Music Picks: Linda Perhacs, Joni's Jazz, L.A. Phil, the Go-Go's
Dom Kennedy, Overdoz
@GLASS HOUSE (POMONA)
Local — more precisely, Leimert Park, as he reps often in his raps — lyricist Dom K might not be the most exciting artist in the city's crackling hip-hop scene, but he's probably the steadiest. Since his 2008 summertime ode "Watermelon Sundae," he's quietly been building quite the empire: He released his commercial debut, From the Westside With Love II, a little more than a month ago on his own record label, watched it reach No. 2 on iTunes, and keeps selling out shows on both coasts. On the other hand, his freaky, tongue-in-cheek weed fiend Inglewood neighbors, the R(aw) & B(angin') duo Overdoz, just began to stir the pot this spring, with Pharrell recently tweeting his approval. We say this with the utmost anticipation and admiration: These two are L.A.'s weirdest "ones to watch." —Rebecca Haithcoat
The Decemberists, Wye Oak
Portland, Ore.'s Decemberists purvey generally appealing folk-pop songs on their new album, The King Is Dead, which comes off like a more countrified version of R.E.M. or perhaps a less political Mekons. It's all quite enjoyable, although the band is more compelling on relatively deeper tracks like "This Is Why We Fight." While the Decemberists are fairly traditional, openers Wye Oak are much more free-spirited on their latest album, Civilian, with songs ranging from the ethereal intimacy of "Two Small Deaths" to the towering riffs and jagged rhythms of "Holy Holy." Throughout, Jenn Wasner coos beguiling melodies over her choppy guitar riffs, while Andy Stack constructs mighty stacks of sound while simultaneously playing drums and keyboards. The Baltimore duo's combo of pretty pop idylls buried in waves of grungy layers is charming yet unsettling. —Falling James
Rodrigo y Gabriela
It's not surprising that Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero had to cancel their tour last year due to severe stress and pain in Quintero's right hand. Quintero puts so much passion and energy into her strumming and percussive banging that exhaustion seemed almost inevitable. After some R&R and a presumably cushy gig writing tunes for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Rodrigo y Gabriela are back on the live scene. In addition to performing their explosive brand of flamenco-rock at a presidential state dinner earlier this year, they've been hitting the European festival circuit and are playing their only scheduled West Coast dates tonight and tomorrow with the L.A. Philharmonic. They've obviously come a long way from their humble beginnings busking on the streets of Dublin. Also Sat. —Laura Ferreiro
EELS at El Rey Theatre; BUSDRIVER, 2 MEX at the Roxy; THE ARRIVALS, HEX DISPENSER, TOYS THAT KILL at American Legion Hall; JUNIP at Bootleg Bar; RAFAL SARNECKI QUARTET at Blue Whale.
Pentagram, Eyehategod, Pelican
Though instability incarnate over recent years, pioneers of pounding (yet relatively melodic) doom metal Pentagram bring instant credibility to this two-venue "Power of the Riff" festival. A product of the early 1970s, and with only eccentric frontman Bobby Liebling a constant factor, Pentagram nonetheless continue to conjure sets of sinister, Sabbathesque majesty. New Orleans' Eyehategod spatter their detuned sludge with punk's lip-curled pessimism and grizzled vocals, to alarming effect. Thoughtful Chicago foursome Pelican wriggle free of stylistic restraints largely by shunning vocals altogether. But fear not. Their throbbing riffage, sinewy guitars and meandering structures have plenty to say. —Paul Rogers
The Get Up Kids
There Are Rules, this year's Get Up Kids reunion album, isn't really something to write home about, to quote the title of the second-wave emo band's breakout 1999 disc. Though you have to admire the newly choppy rhythmic pulse likely inspired by bassist Rob Pope's stint in Spoon, the tunes just never materialize. But you should still consider going to see these guys, if only because a 2009 deluxe reissue of Something means they're probably still flogging songs from that record onstage: Like Weezer's Pinkerton or Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American, it's an appealingly overheated blast of sensitive-male angst set to the kind of fuzzy guitar pop that never goes out of style (even when it does). Also Sun. at Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace. —Mikael Wood
GOLD SOIL, RAREBIT, ANENON, ROM-DOS at Bootleg Theater; GIPSY KINGS at Greek Theatre; THE MILK CARTON KIDS at McCabe's; HAMILTON PRICE GROUP at Blue Whale.
To the list of the many hats worn by Snoop Dogg — rapper, actor, Orange County Junior All America Football League coach — add public-health advocate: Tonight the man born Calvin Broadus Jr. headlines the second annual Health Awareness Benefit Concert at Club Nokia, the smallish downtown venue that doesn't require much marijuana smoke to transform into a state-of-the-art hot box. (No one's successfully proven that weed can really damage one's health, right?) Also on the bill: Tank, the dedicatedly understated R&B classicist; New Boyz, the local hip-hop duo whose mainstream breakthrough never quite happened the way it was supposed to; and the Uneek Music All Stars, assembled by Snoop's partner in the benefit, Developing Options founder Eugene "Big U" Henley. —Mikael Wood
The thrill isn't quite gone: B.B. King is still touring the world, despite beginning his career in the 1940s. His presence on the blues scene is so prominent that King's household name and popular appeal often cause new musicians to overlook this Mississippian in favor of younger and more contemporary guitar gods. It's important to remember, however, that King truly changed the game with songs like "How Blue Can You Get" and his album Live in Cook County Jail. If you haven't seen the master live, you'd better hurry, because the royal highness of blues is getting old. He sits on the stage, holding Lucille like she's just a bit too heavy, but don't worry. King can still make that old woman moan, and there is no bad time to hear a true guitar hero bend notes like cerebral lightning bolts. —Joseph Lapin
In 1970, now-revered psych-folk singer-composer Linda Perhacs made an album titled Parallelograms, her attempt to illustrate the synesthetic connections between color and sound. She searched for a way to establish a holistic art form that would encompass the "harmony" inherent when ideas culled from film, dance and visual arts were incorporated into the more conventional shades of the 1960s-style folk-pop songs she wrote. Ideally, she would create music that did away with literal or representational words and melodies. Tonight, Perhacs and her band play tunes from Parallelograms and debut new material, as well as vintage synesthetic films and new video works. Live dance accompaniment is courtesy of dancer-choreographer Ryan Heffington. —John Payne
Roots Roadhouse 2
This daylong affair eschews the Nashville glitterati and focuses instead on performers whose music is often stranger, darker and less predictable. Siblings-fronted Canadian band the Sadies' songs range from haunting rural evocations to spaghetti Western soundscapes. Idaho singer Eilen Jewell's new album is aptly titled Queen of the Minor Key, and she layers her insightful lamentations with roots-rock sparkle and even a bit of jazzy swing. Seattle chanteuse Jesse Sykes and former Whiskeytown guitarist Phil Wandscher appear tonight without their full Sweet Hereafter backup band, making it likely that they'll move away from the sprawling Jefferson Airplane–style psychedelia of their latest album, Marble Son, and concentrate on stripped-down tunes that frame Sykes' chillingly beautiful vocals. The stacked bill includes ace Virginian songwriter Mike Stinson, swing-rockabilly revivalists Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Whitey Morgan, Dawn Landes, Brennen Leigh and many others. —Falling James
CALIFONE at the Satellite.
Adele, Wanda Jackson
Some bills are the product of backstage machinations and the corporate politics of industry networking, but tonight's lineup is an inspired pairing of two divas from different eras and genres. Young British songstress Adele is an engaging soul-pop stylist whose vocals reveal real warmth and charisma. Instead of mimicking her idols, Adele knows how to sell a song persuasively and intelligently without resorting to nostalgic tics. She's also wise and confident enough to allow country-rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson to open for her. Ms. Jackson is on a bit of a career resurgence, thanks to her recent collaboration with Jack White, but the Oklahoma native has always been a fiery performer, from her days touring with her old pal Elvis Presley to her more recent work with the Cramps and Elvis Costello. —Falling James
Even if you're unfamiliar with this hotly tipped Swedish electro-soul outfit, you've probably heard frontwoman Yukimi Nagano sing, thanks to recent appearances she's put in on records by Gorillaz, Raphael Saadiq and TV on the Radio dude Dave Sitek's Maximum Balloon. With Little Dragon she plays it a little more coolly than she does when she's the featured guest; sometimes on Ritual Union, Little Dragon's just-released latest, you wonder if she added her vocals as an afterthought while everybody else was out feasting on lutefisk. When she wants to, though, the lady can do sexy as well as any of Prince's various protégées: "Shuffle a Dream," from the new record, sounds like a newly discovered outtake by the late, great Vanity 6. —Mikael Wood
ACTIVE CHILD, CORRIDOR, ROBOTANISTS at the Echo; ROBERT FRANCIS, JACK LITTMAN at Bootleg Theater; THE ROSS SEA PARTY, THE GROWNUP NOISE at Silverlake Lounge.
[See Music feature.]
David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights, Richard Buckner
David Kilgour makes his guitar do a wondrous array of fantastic magic tricks on his new album, Left by Soft. The New Zealand native isn't a flashy soloist, and he dazzles not with speed or volume but by cleverly juxtaposing disparate sounds into a multihued mosaic. He cracks open hazily trippy tracks like "Diamond Mine" and "A Break in the Weather," and bolts of radiant sunlight spill out like juice bursting from an orange. Kilgour transforms a simple acoustic folk riff into a mesmerizing exotic swirl on "Theme" and swallows "a bucket of words" on the languidly romantic ballad "Pop Song." Making a rare Stateside visit, the singer-guitarist might be best known as the leader of New Zealand alt-rock paragons the Clean, but his solo albums are no less essential. Kilgour's Merge Records label mate Richard Buckner returns to action with his first album in five years, Our Blood, a collection of laid-back and occasionally eerie gruff-voiced ruminations with cryptic, one-word titles, like "Collusion," "Traitor" and "Escape." —Falling James
k.d. lang & the Siss Boom Bang
k.d. lang's new single, "I Confess," from her latest album, Sing It Loud, starts off mellow, spare and torchy, with the usual heart-melting sophistication to which we're accustomed from her. But that lasts only 21 seconds, at which point a superb late-period-Dylan–style band kicks in, helmed by lang wielding an ax like a shocking hybrid of Gertrude Stein and Elvis Presley reinventing the Orbison songbook. (Please check out the video, shot at Los Feliz's own Cheetah's bikini bar!) Howard Devoto once said Dylan's current gift was to teach musicians how to grow up tastefully: lang's new band is the latest welcome example. —Gustavo Turner
JAVELIN, PICTUREPLANE, FRANKI CHAN at the Echo; GOLDSBORO at Key Club.
@HARD ROCK CAFÉ
[See Page Two.]
Joni Mitchell might be best known for composing folk-pop standards like "Both Sides Now" and "Big Yellow Taxi," but the Canadian singer-guitarist bravely defied expectations when she experimented with jazz styles in the mid-1970s — long before that was a hip thing for classic rockers to do. The ensuing decades have only enhanced her reputation and emphasized the boldness of her vision, and tonight's show celebrates the artful way Mitchell brought jazz in from the cold. Scheduled performers include such jazz legends as Herbie Hancock, powerhouse belter Cassandra Wilson, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, singer Kurt Elling and saxist Tom Scott mingling with unexpected pop performers like Aimee Mann, funk diva Chaka Khan and the Frames' Glen Hansard. The only drawback is that the increasingly reclusive Mitchell won't appear. —Falling James
The Go-Go's, Girl in a Coma
About this time a year ago, the Go-Go's were planning to disband at the end of their Happily Ever After tour, when fans of the longtime pop-punk quintet received a lucky break, so to speak. The farewell tour went goodbye when guitarist Jane Wiedlin injured herself while hiking. Now the group is back together — they received a star last week on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — and there's no more talk about a breakup. While the Go-Go's are primarily an oldies band these days (although their 2001 comeback, God Bless the Go-Go's, was severely underrated), they still sound good and are clearly greater than the sum of their individual parts, with Wiedlin, guitarist/chief songwriter Charlotte Caffey, solidly grooving bassist Kathy Valentine and the hard-hitting drummer Gina Schock putting some genuine punk rock drive behind Belinda Carlisle's still-engaging purr. Even better, the Go-Go's are billed with the adventurous, forward-thinking San Antonio riot-grrl trio Girl in a Coma. —Falling James
JAVELIN, PICTUREPLANE at Central Social Aid & Pleasure Bar; MIA DOI TODD, HOLCOMBE WALLER at the Satellite; OLD 97'S at the Wiltern; THE WEEPIES at Troubadour; JAKE REED GROUP at Blue Whale.
In his personal life, the original drummer for the mighty Meters prefers to be called by his given name of Joseph, but he's always gonna be Zigaboo Modeliste to a legion of fans — from rockers to reggae artists to the creme of sample-hungry old-school hip-hoppers — who acknowledge him as one of the originators of funk. The Mint is one of our favorite small venues and it's an ideal place to get down to this treasure of New Orleans music. Need a stronger endorsement? Just look up Zigaboo's name on Keith Richards' autobiography and watch the man who redefined rock on a metronomic foundation of Charlie Watts gush about that life-changing Meters groove. —Gustavo Turner
@GALAXY CONCERT THEATRE (SANTA ANA)
Being a "band's band" may earn cred and back-catalog sales, but it seldom spells stardom. Hence Brit metal vets Diamond Head find themselves playing Santa Ana's Galaxy Concert Theatre while acts that flaunt their influence, like Metallica (who've covered DH's "Am I Evil?" and "Sucking My Love") and Megadeth (who took DH on tour with them in 2005), could probably buy Santa Ana. On paper, the contemporary Diamond Head, boasting only one original member (guitarist Brian Tatler), seems distant from the band that turned so many hesher heads at the turn of the 1980s. Yet as it was longtime singer Sean Harris' increasing distaste for metal that skewed the band away from its early, ominous sound, today's incarnation (fronted by Nick Tart) in fact allows a return to form. —Paul Rogers
L.A. Phil on Beethoven's Ninth
A writer here at the Weekly once described Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as a very, very big and great beer-drinkin' tune. That's a bit of a stretch; then again, Ludwig Van's celebrated meisterwerk is a piece into which all manner of human experience — joyous, chaotic, randy, exalted and triumphant — can be divined and realigned. The Ninth is a testament to the greatness of one creative soul's reach for the highest ideals in music. It's a real toe-tapper, too, one of the most revolutionary works ever in the realm of rhythmical innovation. Beethoven's Choral Fantasy also is slated for tonight's performance; both works are conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and feature the almighty Los Angeles Master Chorale. —John Payne
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE at Greek Theatre; THE HAPPY HOLLOWS, DIRT DRESS at the Echo.
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