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Music Picks: The War on Drugs, Trentemøller, Kid Ink

Kid Ink

PHOTO BY ESTEVAN ORIOL/RCA RECORDSKid Ink

fri 4/4

The War on Drugs

TROUBADOUR

Nothing worthwhile or practical ever came out of the "War on Drugs" hysteria until 2005, when a group of friends in Philadelphia borrowed the phrase to christen their mellow, indie-rock band. Whereas Nancy Reagan reduced the battle to a simplistic slogan ("Just say no"), singer-guitarist Adam Granduciel speaks more cryptically and poetically on The War on Drugs' third album, Lost in the Dream. Beyond the album's title, a feeling of dreamy, bittersweet longing courses through the record, as Granduciel muses, "Feel the way the wild wind blows through the room/Like a nail gun through the heart." Although former guitarist Kurt Vile helped give the group its early push, it has always been Granduciel's red-eyed vision that sets them apart. Also Saturday, April 5. —Falling James

Diana Krall

VALLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Canadian-born Diana Krall has become one of the most popular artists in jazz over the last two decades by stamping onto jazz standards her personal style as a pianist and chanteuse, selling more than 15 million albums worldwide and winning two Grammy Awards. For her latest record, Glad Rag Doll, Krall reaches back into the 1920s and '30s for what Grammy- and Oscar-winning producer T Bone Burnett calls "sex music," songs Krall says her grandmother introduced her to at the piano just as she was becoming a teenager. Krall describes her current tour as "vaudeville theater" — Boardwalk Empire lead Steve Buscemi appears in a silent film–style video for the album's final number. —Tom Meek

Cheetah Chrome

WHISKY A GO GO

Over the decades, The Dead Boys' feral-pharaoh anthem "Sonic Reducer" has been covered by everyone from Guns N' Roses to Backbiter and sampled by the Beastie Boys, making the rabid tune the punk generation's equivalent to "Louie Louie." Much of the song's raw power came straight from guitarist Cheetah Chrome, who recorded it with a distinctively thick, meaty tone. The former Eugene O'Connor started out in the shadowy proto-punk ensemble Rocket From the Tombs and has collaborated with Jeff Dahl, New York Dolls' Sylvain Sylvain, The Blackhearts and Texas Terri. Interestingly for such a wild man, Mr. Chrome also has the range to back such gentler chanteuses as Nico and Ronnie Spector. Also at Spike's Bar, Sunday, April 6. —Falling James

sat 4/5

Rhye

WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

Rhye's Robin Hannibal has a way with vocalists. As the mastermind behind not only Rhye but also Quadron, the Danish-born, Los Angeles–based Hannibal creates soundtracks for seduction. On Rhye's debut, Woman, the title is the focus of these compositions — that is, the complete disarming and disrobing of the same. Woman draws from any sounds that lend themselves to sensuality: soft R&B beats, swooning strings, sultry vocals. On "One of Those Summer Days," Michael Milosh's sublime, androgynous voice is supported by a summery saxophone. In contrast, "Hunger" is more upbeat but keeps the seduction goal in mind. It's the sweeping strings of "Open" and the swooning grooves of "3 Days" that close the deal. —Lily Moayeri

Behemoth

HOUSE OF BLUES

Polish death-metal titans Behemoth celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut this year with the release of their newest work, The Satanist. Bandleader Nergal has long taken great pride in constructing a sound that's as much about atmosphere as brutality. On The Satanist, the trio continues to bludgeon listeners with sheer force, but its newest effort features an increase in moshable groove, a change in direction that has led to falls from grace for lesser bands (see: Metallica, Sepultura). But instead of relying on the groove to carry their sound, Behemoth layer it in to relieve the tension of their otherwise relentless approach. Nergal is now three years removed from a battle with leukemia. Conquering that beast has only strengthened his resolve to push the boundaries of death metal. —Jason Roche

Trentemøller

THE FONDA THEATRE

Anders Trentemøller's unrivaled gumbo of thematically dark, minimal techno, house and haunting, pop-tinged indie rock has made him a fixture on the global music landscape. The Copenhagen native, who got his start as one half of live house act Trigbag with DJ T.O.M., has created a signature sound, which has been featured regularly at festivals such as Glastonbury and Roskilde, as well as in the playlists of some of the world's most celebrated DJs. His acoustic experimentation yielded the development of his five-piece band, which is scheduled to be in tow for this engagement. Trentemøller's latest effort, 2013's Lost, was released on his In My Room imprint and features appearances by The Drums' Jonny Pierce and The Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner. Tonight's all-ages show also features DJ T.O.M. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley

sun 4/6

Kid Ink

HOUSE OF BLUES

Kid Ink returns home a conquering hero. After releasing a slew of mixtapes and an album on his own, the rapper inked a deal with RCA last year. The resulting marriage has catapulted the 27-year-old local favorite into the mainstream. Between his first single, "Bad Ass," and the platinum-selling radio hit "Show Me," on which he joined forces with Chris Brown and DJ Mustard, the rapper born Brian Todd Collins has established himself as one of L.A.'s fastest-rising emcees. The January release of his second full-length, My Own Lane, won him further plaudits, even if the sound is more commercial than longtime fans are accustomed to. Regardless, Kid Ink has managed to balance a burgeoning mainstream appeal while staying true to his underground roots. —Daniel Kohn

The Magic Band

TROUBADOUR

When first encountering the bizarre puzzle box of sounds emitted by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band in the late 1960s and '70s, casual listeners often assume that the inverted chords, cramped tempos and grunted rants were just a lot of random doodling dashed off by drugged-out hippies. The truth, of course, was that the late Captain, aka Don Van Vliet, worked out each intricately complex part for his group, and he had a reputation for being just as much of a perfectionist and strict disciplinarian as James Brown. His aptly named Magic Band had to be composed of fantastic musicians who were simultaneously patient and wildly inventive, such as singer-drummer John "Drumbo" French and bassist Mark "Rockette Morton" Boston, who lead a revelatory version of the old gang tonight. —Falling James

mon 4/7

Mystic Braves, Froth

THE ECHO

Underneath that bridge where Sunset crosses Glendale in Echo Park is a little storefront called Lolipop Records, and if at night you ever see strange lights or hear funny sounds there, don't worry — there's probably just a band inside, reinventing teenage psychedelic rock for yet another wild-eyed new generation. Latest on deck are Mystic Braves, who started out somewhere on the Allah-Las/Growlers axis of moody '60s weirdodelica but whose forthcoming Desert Island LP — set to be released at the end of April — finds the Braves bearing down with a darker, heavier sound. Helping kick off the Braves' April residency tonight is flagship Lolipop band Froth, Brian Jonestown babies who recently followed up an excursion into high fashion (courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent) by releasing a standout LP of their own. —Chris Ziegler

tue 4/8

Jenny Hval, Mark McGuire

THE CHURCH ON YORK

Norway's Jenny Hval is a provocateur, a young artist-musician-writer who uses an arresting voice and an unusually keen intellect to make complex yet accessible art-pop on her recent Innocence Is Kinky (Rune Grammofon). The album is a densely woven skewering of pop's normal subject matter, given maximum heft by the quietly subversive Hval's pithy perspectives on mythology, mass media and sexual identity. There are both surrealist stream of consciousness and cunningly contrived exactitude in Hval and her work, heightened by her elfin matter-of-factness. A former member of Cleveland's premier drone kings, Emeralds, guitarist-producer Mark McGuire has just released Along the Way (Dead Oceans), an ambitious concept record delineating an inner journey to enlightenment via entrancing, melodic guitar and electronics. —John Payne

wed 4/9

Arsonists Get All the Girls

COBALT CAFÉ

Even in the alcohol-free Cobalt Café, this Santa Cruz quintet will be the aural equivalent of a spiked drink: a disconcertingly psychedelic, ADHD mash-up of a decade's worth of extreme metal substrains delivered with mortifying bile. Relentless gunship kick drums and supersaturated swarms of down-tuned guitars somehow couple with trippy synth subplots on their fifth full-length, Listen to the Color, but it's the utterly committed, multipersonality performance of returned vocalist Remi Rodberg (AGATG has had at least 19 members in its nine years) that seals the self-released effort as such a restless, irreverent joy. With proggy, experimental expressions for (and by) an ultra-impatient smartphone generation, Arsonists Get All the Girls distill every contemporary metal tour that will come through Los Angeles this year into a single set. —Paul Rogers

thu 4/10

The Watkins Family Hour

LARGO AT THE CORONET

The Watkins Family Hour is composed of siblings Sean and Sara Watkins (of bluegrass giants Nickel Creek), plus whichever of their friends happens to feel like dropping by for the night. Of course, their friends are a little more unusual than most folks', and much more than an hour is needed when such pals as Fiona Apple, Michael Nesmith, Mindy Smith, Chris Thile, Jackson Browne and Benmont Tench show up unannounced at the Watkinses' monthly jamboree. The siblings make such perfect hosts — joking and harmonizing casually with their guests, with Sara stirring up mournfully eloquent accompaniment on fiddle and Sean strumming deceptively intricate bluegrass runs on acoustic guitar — that you might overlook how brilliant their own songwriting and charismatic vocals are, as on Sara's recent beguiling, country-laced album, Sun Midnight Sun. —Falling James

Kid Ink: See Sunday.

PHOTO BY ESTEVAN ORIOL/RCA RECORDSKid Ink: See Sunday.