Music Picks: The Dickies, Rufus Wainwright, Jack DeJohnette 

Also, Calle 13, Andre Nickatina

Thursday, May 10 2012

fri 5/11

The Dickies


click to flip through (3) Circe Link: See Friday.
  • Circe Link: See Friday.

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After another beautiful day in Malibu, you'll take a long, romantic walk along the beach to watch the sun set ... followed by an evening with the Dickies' Leonard Graves Phillips serenading you with soothing love songs like "If Stuart Could Talk," a sensitive ode to the singer's favorite body part, which he acts out with the help of a penis-shaped puppet. Some gentle folks might find the song to be in questionable taste, so the ever-resourceful Phillips likely will segue into more serious subjects, including the rise and fall of the Roman empire ("Caligula"), the importance of exercise ("Bowling With Bedrock Barney"), the state of semi-modern journalism ("I'm Stuck in a Pagoda With Tricia Toyota") and the perils of bad rhyme schemes ("I'm Stuck in a Condo With Marlon Brando"). Phillips' deadpan celebrity anti-worship aside, it's guitarist Stan Lee's relentless power chords that make the Dickies sound simultaneously sinister and giddy. —Falling James

Shooter Jennings


Shooter Jennings opens his new one, Family Man, with a line that ranks among his finest: "I wake up with my children, right around the crack of noon." (Parents of early-rising young ones — y'all feel me, right?) Tune's called "The Real Me," and after 2010's ghastly psych-rock detour Black Ribbons, it's good to have Jennings back in his comfort zone, doling out the kind of rough-and-tumble country music his late father, Waylon, made; in "Daddy's Hands" he even lets us ride along as he remembers "Another Thanksgiving on a rainy day/The whole house smells like a big ashtray." Jennings can get pretty rowdy onstage, which means tonight he might not nail the gorgeous Celtic-thunder harmonies in "The Long Road Ahead." But dude'll definitely try. —Mikael Wood

White Hills, Fancy Space People


A double bill from the spaced-out 1970s future that time forgot at the Echoplex. Grab your orgone accumulator and turn your eyeballs into craters for White Hills, who come roaring out of the blackness of the interstellar void with a ferociously Hawkwindian sonic attack that'll process just fine for fans of fellow noiseniks like Les Rallizes Dénudés and High Rise. Opening are L.A.-by-way-of-Planet-X glam-rock mind controllers Fancy Space People, led by Don Bolles and No-Ra Keyes — oops, sorry, led by space aliens simply using Don and No-Ra as their willing instruments. Remember that spot in your brain that spilled all over itself when it first heard the strings come in on a T. Rex song? That is where the Space People will be planting a permanent colony. —Chris Ziegler

The Jezabels


The Jezabels' tireless indie-pop perfectionism is best traveled in long strides: complete concerts or in the totality of their debut full-length, last year's Prisoner. Their music is always melodic, but instinctively and intrinsically so rather than in a preconceived "please, pleeeease like us" way. There are tones and timbres from before these young Aussies were even born (recurring, choppy/delayed U2 guitars and Hayley Mary's spooky Siouxsie Sioux and Kate Bush inflections) and plenty of New Millennium touchpoints, too (Snow Patrol's outdoorsy sense of scale; Mary's glacial take on Paramore's Hayley Williams), but more a melding of these than any straight aping. Strong though The Jezabels' songs are, these are but chapters in the bass-less quartet's slow-burning storytelling, so stick around 'til the very end of the inevitable encores. —Paul Rogers

Circe Link, Tramp for the Lord


Circe Link calls her music "cowboy jazz," and while there's more than a little bit of country in her music, the local singer also draws upon folk, blues and power-pop influences when she performs. No matter what style she engages in, Link's hook-laden songs are always supremely melodic, with her yearning vocals crowned by partner Christian Nesmith's punchy guitar licks. And unlike so many country-pop divas, Link reveals genuinely subversive wit on tunes like "Gettin' High (on Your Own Supply)," where the radio-friendly chorus is juxtaposed with slyly chiding lyrics. Tramp for the Lord is a new band with former Hangmen bassist Doug Cox crooning moping, loping country-rock ballads in a world-weary growl as Gun Club slide guitar and spaghetti Western canyons open up behind him. —Falling James

Also playing:


sat 5/12

Rufus Wainwright


If you've ignored Rufus Wainwright's career over the last few years — as the piano-pop prodigy tried his hand at opera, musical theater and the sonnets of William Shakespeare — it's time to tune back in. Out of the Game, Wainwright's brand-new album, might be his best (and most songful) effort since 2002's Poses. He made it with Mark Ronson, and while the producer definitely provides his signature retrodelic vibe in cuts like the T. Rex–style glam-soul gem "Rashida," Wainwright sings with a hook-conscious immediacy that prevents the music from vaporizing into style-mag ambience. There's not a tune on the thing I'm not looking forward to hearing at the Orpheum, where he'll be backed by an eight-piece band complete with keys and horns. —Mikael Wood

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