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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The Darkness

CLUB NOKIA

These bawdy Brits are as funny as Spinal Tap (with lyrics like "Where fools rush in, where eagles dare, you will find us, already there") and have enjoyed a similarly unlikely resurrection — a hit 2003 debut album, followed by a dramatic sophomore slump and breakup, before a reunion and return to form with this year's Hot Cakes. Only The Darkness are world-class songsmiths, too, and, despite early speculation, definitely no spoof. For all of their falsetto-flecked Queen-via-AC/DC histrionics, at the heart of songs like recent single "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" is a poppy concision and gift for uplifting yet nostalgic melody that would emote regardless of genre. Wonderfully eccentric and trend-detached, The Darkness also stand on their heads (sometimes literally) to deliver the most unashamedly entertaining show in contemporary hard rock. —Paul Rogers

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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thu 10/25

Carolyn Mark

PAPPY & HARRIET'S PIONEERTOWN

Carolyn Mark can break your heart with sad and lonely alt-country songs like "Officer Down," where she blends her somber voice with NQ Arbuckle's, painting a portrait of hard-luck living with just a few easy strokes of guitar and piano. But the Canadian singer also has a goofy side, occasionally reflected in such self-mocking album titles as Terrible Hostess and The Pros and Cons of Collaboration. "Far from stardom and down on the ground/Easily swayed from salvation delayed," Mark laments on "Dirty Little Secret," but you wouldn't necessarily notice that she's down, thanks to the song's breezy melody and chipper horn section. Like all the best songwriters, Mark knows how to juxtapose heartache and humor, leavening the pain with true wit. —Falling James

Robert Glasper Experiment

ROYCE HALL, UCLA

When a Google query for "jazz sucks" turns up more than 18.9 million hits, jazz has an identity problem. Granted, searching for "I love dirt" turns up about 62.5 million options, but dirt has never tried to pass off shitty work as eloquent complexity. Glasper doesn't even call his music jazz. Instead, he strives to define it as something that doesn't suck, simultaneously connecting jazz to its roots in black culture and embracing its fashionable younger nephew, hip-hop. So far, the experiment is succeeding, with his album Black Radio peaking at No. 3 on iTunes sales, and with close associations with non-sucky people like Erykah Badu, Bilal and Questlove. Their endorsements prove the pianist's efforts have relevancy outside the insular echo chamber of jazz, where the circular firing squad of its proponents and critics goes unnoticed by everyone else. —Gary Fukushima

Crime and the City Solution, Hecuba

MUSIC BOX

Crime and the City Solution have enjoyed a rabid cult following since the late 1970s, when word about the Australian band brought them in contact with Boys Next Door, who begat The Birthday Party and whose singer, Nick Cave, was said to be quite influenced by the artily dramatic Bonney. In London in 1983, Bonney resumed his association with The Birthday Party's Mick Harvey and Rowland Howard, and sporadic albums recorded in Berlin through the 1990s with members of Einstürzende Neubauten were peppered with some of the most achingly atmospheric pop music of the last few decades. A fan of the band, Wim Wenders featured them in his film Wings of Desire; he also included a Crime song in the soundtrack to Until the End of the World. Check out the new compilation An Introduction to ... a History of Crime — Berlin 1987-1991 (Mute), and the imminent American Twilight, a new album due in early 2013. Don't miss openers Hecuba, the L.A. other-pop pair whose recent Modern explores their union as lovers/bandmates in an electronic minefield of crackling tension. —John Payne

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