Jenny Lewis, Ab-Soul, Céu | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Jenny Lewis, Ab-Soul, Céu 

Also, Vinny Golia Sextet, Mary Anne Hobbs, Delta Rae and others

Thursday, Jun 14 2012
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fri 6/15

Ab-Soul

KEY CLUB

click to enlarge PHOTO BY NEKO CASE - Kelly Hogan: See Wednesday.
  • PHOTO BY NEKO CASE
  • Kelly Hogan: See Wednesday.

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  • Stuff to Do This Week

    This week, take time to chill — at artist Oliver Payne's listening party, Chill Out, or at any number of the chill science-meets-art events that are part of Pasadena's AxS Festival, including this super chill fabric dome called SPHÆRÆ. Sit back and contemplate as you listen to the too-often silenced voices...

Back before ScHoolboy Q, the third artist to be fired like a cannonball from the TopDawg Entertainment camp, captured the attention of the hip-hop world, we theorized that the local label was strategizing the rap game like a war. But there remained one rapper on its back lines: Carson's Ab-Soul. A member of the Black Hippy forces (a powerhouse group that includes Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Q), Ab-Soul didn't seem to be just playing a part. With his wild hair and preternatural calm, he actually might be the real-life hippie of the bunch — and songs like darkly mystical "Pineal Gland" from his recently released Control System give credence to that ("You got three eyes," he chants hypnotically). His performance at Paid Dues, however, had real teeth, and his album reveals a beautifully complex mind. Dangerous combination, and TopDawg's secret weapon, indeed. —Rebecca Haithcoat

Anabot

MOLLY MALONE'S

Does the world need another precocious, multitalented young pop singer? Sure, especially when she comes with as many contradictions as Analise Nelson. Hailing from Northern California and Colorado, the L.A.-based, singer-keyboardist calls herself Anabot because this "pop time machine with a rock engine" is simultaneously "a little analog" and "a bit digital." Just when you have Nelson pegged as an electronic dance–pop diva on such glossy tracks as "I Am Not Afraid of the Dark," she'll switch gears and rock it up like a glam-funky Debbie Harry on "Queen Blues." She seems at first too nice to be singing lyrics like "I was smart, I made my ties/But the blood on my hands is saying otherwise," but, the more you listen, you realize that this analog robot has a lot of unexpected tricks up her sleeves. —Falling James

Also playing:

THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN at Betfair Hollywood Park; MAYER HAWTHORNE at Wiltern; HUMAN ELEMENT at Blue Whale; THE HENRY CLAY PEOPLE at the Troubadour; LOVELY BAD THINGS at El Rey Theatre; THE CRIBS at El Rey Theatre; HERE WE GO MAGIC at the Echo; JAPANDROIDS at the Echoplex.

sat 6/16

How to Dress Well

ECHO

To enter the world of Tom Krell, the Chicagoan-by-way-of-Brooklyn who performs as ambient R&B shadow-dweller How to Dress Well, one must let go of the belief that songs need to have a sense of form; of the assumption that ethereal, dronelike blips and cold, eerie piano loops aren't sexy in their reserved distance; and of the frustration that a white philosophy student beat stylistically similar, buzzworthy acts like The Weeknd to the chase by more than a year yet garnered far less attention. HDTW's critically lauded 2010 debut, Love Remains, established Krell as a master of immersion, seamlessly able to transform even the most outré anti-melodies into earphone candy, but it appears there's an endless well of wild and weird still waiting to emerge. In September, HTDW's second release, Total Loss, will provide further clues. —Dan Hyman

Make Music Pasadena

VARIOUS VENUES

You'll have to bop around among several of the festival's venues, but Make Music Pasadena has enough going on this year to merit even a drive from the Westside. Headlining the Old Pasadena Indie Rock Stage, L.A.'s Grouplove bring their appealingly doofy, indie-hippie jams to a bill that includes New York fuzz-pop duo Cults and local Danger Mouse associates Electric Guest. At the Levitt Pavilion, Dam-Funk will do his lovable electro-boogie thing (mere hours before jetting to New York for a Sunday-night gig) alongside roots-music sweethearts Honeyhoney. And on the Playhouse District Eclectic Stage? Canadian art-pop weirdo Grimes, L.A. Cambodian-rock revivalists Dengue Fever and a DJ set by KCRW's Jason Bentley. Plenty more, too. —Mikael Wood

Thrice

CLUB NOKIA

Farewell tours can be more late-career cries for attention than true band suicides, but even if Irvine's Thrice are, in fact, just taking a hiatus (as frontman Dustin Kensrue has suggested), their thoughtful, post-hardcore adventurism will be much missed. Though initially lumped in with turn-of-the-millennium "emo," these high school buddies confirmed themselves a single-minded genre-of-one with 2005's Vheissu — an epic, electronica- and keys-sprinkled outpouring of muscular, spiritual rock that made them a U2 for the Warped Tour generation. Subsequent albums have remained similarly ambitious, and after eight of 'em (and still barely into their 30s), Thrice have said all they have to collectively say, at least for now. Whether or not they return, this thoughtful foursome poured more breadth and bravery into single songs than most musicians summon in a lifetime. —Paul Rogers

Smegma, Color Bük, Actuary, Bacteria Cult, Pulsating Cyst

HANDBAG FACTORY

A night of noise music from a load of bands whose names alone merit high praise, you gotta admit. Smegma are the veteran, Portland-via-L.A art-"rock" nonmusicians ensemble usually featuring Ju Suk Reet Meate, ex–Human Hands drummer Dennis Duck, Ace Farren Ford, Victor Sparks, Nour Mobarak and Oblivia, most of whom have some connection with the LAFMS squads of the mid-'70s and early '80s. Smegma reside in a weird minefield between art-punk and sound art, but really, they're all and none of the above. Color Bük from NYC bring scary guitar drones rubbing with rough familiarity against skewed but hummable pop. Also L.A. arty grindcore specialists Actuary, the "Deep Space Audio Trip" that is Pulsating Cyst and live electronics by psych-meisters Bacteria Cult. 1336 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; enter on Grand, the show's upstairs and a measly five bucks gets you in. —John Payne

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