jahnke and kinetic sculptor and musician Trimpin. —John Payne

Acid Mothers Temple, Phantom Family Halo, Pond, Hepa/Titus

ECHO

Led by electric guitarist/violinist/bowed-peacock player/visionary Kawabata Makoto, Japanese psychedelicists Acid Mothers Temple pay tribute to the halcyon days of the late-'60s to mid-'70s progressive and avant-rock bands, including but not limited to Sun Ra, Gong, Hendrix, Floyd and Soft Machine. The collective's recorded output now numbers in the gazillions and varies in tolerability. But we do know that its earlier, Hawkwind-meets-Zappa improvised loon-pants/floppy-hats/cheesecloth-shirts hippie litter has evolved into more satisfyingly conceptualized works like the brutal Starless and Bible Black Sabbath, or the medieval space-rocky Mantra of Love. Phantom Family Halo purvey the glammy psych on their excellent new When I Fall Out; also cosmic crackpots Pond, from Perth, and Hepa/Titus. —John Payne

Also playing

BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY at House of Blues; BILL CUNLIFFE at Vitello's; BRIAN MCKNIGHT at Grove of Anaheim.

 

sat 4/14

Damien Jurado

BOOTLEG BAR

In an era when music evolves with exponential velocity, real timelessness has become an even rarer commodity than it was in, say, the late 1960s. By putting his own spin on the psychedelic and folk currents of that era, Seattle's Damien Jurado winds up with something both warmly classic and bracingly new. His latest album, Maraqopa, was produced by Richard Swift, a man with a touch that's more than a little reminiscent of Phil Spector's. These 10 songs find their author stretching out far beyond his typical, melancholic hush to create a rich sound thickened considerably by the occasional children's choir or searing guitar solo. While this album is the most diverse of his 11 so far, its consistency is a level of quality and craft that's often lacking from your typical man-with-guitar fare. It's also his greatest work yet. —Chris Martins

Evidence

THE VIPER ROOM

"I never would have thought the words wrote on the page would have me on the other side of the Earth on a stage," Evidence raps on his latest album, Cats & Dogs, but this cat has been out of the bag for a long time, with his deft, highly conscious wordplay and fever-dream musical collages finally reaching a wider audience. A founder of local hip-hop heroes Dilated Peoples, the Venice homie born Michael Perretta has a decisive, incisive delivery as he muses on everything from "Fame" to "Sleep Deprivation," joined by such guests as Raekwon and Aloe Blacc. "This is crime-scene cinema," Evidence muses, as he surveys the wreckage of his neighborhood and the absence of dead friends. As ever, he's always thinking, always moving and never satisfied: "I came a long way, and I still got so far to go." —Falling James

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