Music Picks: Bettye LaVette, Johnny Thunders, Johnny Hallyday 

Also, Kate McGarry, Enter Shikari, Hype Williams and others

Thursday, Apr 19 2012

fri 4/20



click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY TAMZIN BROWN - LP: See Monday.
  • LP: See Monday.

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Members of the same Internet-enabled semiscene that has given us Tanlines, Delorean and Teengirl Fantasy, these former San Franciscans (now living in New York) live up to their name, pumping out sweet-and-sour indie-disco jams that refresh on contact. Lemonade have an album due out in June from the ultrahip Matador subsidiary True Panther Sounds; it's called Diver and closes with a white-soul stunner in the form of "Softkiss." (Not for nothing does frontman Callan Clendenin quote Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step" in the song's chorus.) Expect a preview of some of that new material tonight, along with a good deal of closed-eye bliss-seeking. With Bachelorette, otherwise known as New Zealand–based avant-pop purveyor Annabel Alpers. —Mikael Wood

The Rhythm Shakers


The Rhythm Shakers are Wild Records' specialty crowd-control device, able to beat an audience into happy submission with about four cracks on the snare drum. They're an absolutely captivating rock & roll/rhythm & blues combo led by Marlene Perez, who's got a Wanda Jackson grrrrrrrrowl and Wanda Jackson style, plus Cordell Jackson chops when she deems it necessary to unholster her guitar. (She's got official label gunslinger Andrew Himmler and his deadly Telecaster at her side, too.) Their recent contribution to Wild's Live at Weber's album — perhaps you yourself are on it too, screaming? — is pure attitude, pure rhythm and pure guitar tone, which means this is gonna go tearing through your bloodstream like white lightning. You'd think they fell off a Chess 45 around 1956, but instead they're from right this second. When they do a song called "Shake Your Hips," it's less a suggestion than a command. —Chris Ziegler

Lorraine Feather


In 2010 Lorraine Feather received a Grammy nomination for her album Ages, which drew widespread critical and popular acclaim. Feather's latest effort is Tales From the Unusual, material from which she debuts tonight. Feather's background is a unique one. She's the daughter of Jane and Leonard Feather — her mother was a big band singer, her father a legendary jazz critic and writer. She was named after her godmother, Billie Holiday, but began using her middle name, Lorraine, as a teenager. Feather has released a total of 12 albums, and has received seven Emmy nominations for her work as a lyricist and in television. Her backing band for the release event includes Grammy-winning pianist Russell Ferrante of Yellowjackets and highly regarded L.A. studio guitarist Grant Geissman. —Tom Meek

Also playing:

SEUN KUTI & EGYPT 80 at Royce Hall (See GoLA); SCOTT KINSEY GROUP at Blue Whale; MARILYN SCOTT at the Baked Potato; SAUL HERNANDEZ at Troubadour.


sat 4/21

Johnny Thunders Tribute Night


John Genzale died far too young, in 1991 at the age of 38 in a New Orleans hotel room under a set of mysterious and, quite frankly, suspicious circumstances that remain unexplained to this day. Ironically, the late Johnny Thunders' music is more popular now than it was when he co-founded the New York Dolls in the 1970s and carried on with a solo career in the '80s. His direct influence can be easily heard in the Sex Pistols, Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith and many, many others, but none of his imitators can truly replicate Thunders' plaintively lovelorn vocals and rudely savage guitar style. Tonight, several of his peers and acolytes will attempt to invoke his "Born to Lose" ethos, including Blondie's Frank Infante and Clem Burke and the Waldos' Joey Pinter. Members of such local hard-rock bands as the Crazy Squeeze, Barrio Tiger and the Neurotics also will be on hand to give an Angeleno spin to Thunders' classic anthems of New York love and desperation. —Falling James

Bettye LaVette


At 66, Detroit-raised soul legend Bettye LaVette seems to be at the start of a brilliant career. Chalk it up to an unusual biography, which found the gifted singer recording her first charting single at the tender age of 16, touring with a fresh-faced Otis Redding at 19 and later playing in the James Brown Revue — essentially walking backwards down the road to riches. In fact, she didn't break beyond the States until 2005, when, teaming up with producer Joe Henry, she dropped I've Got My Own Hell to Raise, featuring songs written by Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, Sinéad O'Connor and Lucinda Williams. While a 2007 LP saw her singing standards backed by Drive-By Truckers, 2010's Interpretations includes songs by the Stones, the Beatles and the Who, redone to emphasize the blues they'd emulated in the first place. —Chris Martins

Kate McGarry


For three years straight, DownBeat Magazine has labeled the Grammy-nominated vocalist a "Rising Star," so by now she should be somewhere around Mars. Hopefully she'll get back in time for her show at the Whale, for it would be a shame for anyone to miss her evocative lyricism, superb control and ample vocal and emotive range. Her voice would be iconic in any genre, and she has crossed over with unique interpretations of Björk, Dylan and Peter Gabriel; but her latest album, Girl Talk, is an homage to the great ladies of jazz as well as an anthem for feminist equality in our time. McGarry brings her NYC band in tow, featuring star pianist/organist Gary Versace, whose playing puts him in another galaxy far, far away. —Gary Fukushima

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