Music Picks: John Beasley, Down, and Tift Merritt | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Music Picks: John Beasley, Down, and Tift Merritt 

Thursday, Jan 10 2013
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fri 1/11

TAIX

As leader of both Spindle and 3D Picnic and a longtime member of The Negro Problem, Carolyn Edwards is one of the best and brightest musicians in Silver Lake's indie-pop underground, but she reveals the full breadth of her talent through her solo recordings. The local singer is an elegantly eloquent pianist with a melodically pure voice, but what sets her apart from most power-pop revivalists is her lyrical wit and intelligence — the way she discovers heart-catching moments of poignancy in the most unexpected places. A few years ago, Edwards found sympathy and a bit of overdue redemption for Monica Lewinsky via a charming country waltz, and she recently subverted Neil Young's kind of piggish "A Man Needs a Maid" with a delightfully sarcastic answer song, "Giant Shovel," wherein she sweetly suggested that lazy rock stars pick up their own trash. Headliner Adam Marsland is another veteran pop maven, and his tunes take on an especially stellar glow when delivered by guitarist Evie Sands. —Falling James

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JEFF RIEDEL - Chrisette Michele: See Saturday
  • PHOTO BY JEFF RIEDEL
  • Chrisette Michele: See Saturday

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John C. Reilly and Friends

THE SANCTUARY

John C. Reilly is a triple-threat kind of guy: Best known as an ace actor and comic, he's a gifted musician as well. Reilly recently has done a few singles for Jack White's Third Man label, including a cover of Ray Price's "I'll Be There If You Ever Want" with Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond, and a really fine take on the Louvin Brothers' "Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar" with singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau. Tonight Reilly, Stark and Brosseau sit 'round the proverbial fire at the Sanctuary, a Santa Monica church that doubles as a performance space (235 Hill St., at Main). They'll play traditional country/folk tunes heightened by the quirky radiance of singer Stark, a melodic force of nature and joyfully ethereal soul. Local country-folk-noir-blues boys RT & the 44s will chime in, along with singer-composer Simone White, who performs enchantingly dark tales from her latest album, Silver Silver. Admission is supercheap, with a suggested $5 to $10 donation; all ages welcome. —John Payne

sat 1/12

Chrisette Michele

Key Club

Chrisette Michele's rich vocal endowments contain echoes of such jazz and R&B greats as Sarah Vaughan and Anita Baker. After an education notable for its immersion in music and the performing arts, the New York native enjoyed consistent work in the mid-2000s as a featured vocalist, appearing on tracks alongside Jay-Z, Kanye and Ghostface Killah. To say that many a hip-hop hook was enriched by her textured contralto would be a grave understatement. Michele's breakout moment came in 2009 when "Be OK," from her sophomore release, Epiphany, scored the Grammy for Best Urban Alternative Performance. Her 2012 mixtape, Audio Visual Presentation: Audrey Hepburn, features appearances by Bilal (Oliver), 2 Chainz and Robert Glasper. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley

Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, The Living Sisters

ROYCE HALL

Texas singer-guitarist Steve Earle lifted the title of the classic Hank Williams song "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" as the name of both his most recent studio album and his 2011 debut novel. The album is a set of generally serious-minded ballads influenced by the death of Earle's father, while the book is a fantasy about a drug-addicted doctor who's tormented by Williams' ghost. With his blustery manner and occasionally political folk-country sermons, Earle is likely to draw the lion's share of attention here, but the night's most enchanting sounds may come by way of Earle's frequently overshadowed wife, Tennessee country singer Allison Moorer. Where Earle likes to make big statements, Moorer prefers to capture the vagaries of life and romantic relationships with a subtler intimacy. Local femme-pop supergroup The Living Sisters also prefer harmonizing to ranting in their engagingly endearing chansons. —Falling James

Benefit for Kat Arthur

THE VEX ARTS L.A.

Of all the Hollywood punk singers who emerged in the late '70s and early '80s, Legal Weapon's Kat Arthur had the most soul, howling incendiary blasts like "Equalizer" and "Daddy's Gone Mad" with a fiery intensity and a raw, natural power that burned in stark contrast to the thinner, more amateurish screeching of other punk divas. Arthur exuded so much confidence and control with her brassy, sassy set of pipes that Legal Weapon were signed to a major-label deal in the mid-'80s. Today, she and founding guitarist Brian Hansen continue to churn out exhilarating hard-rock anthems, with a recent self-titled CD on Sewer Line Records. Sadly, Arthur's longtime partner, Fred Lewis, died from emphysema last month, so some of her friends are presenting tonight's benefit to cover funeral expenses. Not only does this bill feature several of L.A.'s most influential early punk bands — the recently reconfigured Alley Cats, surf-punk-rockabilly ravers The Gears and Legal Weapon — it also includes such vital newer groups as Brainspoon and Death on the Radio. —Falling James

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