Music Picks: Dublab Anniversary, Ladyhawke, Flying Lotus 

Thursday, Sep 20 2012



It wasn't so long ago that Silver Lake was bursting with promising alt-rock bands like Fluorescein, each of them seemingly poised to leave behind the hip backyard barbecues and gigs at dives and break on through into the big time. But even when in the midst of their disparate, late-'90s indie-rock peers like Possum Dixon, Touchcandy, Lutefisk and POPdEFECT, Fluorescein always stood out. Lead singer Greg Mora's odes to local scenesters (such as the anthemic "Cathy's on Crank") melded underground quirkiness with compulsively driving chorus hooks that wouldn't have been all that out of place on KROQ. Heavy grunge riffs rode alongside unexpectedly poppy melodies that recalled the smart and arty songs of the Pixies more than they evoked, say, Pearl Jam. After lying low for much of the past decade, Mora resuscitates the old gang for a free set tonight. —Falling James

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SMALLZ AND RASKIND - Delta Rae: See Saturday.
  • Delta Rae: See Saturday.

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Azure Ray


Both Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor went on to successful solo careers and side projects after their band Azure Ray broke up in 2004, but there was something irreplaceable about the way the two singers used to blend their sweetly sad voices together. When the Omaha, Neb., duo briefly reunited in 2008, they realized they could still stir up that old magic. To their credit, they didn't just coast on past successes. Instead, they released mesmerizing new pop gems on their 2012 album, Drawing Down the Moon, and they've expanded their sound further on the upcoming release As Above So Below, where their languid voices drift in and out of consciousness, just like dreams. —Falling James

Six Organs of Admittance


Six Organs of Admittance guitarist/singer/mastermind Ben Chasny can shred with the best of them, and apparently, that's exactly what he decided to do on his new album, Ascent — recruit the instrumental talents from his on-hiatus heavy-beyond-heavy rock band Comets on Fire for a set of songs practically boiling in their own intensity. The John Fahey–style guitar explorations are there, somewhere, but this is loud and limitless music that comes off as if Hawkwind, Crazy Horse and Ash Ra Tempel crash-landed on an unexplored planet where man must riff to survive. Ascent is an awesome record in both formal ("inspiring awe") and informal ("whoa, dude") ways, and should leave scorch marks on any speaker cones it touches. —Chris Ziegler

Mike Miller All-Stars


Tonight's show at Studio City's cozy Baked Potato gathers five of Los Angeles' most respected musicians for an evening of musical semi-madness. Leading the festivities is Mike Miller (Chick Corea Elektric Band), one of the area's finest guitarists and composer of tunes that frequently have an offbeat edge. Joining the fray are trumpeter Walt Fowler (Frank Zappa), who played with Miller in the Zappa ultra-tribute group Band From Utopia; keyboard wiz Mitchel Forman (Mahavishnu Orchestra); former Tonight Show drum king Marvin "Smitty" Smith; and Jimmy Johnson, the longtime James Taylor bandmate regarded by some as the finest electric bassist in the world. With this much virtuosity on one small stage, the club's nightly potatoes may eventually end up flame-broiled. —Tom Meek

sat 9/22

Delta Rae


The North Carolina folk-pop group Delta Rae have been getting a lot of attention lately, and not just because they were signed by prescient Warner Bros. vice president Seymour Stein (The Ramones, Madonna, Talking Heads). On their new debut album, Carry the Fire, the band features four strikingly talented lead singers — Elizabeth Hopkins and Hölljes siblings Brittany, Eric and Ian — whose seamless coed harmonies have already led some critics to see them as a more down-home Fleetwood Mac. At their best, on tracks like Brittany Hölljes' captivating, soulful gospel lament "Bottom of the River," Delta Rae transcend such easy comparisons. When they landed at the Troubadour in June, the four singers broke down the barrier between performer and audience by climbing down onto the crowded dance floor, where they belted out their rootsy tunes a cappella. —Falling James

sun 9/23

Flying Lotus

Hollywood BOWL

Los Angeles beatmaker Flying Lotus really should be called a composer, and since he's playing the Hollywood Bowl, the time would seem right to make it official. 2010's Cosmogramma was an epochal record, less a piece of music than a sliver of actual human experience — all density and intensity, overwhelming by design and cathartic in its conclusion. His brand-new Until the Quiet Comes, however, is sharper and more focused. It's a single star instead of an entire universe; its melodies and beats bloom and fade like a time-lapse film of a flower; its fractal-within-a-fractal songs fit together on some four-dimensional level — only at the exact place and time and depth Lotus needs them to, and then they all dissolve into their component pixels. This is the real deal. When you see him play, look up at the night sky: That's when it will all become clear. —Chris Ziegler

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