The Best Concerts in L.A. This Week

The Residents
The Residents

Monday, February 25

The Residents


Somewhere between rock & roll's spiritual mystique and a distinctly unhinged surrealist pathology, you'll find the lair of bizarro-art-imitates-music tribe The Residents. Unprecedented, with no discernible frame of reference save for a magnificently idiosyncratic streak, The Residents have relentlessly explored a shadowy landscape where aural blunt-force trauma, deliberately opaque aesthetic intent and downright weird sonic collisions somehow coexist like a thick growth of mutant cultural calico fur -- on the roof of your mouth. The Bay Area-based clan -- no one's even sure who the hell is in the group -- have strange running through their veins, a bunch of talents so drastically odd that they make Captain Beefheart seem like Lawrence Welk. Any visit from these provocateurs is rare indeed, and this 40th-anniversary The Wonder of Weird tour should deliver as compelling a dose of rugged, all-American, underworld individualism as you'll ever encounter. --Jonny Whiteside



In the wake of last year's Plans in Progress album, Robotanists are taking a lark with their new, digital-only EP Souvenirs, a sort of surprise gift for their fans, with the local synth-pop group covering their favorite songs by The Motels, New Order, Todd Rundgren and others. Sarah Ellquist de Blanke's dreamy vocals and her musical partner Daniel de Blanke's shimmering synths give these new-wave and post-punk chansons a modern sheen, but the strangest track of all is their cover of Kenny Rogers' "Just Dropped in (to See What Condition My Condition Was in)." Rather than camping it up, Robotanists transform this corny country-music standard into a stirring, unexpectedly enchanting soundscape, as Sarah's languidly ethereal singing trails off in the haze of Daniel's blended acoustic guitars and distant-thunder percussion. Sometimes the most beautiful things happen in the strangest of places. --Falling James

Tuesday, February 26

The Shrine


Venice Beach power trio The Shrine are shredders of the highest order -- on their instruments, of course, and on their skateboards even more of course! In fact, they're basically an assistant principal's nightmare circa 1982: longhair heavy-metal punk 'n' roll skaters with custom fuzz pedals and an endless supply of inspiration from the most ripping ne'er-do-wells ever to have their band name carved into a desk during detention. (Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Black Flag, Blue Cheer ... and Crushed Butler, if anyone had ever heard of them). The Shrine's most recent album, Primitive Blast (on Tee Pee), had pretty much the most succinctly descriptive title of 2012. Imagine a caveman with a flamethrower and the widest smile in the world, and then add some guitar solos. Gentlemen, it's a pleasure to get disintegrated by you. --Chris Ziegler

Wednesday, February 27

Van Dyke Parks


Composer-arranger-producer-pianist Van Dyke Parks is best known as a lyricist for Brian Wilson, notably for their partnership on the Beach Boys' Smile album. Undeservedly shadowed is Parks' catalog of solo albums, which boasts at least one genuine masterwork, 1968's Song Cycle. Parks also is fondly regarded for his work as a poetic instigator in his arranging and accompaniment for The Byrds, Rufus Wainwright, Harry Nilsson, Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes, Ringo Starr and myriad others. Live onstage, Parks is a charming, slyly folksy wag with a thousand tales to tell and a veritable mountain of great songs to sing. Tonight he's accompanied by his superb small ensemble; special guests include singer-songwriters Joe Henry and Inara George and the Merrick band. --John Payne

See also: Van Dyke Parks Re-Emerges With A Set Of Singles, Each Covered By Works Of Art



Fitting in neatly with sex-symbol frontwomen along the lines of The Duke Spirit's Liela Moss and Metric's Emily Haines is Deluka's siren, Ellie Innocenti. The Birmingham, England, group has relocated to Los Angeles to record its second album with Tim Pagnotta and Dan the Automator. While that brews for a summer release, Deluka are giving the locals of their adopted city a chance to catch their high-energy performances while exercising their live chops. Purposely leaked songs "Stranger Than Fiction" and "Never Alone" indicate Deluka have found the right balance between rich vocals and driving rhythms. The synth-laced dance pop that Deluka have been known to do so well surrenders to the electrifying, tight rock hooks they also have mastered. Be warned, Deluka's bite stings more than its bark, in the best way. --Lily Moayeri


Thursday, February 28

Chris Potter


The Jazz Bakery is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, and tonight presents New York-based saxophonist Chris Potter, whose resume includes recordings with Steely Dan, Dave Holland, Paul Motian and Mike Stern. Although Potter has done several shows for the Bakery in the past, this year he arrives riding the wave of his first Grammy Award as a member of the Pat Metheny Unity Band. Potter, who's regarded as one of the finest saxophonists in jazz today, brings a supporting cast including keyboardist Craig Taborn, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Eric Harland. The Musicians Institute Concert Center features fine sound and seating only half a block from the Hollywood and Highland Center. --Tom Meek

Amon Tobin DJ Set


Whether hunched over his turntables or perched high within a towering, 3-D art installation, Brazil-born DJ/sound artist Amon Tobin expands the shape and scope of current electronic music and, better yet, does it with little concern for how he fits in genrewise. Tobin obliterates stylistic boundaries with a new art for the body and the brain, his tracks often integrating state-of-the-art digital visuals that both enhance and resonantly juxtapose with his frighteningly gorgeous flights of sonic abstraction and bone-shaking beats. Tobin's ever-morphing black hole of sound and vision finds true glory in his DJ sets, which plumb the depths of the hip-hop/drum & bass DNA that originally inspired him but go far beyond mere heavy beats and funky samples to mutate texture, ambience and low-low-end in mind-blowing, inspiring ways. --John Payne

See also: The Man Behind Amon Tobin's Jaw-Dropping Live Show

Galactic, Latyrx


If you couldn't make it to Mardi Gras this year, Galactic will bring the carnival to you. The funky, jazzy combo draw upon traditional N'Awlins styles, but they also pump everything out with a restlessness and curiosity that draw on everything from dance-music electronics to world-beat percussion. They've recently been augmented by Living Colour singer Corey Glover, and their latest album, Carnivale Electricos, combines his forceful intensity and charisma with Galactic's trademark funkiness, opening up at times for wickedly groovy passages that smash down the barriers between soul and psychedelia. Far from being fussy traditionalists, Galactic often break it down with rappers like Gift of Gab and Boots Riley, and tonight they're preceded by Latyrx, a collaboration between brainy Bay Area rappers Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker, who kick it out in a supremely slinky, hypnotic and mind-blowing fashion. --Falling James

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