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Music Picks: Elvis Costello & the Imposters, Prince, Ricky Martin, Carrie Rodriguez, The Low Anthem, Mogwai

Carrie Rodriguez: See Sunday.
PHOTO BY SARAH WILSON

fri 5/6

Prince

@ THE FORUM

[See Page Two.]

 

Ke$ha

@ HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM

Scoff if you must, but Ms. Rose $ebert knows how to put on a show. "How's that?" you ask. Why, with fishnets and crotch-thrusting and gigantic, glitter-covered penises and waify men dressed as trailer park sluts, of course. The 24-year-old bleach-blonde pop star is sassy dynamite, frankly — a strutting, vamping, rapping, dancing, lowbrow genius who's taken all of the trashiest, most unpredictable elements of Britney Spears' career and distilled them into a character worthy of a cult following. "We're dancing like we're dumb/Our bodies going numb," she sings on one of her numerous No. 1 hits, "We R Who We R," and it's a fair assessment of the live experience. If you don't dance to this, you're thinking too hard. —Chris Martins

J Mascis, The Black Heart Procession

@ THE ECHO

Mascis you know from his front-grump gig in Dinosaur Jr., the noisy Massachusetts trio he's led for the better part of the last quarter-century. In a typically perverse twist, though, Mascis has chosen this very Dinosaur-influenced moment (see Yuck, Cage the Elephant, et al.) to release his first solo studio disc, Several Shades of Why, on which he dials down the grunge-pop distortion and indulges his inner AM-radio folkie. It's all very pretty, especially when folks like Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses show up to add vocal harmonies. Tonight Mascis will play tunes from the record all by his lonesome, though an informed source says he might be joined for a song or two by Black Heart Procession's Pall Jenkins, who also turns up on Why. —Mikael Wood

Mike Stinson

@ BOOTLEG THEATER

The Virginia-born singer-songwriter who futilely banged his head against our glittering walls for years before walking away in dire frustration comes screaming back to Hollywood with a whole new musical trick bag. He is rightly revered by his local cult following as a honky-tonk auteur of the highest order; his 18 months in Houston have seen an extraordinary creative bloom, and when he hits the bandstand, expect some mind-bending new sounds. He's working a rich mess of rocked-up, blues-acknowledging, brand-new numbers, and he's also brought out his entire Houston band — a combo capable of delicious ferocity quite removed from what we've previously been treated to. This date's an intensely legitimate cause for celebration, not only because tonight's his birthday but also for the chance to experience a fresh new jolt of Stinson voltage. —Jonny Whiteside

Ricky Martin

@ NOKIA THEATRE

The one-time bonbon-shaker gets surprisingly serious on his latest album, Música + Alma + Sexo, his first since coming out as a gay man in 2010. Over music that easily pairs throbbing club beats and sleek synths with power-ballad guitars and traditional Latin instruments, Martin describes his identification with marginalized people and promises to be true to himself from here on out. Even "The Best Thing About Me Is You," a bubbly English-language duet with English soul singer Joss Stone, delivers a message that seems shaped by Martin's recent experience: "Life is short, so make it what you wanna." Expect plenty of righteous fist-pumping at the Nokia tonight, but don't be surprised if he loosens up and lives a little vida loca as well. Also Sat. —Mikael Wood

Also playing Friday:

JUNIP, ACRYLICS at El Rey Theatre; CRYSTAL STILTS at the Natural History Museum; WOOLLY BANDITS, LADYKILLERS at the Redwood; THE ATOMIC BOMB AUDITION at the BLVD.; BLACK LABEL SOCIETY at House of Blues; RAVEONETTES, TAMRYN at the Troubadour; DESSA at the Roxy; GURF MORLIX at McCabe's; DIRTY VEGAS at the Echoplex; DUDAMEL CONDUCTS BRAHMS, DUTILLEUX at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

 

sat 5/7

Prince

@ THE FORUM

[See Page Two.]

 

Ceu

@ EL REY THEATRE

Insanely great Brazilian vocalist with a long-standing presence Stateside (she's the Sergio Mendes of the 21st century, except cuter and not a midget). She has recorded for Starbucks' label, but you shouldn't hold that against her: She gets mad props from serious jazz cats and latte mommies alike. —Dave Parkman

Avi Buffalo

@ THE GETTY

This precociously talented Long Beach psych-folk band inked a record deal when main brain Avi Zahner-Isenberg was 18, then made good on the hype with last year's stunning eponymous debut. Songs like "Truth Sets In" reveal a subtle ear for unexpected melodic turns and virtuosic guitar play that never seems showy. Even "What's In It For," a memorable yearner in the vein of Shins and Sleepy Jackson, is unostentatious with its hook, a tribute to youthful slack and self-obsession: "What's in it for someone with nothing to do?/What's in it for me?" Live is where things get gloriously gaudy, when an emotionally off-kilter number like "Five Little Sluts" is transformed into a dizzying 10-minute trip. Pack a psychotropic picnic. —Chris Martins

 

The Songs of Patsy Cline

@ WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

Patsy Cline's music is so deeply woven into American culture that it transcends labels like country and pop. Her achingly elegant versions of such ballads as "I Fall to Pieces," "Walkin' After Midnight" and Willie Nelson's "Crazy" are timeless, and they took on a bittersweet allure and legendary status when she died at 30 in a 1963 plane crash. Tonight, folk supergroup the Living Sisters, Garbage diva Shirley Manson and special guests put a slightly modern spin to Cline's classics, layering them with sleek harmonies, while Zooey Deschanel breaks them down in her sweetly beguiling pop persona. Actor-singer John C. Reilly, X bassist John Doe and underrated local singer-songwriter Charlie Wadhams provide a more masculine perspective. —Falling James

Zola Jesus

@ THE SATELLITE

Nika Roza Danilova had planned on a career in opera, but the Madison, Wis., native instead became a rising star when her lo-fi gothic pop set the blogosphere on fire in 2009. Her DIY ethic and flair for the darkly dramatic made her something of a home-recording female echo of Ian Curtis' ghost. As the buzz rose — thanks to sludgy, sultry downer dance hits like "Night" and "Poor Animal" — she fleshed out her touring band into a black-clad small army of synthesizer-sporting malcontents. The fashion-forward Danilova is arresting and often hypnotizing in person, bringing the operatic experience to the dumps and dives of the indie underground. —Chris Martins

Also playing Saturday:

THE SUBMARINES at the Troubadour; EDDIE & THE HOT RODS, PRIMA DONNA at the Redwood; FLEET FOXES at Hollywood Palladium; DIDDY-DIRTY MONEY at Club Nokia; NORTEC at Luckman Fine Arts Complex; THE 88 at El Rey Theatre.

sun 5/8

Carrie Rodriguez, Pieta Brown

@ McCABE'S

This Texas singer-fiddler first achieved national recognition in 2001, when she was championed by legendary songwriter Chip "Wild Thing" Taylor. She's since evolved into a unique performer in her own right. Her music roams restlessly across the Americana terrain, from rootsy pop to country and blues, all of it knitted together with her febrile violin embellishments. Far from a strict revivalist or traditionalist, Rodriguez is positively enchanting on defiant anthems like "Never Gonna Be Your Bride" and her woozily sultry version of Taylor's casting-couch fable " '50s French Movie." Iowa singer Pieta Brown opens with her gently confessional pop-country ballads. —Falling James

Cameron Carpenter

@ WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

When you see those massive pipe organs looming above you at your local cathedral, perhaps you're pondering the awesome power they might wield in the right or wrong hands, and feet. Organist Cameron Carpenter has been called "controversial" for his impassioned new way of playing the pipes — and likely because he doesn't fit the picture of the creaky old organ master. Carpenter is a former dancer who dresses like the flamboyant rock star he indisputably is, a splashy image that only enhances his charismatic virtuosity with a repertoire including Bach, Franck, Liszt and Ives, peppered with imaginative reworkings of songs by the likes of Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Annie Lennox. Carpenter brings to the pipe organ a thrilling showmanship and much needed physicality, by turns jaw-dropping, refined and very smart indeed. —John Payne

Also playing Sunday:

ANCESTORS, TWEAK BIRD at Bootleg Bar; THE METEORS at the Echoplex; WAMMO & FORSYTH at Molly Malone's; WORLD PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE at CalArts.

 

mon 5/9

Gutbucket Chamber Orchestra

@ REDCAT

This Brooklyn-based quartet (not to be confused with local psychedelic funk maestros Gutbucket) holds the firm belief that jazz, rock, contemporary classical and improvisatory new music — hey, all of it — need a good, swift kick in the keister. They play tightly composed art-rock chamber jazz angularities that veer off into foreign but often familiarly rocking places, with a lot of skronky, screechy sax, punky-overdrive guitar chip-choppery and some seriously slippery stop-'n'-start rhythm-section devilry. The core unit will perform and improvise on the ace tunes from their new album. Later, they'll be joined by CalArts players on woodwinds, vibes, keyboards, organ, cello, percussion, electronics, prepared instruments, noise toys, multiple basses and electric guitars. —John Payne

The Low Anthem

@ THE AUTRY

As full-band folk enjoys a renaissance of sorts, it'd be a mistake to overlook this Providence, R.I., group for some of its flashier counterparts. These four aim for timelessness with a brand of Americana that nods as much to high-energy gospel and gritty blues as it does to rustic, autumnal hues. Every member is a multi-instrumentalist, and live they change roles as their songs dictate, whether manning a combination of clarinet, pump organ and alto horn for the quiet classic "This God Damn House," electric instruments for their stomping cover of Tom Waits' "Home I'll Never Be," or standard busking fare for new one "Apothecary Love," from the freshly released Smart Flesh LP. Mumford and who? —Chris Martins

 

Also playing Monday:

MIA DOI TODD at Broad Stage [see Music to Pick Up/Download]; HE'S MY BROTHER SHE'S MY SISTER, SISTER ROGERS, SWEATERS, THE PLEASURE CIRCUS at the Satellite; KT TUNSTALL at El Rey Theatre; WHITE ARROWS, PAPA at Bootleg Bar.

 

tue 5/10

Pegi Young

@ THE HOTEL CAFÉ

Perhaps it's no surprise that Pegi Young's music is overshadowed by the work of her husband, Neil, but she's no dilettante, even if the late-blooming singer didn't get around to releasing her first solo albums until she was in her 50s. She was writing her own songs when she was in high school, long before she met Neil, but she subsequently dedicated herself to less glamorous pursuits, like raising a son with cerebral palsy and becoming the major force behind the Bridges School for special-needs children. Pegi isn't a brassy shouter, and her songs have a subtly intoxicating impact, like "Traveling," which eschews the fiery pyrotechnics of her husband's rock music in favor of a shadowy, contemplative and gently lulling R&B introspection. —Falling James

Mogwai

@ THE MAYAN

Loudest exponents of post-rock, the cosmic instrumental band from Glasgow is known for booming sonic extremes and cinematic noise and infiltrating film and TV shows. Featured on countless soundtracks ranging from Zidane: A 21st-Century Portrait to The Fountain and Sicko, their epic, apocalyptic rock also is at home on CSI: Miami. "Maybe we are the perfect soundtrack for murder. Maybe we're on all the murderers' iPods as they go about their daily killings," guitarist and co-founder Stuart Braithwaite once mused. Smug song titles like "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead," "I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School" and "Thank You Space Expert" show they've got a sense of humor unmatched by their instrumental post-rock brethren (Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky, we're looking at you!). —Lainna Fader

Andrew W.K., Wavves, Trash Talk

@ THE ECHOPLEX

As a preternaturally gifted pianist, acclaimed self-help guru and world-class party animal, Andrew W.K. (not to be confused with comedic genius Louis C.K.) represents the best of a few worlds that had never bothered colliding before. The weird part is how well the man's music embodies this odd amalgam. Virtuosic, high-energy and motivational in the sense that you can't not thrash wildly to it, W.K.'s sound is a rare, intensely bright thing — power punk meets hard rock meets synth-pop, in a basement where the PBR flows freely, it's always Sept. 10, 2001, and Vice magazine is still fairly decent. He's dubbed this a "Special Party Hard Solo Show," which suggests he'll be dipping into his cult-revered debut, I Get Wet, which includes songs like "Party Hard" and "Party Til You Puke." That said, he recently let slip via Twitter that he's recording a "new full-length party album," so new festive material could be on the menu. —Chris Martins

Also playing Tuesday:

PINBACK, KENSETH THIBIDEAU at El Rey Theatre; AARON BEAUMONT, RACHEL GOODRICH at Bootleg Theater; ALBERTA CROSS at the Satellite.

 

wed 5/11

Coheed and Cambria

@ CLUB NOKIA

When these hairy New Yorkers introduced prog rock to the PlayStation generation with The Second Stage Turbine Blade, they set themselves apart from their post-hardcore peers with the album's sheer breadth of vision and shamelessly nerdy lyrical concepts. To celebrate 10 years as a band, they're revisiting this debut disc in its entirety on this tour (as well as performing acoustic sets and career-spanning encores), offering a reminder of why it was such a stylistic slap in the face then. Though indebted to fellow turn-of-the-millennium freethinkers like At the Drive-In, C&C owe more to their parents' cassette collections than their buddies' shared files: Thin Lizzy's folk-tinged romanticism; Led Zeppelin's articulate pomp; and the clanky, heroic bombast of Iron Maiden. —Paul Rogers

Elvis Costello & The Imposters

@ THE WILTERN

Out on the road behind last year's appealingly acerbic National Ransom — his second straight collaboration with producer T Bone Burnett — the New Wave legend won't necessarily emphasize cuts from that album tonight. He and the Imposters will hit the Wiltern with the so-called Spectacular Spinning Songbook in tow; it's a giant Wheel of Fortune–style contraption that audience members are invited to spin in order to determine Costello's set list. A press release promises a pool of 40 titles, "including hits, rarities and very unexpected covers." We're holding out hope for "I'm in Miami, Bitch." [Ed.'s note: L.A. Weekly Music does not condone further encouragement of LMFAO or their "repertoire."] Also Thurs. —Mikael Wood

Also playing Wednesday:

THE GREENHORNES at the Echo; LOUDNESS at Key Club; LE BUTCHERETTES at Bootleg Bar; CODY SIMPSON, GREYSON CHANCE at House of Blues.

 

thu 5/12

The Knitters

@ THE AUTRY

 

The Knitters may be country, but they have the heart, soul and guts of a punk band. In 1985 foundational L.A. punk band X (Exene, John Doe) and the Blasters (Dave Alvin) spawned a side project that in many ways foretold the birth of a new subgenre of rock & roll: Their Poor Little Critter on the Road consisted primarily of X songs reinterpreted as country, roots or acoustic tunes. Still, a raw, bohemian energy pulsed beneath the Merle Haggard and Carter Family covers to make what could arguably be called one of the first alt-country albums. A punk band? Doing country? Indeed, a punk band was doing country, and doing it well. Not just a faded Xerox of X, but rather a full-fledged organism with a life of its own. —Kristina Benson

Femi Kuti

@ EL REY THEATRE

The son of Nigerian Afro-beat legend Fela Kuti is renowned for live performances that feature exultant saxophone and even more celebratory dancing adding up to a sweaty spectacle of funk. —Kevin Bronson

 

B-52s

@ THE CANYON

This obscure new wave band, believe it or not, has never toured Idaho, private or otherwise. —Dave Parkman

 

The Goldberg Sisters, Corridor, Hands

@ BOOTLEG THEATER

Does the name Adam Goldberg ring a bell? Star of cult projects The Hebrew Hammer and The Unusuals [Ed.'s note: Ed.'s favorite weird TV show of the last few years], though better known for his more mainstream turns in Saving Private Ryan, Dazed and Confused and Entourage, Goldberg is also an avantish pop auteur whose latest album is chock fulla sweet surprises. Through the sisterly alter ego, Flaming Lips (known associates of his), Burt Bacharach and Sonic Youth are casually ripped up, lovingly reassembled and lightly drizzled with some really intriguing audio detail. Corridor is multi-instrumentalist Michael Quinn's head-dive into obscure psychic worlds via expertly orchestrated guitar, cello and sampler loops and digital effects. —John Payne

Also playing Thursday:

SILVERSTEIN at House of Blues; THE CARS at Hollywood Palladium; CALLE 13 at Nokia Theatre; HAYES CARLL at the Troubadour; PURPLE MELON at Bootleg Theater.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
The Forum

3900 W. Manchester Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90305

213-480-3232

www.thelaforum.com

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The Echo

1822 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

213-413-8200

www.attheecho.com

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Microsoft Theater

777 Chick Hearn Court
Los Angeles, CA 90015

213-763-6030

www.microsofttheater.com

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El Rey Theatre

5515 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

323-936-6400

www.theelrey.com

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