Kurt Vile, Santigold, Rusko
Barring a reunion of Ege Bamyasi–era Can, which would involve a resurrection, it's hard to imagine a more exciting event for L.A.-area fans of Krautrock, the '60s-born German experimental movement that continues to deeply inform most progressive music today. The Dublab crew and Teutonic cultural org the Goethe-Institut have assembled a veritable who's who of local left-fielders — including Dntel, Daedelus, Sun Araw, White Magic, Pharaohs, David Scott Stone, Carlos Niño and many more — to cover songs from the era. While one set each will be devoted to the music of Popul Vuh and Ash Ra Tempel's Manuel Göttsching, respectively, the highlight of the night will come with the cosmic closer. Eastside art-pop icon Nite Jewel will team up with Peanut Butter Wolf, Eddie Ruscha, Nedelle and Ariel Pink collaborator Cole MGN to perform Kraftwerk's Computer World in its entirety. —Chris Martins
It's almost comical to label an artist as groundbreaking in today's rinse-and-repeat musical landscape. But in 2008, when Santi White, better known as Santigold, emerged with her dub-inflected eponymous debut stuffed with polyrhythmic electro pulses and whiplash rhymes — not to mention an overarching punk-rock purpose and a well-crafted urban-chic aesthetic to match — it was hard to imagine the then–31-year-old would do less than continue fighting against the bloated mediocrity plaguing the industry. While it's far too simplistic to believe that the Philly native's recently released sophomore turn, Master of My Make Believe, fell altogether flat, there's no denying the oomph that catapulted this singer-rapper into the spotlight has been diminished. Perhaps the Gagas and Minajs of the world stole some of her shine. Whatever. As she proved at Coachella, the girl puts on a damn good, albeit slightly less wacky, show. —Dan Hyman
He's got a string of upcoming festival dates (including Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas) and a collaborative EP with Cypress Hill due out June 5. But first Rusko hits the Palladium tonight for the final date of his North American tour in support of this spring's Songs. As that title suggests, the L.A.-based dubstep don is embracing his love of pop these days: "Thunder" features vocals by Top 40 songwriter Bonnie McKee (who's worked with Katy Perry and Adam Lambert), while "Somebody to Love" could easily pass for something by England's Sugababes. Will you feel that devotion to tunecraft as you rub sweaty shoulders with a couple thousand 19-year-olds desperate for the drop? Probably not. —Mikael Wood
CATALINA JAZZ CLUB
Not long after becoming a member of the soon-to-be-superstar band Journey in 1978, drummer Steve Smith began what has become jazz fusion's longest-running ensemble, Vital Information. It has developed into one of the genre's most successful groups under Smith's consistent hand. Trained at Boston's Berklee College of Music, Smith also has shown a fondness for legendary big-band drummer Buddy Rich. Through the past four decades, Smith has earned a reputation as one of the most respected drummers anywhere in both rock and jazz. The current lineup of VI includes bassist Baron Browne, guitarist Vinny Valentino and the superb former Santana keyboardist Tom Coster. Vital Information celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first album on both Friday and Saturday. —Tom Meek
XIU XIU, YAMANTAKA at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock; TYCHO at Troubadour; VAN HALEN at Staples Center; EMILE SANDE at El Rey Theatre.
Though she's only 19, London's Charli XCX peddles a dark but infectious brand of synthesized pop that seems destined to fill arenas in the near future. The sultry and charismatic future star is taking a break from opening for Santigold's tour to play this intimate headliner in honor of her upcoming EP, You're the One, for L.A. indie powerhouse IAMSOUND. The songs contained therein showcase a deep affection for a decade she's only learned about secondhand — the '80s, natch — but perhaps that's why she's able to avoid tired retread. Charli effortlessly sidesteps the era's cheesier inclinations via a mix of arty sass à la Lykke Li and shadowy creep that seems derived from the so-called witch house movement (see Pictureplane, Salem, et al.). Considering she's been collaborating with producers Patrik Berger (Robyn) and Ariel Rechtshaid (Glasser), expect an even mix of neon buzz and organic gloom. —Chris Martins
Star & Dagger, The Hangmen
It might be hard to remember now, but Sean Yseult was the bassist back when White Zombie were actually a somewhat terrifying hard-rock ensemble, before leader Rob Zombie took the act in a safely cartoonish and more predictable direction. Now Yseult is back in black with the new band Star & Dagger, whose heavy stoner-rock riffs are drawn from Black Sabbath (of course) but melded with the serenely witchy imprecations of lead singer Von Hesseling. Yseult's spiny bass lines are buttressed further by doom-ridden chords from guitarists Dave Catching (Earthlings?, Eagles of Death Metal) and Donna She Wolf, who rocks with more authenticity here than she did in her somewhat silly former group, Cycle Sluts From Hell. Despite numerous lineup changes, The Hangmen's primal Cramps-meets–Johnny Thunders sound hasn't changed much since lead singer Bryan Small moved out here from Boise, Idaho, in the late 1980s. The song may remain the same, but Small continues to write thunderously catchy, elegantly wasted anthems on The Hangmen's latest album, East of Western. —Falling James
THE BEACH BOYS at Hollywood Bowl; CASS MCCOMBS BAND, THE ENTRANCE BAND at El Rey Theatre; MOGWAI at Music Box; PETER CASE at McCabe's; SUGARLAND, LAUREN ALAINA at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
The Duke Spirit
The Duke Spirit break off from their recent tour with Jane's Addiction long enough to headline their own show tonight at the Echoplex. It feels like it's been ages since the English quintet made a dramatic breakthrough on these shores with their second album, Neptune, whose shadowy tunes were given greater heft (and some considerable psychedelic mystery) after being recorded with Chris Goss out in Joshua Tree. Last year's follow-up CD, Bruiser, had its moments, but the band's most intriguing and memorable melodies — such as the underground hit "The Step & the Walk" — appeared earlier on Neptune. Liela Moss is still a captivating lead singer, contrasting her mates' heavier passages with her lithesome, winsome entreaties, and it will be interesting to see where The Duke Spirit go from here and if they can maintain their early momentum and promise. —Falling James
LANA DEL REY, ZEBRA KATZ at El Rey Theatre; VIOLENS, CATWALK at the Echo.
This scrappy Memphis rapper — best known for his series of Cocaine Muzik mixtapes — didn't quite set the world on fire earlier this year with the release of Live From the Kitchen, his long-delayed studio debut for RCA. But Yo Gotti's been in the biz for too long to give up now, so tonight he hits town on what he's calling the Road to Riches Tour. If hit singles don't deliver the dough, he evidently figures, midsized club gigs might get the job done. Soft sales notwithstanding, Kitchen contains its fair share of taste treats, including the Lex Luger–produced "Second Chance" and "Go Girl," a weirdly tender posse cut with Big K.R.I.T., Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa. Bet that you'll hear (at least a few verses of) both here. —Mikael Wood
Emily Jane White
Steeped in the deep woods around Santa Cruz and the wide-open fields of California's "up north," Emily Jane White sings slow and heartbreaking songs that echo Townes Van Zandt ("The Cliff," on her upcoming Ode to Sentience) but sound like they come from somewhere between the utter desolation of lost Teutonic bedroom folk singer Sibylle Baier and the sentimental complexity of Laura Veirs. Overseas, White packs 'em in — picture a smoky room full of sniffling Frenchmen, and yearn — but here in America you can still see her in intimate rooms like the Mint, where her voice slips and flows between her guitar, the stars and nothingness. For people who wonder if they still make 'em like they used to, because they do. —Chris Ziegler
Walk the Moon
Smartly combining pop sensibilities with a postmodern spin on The Killers' waiflike appearance and Brandon Flowers' anguished howls, Walk the Moon are sure to bring the bounce tonight, touring behind their EP Anna Sun. Regularly upstaging bigger touring partners such as Young the Giant, it's about time the Cincinnati four-piece got its own headlining spot. As common as a dance quartet may be in these parts, Walk the Moon have an edge on most with the popularity of their single "Anna Sun," which lies heavily in the vein of Foster the People. Big on the synth sound and massive hooks, Walk the Moon are sure to incite a riotous dance party. —K.C. Libman
JJAMZ at the Satellite.
Church of Misery
Church of Misery are a metal band that couldn't care less about Satan. For almost 20 years, the depraved acts of living men have provided more than enough lyrical fodder for this Japanese quartet's brand of stoner doom. There is nothing thrash, death or –core about what Church of Misery do. They instead use riffs from the Sabbath playbook to provide the backdrop for their sordid tales inspired by notorious serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy and Albert Fish. Bassist Tatsu Mikami has been the only constant for the band's career, but the thunder of his rumble is strong support for psychedelic guitar solos, the razor-gargle vocals of Hideki Fukasawa and creepy samples from news reports and interviews with the inspirations behind their madness. If the Manson Family were around today, this would be the crazed soundtrack to their atrocities. —Jason Roche
LMFAO, Far East Movement
Call us crazy, but there's something supremely satisfying about giving yourself fully to the temptations of an adolescent, substance-free pop song. SkyBlu and RedFoo, the two afro-ed, self-proclaimed party rockers who call themselves LMFAO, know this to be true. Because they surely have to know their No. 1 smash hits, "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know It," are destined to the same glorious "remember-when-we-used-to-drink-to-that?" fate as, say, J-Kwon's "Tipsy." But that's the beauty of it all. It's the duo's goofball charm and lack of regard for outside perception that make them so damn lovable and fun to laugh alongside. —Dan Hyman
BEN HOWARD, BAHAMAS at Troubadour; WARREN G at Detroit Bar (Costa Mesa); HAIL!HORNET at the Satellite.
Vinny Golia, Slumgum
When Vincent James Golia Jr. founded Nine Winds Records in 1977, it was primarily a vehicle to record and promote his own works and those of his associates, but the label has come to symbolize the gradual and mostly hidden revolution in improvised music in Los Angeles. Golia is the right man to lead the insurgency. The former baseball player turned painter turned musician-composer is a charismatic, even iconic, rule breaker, and his long tenure at California Institute of the Arts has produced countless disciples who have bolstered his counter-mainstream brand of music. Those include the excellent band Slumgum, who open the evening as the first show of a monthlong celebration for the 35th anniversary of Nine Winds. The founder himself follows with a new work for woodwinds, strings and piano. Vive la résistance! —Gary Fukushima
Go Betty Go
HOWL AT THE MOON
When this Glendale-based, all-Latina pop-punk band first started making noise 10 years ago, they faced an almost immediate wave of classically misguided chick-band derision. Led by sisters Aixa and Nicolette Vilar and driven by Betty Cisneros' walloping guitar, the band's weeknight Mr. T's residency quickly evolved into a prominent spot on the Warped Tour and a blossoming national rep. Back in Tinseltown, despite the fact they simply played unadorned, straight-up, good old-fashioned punk rock, a weird, choking haze of smug, dismissive Kim Fowley–itis seemed to hover over them. Between the tide of green-eyed snide and the rat race of life on the road, lead singer Nicolette up and quit. Although GBG found a fill-in, things were never the same. Well, she's back for this apropos-of-nada, one-off reunion, and you know what? It should be a hell of a lot of fun. —Jonny Whiteside
DESTROYER, SANDRO PERRI at El Rey Theatre; CAPPADONNA at Detroit Bar (Costa Mesa); SOPHIA KNAPP at Bootleg Bar.
Lazer Sword, Salva, Sodapop
While Los Angeles–to-Berlin producers Lando Kal and Low Limit may have moved on from the brutal bass and nasty noise that typified early Lazer Sword favorites such as "Gucci Sweatshirt," the pair still churns out tracks that ring with unusual immediacy. Their new album, Memory, glistens with Detroit-bred four-four bliss and '80s electro bump, while their flair for wild effects and moody atmosphere seems to owe to the panoply of contemporary British EDM. They revel in the details but aren't afraid to get lost in the moment, and a Lazer Sword live show is known to include an impressive degree of improvised tangents. Buzzing beatsmith Paul Salva has earned a name around L.A. and beyond for his eclectic productions, which combine soulful synth work with crunked-up percussion, hip-hop head-knock and experimental gravitas. His latest is a club-busting collaboration with producer Grenier fittingly dubbed "Wake the Dead." —Chris Martins
While we're all familiar with the YouTube star–cum–songwriter sensation, few have parlayed it into a real career as well as New York's Julia Nunes. While she began as a cam video girl with a ukulele, Nunes has begun to blossom into a multi-instrumentalist of sorts, writing earnest pop pieces that will sit well with the date-night crowd. She's known for spinning tongue-in-cheek tales and quirky takes on pop perennials, but it's anyone's guess as to what her first national tour will hold. If her past performances are any indication, expect a jangly sing-along performance that's perfect for the coziness of the Echo. —K.C. Libman
Much as KT Tunstall used to do when she was still a one-woman band, Swedish singer Theresa Andersson cleverly employs a loop pedal to surround herself with a variety of her own instrumental backing, including violin, guitar and dulcimer. Surrounded by a semicircle of pedals, Andersson creates a bewitching atmosphere, as her voice(s) and instruments cycle behind her while she claps her hands and merrily steps on and off various pedals with her bare feet to change musical directions. Based now in New Orleans, she infuses the airy pop songs on her latest album, Street Parade, with Crescent City rhythms and soulful adornments. Given her background and her current location, Andersson is a most unusual performer, and probably the only singer who has dueted with both Norwegian diva Ane Brun and N'Awlins kingpin Allen Toussaint. —Falling James
Kurt Vile, Michael Chapman
Philly guitar savant Kurt Vile has a crusty, J Mascis–meets–Lee Hazlewood baritone and a Fugs-y sense of image and sense of humor both — between his impeccably deployed shreddery and obsessively iconoclastic production, you get moments of awesomely naked hilarity on songs like the anthemic "Freak Train," where Vile wedges apart verse and chorus with the reverbed declaration, "I ain't never been so insulted in my whole life ... SHIT!" Laugh it up, of course, but there's a special kind of goofy beauty there, too. This is for people who like a guitarist as much Thurston Moore as he is Charles Portis. Plus he's a perfect match for Michael Chapman, the similarly determined British folk-and-way-more wildman whose Fully Qualified Survivor LP was one of last year's most notable reissues. —Chris Ziegler
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