Mary J. Blige, Larry Carlton, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
The so-called MVP of the MPC, Rhode Island–bred AraabMuzik is part of a new breed of young producers narrowing the gap between mainstream hip-hop and underground dance music. (Think of him alongside SBTRKT and Clams Casino.) He hits SkyBar in the midst of a North American tour supporting his aptly titled debut album, Electronic Dream, which came out in June. It's an ethereal, often lovely effort that might surprise folks who first noticed AraabMuzik's name as a result of his producing pugnacious rap tracks like "Get It in Ohio" by Cam'ron. Expect to hear music from Dream (punched up with the producer's real-time drum-machine licks), and maybe a preview of stuff he's reportedly been working on for Eminem and Lil' Kim. Also Sun. at Drai's Hollywood. —Mikael Wood
Peanut Butter Wolf's 11-11-11 Party
EAGLE ROCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS
It started in 2006 with Stones Throw label head Peanut Butter Wolf spinning a Satanic metal DJ set on 6-6-6. Then he threw a weeklong event with a gospel-themed podcast for 7-7-7, an eight-day video party on 8-8-8, nine shows in nine different Southern California area codes on 9-9-9, and a 10-hour-long blowout with 10 DJs spinning all 45s on 10-10-10. This year it's 11 DJs and 1,100 records for $11. PBW rented a U-Haul for the occasion; he's dragging out 1,100 of his own records to the Center for the Arts, and his DJ friends will be spinning exclusively from his personal record collection. Last year we got rap legend Prince Paul, soul singer Mayer Hawthorne, preserver of globally obscure and funky 45s DJ Mahssa and many more, so expect to hear rare cuts from world-class DJs all night long. —Lainna Fader
The Peeks, Lock/Jaw
With punk rock, it's all about instinct and feeling, not image or message (the genre's most certifiably irrelevant elements), and this pair of youthful, wet-behind-the-ears, straight-outta-nowhere bands have the 'tude and mood down cold. Hell, the Peeks haven't even graduated high school. Yet they throw down an intense slew of original mayhem that's striking in its purity and sheer skull-denting impact (occasional guest appearances by the guitarist's dad, punk spearhead Chip Kinman, don't hurt, either). Likewise, the Keith Morris–approved Lock/Jaw, whose high-velocity, tuneful two-minute sonic strikes deliver a rich payload of ironical, diabolical defiance (scream for epochal masterpiece "Death to Hipsters"). This ain't sanitized mall punk or turgid dogma, it's the howl of the untamed. —Jonny Whiteside
Sahy Uhns, Bear Claw, Cydara Elise, The Republic
Sahy Uhns is L.A. boy Carl Madison Burgin, a producer of a highly refined and unusual West Coast hip-hop and electronic-music hybrid. He's a sound scientist, processing his beats, modified instruments and beautifully arcane sonic sources through custom-designed software and hardware. It's the sort of stuff that pays dividends on repeat listens, but if you can't spare the time, catch his amazing live set, where he'll handle electronic drumming and scratching discs while warping both on his homemade computer interfaces. BearClaw is a New York drummer and electronic-music composer/arranger aligned with the esteemed Proximal label; expect futuristic sound design, IDM glitchery and a radical transmogrifying of 100 years of music. Also R&B/soul singer and dancer Cydara, and The Republic. —John Payne
B.B. KING at Club Nokia; HOLY GHOST! at the Music Box; EVELYN GLENNIE, MAYA BEISER at UCLA (Royce Hall); LARRY KARUSH GROUP at Blue Whale.
As Troy Barnes, an egotistical athlete who embraces his inner nerd on the NBC sitcom Community, actor Donald Glover finds a happy medium between swagtastic arrogance and giddy playfulness. For his turn as Childish Gambino — Glover's hip-hop alter ego — the 27-year-old doesn't venture far from his usual shtick. The suddenly-in-demand multitalent, who opens his concerts with a stand-up routine, knows what he's not: a gat-toting hustler. Rather, he plays off hip-hop's tendencies to overgeneralize, regularly flooding his nasally rhymes in self-deprecation (he's said his early mixtapes resemble a "decrepit Drake" and figures to be the only black dude to attend a Sufjan Stevens show). Not surprisingly, the of-the-moment emcee was scooped up by the little-engine-that-could label, Glassnote Records, which will release his official debut album, Camp, later this month. —Dan Hyman
With her recent album, Metals, Feist seems prepared to relinquish her crown as the indie princess whose poppy tunes sell iPods and teach kids how to count along with Sesame Street. The Canadian songstress took some much-needed time off after touring her quadruple-Grammy-nominated album The Reminder, and eventually ended up seeking musical inspiration in a studio in Big Sur overlooking the ocean. Here she dove into Metals, a sparse, melancholy collection of tunes that invokes the pain of solitary nights but retains an undercurrent of summery optimism. While you may not find yourself dancing around the room, the comforting constant of Feist's smoky, soothing voice — which soars in a live setting — is worth the price of admission. —Laura Ferreiro
Every Time I Die
House Of Blues
The Buffalo, N.Y., fivesome's mildly mathy hardcore would be utterly East Coast were it not for their super-stewing it in groovy Southern rawk. So while they certainly go at it with bare-knuckle gusto, ETID's involved song structures shun hardcore's signature repetitiveness, and vocalist Keith Buckley boasts a wonderfully grainy, versatile instrument capable of so much more than just barking refrains. The crafted battering ram that is "The Marvelous Slut" might be the thinking man's New Millennium punk, yet the intricate riffery and high-plains howl of "Wanderlust" conjures heyday Corrosion of Conformity. If you're angry as fuck but still fancy a challenge, get in the pit. —Paul Rogers
JANET & RAY SCHERR FORUM THEATRE
"You bring out the blonde in me," Lucy Woodward gushed a few years ago on the fizzy teen-pop tune "Dumb Girls," but she's gotten wiser and grown up plenty since then. The British-born chanteuse is pictured on the cover of her jazzy new album, Hooked!, as a sultry glamazon in fishnets, glancing slyly backward from under a fall of Veronica Lake–style hair while kicking up her left heel and enigmatically clutching a room key at some noirish motel assignation. She's grown up musically as well, backed by literally dozens of swinging session musicians and produced by David Bowie visionary Tony Visconti, as she insinuates her way through an elastically soulful a cappella version of Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" and a deceptively breezy take on guest star Nellie McKay's "Another Woman." Most of the time, though, Woodward relies on her own songs, such as the wistful pop plea "Babies," where she gets right to the point: "Will someone knock me up now?" —Falling James
REAL ESTATE at the Echoplex; BORIS at El Rey Theatre; THE BANGLES at House of Blues (Anaheim); WEIRD AL YANKOVIC at Pantages Theatre; BLESSTHEFALL at Glass House (Pomona); DENISE DONATELLI at Vitello's.
This is not Honeyhoney's first rodeo. Singer/violinist Suzanne Santo and guitarist Ben Jaffe have dug into roots and country before — namely on their 2008 full-length debut, First Rodeo — but never as much as they do on their new album, Billy Jack. The local duo has a gift for jazz and pure-pop tangents, but this time around things are earthier, dustier and more stripped down. Normally, such a narrowing of focus would be merely retro and predictable, but it works for them here, with their new songs coming off especially heartfelt and direct, even under the gauze of time and genre. Santo's resolute vocals and banjo plucking on "Glad I've Done What I Did" and "Ohio" are more haunting than folksy. Even uptempo barn-burners like "Let's Get Wrecked" are infused with an undercurrent of regret and lovelorn desperation. —Falling James
CALVIN JOHNSON at the Smell; TOCHE AMORE at the Echoplex; ELLIOTT YAMIN at Hotel Café; ANNA MJOLL at Vibrato.
With songs like "Tear Bucket," "Trouble Ahead" and "Crocodile Tears," there's a lot of bluesy moaning and crying going on during Little Hurricane's debut album, Homewrecker. Anthony Catalano puffs up giant clouds of guitar and trades lonely lamentations with drummer Celeste Spina, who slashes and burns away the fog. On paper, at least, the Black Keys and White Stripes comparisons are generally valid. The San Diegans may be a minimalist duo playing big, noisy hard-blues riffs riven with elements of yearning power pop, but they ultimately reveal their own distinctly appealing blend of sunny jangle ("Get By") and morbid doom ("Lies"). However, the fairly standard lyrics don't yet match the grandeur of their music. —Falling James
KATISSE BUCKINGHAM QUINTET at Seven Grand; CHAIN GANG OF 1974 at Echo; VANPRASTA at Satellite; CATTLE DECAPITATION at Slide Bar (Fullerton).
EL REY THEATRE
Frank Ocean stands out from his peers. Unlike his psychotic hip-hop troupe Odd Future crewmate Tyler, The Creator (who has made a name for himself as a fire-starting, spastic youngster), the 23-year-old satin-voiced Ocean does his slaying via old-timey soul grooves and sexed-up, milky hooks. The Def Jam signee, who started off writing songs for Justin Bieber and John Legend, landed a surprise hit off his recent mixtape nostalgia, Ultra with the icy "Novacane." Subsequently, he scored studio time with the likes of Beyoncé, Ye and Hov. And other than the two throne-sitters, Ocean scores the most airtime on Watch the Throne, even grabbing first-voice-you-hear honors. Now gigging as a solo artist, Ocean enters uncharted waters. Time to see if dude can swim. —Dan Hyman
Mark Guiliana's Beat Music
Taking anyone who likes electronica and/or modern jazz drumming to see Mark Guiliana play would be like taking a Starbucks drinker to Intellegentsia for the first time. It's all from somewhere, the frenetic snare/hi-hat interplay, crazy synth bass lines, sampled human voices (or real humans sounding like samples), maybe Squarepusher or Venetian Snares. Yet to hear those beats played live on acoustic drums is an epiphanic event. Perhaps the most innovative and fiery young drummer since Tony Williams, Guiliana is the guy to watch in the coming years. We could be witnessing a legend in the making. With Tim Lefebvre (who plays bass on Guiliana's Meshell Ndegeocello–produced album, due out soon), Troy Zeigler on electronics and Jimmy Kimmel Live! keyboard wizard Jeff Babko. —Gary Fukushima
GYM CLASS HEROES at the Roxy; CAROL WELSMAN at Vibrato; Y LA BAMBA at Bootleg; THE SOUNDS at the Wiltern.
This Brooklyn outfit logged some time recently in an unlikely gig, backing up Matisyahu, the Hasidic reggae dude best known for the left-field 2005 hit "King Without a Crown." (Dub Trio also toured with Mike Patton's Peeping Tom project, but given the band's affiliation with Patton's Ipecac label, that hook-up seemed considerably less wacky.) Last month Dub Trio released a new album that demonstrates how little all that freelance work has affected the outfit's core sensibility: On IV, guitarist Dave Holmes, bassist Stu Brooks and drummer Joe Tomino hammer away at their precision-geared echo-metal grooves with a ruthless efficiency rarely heard from their instrumental cohort. If you ever imagined what Helmet might sound like with a splash of funk, these guys have the answer. —Mikael Wood
THE BAKED POTATO
Torrance-born guitarist Larry Carlton's musical career features credits with Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel and Michael Jackson among hundreds of others, including lengthy stints with groups The Crusaders and Fourplay. Named for the Gibson guitar also used by notables Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton, Carlton's nickname is "Mr. 335." Along the way, he's gathered four Grammy Awards for albums with the likes of Christopher Cross and Toto guitarist Steve Lukather. It's been many years since Carlton played at the Baked Potato, and Wednesday (and Thursday) mark a rare local return to the intimate venue. Carlton will be joined by fellow veterans Greg Mathieson on keys, studio bass legend Abraham Laboriel Sr. and John Ferraro on drums. —Tom Meek
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS at House of Blues (Anaheim); VINCE GILL at Troubadour; SCOTT HEALY TENTET at Vitello's; CATHLENE PINEDA TRIO at Blue Whale.
Roy Ayers, Pete Rock, Thundercat, J. Rocc
EXCHANGE Los Angeles
EVFA and ArtDontSleep present "Homage: Roy Ayers," a tribute to one of the most heavily sampled artists in hip-hop, the prophet of jazz funk. Vibraphonist Ayers is a soul and R&B legend who, after a career in jazz, shifted to funk, R&B and even a bit of disco. Now a New York mainstay, he grew up in Los Angeles, and he performs tonight with a full band and renowned producer Pete Rock, with whom Ayers collaborated earlier this year at the North Sea Jazz Festival. KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad hosts. Brainfeeder bass master general Thundercat and Stones Throw staple J. Rocc open. Anthony Valadez, Clifton Weaver, Destroyer, Lee Joseph and Marlon Fuentes spin in the lounge. —Lainna Fader
Mary J. Blige
The R&B star has a new album out Nov. 21, and to mark the occasion she's doing a handful of small-room dates in between her higher-profile media engagements. (Several days after she plays Club Nokia, for instance, she's set to appear alongside Justin Bieber and Katy Perry at the American Music Awards.) The record's rather elaborately titled My Life II: The Journey Continues (Act 1) promises to be a sequel of sorts to Blige's acclaimed 1994 sophomore disc. Unlike the largely Diddy-overseen My Life, though, the new one includes grab-bag collaborations with Danja, Kanye West and Rodney Jerkins, among other au courant hit makers. Lead single "25/8" indicates she's in a (relatively) bright mood — it's about how she needs more time in a week to show her man she cares. —Mikael Wood
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
UCLA ROYCE HALL
After nearly two decades of ups and downs in one of the United Kingdom's most revered rock bands, Oasis lead guitarist/songwriter is flying solo with his new project, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Not a far cry from the Beatles-influenced melodies he churned out with brother Liam in Oasis, Birds' tunes surely will satisfy fans of the Manchester quintet, as will the classic Oasis tunes he promised to play live. That said, the High Flying Birds' self-titled debut certainly has charms of its own, boasting a relaxed confidence and appealing surprises like Dixieland band flourishes on lead single "The Death of You and Me," which make it utterly compelling in its own right. —Laura Ferreiro
Electrofunk duo Chromeo's Business Casual album of last year sent our little minds to some nasty, sexy nirvana, but then they threw in all these real sincere ballads and shit, too, and it didn't sound like a load of tripe. Montreal jokers P-Thugg on talk-box vocals and Dave 1 on squinky synth sounds are two smart guys whose mountain of vintage electronic gear and keenly old-school-savvy mind-sets bring an irony-rich but righteous electro-R&B mishmash whose slick, superficial sounds shine with concise construction and healthy doses of catchy melodies and happy harmonies. Their intelligent retro-vibe recalls the very best strands of electro-disco-funk-soul cheese from back in the day, when it was about having fun and just kinda messing around. —John Payne
DAWES, BLITZEN TRAPPER, BELLE BRIGADE at the Music Box; MARKÉTA IRGLOVÁ at Troubadour; JON BRION at Largo; FUTURE ISLANDS at the Echoplex; SONNYMOON, RYAT at Little Temple.
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