Music Picks: The Weeknd, That '70s Soul, Power of the Riff | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Music Picks: The Weeknd, That '70s Soul, Power of the Riff 

Thursday, Dec 13 2012
Wooden Shjips: See Friday.


Wooden Shjips: See Friday.

fri 12/14

Lace Curtains


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Singer-guitarist Michael Coomers was just one part of Matador Records' formidable garage-pop band Harlem, but his new, L.A.-based project Lace Curtains is all him. Well, him and the spirits of Daniel Johnston and Jonathan Richman and Nikki Sudden — guys with voices you'd never mistake for anyone else's, and songs that nobody else would even have tried to write. That's what Coomers does on The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness, a new album of make-it-seem-easy power-pop songs about Hollywood Babylonian post-teenage dissipation, which is using a lot of syllables to say he's finding sad things and hilarious things in the same places. Could this be a Warren Zevon for the Burger Records set? Depends on whether he decides to keep living here, I guess. —Chris Ziegler

Anthony Wilson


Outside of L.A., guitarist Anthony Wilson is best known for his work with Diana Krall, but locally he's known simply for being one of the most dynamic and inspired jazz musicians anywhere. Wilson has been busy, having recently played on a multitude of projects, from backing up vocal chanteuses Sara Gazarek and Kathleen Grace to leading an all-star trio with organist Larry Goldings and drummer Jim Keltner. Wilson's latest project is a band called The Curators, and it features a brilliant collection of musicians, including Goldings, Kaveh Rastegar and Ben Wendel of Kneebody, and The Belle Brigade's Barbara Gruska, who could have been an incredible jazz drummer if she hadn't chosen pop stardom. The music will be earthy and spiritual, like a bluegrass band sans mandolin and banjo. Also Sat. —Gary Fukushima

Thrill Jockey 20th-anniversary party with Wooden Shjips, Liturgy, Trans Am, Kid Millions


Back in the '90s, arty Chicago alt/indie warhorse label Thrill Jockey basically drew the map for marginalized music's move into the mainstream, with a roster including Tortoise, Fiery Furnaces, Tunng and The Sea and Cake. Psych stylists Wooden Shjips explore the mythology and metaphor of the American frontier on their '60s-'70s fuzz-rocked West, produced by Phil Manley. Manley is also the founding member of trio Trans Am, which will lay out the goods from its post-funk, electro-fractured Thing. Brooklyn black-metal modifiers Liturgy bring an assaultive trance, whose formal cues derive from Steve Reich, Glenn Branca and Lightning Bolt; their feral grindcore comes refreshingly free of lyrical references to the horns of the goat or the bony finger of doom. John Colpitts was reborn as Kid Millions: composer, writer, drummer for Oneida and now also known as Man Forever, he explores drum performance as pure sound experience. —John Payne

sat 12/15

Ty Segall, Bleached, Night Beats


Laguna Beach's Ty Segall is a power chord–playing bro straight out of the garage with a tough new/old take on classic rock. A facile and fun tunesmith knocking around one very large warehouse of rock-idol moves and motifs, he delivers his Troggs/T. Rex/Beatles/bubblegum in a charismatic, carefree style that belies the obvious passion and brains behind it all. Seek out his new Twins for more magical musical mélanges. Also tonight, Gun Club meet Blondie in L.A.-born-and-bred post-post-punks Bleached, while Seattle's Night Beats drop hallucinatory sonic bombs on all things psych-grease rock & roll. —John Payne

Astronautalis, Busdriver, Jel


"Our work is never done; we are Sisyphus," Astronautalis declares on the title track of his fourth album, This Is Our Science. Like that king of Ephyra, the Minneapolis rapper also known as Andy Bothwell keeps pushing a boulder up a mountain stacked with his own words, only to watch it all tumble down again. Elsewhere, on the bittersweet love song "Contrails," he wonders, "What kind of fool is so stupid to climb a mountain to do it/Then climb back down to the town without a picture to prove it?" Astronautalis prefers using words to take pictures, finding himself in awe of a woman who's both an escape artist ("leaving's your living, built in your bones") and crippled inside ("I know her cane is just a comedy"), and who leaves an endless trail of wreckage behind her ("Your contrail's coated in broken homes"). The imagery comes even faster and denser by way of local hip-hop prophet Busdriver, who overloads his songs with blurry, rapid-fire and insanely inventive wordplay, while Anticon founder Jel constructs his tracks on a mighty foundation of big and loud live drumming. —Falling James

The Weeknd

Orpheum Theatre

Ethiopian-Canadian R&B crooner The Weeknd (né Abel Tesfaye) set the Internet ablaze in 2011 when his mixtape House of Balloons was tweeted into mass consciousness by fellow Canadian rap star Drake and quickly became a critical favorite. Since then, his eclectic, sonic brew — characterized by unbridled tales of sex, drugs and infidelity — has scored endorsements from such top music authorities as Rolling Stone. It's even garnered comparisons to late pop music icon Michael Jackson. Tonight's show celebrates the singer's latest release, Trilogy, the only R&B record currently in the iTunes Top 10. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley

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