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
British songbird Sophie Barker doesn't have to scream or shout to get your attention. Instead, she captivates you through a series of subtle shimmers and soft confessions on her upcoming album, Seagull. Laid against the cool blue tones of murmuring keyboards, Barker's soothing vocals cast a contemplative spell on starkly spacey tracks like "Just for You" and "Insight." There are a few moments that recall the downtempo sparkle of her early work with Zero 7, but the London chanteuse has found other ways of catching dreams, such as the swooning orchestration of the title track. Even a relatively cloying and innocuous pop tune like "Bluebell" gets rescued by the late intervention of a funky and savvy horn section. —Falling James
Since his splashy introduction in the '70s with the groundbreaking band Irakere, Cuban trumpeter Sandoval has forged a heavyweight career, peaking in 1995 with a Grammy win for his solo album, Danzon. Onetime protégé and heir to the legacy of Dizzy Gillespie, he has become a legend himself, featuring on countless recordings and performing at the White House and with stars including Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake. There is even an acclaimed movie about his life, starring suave Andy Garcia as the papi! Here's hoping this engagement marks the beginning of another essential jazz presence at this sublime new NoHo hot spot. Sandoval's current band includes Zane Musa (sax) and Mahesh Balasooriya (piano), stunning virtuosos with the ammunition to match the fiery veteran in a hail of well-chosen notes. —Gary Fukushima
Philip K. Dick would have loved a story about beautiful music born from a scrap of paper fished from the trash, and that's the story of Willis Earl Beal so far — a young man who used to post random flyers inviting strangers to call him to hear a song, a young man who draws like Mingering Mike and sings like Sam Cooke, Skip Spence or Son House as the passion strikes him. His rereleased Acousmatic Sorcery is less an album than an animal, wild and healthy and ferociously alive. (What kind of animal exactly? Definitely a rain dog.) And his new signing with an XL subsidiary — making him label neighbors with M.I.A. and Radiohead — means every stranger in the world can hear his music. As the story goes, this isn't a happy ending, it's a happy beginning. —Chris Ziegler
CARINA ROUND at Satellite; TENNIS at Troubadour.
Since 1980, as thrash metal's fortunes have waxed and waned, Overkill has been there to reliably deliver the goods to the faithful and offer old-school authenticity to fair-weather fans. Over the course of 16 albums, these New Jersey surefires have diligently explored thrash's claustrophobic confines, embracing punk, hardcore, trad and even epic metal influences with a veritable revolving door of lineups. Though they've never enjoyed the private-island success of genre peers Metallica and Megadeth, Overkill have quietly sold millions of albums worldwide. Newbie The Electric Age hasn't lost a step, sounding like Iron Maiden might if they quit their mansions for the mean streets once again. With paranormally in-shape original frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth still leading by example, Overkill personify metal's worthy quest for eternal youth. —Paul Rogers
KATJA REICKERMANN at Vibrato; CAGE THE ELEPHANT, FIDLAR at the Mayan; SAY ANYTHING at House of Blues.