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The Best Concerts in L.A. This Week

Bombon -- See Thursday

Bombon -- See Thursday

Monday, January 14

C.R.A.S.H., Regal Degal

THE SMELL

You know what hurt when Mika Miko broke up? That Michelle Suarez's mind-grinding guitar tone would never again make a bunch of revved-up weirdos flop around in a puddle of beer on a cold, concrete floor. But the universe must have heard those flopping weirdos cry out in loss and pain. And so was formed the formidable band C.R.A.S.H., a fukkin' punk foursome with Suarez, No Age's Dean Spunt and mighty WRANGLER BRUTES (all-caps completely deserved) members Brooks Headley and Cundo Bermudez. C.R.A.S.H. did one go-for-the-throat 45 appropriately called A War on All Fronts and then dissolved into the back of the C section at the record store -- until NOW! (All-caps again completely deserved.) Also on this show: the promising messtheticians of Regal Degal, who bring a Homosexuals/Chairs Missing-era Wire/Subway Sect DIY vibe to L.A. --Chris Ziegler

See also: Regal Degal Is the Real Deal

Tuesday, January 15

Cotillon

HARVARD & STONE

Jordan Corso of Cotillon calls his music "flower-punk," but this is really power-pop like it's supposed to be -- hooky, raw and cheerfully bitter beneath the cuteness, just like Alex Chilton used to make. A Corso lyric such as "I don't have much, but I have a true heart" may sound like something Jonathan Richman would sing very sincerely, but Cotillon's recent Votive Flower EP is soaked in plenty of sarcasm, too. Corso's got a voice somewhere between Daniel Johnston and The Only Ones' super-sneerer Peter Perrett. In songs like "I Wanna Move to Paris" or "Dream Girl/Infection Suite," he pours a bottle of drain cleaner into the human heart: "You gave me an infection, just like you meant to," goes one opening line. That's not love, but it sounds true nonetheless. --Chris Ziegler

Wednesday, January 16

John Beasley

BLUE WHALE

Former Miles Davis pianist and 2010 Grammy nominee John Beasley is right in the middle of a Wednesday January residency at Little Tokyo's Blue Whale. Tonight Beasley offers up an evening of Brazilian music, backed by Cuban bassist Carlitos Del Puerto (Chris Botti/Steve Lukather) and drummer Gary Novak (Chick Corea). The program features works from composers including Ivan Lins and Gilberto Gil, but will also vary from traditional bossa nova or samba styles. A slate of guests will join the trio for what promises to be an adventurous musical evening. The following Wednesday will see Beasley fronting his own "MONK'estra" big band. --Tom Meek

See also: John Beasley Is Crazy For Putting a Big Band Together in This Day and Age

This or the Apocalypse

COBALT CAFÉ

These Pennsylvania metalcore-ists look more and more like a boy band with every photo shoot and video. But, in fact, they're as brutally technical as anyone in the genre and, having formed in 2005, relative granddaddies of this precision-guided heavy-metal mutation. More sonically single-minded, detailed and ambitious than most of their peers, This or the Apocalypse make grandiose rhythmic sieges on the senses, spiked with melodic guitar refrains, Rick Armellino's ragged-yet-intelligible spewing and tuneful dalliances. Quasi-proggy song structures and short-attention-span arrangements hold the ear on 2012's The Dead Years, a collection oozing a sense of nothing-to-lose as metalcore's sun sulkily sets. With hit-seeking copyists diluting this type of music into footnote oblivion, This or the Apocalypse can at least stagger away with heads held high. (Also Tues. 1/15 at the Industry Theater in Lancaster) --Paul Rogers

Down

KEY CLUB

In the decade since the demise of legendary metal act Pantera, vocalist Philip Anselmo has kept himself busy with numerous projects. But his pride and joy will always be Down. The group puts out hard rockers that pack not only power, but a lot of soul. As evident on their newest effort Down IV, Pt. 1 - The Purple EP, the racket here is more laid-back and bluesy than the testosterone fueled blast that was Pantera. But it still has enough riffage going on to get a pit moving. Having conquered the demons that brought down his live performances during the first part of the millennium, Anselmo has regained full power in his vocals. He again has the energy and stage presence to be a compelling master of ceremonies - leaving everyone with nothing but good time vibes. - Jason Roche

Thursday, January 17

Joe La Barbera

BLUE WHALE

He was already a rising star with engagements with Woody Herman, Jim Hall and others when Joe La Barbera got the call to join Bill Evans, becoming the last drummer of the fabled piano trio. Of his young sideman, Evans remarked, "He does the right thing at the right time." Maybe La Barbera should have stayed in Chuck Mangione's band until he became a household name, but otherwise Evans was absolutely correct: La Barbera is a superb accompanist with a deft touch and impeccable brushwork, yet he swings hard, with a confidence and fire that come partially from his illustrious experience but mostly from being a badass from day one. His quintet includes longtime colleagues Tom Warrington on bass and the exceptional pianist Bill Cunliffe, with saxist Bob Sheppard and trumpeter John Daversa. --Gary Fukushima

Bombon

ALEX'S BAR

Los Angeles has produced and attracted some of the most happening female musical talent around -- from Anita O'Day to Joan Jett, Ella Mae Morse to Exene, Carolina Cotton to Poison Ivy Rorschach. The three gals who do business as Bombon are no exception. Truth to tell, they're daughters of San Pedro, home to a seaside rock & roll subculture all its own, and Bombon, naturally enough, trades in that most favorite of folk music styles, the surf instrumental. No vapid beach bunnies these, Bombon display artful aggression, a sweetly salty, trashy expertise and a flair for material that's as atmospherically evocative as it is ineffably frugtastic. That's an enviable combination, and they pull it off with a maddeningly refined natural grace. --Jonny Whiteside

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

Alex's Bar
miles

2913 E. Anaheim St.
Long Beach, CA 90804

562-434-8292

www.alexsbar.com

The Smell
miles

247 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

213-625-4325

www.thesmell.org