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Music Picks: Duran Duran, Jessie Evans, k.d. lang, The Dodos, Swahili Blonde,

Jessie Evans: See Sunday.
PHOTO BY BILLY AND HELLS

fri 4/8

Hunx and His Punx, Shannon and the Clams

@ the Echoplex

[See Page Two.]

 

Caitlin Rose

Largo

[See Page Two.]

 

The Dodos, Reading Rainbow

@ EL REY THEATRE

As a general rule, folk music isn't the sort of thing that lends itself to adjectives like aggressive and riotous, but San Francisco's the Dodos have put their own distinctive stamp on the genre. Though they're only a duo, singer-guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber bring a whole lotta sound to the stage, mostly by way of their furious playing. True masters of their instruments, the former is famous for his virtuosic fingerpicking, while the latter is an expert in West African Ewe percussion. Their brand-new fourth album, No Color, is one of the best they've ever made, featuring nine miniature anthems led by Long's pretty, droning croon. —Chris Martins

The Naked and Famous

@ THE ECHOPLEX

MGMT fans perplexed by last year's willfully out-there Congratulations should check out these blog-buzzed New Zealanders: On Passive Me, Aggressive You, their just-released-in-the-States debut, the Naked and Famous mimic the synth-rock sound of "Kids" and "Time to Pretend" with a precision the folks behind Rebecca Black's "Friday" might admire. (No wonder Gossip Girl recently scored a scene with the band's "Young Blood" — great taste, lower billing!) The N&F heat-seeking machinery doesn't always run at full power; sometimes they let their love of Nine Inch Nails lead them into boring indie-drone bits. But you can probably bet that tonight, in the first of two headlining gigs they're playing before joining England's Foals for a string of dates, they'll keep things less passive and more aggressive. Also Sat. —Mikael Wood

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

@ THE TROUBADOUR

Formed by Idiot Flesh/Faun Fables singer/multi-instrumentalist Nils Freykdal and populated by numerous stars of the Bay Area prog-/avant-rock scene (Tin Hat Trio, Book of Knots, Skeleton Key), SGM presents multilayered spectacles packed with sets and props and wicked puppets and a steamily wicked air of ritual, all of which might have something to do with the Apocalypse. Worth experiencing at the very least for a glimpse of the homemade musical instruments the ensemble employs to create its otherworldy soundscapes: the Slide-piano Log, the Percussion Guitar, the Electric Pancreas, the Vatican, the Pedal-action Wiggler and the Viking Rowboat. —John Payne

Swahili Blonde, Xu Xu Fang

@ BOOTLEG THEATER

Former Weave drum-thumper Nicole Turley got her hands on a big batch of synths, guitars, effects and recording equipment that she didn't quite know how to use. But she felt confident in the powers of passion and intuition, and when the dust settled she'd given birth to a batch of dubbed-out pastiches of skewed rhythms and head-turningly unfamiliar melodic patterns. Check out Swahili Blonde's Man Meat on Manimal Vinyl, on which Turley's odd visions are aided immeasurably by an inspired band that includes violinist Laena Myers-Ionita, ex–Chili Pepper guitarist John Frusciante, Duran Duran bassist John Taylor and multi-instrumentalists Stella Mozgawa and Michael Quinn. The band's newly formed stage lineup reportedly is killer as well. Also nicely noirish psychedelia and such from ex-Warlocks man Bobby Tamkin's Xu Xu Fang. —John Payne

Also playing Friday:

PAPERCUTS, BANJO OR FREAKOUT, FINCHES at the Satellite; DIPLO at Vanguard L.A.; THOMAS ADÈS at Walt Disney Concert Hall; ANAMANAGUCHI, PEELANDER-Z at the Roxy; SUSAN JAMES at Coffee Gallery Altadena; FERRABY LIONHEART, HENRY WOLFE, CHARLIE WADHAMS at Hotel Café; FUNERAL PARTY, GRASS WIDOW at the Echo; JOHN MELLENCAMP at Nokia Theatre; RON SEXSMITH at Largo.

 

sat 4/9

The Residents

@ El Rey Theatre

[See Music feature.]

 

Six Organs of Admittance

@ McCABE'S

Six Organs of Admittance is the brainchild of nimble-fingered guitarist-singer-soundscapist Ben Chasney. His recent Asleep on the Floodplain pulls a light blanket over the darker implications of its misty dreams in droney excursions built on flickering acoustic guitars, enveloping harmoniums and ambient fields of looped 12-strings and clanky percussives. On past efforts Chasney's wove deceptively lulling tales of mystery that exploded furiously in one's face from time to time. But Asleep seems determinedly mellow, not exactly blissed-out but sort of grateful for the opportunity to be heard. —John Payne

Mack 10, Glasses Malone

@ KEY CLUB

In a time when hip-hop hailing from South L.A. is associated with skateboards (Odd Future) and self-professed squares (Kendrick Lamar), it's nice to be reminded of those halcyon days when the region's rap was all about stickups and cars with hydraulics. Inglewood's Mack 10 stepped into G-Funk history in 1995 with singles celebrating those things ("Foe Life," featuring Ice Cube, and "On Them Thangs") and went on to become a star member of hardcore trio Westside Connection. He's continued making records that hark back to that old West Coast sound. His most recent is Soft White, featuring collaborations with Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and gruff-voiced Watts MC Glasses Malone, who joins Mack 10 for this night of gangsta rap revival. —Chris Martins

 

Googoosh

@ Nokia Theatre

The revered legend of Persian music, particularly for the generation that remembers the days before the Islamic revolution, makes a rare appearance. —Dave Parkman

Also playing Saturday:

DANIELSON, DEATH TO ANDERS, ONE TRICK at the Satellite; THOMAS ADÈS at Walt Disney Concert Hall; POLLYN at Bootleg Theater; AYURVEDA at Three of Clubs; AARON BEAUMONT at Hotel Café; 30 SECONDS TO MARS at Gibson Amphitheatre; G. LOVE, BELLE BRIGADE at House of Blues; MADELEINE PEYROUX at Luckman; CORREATOWN at Lot 1 Café.

 

sun 4/10

Jessie Evans & Toby Dammit

@ THE ECHOPLEX

Like so many other musicians, singer-saxist Jessie Evans and drummer Toby Dammit reinvented themselves in Berlin, where they met and began a series of beat-heavy electronica collaborations. The classically trained percussionist Dammit has worked with Iggy Pop, the Swans and Rufus Wainwright, and he has an inventive, sure-handed approach that helps firmly anchor the free-spirited Evans. She purrs seductively on the swanky cabaret chanson "Golden Snake," from new album Is It Fire?, as its serpentine melody coils tightly around her. Produced by Nortec Collective's Pepe Mogt, the album is pumped up with Latin dance-pop rhythms. Evans and Dammit's exotic, globe-trotting grooves are simultaneously worldly and otherworldly. —Falling James

Also playing Sunday:

CALIFORNIA E.A.R. UNIT at REDCAT; LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

 

mon 4/11

k.d. lang & the Siss Boom Bang

@ THE TROUBADOUR

The Canadian-born roots-music great releases her new album, Sing It Loud, on April 12, and to celebrate she's playing the whole thing at the Troubadour for the amusement of approximately 1/1,000th the number of listeners she'll play before in May at Indio's Stagecoach Festival. (Tickets are long-since sold out, so pull those strings if you got 'em.) The Siss Boom Bang is her new five-piece backing band, the first regular one she's put together since her early-'80s combo the Reclines. They don't shake up her refined chamber-country sound much, though Sing It Loud does give you the impression that lang's live show might've gotten (slightly) rowdier. We shall see. With ascendant retro-pop locals the Belle Brigade. —Mikael Wood

Also playing Monday:

THE JANKS at Hotel Café; AMANDA JO WILLIAMS at the Echo; RUMSPRINGA, HANNI EL KHATIB, MOSES CAMPBELL at Bootleg Theater.

 

tue 4/12

Moon Duo

@ THE ECHO

Less scuzz, more boogie. That's the M.O. of San Francisco's Moon Duo on their new second album, Mazes. While Ripley Johnson (also of psych-rock band Wooden Shjips) still shreds his guitar and sings in a blues-fed continual sigh, keyboardist Sanae Yamada has picked out some bright organ tones and catchy melodies to lay overtop. This simple yet vital change gives their dark riffage the undeniable pop it was heretofore missing, meaning this young pair — minted in 2009 — has been reborn. In person, it's impressive to see how much they can do with so little. Catch 'em now while the appropriate audience response includes dancing, rather than the itchy navel-gazing Moon Duo shows used to inspire. —Chris Martins

Queens of the Stone Age

@ THE WILTERN

The mighty Queens of the Stone Age have always been stranger than most of their stoner-rock brethren. Singer-guitarist Josh Homme and guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen are masters of hard-rock riffology, but the Palm Desert crew's songs also have many expectedly arty twists and turns, juxtaposing sonic brutality with spacey tangents. You've got to give credit to former Kyuss leader Homme for expanding his style instead of just retreating into nostalgic rehashes of old heavy metal. In recent years, QOTSA have experimented with electronica and employed varied instrumentation, including horn sections. At the heart of their sound, though, are Homme's gruff, unsentimental vocals and the driving, militantly repetitive riffs that inspire him to call their music "robot rock." Also Wed. —Falling James

Also playing Tuesday:

MX. JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND: DENDROPHILE at REDCAT.

 

wed 4/13

The Crystelles, The Swords of Fatima

@ FIVE STARS BAR

The Crystelles are a blues band, but their sound is bloodier, messier and a hell of a lot more unpredictable than, say, the Blues Brothers or George Thorogood. Former Christian Death wraith Gitane DeMone howls raw, gloomy dirges like "Ship of the Unforgiven" and "Black Water." "They think that I'm a whore," DeMone rants on "Outcast of Society," as her rusty garage-rock guitar jangles against daughter Zara Kand's elemental percussion. The Swords of Fatima are another lo-fi duo, with singer-guitarist Buko Pan Guerra cooing febrile melodies over former Popdefect drummer Nick Scott's surf-garage beats. What makes the Swords of Fatima so unusual, however, is the way Guerra's blurry guitar and foreboding lyrics move beyond punk formula into something more unsettling and much less familiar. —Falling James

Yuck

@ THE ECHO

 

A new alt-rock band from England, who, despite their name, really aren't all that yucky. Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom sing hazy melodies as their guitars stir up a contrastingly loud and fuzzy drone behind them. This combination of slacker tunefulness and guitar-rock frenzy recalls Dinosaur Jr., but Yuck have other sides to them. An atypically ponderous midtempo track like "Rubber" unwinds slowly, like taffy being pulled through a tar pit. But before the song gets too sludgy, angelic harmonies and subtle string bends float over the mire like a psychedelic aurora. "Rubber" is contrasted by the cotton-candy daydream of "Georgia," as bassist Mariko Doi sets the mood with childlike, innocently hopeful pop harmonies. —Falling James

Greg Laswell, Lenka

@ THE TROUBADOUR

Greg Laswell has never been one for standard singer-songwriter fare. As far back as the San Diego–via-L.A. artist's 2006 breakthrough, Through Toledo, he's made a point to put meat on the bones of his heartfelt, often heartbroken tunes. Via distorted guitar, layers of piano, a persistent beat and hooky choruses, he gussies up his tracks into dynamic pop gems. Laswell's latest, 2010's Take a Bow, finds him a little less miserable than before, though still acceptably lovelorn. Aussie popstress Lenka opens, delivering her upbeat combination of radio romp, light R&B and sultry electro pulse. With bubbly album Two due out April 19, she should be the perfect airy counterpart to Laswell's inherent earthiness. —Chris Martins

Patrick Stump

@ HOTEL CAFÉ

While unashamedly fame-friendly bassist Pete Wentz hogged the headlines, it was Patrick Stump's savvy songwriting and supple, soulful vocals that propelled Fall Out Boy clear of their emo peers. When FOB failed to build on the sometimes near-perfect pop of Infinity on High with Folie à Deux (and with Wentz apparently more interested in tweetin' than twangin'), Stump went it alone with his Truant Wave EP, released in February. He's still penning supermelodic, uplifting/nostalgic gems but, apparently no longer feeling obliged to pander to punky expectations, Stump can tailor-make these with beats and keys around his almost Michael Jackson–y, octave-hopping R&B croon. Small surprise that this show (like much of Stump's current tour) is already sold out. —Paul Rogers

Olafur Arnalds

@ BOOTLEG THEATER

The Icelandic keyboardist composes gentle, exceedingly delicate instrumental passages. The tempos also are glacial, as if Arnalds were writing a soundtrack to accompany long winter nights in the Arctic Circle. —Falling James

Also playing Wednesday:

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE at the Wiltern; BRIGHT EYES at Fox Theatre (Pomona); BAND OF HEATHENS at the Mint.

 

thu 4/14

Janet Jackson

@ GIBSON AMPHITHEATRE

Janet Jackson has always been overshadowed, whether by brother Michael, Madonna or the media's hyperactive obsession with her weight fluctuations. But while the soft-spoken singer seemed to prefer a life out of the limelight, her team manufactured old-school attention ploys (that infamous "accidental" Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction), and she's now as widely known for a pasty-covered breast popping out as for her contributions to pop. Those contributions are many: Not only is she just as good a dancer as Michael was, and a better singer than Madonna ever has been, she has amassed 35 No. 1 hit singles, all of which she'll play for this 35-city tour. Although it's her largest world tour, she claims it's also the most intimate. In other words, no special effects, just the spotlight she's always deserved. —Rebecca Haithcoat

PVT, Tearist

@ THE ECHO

English indie rock has a proud tradition of incongruously jamming pop sensibility up against arty experimentalism — see Beta Band, Hot Chip, Field Music, Malachai — but the bands that do it best invariably lean a little more toward the freaky end of the spectrum. London's PVT (formerly Pivot) is one of those — a trio that recalls the avant-garde groove of This Heat in that members Richard Pike (vocals, guitar, bass), Laurence Pike (keyboards, drums) and Dave Miller (programming) sound as if they're improvising on record, yet always to a locked, propulsive beat. It makes sense then that their latest, Church With No Magic, was released by the legendarily progressive Warp Records. Expect a perfect amalgam of thud, sweat and cheers. [Ed.'s note: Also, Tearist, always a live treat. Stay tuned for their upcoming live release. It's amazing.] —Chris Martins

Big Audio Dynamite

@ THE ROXY

Having departed The Clash in 1983, guitarist-vocalist Mick Jones had sufficient class to stylistically move on with Big Audio Dynamite, a band built around his collaboration with filmmaker Don Letts. Well, sort of: BAD still married punk, funk and reggae, Clash-style, but also heaped on the hip-hop to become an altogether more rump-rattlin' proposition. Lineups came and went, as did bastardizations of the name (Big Audio Dynamite II; Big Audio), but Jones' Everyman, slightly sneery timbre and questioning lyrical stance remained as through lines however sunny the tunes became. Nearly 15 years after he disbanded BAD, there remains considerable interest in what Jones (who's lately been a touring member of Gorillaz) and Letts have to say, and this Roxy show will be a warm-up for their Coachella set two days later. —Paul Rogers

 

Cleveland Confidential

@ THE GRAMMY MUSEUM

Wild punk rockers and the staid Grammy Museum would seem to be an odd fit, but tonight's event is a crucial reminder that Akron and Cleveland — long before other Midwestern metropolises like Chicago and Detroit got hip — were among the earliest punk-rock scenes in the world. The panel discussion features readings from new books by such crucial Buckeye kingpins as the Dead Boys' Cheetah Chrome, the Pagans' Mike Hudson, Pere Ubu's David Thomas and Human Switchboard's Bob Pfeifer. For all of his fierce sonic reductions, Chrome is a better guitarist than a writer, but Hudson is a real revelation in his insightful memoir, Diary of a Punk, which evocatively captures the bleak mid-1970s Ohio milieu, while his collection Jetsam is the stark Cleveland punk equivalent to Charles Bukowski's memoirs. —Falling James

Duran Duran

@ FOX THEATER

"The thing that is unusual about finally seeing a band that you've loved for the bulk of your life is that it can open you up for disappointment. That was not the case with Duran Duran. I left the show feeling optimistic, as though I had not just seen a good show but learned a few things in the process." [From Liz Ohanesian's recent West Coast Sound blog post "Five Lessons Learned From Seeing Duran Duran Live for the First Time." Read the whole piece at laweekly.com.]

Also playing Thursday:

YUCK at the Satellite; THE MEATMEN at the Airliner.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
The Echoplex

1154 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

213-413-8200

www.attheecho.com

miles
El Rey Theatre

5515 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

323-936-6400

www.theelrey.com

miles
The Troubadour

9081 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

310-276-6168

www.troubadour.com

miles
Microsoft Theater

777 Chick Hearn Court
Los Angeles, CA 90015

213-763-6030

www.microsofttheater.com


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