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Music Picks: Lord Huron, Matthewdavid, Smell 15th Anniversary Party 

Thursday, Jan 3 2013
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fri 1/4

Los Cincos, Silver Daggers, et al.

THE SMELL

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When a truly DIY, all-ages space lasts for 15 years, you don't celebrate a birthday — you celebrate a victory! So let's salute L.A.'s Smell, which has survived and even thrived to become a hometown institution. It's presenting a two-day "Quinceañera" blowout of reunion show after reunion show this weekend, featuring the bands that helped build it. Tonight, marvel at ahead-of-their-time '60s revivifiers Los Cincos (who probably would provoke a bidding war if they were reincarnated in 2012), as well as no-wave omnivores Silver Daggers, maximalists Godzik Pink and stripped-down, cranked-up riff-rawkers The Pope and Qui. Tomorrow, don't miss the intensely wild and weird Centimeters and Smell champions The Sharp Ease, as well as honorary out-of-town Smellers Get Hustle and the gloriously overstimulating Jesus Makes the Shotgun Sound, plus Pope and Godzik Pink redux and a DJ set by Allison Wolfe. —Chris Ziegler

Lord Huron

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

Transplanted-to-L.A. Michigander Lord Huron (aka Ben Schneider) makes indie pop to fit the line where the horizon hits the sky — big, beautifully endless songs that sunrise and sunset instead of just "starting" and "stopping." His debut album, Lonesome Dreams (on L.A. label Iamsound), is full of what the world calls anthems (which means songs you save for either the perfect end or perfect beginning of your mixtape — and believe that if you're into Lord Huron, you still make mixtapes). These are world-pop guitar melodies that wrap around you like smoke, with an affection for the cinematic that makes this almost more a short film than an album. His set at the Natural History Museum will be like being inside the movie he's destined to one day make. —Chris Ziegler

Assuming We Survive

GLASS HOUSE

A bouncing synthesis of New Millennium middleweight rock influences, this Rancho Cucamonga crew sees no reason why metal's clanking guitars and pop-punk's sanguine melodies and sunny harmonies shouldn't seamlessly coexist. These stylistic bedfellows get it on with gusto on songs like "Yea, So What If I'm Sprung," which is less frat-boy flippant than, say, Blink-182 but not as grudgingly burdened as full-bore "core" bands. It really helps that singer Adrian Estrella actually can (and shuns his peers' almost obligatory screaming), while his bandmates convincingly summon many a mood from their instruments. Tuneful, rhythmically captivating, sincere without sounding overly serious, if they can avoid lower-common-denominator sonic compromise, Assuming We Survive should downright thrive. —Paul Rogers

Neurosis

FONDA THEATRE

While other bands play doom-metal, San Francisco's Neurosis play apocalypse-metal. Band leaders Scott Kelly and Steve von Till have spent more than two decades crafting art-metal soundscapes that rely more on atmosphere than speed. There is little moshing to be found. Instead, a typical Neurosis song is a melancholy slow-burner that builds a sense of despair before morphing into a skyscraper of monstrous riffs and percussion, leaving listeners emotionally drained. Lyrically, Neurosis spin haunting tales of destruction, without falling into meathead bombs-and-bullets fetishization. They tell stories of biblical-level plagues and disasters from the perspective of a protagonist who has survived these things and lost all hope. The band's newest album is titled Honor Found in Decay, which sums up their approach to music and lyrics. —Jason Roche

sat 1/5

Psychedelic Furs

CANYON CLUB

Anchored by brothers Richard and Tim Butler (vocals and bass, respectively), these majestic Brit new wavers remain instantly recognizable from their 1980s hit-machine heyday. Having not released a studio album since 1991's underwhelming World Outside, the Furs haven't even pretended to be a contemporary recording force — but they're all the more entertaining onstage for it. Ashen-voiced Richard still appears utterly, theatrically lost in sing-along–ready name-makers like "Pretty in Pink" (which both inspired and appeared in the 1986 John Waters film of the same name) and "Heaven," but equally committed to more obscure and viscerally insistent numbers, such as frequent encores "India" and "President Gas." Sadly, the Furs' glossy, post–"Pretty in Pink" makeover may have obscured one of punk rock's most singlemindedly fascinating by-products. —Paul Rogers

Mitchel Forman

THE BAKED POTATO

Keyboardist Mitchel Forman's career is marked by variety in both recordings and live appearances. On the live side, Forman's career has included stints with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Police guitarist Andy Summers and L.A. jazz legend Jack Sheldon, among many others. His own recorded work features original music ranging from hard-edged fusion to his latest album of vocalist duets (with the likes of multiple Grammy nominee Tierney Sutton) to a highly regarded tribute to piano giant Bill Evans. Forman's company tonight at Studio City's Baked Potato is a group of all-stars that includes Brandon Fields (Rippingtons) on saxophone, Walt Fowler (Frank Zappa) on trumpet and flugelhorn, Rufus Philpot (Planet X) on bass and Joel Taylor (Guitar Hero) on drums, plus a rare appearance from Headhunters percussionist Munyungo Jackson. —Tom Meek

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