Music Picks: Esperanza Spalding, Elbow, Toro Y Moi, Blink-182
Neon Indian, Com Truise
Nearly two years after he helped cement the notion of chillwave with his song "Terminally Chill," Neon Indian's Alan Palomo is back with a more tightly realized sophomore set that seems designed to separate Neon Indian from the haze-crazy scene that produced him. Not that dude's gone ooze-free: Era Extraña still comes smeared with the kinds of '80s-inspired synth textures that presumably drew the Flaming Lips to recruit Palomo for a collaborative EP earlier this year. But catchy new Neon Indian tracks like "Polish Girl" and "Hex Girlfriend" are head-and–shoulder pads better than Palomo's early stuff. He sounds less like he's hiding out now, and for good reason. Fellow '80s revivalist Com Truise opens this sold-out show. —Mikael Wood
With her upset win at this year's Grammy Awards, Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz artist to pocket Best New Artist honors — an even more impressive feat when you consider the 26-year-old's shtick involves thwacking away on the upright bass, which isn't the most marketable sound these days. While it was certainly a shame to bear witness to the barrage of insults and collective outcry of "WTF?" from avowed Beliebers upset their munchkin didn't take home the prize, if the win led people to perk up to the outstanding technical talent of this neo-soul prodigy (Spalding gigged with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at age 5!), then let those tweens keep crying their little hearts out. —Dan Hyman
The Love Me Nots, The Checkers
REDWOOD BAR & GRILL
"Cemeteries are full of bones that'll never get a good night's rest," the Love Me Nots' Nicole Laurenne warns amid her sheets of menacing Farfisa organ and Michael Johnny Walker's rabid squeals of guitar. The coed Phoenix band likely will keep the roomful of bones at the Redwood from getting much sleep tonight, with a swinging sound that's rapidly expanding from primal, Animals-style garage rock into a more melodically mesmerizing and even soulfully trippy fuzz-pop style. While most keyboardists are seemingly chained to their instruments, the go-go-booted Laurenne is a wild frontwoman onstage, whipping her hair around while simultaneously pounding on the 88s like Jerry Lee Lewis. The Love Me Nots are well matched with local power-pop combo the Checkers, who are led by scene photographer Julie Vox and are making an all-too-rare appearance tonight. —Falling James
ROOM 5 LOUNGE
With a new album titled Morphine and Cupcakes, Emily O'Halloran reveals a little more wit and darkness than most country-folk singers. Unfortunately, the Australian bard's lyrics only rarely rise above the level of "If you walk in the rain/You might just get wet" (she does come up with a couple of alternately cute and intriguing lines in the song "Nashville": "Gonna find me a Dave Rawlings like Gillian did" and "Cut my wrists not once but twice"). But O'Halloran's words are less important than the way she delivers them — in a husky whisper over a low hum of laid-back guitar, bass, drums and pedal steel. After a while, the funereal tempos and polite, unvarying arrangements become more draggy than druggy, but there are moments when O'Halloran persuasively evokes Cat Power's lazy, hazy soul. —Falling James
A.A. BONDY at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock; ACTIVE CHILD, CHAD VALLEY, JONI at the Echo; JON BRION at Largo; NEVER SHOUT NEVER at Grove of Anaheim; TIERNEY SUTTON at Catalina.
Eagle Rock Music Festival
Colorado Boulevard between Argus & Eagle Rock
Somebody paid their city fees: The 13th annual Eagle Rock Music Festival — the last great neighborhood music festival — is finally here. A focal point of local culture and community, the daylong festival along Colorado Boulevard is Northeast L.A.'s largest and probably most diverse cultural event. Co-produced by Center for the Arts Eagle Rock and the office of L.A. City Councilman José Huizar, this year's fest features a sprawling lineup of more than 60 underground, up-and-coming and seasoned acts, ranging from Flying Lotus to Health to Rooney across eight stages curated by L.A. mainstays dublab, L.A. Record, Razorcake, Low End Theory, Kingsize Soundlabs, the Ship Studios and others. For only $5 — and that's a suggested donation to keep the festival independent — this all-ages, family-friendly street fest is by far the best value of the week. —Lainna Fader
Revolver, Chateau Marmont
Naming yourself after a Beatles album many consider to be one of the greatest rock records of all time might seem like setting yourself up for failure, but this French trio's abundant charm and winsome three-part harmonies make up for this faux pas. With an assured debut full-length, Music for a While, under their belt, Revolver have been crisscrossing the U.S. to bring their melodic, poppy chamber music to the masses. Some of the tunes border on saccharine, but their classical training pulls them back from the edge with unique instrumentation and intriguing, sparse arrangements. Tonight they share the bill with fellow Parisians Chateau Marmont, purveyors of electronic pop cut from the Daft Punk cloth. —Laura Ferreiro
Angel City Jazz Festival
The highlight of the seven-day festival, this show features five excellent bands that are as varied in style and aesthetics as they are united in aggressive writing and daring improvisation. Pan Afrikan People's Arkestra, led by vocalist Dwight Trible, is followed by the brilliant Japanese tag team of pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. A few bands from Paris, the progressive Kandinsky Trio and stunning pianist Tigran Hamasyan and his quintet (featuring Ben Wendel on sax) are up next. The evening concludes with saxophonist/Guggenheim fellow Rudresh Mahanthappa with his fusion of electro-acoustic jazz and South Indian Carnatic. If you want a relaxing evening, don't go, for your face should be melted off by the end. But hey, what's left of it will be smiling. —Gary Fukushima
Pac Div, YG, Skeme
GLASS HOUSE (POMONA)
As last spring's mixtape Mania! proved, SoCal hip-hop trio Pac Div still send Twitter into a tizzy — even though the industry's behind-the-scenes biz (they made a switch from Universal Motown to ATL rapper T.I.'s Grand Hustle Records this year) keeps pushing back their debut album, Grown Kid Syndrome. Doubtful the delays have put a damper on them: They were raised on the "just another day out in sunny L.A." sound and spirit, their live shows are testaments that California indeed knows how to party, and they just announced a new EP set to drop in November. Rising Inglewood rapper Skeme opens, along with Def Jam artist YG, who did his part for raunch rap with the whispery strip-club anthem "Pussy Killer" and last year's ubiquitous radio hit "Toot It and Boot It." —Rebecca Haithcoat
Blink-182, My Chemical Romance
You might as well know going in that Neighborhoods, the Blink-182 reunion album in stores this week, is no great shakes. Imagine a less tuneful version of Tom DeLonge's short-lived Box Car Racer or a less-grandiose version of his still-operating Angels & Airwaves. (The key word here? Less.) That said, Blink remain a hugely appealing live act, one with just the right number of jokes to offset all the damaged-kid drama of their later material. At Irvine's Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in 2009, DeLonge left no double entendre unmolested. They play here as co-headliners with My Chemical Romance, who've always made being a damaged kid sound like a blast. Also Oct. 8 at the Hollywood Bowl. —Mikael Wood
Anyone who claims Elbow are too mellow hasn't seen them play live. Led by charismatic, honey-voiced frontman Guy Garvey, the Mercury Prize–winning Manchester quintet can rock it with the best of them. Their latest album, Build a Rocket Boys!, showcases their penchant for starting songs softly and building to a crescendo so climactic it'll make last night's bedroom escapades pale in comparison. Huge in their native England, Elbow are still building a stateside fan base five albums into their career, but a stellar Coachella appearance earlier this year finally is creating enough buzz to fill amphitheaters here rather than clubs. Although frequently said to be a cross between Coldplay and Radiohead, Elbow's lush orchestration and Garvey's hyperliterate, heartbreaking lyrics put them in a class of their own. —Laura Ferreiro
Jolie Holland's fifth album, Pint of Blood, is an intimate affair, recorded at her home studio, where she was backed by a small group called the Grand Chandeliers: producer Shahzad Ismaily, engineer Grey Gersten and guitarist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, John Zorn). But the intimacy is also in her songs, where her jaunty melodies and radiantly sunny confidence sometimes give way to a vulnerably lovelorn quavering. The Chandeliers lay down sympathetic, subtle accompaniment, such as the way that a slight dip in Ribot's steel guitar implies a rusty lock turning and a dark room opening up into a boundless Western sky. Holland takes her band on a not-always-merry journey, from the stark acoustic idyll "June" and the folkie disillusionment of "All Those Girls" to the jazzy, tie-dyed exuberance of "Little Birds." —Falling James
THE DAYLIGHTS at Hotel Café; ERASURE at the Hollywood Palladium; PETER BJORN & JOHN at Troubadour; KENDRICK LAMAR at Whiskey A Go Go; PORTUGAL. THE MAN at Avalon; SANTANA at Hollywood Bowl.
THE BAKED POTATO
Every first Sunday of the month at the Baked Potato, keyboardist Jeff Babko leads fusion/jam superband Shogun Warrior from behind a Fender Rhodes, topped with a turntable he spins, offering often humorous samples to bridge tunes. Babko's fellow Jimmy Kimmel Live! bandmate Toshi Yanagi rips through guitar solos with abandon, while big-band leader John Daversa splits trumpet and the rarely heard EVI, a synthesized horn he twists to maximum limits. Tonight's lineup features the virtuoso guest duo of Tim Lefebvre (bass) and Steve Hass (drums). Think '70s Miles Davis meets the Headhunters — Shogun Warrior should be opening for the likes of Medeski, Martin & Wood or Phish. The only problem is, they'd blow those better-known bands away. —Tom Meek
ALEX CLINE, ROSCOE MITCHELL TRIO at REDCAT; MARNIE STERN, DUNES at Bootleg Bar; WHISPERTOWN at Satellite; THE CHAPIN SISTERS at McCabe's.
Toro Y Moi
EL REY THEATRE
Toro Y Moi started 10 years ago as the bedroom project of South Carolina native Chaz Bundick, a 23-year-old singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who's proved to be one of the pioneers of the burgeoning chillwave movement. With soft synths, dreamy vocals and catchy melodies, the critically adored Bundick makes listenable, well-crafted lo-fi pop songs that'll get stuck in your head for days and days. Tonight he plays with fuzzy, punky rock upstarts Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Bass Drum of Death. —Lainna Fader
PETER BJORN AND JOHN, EMPEROR X at the Smell; SWAHILI BLONDE at the Echo; DUM DUM GIRLS, CROCODILES at Troubadour; DAVID BINNEY QUARTET at Blue Whale.
Takemitsu, Feldman, others
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
The L.A. Phil's new-music/contemporary classical series Green Umbrella opens its season with Dutch conductor Otto Tausk leading an ensemble in a provocatively juxtaposed selection of works. The program features the U.S. premiere of Austrian microtonalist composer Georg Friedrich Haas' Chants Oubliés (an L.A. Phil commission), and Zosha Di Castri's La forma dello spazio. Close listening to Morton Feldman's extraordinarily fine-graded Viola in My Life Nos. 1 and 2 pays deeply moving dividends. Likewise for the cleansing tone bath in Rain Coming by the 20th century's greatest orchestrator, Toru Takemitsu. —John Payne
Snappy sonic cousins to L.A.'s own Rooney (with whom they've toured), New Yorkers Locksley bring enough new wave slick and punky clip to their sunny '60s rock & roll to steer them well clear of "retro" territory. Melody matters most to these shaggy lads, so they can happily default to whoa-ohs and yeah-yeahs without dumbing down, but that's not to say there's any lack of wistful, lost-love melancholy amidst their outwardly optimistic creations. Locksley served a stint as Ray Davies' backing band and, even without him, proudly carry the torch for marvelously succinct, supertuneful rock-lite. A timely reminder that "pop music" needn't refer just to Britney and Big Time Rush. —Paul Rogers
FUNERAL PARTY and MONA at the Roxy; BEIRUT, LAETITIA SADIER at Greek Theatre; PETER BJORN AND JOHN at the Echo; DAN SARTAIN at Satellite; THE JAYHAWKS at Troubadour.
Lanie Lane, Terra Naomi
Lanie Lane is shameless about trying to bring back the past. She has a sweet, birdlike voice, which she uses to chase the ghosts of old blues and jazz legends. While the Australian wunderkind may not be entirely convincing on her earnest and clear-eyed remake of Willie Dixon's swaggering blues anthem "Hoochie Coochie Man," her version has a certain weird charm, and at least she's not trying to be ironic. Lane's mannerisms and vocal tics are obviously secondhand (to the point where it sounds like she's even imitating the tinny tone of an ancient turntable), but her voice is beguiling, making it no surprise that Jack White has already swooped in and recorded a single with her. Terra Naomi comes at a pop from a relatively modern mainstream singer-songwriter angle, but songs like "Time" and "Say It's Possible" are no less enchanting. —Falling James
The Smashing Pumpkins
With several early-'90s rock outfits celebrating two decades of notoriety, it should come as no surprise that Billy Corgan's Pumpkins also are prepping remastered releases of their highly influential albums. This gig, though — the first on a 12-city tour — is a different beast. Corgan, forever working on his 44-song "opus," Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, may use Oceania, his newest LP due next year, as justification, but who are we kidding? Like most of his recent outings, which have seen Corgan berating audiences, this minitour, with a lineup consisting of none of the band's original members, is another step in his never-ending quest for revalidation. The question then becomes, are people still willing to shell out the dough to hear a middle-aged man complain? You betcha. —Dan Hyman
BLONDIE, NICO VEGA at Club Nokia; FAUSTIN LINYEKULA/STUDIOS KABAKO at REDCAT; PETER BJORN & JOHN at El Rey Theatre; LOW ANTHEM at Troubadour; SLUMGUM, DWIGHT TRIBLE at Royal-T; QUARTETTO FANTASTICO at Blue Whale.
Musical heroes don't generally give us the heads-up when they're ready to shuffle off into the great abyss, leaving behind nothing more than dusty footprints to honor their legends. That's not the case for Glen Campbell, '60s country icon, TV host, session master and all-around badass. The 75-year-old in June was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease; he decided to go on a final global jaunt in support of his new album, Ghost on the Canvas. The collection of vintage guitar-driven grit is aided with turns from admiring peers Paul Westerberg and Jakob Dylan. While certainly bittersweet, Campbell's slow demise, and subsequent soiree, is as good a notice as any that if you're looking to bid farewell to the Rhinestone Cowboy, now may be the time. —Dan Hyman
HOUSE OF BLUES
Hard to believe Mos Def and Talib Kweli's only album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star, is 13 years old. After all, both MCs have managed to stay fresh-faced by running with younger cats. Mos, catching Odd Future's unholy spirit, shouted "Swag!" jubilantly into the Jimmy Fallon camera after the group's first televised appearance; Kweli has a big-brother relationship with Bow Wow. But their headlining set at last spring's Paid Dues gave them away — all those years in the game have polished them into consummate performers. The most promising rappers on the come-up point to both master lyricists as influencers, and we wouldn't be surprised if a few of them drop in on this show. —Rebecca Haithcoat
EL REY THEATRE
"Supafunkrock" is the order of the day when Trombone Shorty hits the stage. The Nawlins kid and his steaming Orleans Avenue crew bring high-energy to a long line of trad American styles, and his 'bone-slanging (he plays trumpet, too) takes you all the way back to the roots of jazz, R&B, funkin' soul and rock & roll. A lotta critics insist on calling him a jazzer, or argue about whether it's real "jazz" or not. Doesn't matter, as his new album, For True, makes pretty damn clear: This is very fine jambalaya of the above tried-and-true styles pumped up with hip-hop and hard rock. As young, walking history books of New Orleans, T. Shorty and his virtuosic band are educational — and the best party in town. —John Payne
CULTURE COLLIDE FESTIVAL (CSS, LIAM FINN, CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH, YACHT, RAINBOW ARABIA, THE RAPTURE, XIMENA SARINANA, OTHERS); LITTLE DRAGON at Avalon; HAPPY HOLLOWS at Satellite; ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, PITBULL at Staples Center; SAM SPARRO at Largo.
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