MORE

Rock Picks

{mosimage}THURSDAY, MAY 3

Linda Ronstadt at USC’s Bovard Auditorium

Back in the late ’70s, when Elvis Costello was first trying to prove what an angry young man he was by racially insulting folks like Ray Charles and James Brown, he also trashed Linda Ronstadt for daring to record a straightforward, perfectly lovely version of his fairly mainstream ballad “Alison.” Ronstadt was an easy target for the not-exactly-punk Costello, but she clearly has had the last laugh, expanding her musical range since then to encompass jazz and pop standards — long before he (and many other aging rockers) got the same idea. Unlike Costello, she can still belt out these classics with radiant charisma and awesome vocal power, and her aim is just as true when she slips into her various mariachi, folk, country and rock & roll personas. Fact is, we’re lucky to have her, especially since a sudden illness kept her from touring much of last year. Tonight, in a special benefit for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles’ Schools Outreach program, she’ll play her own set then join the chorus for some lush and lively tunes by the likes of Billy Strayhorn. (Falling James)

Also playing Thursday:

CALIFONE, ERIC JOHNSON, THE ONE A.M. RADIO at Malibu Performing Arts Center; CIRCLE JERKS, 400 BLOWS at the Echo; TIM FINN at Largo; MEMPHIS at the Troubadour.

FRIDAY, MAY 4

{mosimage}Kinky at El Rey Theatre

Kinky come from a land down under — Monterrey, Mexico, to be precise — to blur rock, funk, rap and electronica into a bright-&-flashy soundtrack for modern dance-floor explorations. On their third album, 2006’s Reina, Gilberto Cerezo switches easily from Spanish-language tracks like the rubbery groove of “¿A Dónde Van Los Muertos?” (featuring serene guest vocals from Ely Guerra) to such dub-wise funky moods as “How Do They Do That?” with its insistently catchy English refrain. The opening song, “Sister Twisted,” is a quintessentially Kinky collision of traditional Latin accordion and Cesar Pliego’s serpentine bass mixed with outer-space sound effects, while “I Say Hey” is a high-stepping number spliced with urgent hip-hop asides and breathy-cool femme backup vocals. The new CD was recorded in the mountains of Southern California, where work was delayed when a mudslide crashed into their studio. (Cerezo has said that being surrounded by so much mud was like being inside a giant chocolate cake at a quinceañera celebration, which inspired the album title Reina.) Appropriately enough, these kings of the wild frontier are headlining tonight at El Rey. (Falling James)

{mosimage}The Sixth Chamber at Safari Sam’s

Despite their intricately tangled guitar riffs and pummeling heaviness, the Sixth Chamber are more than just another hard-rock band. The local quartet claim that they’re influenced by Edgar Allan Poe, the Black Panthers’ Bobby Seale, Timothy Leary, defense attorney William Kunstler, Henry Miller, abnormal psychology, shamanism and “consciousness alteration” just as much as they are by psychedelic rock and Black Sabbath. They say they’re inspired by the movies of Roman Polanski — and yet the cover of their new self-titled EP (on Novokkane Recordings) features sensual artwork by imprisoned Charles Manson affiliate Bobby Beausoleil. Clearly, there’s a lot going on with this ambitious group. Sevan Kand howls with a wild-eyed, from-the-mountaintop kind of rock evangelism, firmly supported by drummer Michael Ferrara and bassist Joshua Soto’s mighty bedrock of Led Zep–style rhythms. Guitarist Rahne Pistor slathers “Secret Lovers Land” with a wash of exotic slide guitar and deft psychedelic licks, while Kand croons ominously until the song is swept out to sea on a rising metallic tide. It’s all good stuff — even if it’s not clear how they really feel about Sharon Tate. (Falling James)

Also playing Friday:

ELENI MANDELL, ERIN McKEOWN, MELISSA FERRICK at Malibu Performing Arts Center; IMA ROBOT, FUSSIBLE & HIPERBOREAL at Natural History Museum; MANIC HISPANIC at Galaxy Theatre; MEDIA BLITZ, THE FLUFFER, THIRD GRADE TEACHER at the Airliner; SEA WOLF, THE BIRD & THE BEE, LITTLE ONES, DENGUE FEVER at the Echo’s Echoplex; AGNOSTIC FRONT at Knitting Factory; 8-BIT at the Scene; AUTUMNS, SUGARPLASTIC at Spaceland; RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT at Barnsdall Gallery Theater, 6:45 p.m.

SATURDAY, MAY 5

Stagecoach Country Music Festival at Empire Polo Field

This redneck riposte to Coachella is a long-overdue proposition, and them down-home folks at Goldenvoice have done a pretty fair job rounding up scads of big-hat-topped Nashville cats, bluegrass banjo bangers, sunbaked cowboy & Westerners, and a heaping helping of those earnest “alt-country” groaners. Mounted on an extravagant scale, up to and including George Strait, the singer whose almost unprepossessing image and low-key “aw, shucks” style has won him the greatest success, non-Garth division, in recent country history. Too, there’s godawful chart-buster Kenny Chesney, boot-scootin’ kingpins Brooks & Dunn, and, as happy counterpoint, ganja-fortified Outlaw overlord Willie Nelson and his longtime cohort Kris Kristofferson, artists both more than able to supply the soulful, after-hours gravity that seems to elude the aforementioned top draws. With guit-steel demon Junior Brown, veteran Western boss Red Steagall (“Party Dolls & Wine”!!!), bluegrass trailblazer Earl Scruggs, there’s something for everyone (except, damn it, Merle Haggard fans). Starts at noon. Also Sun. 81800 Avenue 51, Indio. www.stagecoachfestival.com. (Jonny Whiteside)

Hullabaloo featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eddie Vedder, Charlie Haden, Ditty Bops, Rob Zabrecky, Mickey Avalon at Henry Fonda Theater

Once upon a time, a smiley, gap-toothed man looked around at his riches. His gigantic unicorn collection in the north wing of his sprawling Malibu mansion with too many bathrooms was the result of a hard-won career doing what he loved — playing music. He felt lucky. And happy. But at the same time he felt sad because he knew that there were many gap-toothed, scrappy children whose parents weren’t able to give them music lessons. Then he remembered his nonprofit Silverlake Conservatory of Music, which provides scholarships to more than 100 low-income students whose families would otherwise be unable to afford instruments and/or lessons. So he (you’ve figured out who I’m talking about by now, I hope) invited pals like Eddie Vedder, Charlie Haden, Ditty Bops, Woody Harrelson, along with students and faculty of the SCM, and other special guests. Your $250 ticket includes a light buffet and an open bar. Magician Rob Zabrecky will conduct a silent auction that features paintings by Damien Hirst. For $500, you can also enjoy a performance by Mickey Avalon on the roof. The end. (Libby Molyneaux)

{mosimage}Johanna Went at Track 16 Gallery

Johanna Went executes the first of three weekly live actions at Track 16 alongside her concurrent exhibition, “Ablutions of a Nefarious Nature.” A pioneer of confrontational performance art in Los Angeles punk clubs from the dawn of the scene through the ’80s with then-local players like Z’EV, Greg Burk and the Wheaton Brothers, Went hasn’t appeared much in public recently. Fortunately, this exhibition also anticipates her Club Years DVD (Soleilmoon), a decade of filmed live assaults presented with the CD re-release of her Posh Boy LP, Hyena. Her dis-concerts are riveting car-crash fever-dreams that burp unidentifiable substances on your clothing and reveal her prostrate and struggling form splayed across the gallery floor, looking more like modern art than a body. For the uninitiated: Shit, meet fan. Fan, this is the audience. You folks just sit back and feel the breeze. 2525 Michigan Ave., No. C-1, Santa Monica. Call for resv., (310) 264-4678. www.track16.com/exhibitions/johanna_went/index.html. (David Cotner)

To Live and Shave in L.A. at the Smell

Resurgent after years lost to never-released CD-Rs and a backlog of mothballed demos, To Live and Shave in L.A. will descend on the very city their name invokes like a delirious swarm of frantic locusts. Led by the none-more-anonymously-named Tom Smith, TLASILA actually hail from Florida, though they packed up and settled in Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon to record 2006’s comeback Noon and Eternity. Among the contributors joining Smith and TLASILA regulars like circuit-gnawing Rat Bastard and oscillation-handler Ben Wolcott for the sessions were Thurston Moore, Don Fleming and Andrew WK. Nearly operatic in its girth and intensity, each of Noon and Eternity’s four epics has the gargantuan drift of unmoored continents and the startling wallop of plate tectonics. But live TLASILA shear away any insulation and let pure electricity blare dangerously hot. They become a writhing, indiscernible mass of moving parts. Helming the horde, Smith actually sings, a rarity among the hoarse-throated belches favored by noiseniks. He’s the gloppy glue holding together the razor edges of these shattered collages. Also at Pehrspace, Sun. (Bernardo Rondeau)

Also playing Saturday:

MANIC HISPANIC at Galaxy Theatre; THROWRAG, GENERATORS at Blue Cafe; SOUND OF THE BLUE HEART at Boardner’s; JERRY GARCIA BAND at Fais Do-Do; Z’EV at Il Corral; MOONLIGHT CRUISERS, PEP TORRES, CALAVERA at Knitting Factory; LOS ABANDONED at Safari Sam’s; FROG EYES, ALEX DELIVERY at Spaceland; QUETZAL, CAVA at Temple Bar; MELISSA FERRICK, ERIN McKEOWN at the Troubadour; ALICE BAG, DIOS MALOS, LYSA FLORES, OLLIN, REVOLTS at Rec Center Studios; CYPRESS HILL at Vault 350.

SUNDAY, MAY 6

{mosimage}Puttanesca, Pelicanman at SASSAS benefit at Blast!

“I’m a firecracker girl . . . hanging out in the girls’ room getting high,” chanteuse Weba Garretson confesses over guitarist Joe Baiza’s hazy arpeggios on Puttanesca’s new self-titled CD on Catasonic Records. Bassist Ralph Gorodetsky and drummer Wayne Griffin kick up a restlessly jazzy racket behind her, the sexual tension builds, and it feels like something’s going to blow as Garretson brags about chasing bad boys: “I got the wick deep down in my pocket.” Guest flutist Vince Meghrouni and trumpeter Kevin Mason send out smoky signals over “Red Haired Woman” while Garretson’s blue vocals blend into the ether. The torchy vibe gives way to the crosstown traffic of “Here I Come,” where Garretson’s defiant wailing (“I’m a living organism!”) duels with busy horns and Baiza’s angular shards of frantic guitar. The album even closes with a playfully sensual version of Captain Beefheart’s “Lick My Decals Off, Baby.” Puttanesca will be putting on their anti-hits this evening to benefit SASSAS’ summer concert series, “Sound,” joined by theatrically trippy art rockers My Barbarian, and Pelicanman, yet another project from ubiquitous bassist Mike Watt (the Minutemen, the Stooges), paired here with airy singer Petra Haden. At a private Brentwood residence, 4-8 p.m.; $75 (directions provided with ticket purchase). (323) 960-5723. www.sassas.org/blast. See Hoopla. (Falling James)

Jaimi Shuey at the Echo

“I spent most of my teenage years in coffeehouses writing poetry, drinking buckets of coffee, daydreaming and making up stories about the people that came in from out of the rain,” Jaimi Shuey says about growing up. Those made-up stories have been turned into gently lulling country-pop tunes on her new CD, Wrong Girl (Boronda Records). On “Country Girl,” the L.A. singer laments that she doesn’t know how to rope a steer or have genuine Southern roots, but John McDuffie absolves her with a slide of his rootsy pedal-steel guitar. She admits to being jealous about a lover’s engagement on the country weeper “Wrong Girl,” and is itchin’ to head out West and escape a “Jerkwater Town.” Drummer Don Heffington (Lone Justice, Emmylou Harris) scratches a downbeat groove on the jazzy idyll “Ouija,” where Shuey asks the magic board why her boyfriend won’t call her back: “Did I go too far?/Am I slutty, am I pretty, am I smart?” Fans of non-cornpone-prone country music should be grateful that Shuey’s so memorably unlucky in love. This free show starts at 5 p.m. (Falling James)

Also playing Sunday:

BRIGHT EYES, GILLIAN WELCH at Disney Hall; THE PRAYERS, KIND HEARTS & CORONETS at the Echo, 10 p.m.; JIM LINDBERG at Key Club, 5 p.m.; STAN RIDGWAY at McCabe’s; TO LIVE & SHAVE IN L.A., THIS SONG IS A MESS BUT SO AM I at Pehrspace; RAUL MIDON at the Roxy; EGO PLUM & THE EBOLA MUSIC ORCHESTRA at Safari Sam’s.

MONDAY, MAY 7

Playing Monday:

BONFIRE MADIGAN at the Bordello; BODIES OF WATER at the Echo; HIGH SOCIETY, MAGIC & RATTLES, BLESSINGS, NEMO at Silverlake Lounge; GLISS at Spaceland; SHE WANTS REVENGE at Paramount Studios.

TUESDAY, MAY 8

{mosimage}Head Like a Kite at Cinespace

While puttering around in his garage one day in 2006, Sushirobo guitarist Dave Einmo found a stash of Super-8 movies his parents had filmed while he was growing up in the late ’70s. Dave used these grainy old flicks as both an ideas-triggerer and source material when he took them into a Chicago studio with Modest Mouse producer Brian Deck, watching them as he laid down parts for several songs, taking cues from both their crude quick-cut editing and the heady fog of the ancient family memories they evoked. Einmo and Darius Minwalla of the Posies added numerous instrumental parts and a lotta electronic filtering-fuckering, then drummer Asya of the mighty preteen duo Smoosh whomped it all into Random Portraits of the Home Movie (Pattern 25). Einmo will re-create his enjoyably weird hodgepodge of ’80s synth-rock/’90s indie slack and 20th-century musique concrète in Technicolor semi-perfection tonight, and, yes, you get to see the movies too. (John Payne)

Midnight Movies at Amoeba Music

Gena Olivier’s dark vocals often get compared to the formal doominess of Nico, but the Midnight Movies singer has a much more versatile and melodically engaging voice. With its funereal organ glow, “Coral Den” (from the band’s new CD, Lion the Girl) starts out like an ethereal Velvet Underground song before the tempo picks up and moves into a poppy, almost-Blondie-like fuzziness. Overdriven guitars and hissing keyboards give off clouds of dry ice and steam, contrasting her innocent, childlike prayers during the grand buildup to the album opener, “Souvenirs.” “Bell Tower” unfolds with foreboding chimes that bookend Olivier’s breathy lyrics much like the evocative chill that surrounds “Parallel Paramour.” Guitarist Larry Schemel and keyboardist Ryan Wood shroud Olivier’s ghostly imprecations with appropriately majestic and mysterious settings, such as the Doors-y gloom that shadows her on “24 Hour Dream.” It should prove interesting to see how well Midnight Movies’ atmospheric mysticism will translate under the bright lights at this free record-store appearance at 7 p.m. (Falling James)

Also playing Tuesday:

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, THE FRATELLIS at the Wiltern; AQUALUNG, SARAH BAREILLES at Henry Fonda Theater; VIENNA TENG, JENNY OWEN YOUNGS, MICHAEL MANGIA at the Hotel Café; GLEN PHILLIPS at Largo; JOSEPH ARTHUR & THE LONELY ASTRONAUTS, STARS OF TRACK & FIELD at the Roxy.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9

Kristin Hersh at El Rey Theatre

Ol’ crazy eyes is back. Learn to Sing Like a Star, Kristin Hersh’s first solo record in four years, displays more of her disturbed and beautiful brilliance in the form of taut, almost claustrophobic songs about various states of mind, none of them terribly sunny. This is a songwriter who once said, “I don’t like to censor the songs, because I think they’re smarter than me and I think they arrange my stories better than I would and I have a lot to learn from them.” Wherever she gets her inspiration, Hersh can seemingly produce an endless stream of lovely product. Live, she’s a giver. Expect plenty of chestnuts thrown in for no extra charge. (Libby Molyneaux)

Also playing Wednesday:

WOLFMOTHER at Grove of Anaheim; SAGE FRANCIS at Amoeba Music, 7 p.m.; SUNS LUNGS, THEE MORE SHALLOWS, SECRET SOCIETY OF THE SONIC SIX at the Echo; BEN WEAVER at the Hotel Café; BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY at House of Blues; TOM BROSSEAU at Largo; JOSEPH ARTHUR & THE LONELY ASTRONAUTS, STARS OF TRACK & FIELD at the Roxy; TRÉ HARDSON at Temple Bar; GRACE POTTER & THE NOCTURNALS at the Troubadour.

{mosimage}THURSDAY, MAY 10

St. Vincent, John Vanderslice at Largo

Annie Clark comes from a mob background. As a member of two sprawling collectives (Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens’ touring band), she’s been a lone voice amid large ensemble casts. But when Clark transforms into St. Vincent, she sheds the multicolored robes and cheerleader outfits of those other acts to step forward and reveal her own lovely persona, and it’s quite a sight to behold. Her debut, Marry Me (on Beggars Banquet, due in July), is rife with gorgeous arrangements that invoke similarly expansive artists such as Kate Bush and Tori Amos at their most inspired, all performed with an uplifting, childlike glee. She supports John Vanderslice, late of ’90s alt-rockers MK Ultra, who has forged a stellar live rep with his clever troubadour tendencies, four-tracked daydreams and wry wordplay. Bill Gates, beware... (Scott T. Sterling)

Peachfuzz at the Echo

Remember when the radio used to play power-pop songs that would stick in your head all summer as you went driving around in your convertible? Yeah, me neither. But if such a thing were possible, L.A.’s Peachfuzz would be the perfect soundtrack for late-night cruising, drinking chocolate shakes, making out and falling in love. The nostalgic rocker “Hero of Nineteen Eighty Three,” from Peachfuzz’s new CD, Catch Your Snap (Teenacide Records), is already getting pre-release airplay on Little Steven’s nationally syndicated radio program, Underground Garage, and the rest of the album’s packed with similarly hook-filled tunes. “Change Her Mind” rides along on a compulsively hypnotic descending riff, frosted with the sugary icing of yearning Big Star–style harmonies, while the dusty, slide-guitar-wallowing ballad “L.A. Is Where I Belong” comes off like a folksy answer to the Kinks’ “This Is Where I Belong.” Singer-guitarist Andrew Chojnacki’s lyrics are silly and sarcastic — and more memorable than you might expect from song titles like “The Devil’s Underwear.” Eat a peach. (Falling James)

Also playing Thursday:

CHEATIN’ KIND at Alex’s Bar; THE RAVE-UPS at Blue Cafe; CAREY FOSSE, MARCOS FERNANDES & EMILY HAY at Il Corral; THE CAT EMPIRE at Key Club; GOLDFINGER at Knitting Factory; STARLITE DESPERATION at Spaceland; MATT SKIBA, CHUCK RAGAN at the Troubadour.

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >