Music Picks: Robert Glasper, Nick Waterhouse, Omar Rodriguez Lopez | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Music Picks: Robert Glasper, Nick Waterhouse, Omar Rodriguez Lopez 

Thursday, Oct 18 2012
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sun 10/21

Nick Waterhouse, Allah-Las

EL REY THEATRE

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DANIELLE DE PICCIOTTO - Crime and the City Solution: See Thursday.
  • PHOTO BY DANIELLE DE PICCIOTTO
  • Crime and the City Solution: See Thursday.

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Nick Waterhouse hasn't shed his continental suit since the release of his debut album, Time's All Gone. The Los Angeles native remains in 1950s character as long as he's touring, and he does it in classic soul style with a stage full of top-notch musicians. The horns are the central focus on Time's All Gone, with the Motown-inspired backing vocals a close second. Swaggering in all their flatulent glory on "(If) You Want Trouble," the "whoop-whoops" of the ladies are fanned by Waterhouse's catcalls and taunting guitar. The saucy "Is That Clear" has bold stops and starts emphasized by jabbing piano keys. Waterhouse is joined by fellow retro-revivalists and Los Angeles natives Allah-Las. —Lily Moayeri

mon 10/22

Kaki King

EL REY THEATRE

There are actually several versions of Kaki King. The Atlanta native first came to attention busking in the subways of New York City, but she wasn't panhandling for change by strumming creaky versions of "Free Bird" or "Sweet Child O' Mine." Instead, the acoustic guitarist crafted amazingly intricate, prog-like art-rock instrumentals, employing dazzling, fret-tapping witchery and banging on her ax for dramatically percussive effect. Then there's the Kaki King who reinvented herself earlier this decade by singing vocals and experimenting with indie-rock electricity and song structures. And, finally, there's the celebrity incarnation of King, an in-demand guitarist who has toured with the Mountain Goats and collaborated with Eddie Vedder and Michael Brook on the soundtrack to Into the Wild. With her latest album, Glow, King returns to her instrumental persona, deftly popping harmonic tones from her guitarlike soap bubbles. —Falling James

tue 10/23

Rasputina, Faun Fables

KEY CLUB

If you're looking for some airy, pastoral escapism based on the fanciful names of tonight's bands, think again. Rasputina mastermind Melora Creager likes to dress up her ever-evolving lineups in elegant steam-punk costumes, but her dense, cello-pumped fantasies are darker and more twisted than playful and escapist, scattered like poisoned bread crumbs and insomniac land mines across such freaky albums and EPs as Transylvanian Regurgitations and Sister Kinderhook. In listening to her tangled anti–fairy tales, where she comments on modern-day war and politics through unusual characters and historical figures such as Fletcher Christian and Mary Todd Lincoln, it's useful to remember that Creager titled an early album How We Quit the Forest— in other words, for all of her febrile imagery, she and her bandmates live right here among us in the real world and not in some castle in the woods. Faun Fables have a more traditional and overtly pretty folk sound, but the Oakland duo also is capable of some strangely unsettling melodies. —Falling James

Beth Orton

EL REY THEATRE

The six-year absence since Beth Orton's last release has only whetted appetites for the comedown queen. Tucker Martine (The Decemberists) brings out Orton's country-girl side on Sugaring Season — it's the most personal Orton has ever sounded, and it generates the most visceral response. Keeping the instrumentation spare and separate, Orton's distinct, hollow tones scratch and soothe in turns. Her intentional waver on "Dawn Chorus" makes her sound vulnerable, which carries through on the folk-y plucks of "Poison Tree." Tears are around the corner, spurred by the brushed drums and Orton's own choking delivery on "Something More Beautiful" and the intimately revealing "Candles." It's not all a sobfest: "See Through Blue" has a carousel-like rhythm, while "Call Me the Breeze" sets you up for a hoedown. —Lily Moayeri

wed 10/24

Melvins Lite

HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY

The Melvins gotta travel lite for this one — that means no Big Business dudes in the lineup, but just as much of everything else, up to and including stand-up bass. This isn't just another show. It actually started as an attempt to get into Guinness World Records for the fastest tour of the U.S.A.: The Melvins are trying to do all 50 states in 51 days. ("Going good!" Buzz told a reporter at the 30 percent mark. See West Coast Sound for more.) True, history demands we acknowledge an earlier claim to the record by George Thorogood & the Destroyers in 1981, but taste and sense demand that we nevertheless root for the Melvins on this one. They deserve to be in the record books for something. Let's have it be this. —Chris Ziegler

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