Sun Araw, Eagles of Death Metal, Lil' Kim | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Sun Araw, Eagles of Death Metal, Lil' Kim 

Also, Harry Partch's Bitter Music, Jonneine Zapata, Alan Pasqua Trio and others

Thursday, Jun 7 2012
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Sun Araw: See Saturday.

PHOTO BY AARON GIESEL

Sun Araw: See Saturday.

fri 6/8

Balkan Beat Box

THE ROXY

L.A. should have no problem embracing Balkan Beat Box, whose polyglot posi-vibes approach to songcraft evokes hometown heroes Ozomatli. BBB was started by a pair of Israel-born New Yorkers, Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat, who similarly fuse their own musical traditions with contemporary strains of hip-hop and dub, thus shrugging off the damning "world music" yoke while simultaneously offering a living tribute to international harmony. Klezmer brass burps, African rhythms rattle, beats break and synthesizers squawk on the band's new album, Give, while rapper-singer Tomer Yosef keeps the energy high with lyrics designed to stoke partygoer and politico alike. Take "Enemy in Economy," for instance: A genuinely upbeat chant — "Welcome to the U.S.A./We hope you have a wonderful day" — is followed by a ripping treatise on ethnic profiling. Time for a new riot on the Sunset Strip? —Chris Martins

J.D. McPherson, Omar and the Stringpoppers

ECHO

Perhaps a kindred spirit for L.A.'s unflagging rock & roll & R&B & rockabilly label Wild is J.D. McPherson, who blasted out of Oklahoma in 2010 with "North Side Gal" with an all-analog band and a bad-boy-heart-of-gold voice like Dion back when he'd tear open his shirt to show 'em the "Rosie" on his chest. He's in the sweet spot of '56, with plenty of smooth but a few scars, too. Wild's engineer Omar Romero — the miracle man in the back of the shack making beers and tube amps sound immortal — will rally his Stringpoppers for their own set of no-fuckin'-around rock & roll. Plenty of good things have been (and should be) said about Wild's Luis and Gizzelle, but those who sleep on Omar sleep unfulfilled and uneasily. —Chris Ziegler

Also playing:

BOW WOW at National City Grove of Anaheim; STEEL MAGNOLIA at Club Nokia; FREESTYLE EXPLOSION at Gibson Amphitheater; YOUTH OF TODAY, GORILLA BISCUITS at Glass House (Pomona); MAPS & ATLASES at Troubadour; THE MARROW at Origami Vinyl; GORDON GOODWIN BIG PHAT BAND at Vitello's; ERNIE WATTS at LACMA; HELIOS CREED at the Echoplex.

sat 6/9

Lawrence Lebo

BOULEVARD MUSIC

There are a lot of fine blues divas belting it out today, but there's no one quite like Lawrence Lebo. For one thing, the L.A. singer writes most of her own songs, which sound seamless next to the occasional classic covers she pulls out of her deep bag of tricks. For another thing, she's not a slavish revivalist satisfied to merely relive the past. "Lawrence's Working Girl Blues," from her excellent 2010 album, Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3: American Roots, is a wise and cheeky answer to Three 6 Mafia's infamous "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," as Lebo, refreshingly, sings from the prostitute's point of view instead of the pimp's. She reveals her sentimental and romantic side in her charming recent single, "Happy Anniversary, Baby," a valentine to her bassist-husband, Denny Croy, that celebrates their quarter-century of marriage. Whether she's backed by a full band or croons with Croy in smaller settings, Lebo is a masterful song stylist, infusing her bluesy lamentations with a sassy sense of swing and a playfully jazzy sophistication. —Falling James

Van Halen, Kool & the Gang

STAPLES CENTER

After decades of fitful attempts, guitarist Eddie Van Halen has finally found a way to peacefully coexist with singer David Lee Roth long enough for both of them to fill a fleet of armored trucks with millions in cash, on the latest Van Halen reunion tour. Why now? Why not? "I don't feel tardy," as Roth irreverently put it on 1984's "Hot for Teacher." The reunion is ostensibly an excuse to flog A Different Kind of Truth, the quartet's new comeback CD, which only intermittently evokes the young-&-dumb anthems from Van Halen's late-'70s prime. Most fans will go for nostalgic reasons — to see Eddie erupt in one of his trademark flurries of pyrotechnic wankery while David Lee attempts to navigate Spinal Tap's "thin line between clever and stupid" on raging ditties like "Everybody Wants Some." But you better catch 'em while you can — the second half of this tour was suddenly amputated for vague reasons. Also at the Honda Center, Tues. —Falling James

Sun Araw

HOMEROOM

Cameron Stallones and his band, Sun Araw, make the music of the ancient future: endless, bottomless, electronic and primal, with echo and noise chopping through the kind of waves of bass of which half-remembered legends tell. Recent collab with local controller M. Geddes Gengras and Jamaica's titanic Congos made for an EP of staggering purity — the kind of rejuvenating heat and light reported only by visionaries and close encounterers of the second kind — but the Araw discography unfolds its own complex universe somewhere between Lee "Scratch" Perry, Julian Cope and Jack Kirby. Stallones is an explorer generally but a spelunker specifically, the kind of musician who welcomes a chance to walk alone into the undiscovered dark. Some are born deep, some achieve deepness, and some beatifically welcome the deepness as it blooms around them. —Chris Ziegler

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