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Music Picks: The Psychedelic Furs, Orgone, Raekwon, Beach Fossils, The Raveonettes

The Pipettes: See Wednesday
PHOTO BY BOB STUART

fri 4/29

Love

@ THE ROXY

[See Page Two.]

 

KDAY'S Krush Groove

@ GIBSON AMPHITHEATRE

As Southern California's old-school rap authority for more than three decades, KDAY has a long tradition of transporting the hip-hop block party to the arena. Headlining is Oakland MC Too $hort, legendary for his lewd rhymes about pimping women, partying on Ecstasy and prolific pot-smoking. It speaks volumes that the cover of his 18th album, Still Blowin', features a spread-eagled model with smoke pouring from her lips. Tough-but-sentimental Queens rapper Ja Rule makes a rare appearance before he begins a two-year prison stint in June for gun possession. Also L.A.'s own gangsta revivalist [Ed.'s note: And legendary Yo Dawg meme subject] Xzibit, who's set to release his first album in five years. But the heart of the party will no doubt be Digital Underground, whose playful, funk-fueled songs owe as much to Slick Rick as they do to P-Funk. —Chris Martins

Curren$y

@ EL REY THEATRE

Patience is a virtue, as the eternally stoned, preternaturally chill Hot Spitta has demonstrated. Beginning his career as a teenager with Master P's No Limit and Lil Wayne's Cash Money Records, the New Orleans rapper eventually decided to fly solo. Producing a slew of sharp mixtapes and albums, and practically inventing a new language ("Pilot Speak" — a slippery blend of stoner and Southern), he's mustered the allegiance of a cult so dedicated, they've started tattooing themselves with his J.E.T.S. (Just Enjoy This Shit) slogan. He just bagged a major-label deal that's keeping him on the ground in his new Ferrari, but there's no pretense with Spitta. After performing as animatedly as the cartoons he loves, he's liable to hop down into the crowd to watch the rest of the show with you. Also Trademark, Young Roddy, Fiend, Corner Boy P. —Rebecca Haithcoat

Also playing Friday:

PATRICK CAMPBELL-LYONS (U.K. NIRVANA) at Stories; GESTAPO KHAZI, RAW GERONIMO at 5 Star Bar; PETER LEWIS, WILLIE ARON, BILL BENTLEY at Pig 'n Whistle; LES BLANKS, RACES at Satellite; VAN ZWEDEN CONDUCTS PROKOFIEV, BEETHOVEN at Walt Disney Concert Hall; GIN BLOSSOMS at Hollywood Park; BLOODSCRIBE at The Blvd.; BITO at Hotel Café; JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD at the Troubadour; SEAN ROWE, GABY MORENO, OLIN & THE MOON at Bootleg Theater; ROYAL BANGS, SUPERHUMANOIDS at the Echo.

 

sat 4/30

Tearist

@ VACATION RECORDS

Album release show.

[See Music feature.]

 

Tindersticks/Claire Denis Films

@ LUCKMAN FINE ARTS COMPLEX

[See Page Two.]

 

Raekwon

@ EL REY THEATRE

This vital Wu-Tang lifer hasn't enjoyed the same spotlit solo status as some of his fellow Staten Island stars, but he's always been a favorite among critics and Wu aficionados. Blessed with a smooth, quietly confident voice and a cool, workmanlike delivery, the Chef is ace at real-time storytelling, spinning gritty street narratives colored by dramatic detail and a flair for the fantastical. His latest album is Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang Clan, which lyrically plays out as a 17-part action film where death-dealing ninjas beef over urban turf with heartless, gun-toting gangsters. Live, all of Wu's disciples are known to play '90s fan favorites, so come ready to shout requests. —Chris Martins

Invasion del Corrido

@ GIBSON AMPHITHEATRE

It's really, really hard to find good information about this sure-to-be-massive event highlighting Northern Mexico's equivalent of gangsta country: extremely popular corrido (rhymed folk songs) acts who memorialize the violent turf wars of local gangs to rhythmic tunes. Bands include Voz de Mando, Calibre 50, Arley Perez, Regulo Caro, Los Mas Buscados, Tito Torbellino and La Odisea. Musica dura para gente aun mas dura. —Gustavo Turner

Trinket, Peachfuzz

@ REDWOOD BAR & GRILL

Trinket's songs are as cute and cuddly as the Chihuahua dogs the local group celebrates on "Happy Right This Second." While former 3 Hole Punch drummer Curt Anderson hammers down the tune's jangling stop-&-start riffs, Heather Stanfield coos endearingly, "This dog is so amazingly small/I'm not sure that technically it's a dog at all." The band might focus on life's similarly small pleasures, but they do it in a way that's utterly charming, as Stanfield gushes with effervescent melodies. Trinket were a beloved part of L.A.'s power-pop underground in the late '90s and perform an unexpected reunion show tonight. They're joined by fellow coed pop stalwarts Peachfuzz, who — as their name implies — have a harder and fuzzier sound that's balanced by peachy Cheap Trick–style hooks. —Falling James

Orgone

@ THE MINT

We love to see shows at the Mint, a laid-back barroom/dance-room venue with bartenders who happen to pour some of the stiffest drinks in town. And when they book a band like Orgone, L.A.'s steady suppliers of the funkiest jazz grooves — or the jazziest funk grooves, take your pick — that's just as good as their occasional salsa nights. Just make sure you get a designated driver, or call a cab, OK? —Gustavo Turner

 

The Psychedelic Furs

@ THE MUSIC BOX

When these Brits get the balance between their midpaced punk roots and later arena ambitions right, their enduring appeal makes total sense. Their stylistic stars perhaps never aligned better than on Talk Talk Talk, which is revisited in its entirety on this tour, followed by a separate, career-spanning set. The album, which spawned (in rerecorded form) their biggest stateside hit, "Pretty in Pink," brought together straight-faced grooves, detached guitars and set-'em-apart sax in bleak yet oddly buoyant ways. But it will always be Richard Butler's leathered larynx that puts food on these vets' table: an instinctively cynical, almost sarcastic sound that can make even potentially crass sentiments like "I Wanna Sleep With You" and "Into You Like a Train" transcend the literal and transmit whole heads-full of youthful anguish. —Paul Rogers

Also playing Saturday:

TWISTED ROOTS at Moonlight Graham; MINDY SMITH at Bootleg Theater; NOCHE DE TANGO at Alex Theatre.

 

sun 5/1

Thao & Mirah

@ THE TROUBADOUR

[See Page Two.]

 

Vivian Girls

@ THE ECHO

[See Page Two.]

 

Rapper Big Pooh

@ KEY CLUB

This member of North Carolina's trailblazing trio Little Brother seemed to stay out of the limelight more than fellow rapper Phonte or producer 9th Wonder. Even the group's official breakup last year brought more attention to Foreign Exchange and Phonte and 9th's feud than to Pooh's burgeoning side projects. But the good-natured rapper's long been providing guest verses for up-and-comers whose names you're just now hearing, like Cali's Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q to one of Detroit's dopest, Black Milk. His official full-length debut, just released this month, features the same molasses-thick, throwback soul-sampling tastiness and purebred hip-hop goodness Little Brother always produced. Mr. Fat Boy Fresh proves real Gs not only move in silence, but with smiles. —Rebecca Haithcoat

Also playing Sunday:

ACCEPT at Galaxy Theatre (Santa Ana); HAUSCHKA at Hollywood Forever Masonic Lodge; SECOND ANNUAL BLUEGRASS SITUATION WITH STEVE MARTIN at Largo; MUDHONEY at the Echoplex; MICHAEL WHITE QUINTET at Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock.

 

mon 5/2

Battles

@ THE ECHO

This New York experimental rock supergroup plays a mercurial mix of styles that's unsurprising considering its membership. Founded by metal drummer John Stanier (Helmet), punk guitarist Ian Williams (Don Caballero), post-rock bass man Dave Konopka (Lynx) and avant-garde guitarist Tyondai Braxton, the outfit specializes in knotty, groove-steeped compositions that massage the mind as much as inspire jerky footwork from their audiences. They have no genre, but "prog" is a good enough catchall for what transpires on their new album, Gloss Drop, an epic, sometimes harrowing, often beautiful set of deeply textured tunes featuring guest vocals from Gary Numan and Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino. —Chris Martins

Also playing Monday:

TAYLOR LOCKE & THE ROUGHS at Silverlake Lounge; WHITE ARROWS at Bootleg Theater; THE COAL PORTERS at Cinema Bar.

 

tues 5/3

Beach Fossils, Craft Spells

@ THE ECHO

As the Brooklyn band's handle might suggest, Beach Fossils have perfected a surfy brand of easy-rolling indie rock that harkens back to an older, less genre-muddled time. Their new EP, What a Pleasure, also is aptly named, offering listeners a dip into a cool pool of lightly reverbed vocals, clean guitars and upbeat rhythms — cf. similarly monikered Beach Boys–following buzz bands like Surfer Blood and Best Coast. Stockton's Craft Spells whip up an equally catchy elixir, but theirs borrows heavily from '80s synth-pop acts like New Order, even if the emotional quotient — wistful, lonely, romantic — is a bit more Joy Division. —Chris Martins

TV on the Radio

@ THE MUSIC BOX

As you've no doubt read by now, New York's TV on the Radio recorded their new Nine Types of Light here in L.A.; this week they're back in town for the final gig of their current North American tour. You're also likely to have heard Light presents a somewhat mellower take on the TVOTR sound. Though that's in large part true — "Killer Crane," for instance, comes complete with chamber-folk banjo licks — the music is no less emotionally vibrant than the band's louder, punkier stuff (which they're sure to play at the Music Box). Given the death last week of bassist Gerard Smith, who'd been sitting out this tour after being diagnosed with lung cancer, it seems safe to expect even more feeling tonight. With local electro-pop lady Glasser. —Mikael Wood

Also playing Tuesday:

LEON RUSSELL at El Rey Theatre; LOVERS at Silverlake Lounge; ALBERTA CROSS at Satellite; DREDG at Key Club.

 

wed 5/4

VDSQ Vinyl With Chris Brokaw, Allen Karpinski, Mark McGuire, Joshua Blatchley, Matthew Mullane

@ SHOW CAVE

Steve Lowenthal is the man behind VDSQ (Vin du Select Qualitite), a label resurrecting the crackly glories of solo acoustic guitar performance as it was meant to be experienced: on high-quality vinyl (though you can buy the VDSQ releases digitally as well). This showcase features almost the entire VDSQ roster minus Thurston Moore, also an acoustic ax fella of considerable skill and novel approach. Each of tonight's players brings a rich oddness to the instrument, shaking the cliché dust off the American folk guitar with mindsets that boiled up from the post-rock, post–folk-country-blues of Indian and African music and the furthest extremes of the European and American avant garde. Their apparent spiritual godfather, John Fahey (whose biography Lowenthal is currently writing), would smile at these channels to the unknown. —John Payne

 

Cass McCombs, Frank Fairfield, Residual Echoes

@ THE TROUBADOUR

Nomadic songsmith McCombs may not have a home to call his own, but his songs are firmly rooted in the songbooks of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. On his acclaimed new album, Wit's End, he coos evocative personal poetry over a slowly unfolding bed of acoustic guitar, slight drumming, piano and harpsichord. His is a light touch, but each note and syllable seem perfectly placed for maximum impact — it's a deeply rewarding trick that begs to be witnessed in person. L.A.'s Frank Fairfield is a one-man band making old-timey music via fiddle, banjo and guitar, and singing in a voice that sounds plucked from the Dust Bowl. Local folksy experimentalists Residual Echoes open. —Chris Martins

The Pipettes

@ THE SATELLITE

The British pop group has undergone a lot of changes since starting in 2003. For one thing, none of the original singers is still in the band, which is now fronted by Gwenno Saunders and sister Ari. But Gwenno has tons of vibrant personality on the duo's second album, Earth vs. the Pipettes, and she's an effectively affecting young diva on such frothy guilty pleasures as "I Need a Little Time" and "Our Love Was Saved by Spacemen." Disco beats are fused with an electro-pop sheen, and the resulting confections are ebulliently danceable. The new album isn't as guilelessly appealing as the 2006 debut, We Are the Pipettes, and the backing instrumentation occasionally sounds robotically mechanical, but the pure sugar rush of Gwenno's vocals justifies everything. [Ed.'s note: Yeah, but we still miss Rose Elinor Dougall, by far the best thing about the '06 Pipettes and a precocious genius with the Etch A Sketch to boot — YouTube it!] —Falling James

Charles Bradley & Menahan St. Band

@ THE ECHO

Clear your calendar, and get here. You've probably heard the 62-year-old Brooklyn-based singer on yuppie public radio, but don't let that fool ya. This man's sound reminds us of the best moonshine-soaked, sweat-drenched Mississippi juke joint we were lucky enough to frequent. Don't miss it. —Rebecca Haithcoat

Also playing Wednesday:

CHRIS CORNELL at John Anson Ford Theater; ROBERT FRANCIS, RHETT MILLER at the Autry Museum; THE DONKEYS, SOCIAL STUDIES at Bootleg Theater; HOT DOLLA, ROB ROY at Key Club.

 

thu 5/5

Sun Araw, DâM-FunK, Vex Ruffin, Matthewdavid, Master Blazter

@ THE SMELL

It's all melting down in bizarre new ways: People are taking a fresh look at "rock" music — and its offshoots into beats/turntables and crappy old synths and guitars and software and microphones — and tearing it a whole new ear hole. Austin/Long Beach homie Cameron Stallones records and plays solo as Sun Araw and as a member of the harsh head trip known as Magic Lantern. He can pull out a most mesmerizing, shroomy echo-guitar trance epicry cross-pastiched with a mutant strain of '70s Top 40 radio. Sound splicer Matthewdavid makes wicked beats mate with heavily tape-delayed field recordings and ratty old cassettes of ancient R&B sounds. Also gnarly "rock & roll" and your basic Fear of a Stooges Planet from Vex Ruffin and Master Blazter. —John Payne

The Raveonettes

@ THE TROUBADOUR

The long-running fuzz-garage revivalists update their sound ever so slightly on Raven in the Grave, wrapping their Spectorian guitar blare in chilly goth-gaze synth drones that make you think of Siouxsie Sioux more than of anybody on the Back to Mono box set. The group's new vibe is a kind of response to having been more or less ripped off by the likes of Best Coast and Vivian Girls; seems a little unseemly, if you ask us, which doesn't mean it's not true. With San Francisco–based Tamaryn, who's part of the same loosely affiliated crew responsible for Best Coast's Crazy for You. Yep. Also May 6. —Mikael Wood

The Corin Tucker Band

@ THE SATELLITE

While Corin Tucker is best known as the former lead singer of riot-grrl paragons Sleater-Kinney, she has somewhat bravely reinvented herself on her debut solo album, 1,000 Years. With Sleater-Kinney, Tucker had a famously fierce banshee wail that was as searing as it was soulful. Her vocals are still just as powerful, but she's infused subtler shadings in her delivery. Her singing is more varied and nuanced on songs like "Half a World Away" and "Miles Away," whose titles hint at Tucker's themes of wanderlust and romantic dislocation. Such punky tracks as "Riley" and "Doubt" recall her Sleater-Kinney heyday, but there's also a newfound roots-rock exploration in gentler idylls like "It's Always Summer." The moody grandeur of the echoing piano ballad "Thrift Store Coats" is especially moving. —Falling James

 

Atmosphere

@ FOX THEATER

The Purple One's not the only musician from the Mini-Apple taking over SoCal. Rapper Slug and DJ Ant, who've been hyping underground hip-hop since 1989, bring their raucous live show — to which they credit their commercially successful indie rap empire — to Pomona. Underground fans are the most loyal, and they know the only "selling out" Atmosphere does is shows. —Rebecca Haithcoat

Also playing Thursday:

CHRIS CORNELL at John Anson Ford Theater; GRANT LEE BUFFALO at Largo; CLOUDLAND CANYON at Silverlake Lounge; CALEXICO, SERGIO MENDOZA Y ORK at the Echoplex.

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