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Music Picks: Youngblood Hawke, Tennis, Robby Krieger

Spindrift: See Saturday.
Spindrift: See Saturday.

fri 1/10

Youngblood Hawke

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

L.A.'s Youngblood Hawke launched their biggest hit single back in 2012, and in the first days of 2014 it's still going strong. "We Come Running" is the kind of song that plays when you look up "anthemic" in an online dictionary. It's got every pop trick working at once, like the shoot-for-the-stars chorus and the chant-along whoa-oh-ohs and the church bells chiming every time a chord changes, and that doesn't even include the unassailably timeless message about never giving up or giving in or something similarly and relentlessly positive. (Does it make Foster the People sound like Black Flag's My War? Well maybe not quite, but...) They're teasing a new single online, and if that makes it out this year, it'll be on repeat play until at least 2016. —Chris Ziegler

Michael Kiwanuka

HOTEL CAFÉ

Van Morrison, Terry Callier, Bill Withers and Otis Redding are some of the comparisons 26-year-old British singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka draws. Produced by Band of Bees' Paul Butler, his 2012 debut, Home Again, is vintage folk-soul-jazz realized through brushed drums, crisp strings and smooth woodwinds. Kiwanuka's gentle soul spirit and accessible lyrical sentiments make for a warm conduit to his old-school appeal, highlighted on the weathered "Tell Me a Tale." While "retro" has become a bad word where music is concerned, and granted, Kiwanuka isn't breaking any barriers, in its rootsy-cum-gospel setting, his sensitivity and earnestness ring true. Tonight, in a rare, intimate, acoustic show — where Kiwanuka's talents and affability are best displayed — he road-tests new material for his next album while he shops for producers on stateside coasts. —Lily Moayeri

sat 1/11

Tennis

THE SATELLITE

Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley don't overthink it. The husband-and-wife duo launched its Denver band, Tennis, through a series of deliberate decisions and have made a name for it through soft, simple and sunny melodies, the kind that invoke acts such as Vampire Weekend and Mates of State and things like the beach and lying on it. They fell in love in college, sailed the Eastern Seaboard after graduation and captured the adventure for their nautical-themed debut, Cape Dory. Originally written for them alone, the album quickly found an audience outside Denver and inspired a follow-up, Young & Old, which was written for the wider world and emboldened via production by The Black Keys' Patrick Carney. Back in Colorado now, the couple and drummer James Barone changed pace, and record labels, in November with the release of Small Sound, a five-song EP that again rocks their retro-inspired boat without really tipping it over. —Kelsey Whipple

Spindrift, Spirit Vine

ALEX'S BAR

Ever since singer-guitarist Kirpatrick Thomas relocated his band, Spindrift, from his native Delaware to Los Angeles in 2001, the group's music has evolved and mutated, taking on the character of the Southwest. Thomas' songs are fused together from spaghetti Western films, hard-rock psychedelia and old singing-cowboy ballads with such a dramatic, cinematic grandeur that they become the perfect themes for imaginary Westerns (to paraphrase the 1969 song title by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown). But Spindrift soundtracks aren't completely imaginary, as their 2013 album, Ghost of the West, precedes the upcoming release of a movie filmed while the band toured ghost towns across the Western United States. Echo Park enchanters Spirit Vine also have a trippy and heavy sound, although lead singer Jacquelinne Cingolani replaces Spindrift's tumbling tumbleweeds with spooky goth imprecations and stirring, hard-rock power. —Falling James

sun 1/12

Denny Laine

McCABE'S

While not a marquee name, Denny Laine has earned the Rock Royalty tag for his connections to loads of great English classic rock dating back to the '60s. The Birmingham singer-guitarist formed Denny Laine & the Diplomats with future Move/ELO drummer Bev Bevan and then went on to form The Moody Blues, singing their smash hit "Go Now." When his old mate Paul McCartney asked him to join Wings in 1971, Laine was in, and during his 10-year stretch he played, sang and co-wrote many of the band's best tunes. Though he has performed in myriad other combos over the years, including a stint with Ginger Baker's Air Force, Laine is a bit more than a talented sideman; in fact, he's a singing-songwriting ace who has done several excellent (and underappreciated) solo albums. Tonight, he and his crack band perform Wings' Band on the Run in its entirety; there'll be an opening set by The Records' John Wicks and Debbi Peterson of The Bangles. —John Payne

mon 1/13

Miles Mosley

VIPER ROOM

Referred to by music aficionados as the Jimi Hendrix of the upright bass, Miles Mosley is a force in the local music world and beyond. The virtuoso honed his technical skills at the world-renowned Colburn School and, after studying music at UCLA, went on to become an in-demand session musician. Mosley has shared stages with heavyweights including Herbie Hancock, Lauryn Hill and Mos Def. He probably is best remembered by local audiences, however, for his stellar performances alongside L.A. jazz fixture Kamasi Washington, Ryan Porter, Cameron Graves and Tony Austin in the collaborative project The West Coast Get Down. His unmatched synthesis of jazz, rock, pop and R&B may be witnessed weekly at Hollywood music haunt the Piano Bar. —Jacqueline Michael Whatley

 

tue 1/14

Tall Tales & the Silver Lining

LOS GLOBOS

Local alt-country combo Tall Tales & the Silver Lining are led by Inland Empire bard Trevor Beld-Jimenez, who infuses his folksy tunes with plenty of Americana and a hint of dusty poetry. "Through the limbs of a crooked sky, I was burnt by the glow of the sunrise," he croons amiably like a young Jackson Browne. As waves begin "crashing all around my way," Tim Ramsey's pedal-steel guitar perks up and begins to tangle with Evan apRoberts' lead guitar, culminating in a sparkling, Crazy Horse–style rave-up. Tales released their debut album, Nice to Meet You Again, in 2011, before they recorded a series of "Seasonal Singles" to mark the change of seasons. Tonight, the band continues its weekly residency at Los Globos. —Falling James

Earle Mankey Appreciation Night

THE TROUBADOUR

Earle Mankey is one of the great unsung heroes of SoCal rock & roll. He would be noteworthy if only for his participation in the first lineup of Sparks in the early 1970s, when he played guitar alongside his bassist-brother, James Mankey. But Earle has since made a bigger name for himself as an especially intuitive and savvy producer and engineer, recording dozens of classic albums for such performers as The Runaways, The Three O'Clock, The Dickies, Possum Dixon, The Beach Boys, Helen Reddy and The Quick, not to mention most of the releases by James Mankey's group, Concrete Blonde. Earle conjures distinctively forceful and lively snare-drum and guitar sounds, and, as Concrete Blonde leader Johnette Napolitano once pointed out, he somehow makes even non-musician amateurs sound like dreamy chanteuses. Although Earle often is associated with such power-pop stylists as Wednesday Week, Kristian Hoffman, The Pop, The Cherry Bluestorms and '60s-revivalists like The Tearaways and The Long Ryders, tonight's diverse bill includes harder and heavier acts like Pat Todd & the Rankoutsiders. —Falling James

wed 1/15

The Eagles

THE FORUM

Is there a better band than The Eagles to usher in the grand reopening of one of the city's most legendary rock venues? With hell having frozen over for the quartet nearly two decades ago (with their reformation in 1994 after a 14-year breakup), the rockers bring their feel-good, classically SoCal sound back to the place where it all began. While The Eagles are in the victory-lap period of their career, they've learned to put aside their internal problems to become an arena staple on the nostalgia-tour circuit. But there's nothing wrong with that. At this point, the fact that Don Henley, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit are even in the same building, let alone sharing a stage, is a victory in itself. Also Jan. 17, 18, 22, 24, 25. —Daniel Kohn

thu 1/16

The Crystal Method 

THE EL REY

It's taken 20 years, four albums and 10 unexpected days in intensive care —thanks to complications in prying what the doctors call a "benign posterior fossa arachnoid cyst" out of Scott Kirkland's skull — but storied L.A. electronic duo The Crystal Method have finally finished their much-anticipated new full-length, which will be released (or maybe more correctly "unleashed") at this El Rey show. Featuring guest spots from The Voice favorite Dia Frampton, country-pop singer LeAnn Rimes and one of Kirkland's beeping catheters, the new self-titled TCM album is all about going beyond the beyond. Kirkland didn't quite come back from the other side, but this album certainly is an attempt to peek over the edge. —Chris Ziegler

Robby Krieger

THE WHISKY

It's fitting that former Doors guitarist Robby Krieger is making the scene tonight during the Whisky A Go Go's monthlong celebration of its 50th anniversary. The Doors were one of the club's key house bands during its heyday in the 1960s, helping to invent and define a California sound that was markedly different from and more bracingly adventurous than the stiff-limbed R&B approximations of the early British Invasion bands. Of course, there's more than a little irony that Krieger is being feted here now as a classic-rock god, many decades after owner Phil Tanzini infamously fired The Doors when Jim Morrison dared to sing the Oedipal lyrics to "The End." Krieger's spidery and swirling solos imbued The Doors' songs with much of their febrile exoticism. One of the other ironies about this free-spirited, jazz-minded guitarist is that for years he's been locked into turgidly nostalgic and increasingly diluted Doors revivals. Perhaps he'll break on through tonight into something truly unexpected. —Falling James

 

Carina Round

BOOTLEG THEATER

In the wake of her disarmingly cathartic 2003 sophomore album, The Disconnection, L.A.-based British songstress Carina Round had a major maybe-go-mainstream buzz, her visceral and bleak bluesy rock being mentioned in the same breath as PJ Harvey and Nick Cave. After a bid-for-the–big time follow-up produced by star-maker Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette etc.) didn't quite deliver, she has settled into seemingly perennial off-piste hipness (including fronting alt-country side project Early Winters and stints with Maynard James Keenan's Puscifer), which is less than her distinctive yet diverse output deserves. Round's long-awaited fourth full-length, 2012's defiantly eclectic Tigermending, swaggers unpredictably but always purposefully around alternately grainy and glacial vocals while, in refusing to people-please, only pleasing all the more. —Paul Rogers

Spindrift: See Saturday.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ACTION! PR

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