Music Picks: Fishbone, the Growlers, Redd Kross | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Music Picks: Fishbone, the Growlers, Redd Kross 

Thursday, Dec 20 2012
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The Growlers: See Friday.

PHOTO BY THE GROWLERS

The Growlers: See Friday.

fri 12/28

Fishbone, Quinto Sol

KEY CLUB

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Fishbone have gone through a lot of changes since emerging from South Central L.A. in 1979, but the group can always be counted on for a funky good time. Lead singer/saxist Angelo Moore, bassist Norwood Fisher and crew have evolved from a ska-reggae combo into a wildly expansive outfit that hurls punk, funk, soul and hard rock into the mix. Pumped up by a brassy, sassy horn section, Fishbone keeps things lively and surreally ebullient, even when examining such heavy issues as war and racism; Moore sees no reason why saving the world can't also be a party. The band's Laurence Fishburne–narrated documentary, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, recently was released on DVD, and they were still in righteously freaky form on their 2011 EP, Crazy Glue. The East L.A. reggae collective Quinto Sol sets the mood with their uplifting reggae grooves. —Falling James

Evidence

VIPER ROOM

"Who's the one that's been running a race? Me. Who's the one that's been running in place? You," Evidence says on his most recent album, Cats & Dogs. "I'm on another level." The Dilated Peoples rapper-producer always keeps it on the level, even as he takes his solo music to the next level, all the while trying to craft "the perfect sentence." Switching to the third person on song "The Liner Notes," Evidence declares, "L.A. made him, L.A. grazed him, then L.A. saved him. ... Seems the only safe place is Venice Beach." The former Michael Perretta is joined on Cats & Dogs by such empathetic colleagues as Aesop Rock, Raekwon and Aloe Blacc, but ultimately it's his singular vision that burns through the fog: "Try to right my wrongs/Try to write my songs/Shine lights, but the night is gone." —Falling James

The Growlers

The FONDA THEATrE

Legend has it that The Growlers' new record, Hung at Heart (out in January on the esteemed Everloving label), was at one point in danger of being sanded smooth by star producer Dan Auerbach of the world-famous white-blues combo Black Keys. But the collaboration didn't work out. Whew! That was close! The Long Beach hobo-rock surfadelicists are truest and realest when they're twanging out an echoed-out, warped cheapness, a sound they've developed all on their own. Why that crappy sound is so powerful is a mystery, but it is, and it's a core element in Growler greatness and the seemingly infinite catalog of excellent songs the band's writing team of Brooks Nielsen and Matt Taylor is capable of creating. Hung is twang all around, sinister/jokey rock tuneage soaked in reverbed guitars, Doors-y organs and a singer nasally warbling about women, tallboys, beach rats and baloney — and the pursuit of happiness on the endless road to who knows where. —John Payne

sat 12/29

Funky Sole

THE ECHO

For 12 years now, DJ Miles Tackett (aka Music Man Miles) has brought the funk and, yes, raw soul to this fair city, pumping it out pure and unfiltered through the analog warmth of good old vinyl from the 1960s and '70s. After starting out at Star Shoes, he's been hosting his Funky Sole dance party at the Echo every week, joined for the past three years by simpatico cohort DJ Clifton (aka Soft Touch). Two weeks ago, they celebrated in high style at the Vanguard, with Tackett's Breakestra breaking it down live alongside such luminaries as Syl Johnson, the Beatnuts, Connie Price & the Keystones, Aloe Blacc and Buyepongo. Tonight, the party continues with former Ozomatli/Jurassic 5 turntablist Cut Chemist, a longtime Funky Sole mainstay, who'll sculpt an all-vinyl set on his spinning wheels of steel. —Falling James

Father John Misty

EL REY THEATRE

"Look out, Hollywood, here I come," sang J. Tillman as he left Fleet Foxes, rechristened himself Father John Misty and headed south toward Los Angeles. Turns out the city was waiting to welcome him. His Fear Fun album suits L.A. — music made by, and for, dudes who blew into town with shit to say and shit to talk and maybe even shit to smoke, which is a long tradition out in the canyons. There's a lotta cosmic country vibes in here, of course, but Misty's more than what the Beachwood Sparks guys might call an "InstaGram Parsons." (Actual joke by Beachwood Sparks — credit to 'em!) Instead, he's a funny guy and a sharp writer, like Townes Van Zandt or Loudon Wainwright before him. That makes the lows lower, the highs higher and the hilarious parts highest of all. "I'm no doctor," he admits on one song, "but that monkey may be right." Laugh now ... but you'll be thinking that one over later. —Chris Ziegler

ERIMAJ

BLUE WHALE

By all accounts, drummer Jamire Williams is doing great, working with jazz musicians like trumpeter Christian Scott and pianists Jason Moran and Robert Glasper. He also plays with soul artists like Corinne Bailey Rae and Bilal. As the name of his band suggests, ERIMAJ follows a contrariwise path toward greater things by skillfully incorporating jazz, soul and hip-hop into a wide-ranging melange of music that is undefinable yet redolent. In other words, it's the bomb. The accompanying music videos are iconic and capture the essence of Williams' vision, reinforcing an ongoing trend toward sophisticated hipness in urban culture. With guitarist Matthew Stevens, who also plays with Christian Scott; Joshua Crumbly, bassist for Terence Blanchard; and Corey King, a trombonist and keyboardist who is in Esperanza Spaulding's band. — Gary Fukushima

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