Music Picks: As Blood Runs Black, Kelly Hogan, Regina Spektor | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Music Picks: As Blood Runs Black, Kelly Hogan, Regina Spektor 

Also, Agalloch, Antibalas, Power of the Riff and others

Thursday, Aug 9 2012
Amadou & Mariam: See Thursday.


Amadou & Mariam: See Thursday.

fri 8/10



click to enlarge PHOTO BY BENOIT PEVERELLI - Amadou & Mariam: See Thursday.
  • Amadou & Mariam: See Thursday.

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For the first decade of their existence, progressive black-metal outfit Agalloch rarely left their Pacific Northwest surroundings. Luckily for Southern California fans, their growing cult following in the wake of 2010's Marrow of the Spirit has lured the group out of their cocoon. Agalloch have built this following by effortlessly infusing a black-metal blueprint with progressive and folk elements that add layers of ethereal atmosphere to their sound. Band leader John Haughm's vocals alternate between demonic death cries and soothing whispers that at times lure the listener into a false sense of security. Agalloch's brand of metal would be a fitting soundtrack to a movie scene where the protagonist slowly approaches an abandoned cabin in the middle of the forest, not knowing what lurks behind the doors and windows when he gets there. —Jason Roche

Gap Dream


The city of Cleveland cracked open last year and out came Gap Dream, which is a guy named Gabe with a computer and a guitar and a set of songs just glowing with psychedelic brilliance. Maybe you remember the last guy who outta-nowhered with something this good — they call him King Tuff, and turns out he's a big fan of Gap Dream. So are big things waiting for Gabe in the future? Probably, but there are deep and heavy things going on right now, with music that floats forth from the same haze that harbored Spacemen 3 — especially when they were taking drugs to make music to take drugs to — and Brian Jonestown Massacre and the 13th Floor Elevators and anybody who ever wished they could lower an amp down a cistern just to hear it reverb-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b. Yes, there should be a few more b's in there, but you can guess how this sounds already. —Chris Ziegler

Bomba Estéreo


Bomba Estéreo draw upon traditional styles of music like cumbia and champeta, but the Colombian quintet is too musically restless to be strict revivalists. Instead, band leader Simón Mejía pumps up their folkloric influences with hip-hop grooves and thumping electronics, ending up with a dense thicket of sound, which the group describes as "electro tropical." Liliana Saumet nimbly spits out dizzyingly fast wordplay in raps like "Fuego," but she also shows a more tuneful persona in such tracks as "Aguasala," from the band's 2008 album, Estalla (which was rereleased in the United States in 2009 with a new title, Blow Up). Mejía unveils more sonic sorcery on Bomba Estéreo's 2011 EP, Ponte Bomb, which features several juiced-up remixes of "Fuego" and other songs, further revealing the different ways he can manipulate the shape of fire. —Falling James

Also playing:

MARTINA MCBRIDE at Pacific Amphitheatre; SUPER ESTRELLA at Staples Center; WE ARE DEFIANCE, US, FROM OUTSIDE at Cobalt Café; LOSTPROPHETS at the Roxy.

sat 8/11

Power of the Riff


Now in its third year, Southern Lord's Power of the Riff festival continues to serve a buffet of heavy music for L.A. to gorge on. If angry, hardcore punk is what you are craving, Keith Morris and the OFF! Crew have you covered. If you prefer your brand of heavy caked with blood and guts, goregrind pioneers Repulsion have your back. If you want something that will compel you to punch every motherfucker in the pit, pissed-off powerviolence greats Despise You likely will be out there punching you back. If hazy, metallic, Pink Floyd–ish jams are what you need to get through the day, local boys Ancestors will do you proud. And at the end of the day, when you are stuffed with different breeds of heavy fighting it out in your stomach, the low-end rumble of drone legends Sunn O))) will assist you in the emptying of your bowels. —Jason Roche

Duran Duran


Duran Duran, the iconic boy band–looking group who are anything but, just released their third live album, A Diamond in the Mind: Duran Duran Live in Concert 2011. Recorded at MEN Arena in Manchester, England, last December, the multiple-format release cherry-picks from more than three decades of music. While classic favorites such as "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Rio" and "A View to a Kill" are included, Diamond heavily features the Mark Ronson–produced All You Need Is Now. With Duran Duran retaining the majority of their fans from the start, as expected, songs from the first half of the '80s are met with a more emotional response. Forgive them for leaving out "Save a Prayer," especially since the remaining four-fifths of the group look like they are still in a boy-turned-men band. —Lily Moayeri

Red Hot Chili Peppers


On Aug. 14, Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to release the first in a series of nine (!) 7-inch singles containing outtakes from last year's I'm With You. Given the album's relatively lukewarm reception, it's an unexpected strategy: "Didn't bother to check out our best? Well, here's the rest!" That said, we're kind of eager to hear the outtakes: To our ears, I'm With You sounded leaner and funkier than the Chili Peppers have since Californication; perhaps those qualities are in even greater supply in the stuff not meant for the radio. The funk should definitely flow during the band's two-night stand at Staples Center, where they'll be joined by percussionist Mauro Refosco, who also plays in Thom Yorke's body-rocking Atoms for Peace. With Thundercat. Also Sunday, with Off! —Mikael Wood

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