Monday, January 28
Local Natives return as virtual conquering heroes to their L.A. home base with the first of two big shows in large venues, following the unexpected national success of their 2009 album, Gorilla Manor. As ever, Kelcey Ayer's contemplative vocals are intoned hazily over a spectral soup of glittery guitars by Taylor Rice and Ryan Hahn. At times, the band's distinctive guitars sizzle and sparkle, arcing into the night like fireworks, and at other moments they glow subtly with cleaner and more muted tones. Either way, songs like the new single "Heavy Feet" are infused with a searing, indie-rock inventiveness and Matt Frazier's insistent, shuffling drumbeats, which bode well for Local Natives' upcoming second album, Hummingbird. Also at El Rey Theatre, Tues. (See Music feature.) --Falling James
See also: Local Natives on Their Dark New Sounds
Guitarist Chuck Loeb comes to Vitello's in Studio City riding a 2012 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. Since 2010 Loeb has been a member of Fourplay, the highly successful jazz instrumental group. Tonight he's joined by fellow Fourplay member Nathan East, in a rare L.A. club appearance. East's bass résumé includes stints with everyone from Eric Clapton to Herbie Hancock. Rounding out the group are keyboardist Mitchel Forman, who's recorded and toured worldwide with Loeb in the band Metro, and superb drummer Peter Erskine, whose credits include Steely Dan, Weather Report and Stan Kenton. --Tom Meek
Tuesday, January 29
Ostensibly, there are two cred-killing strikes against Kodaline: The band first found fame on a talent show (as 21 Demands, on Irish TV's You're a Star in 2006), and it sounds eerily akin to early Coldplay. But some great bands won contests on their climb to the top (U2, The Cure) and, before the aural overload of their global ubiquity and endless copyists, Coldplay actually sounded pretty darn great. Like their obvious idols, these young Dubliners emote through mildly tremulous, falsetto-flecked vocals atop understated, propulsive grooves and acoustic or tastefully effected electric guitars. The sum of these parts isn't life-changing in 2013, but the songs are strong, the arrangements compellingly involved (in the studio, at least), and Kodaline's public display of intimacy should be well suited to the Hotel Café's cozy, classy confines. --Paul Rogers
Adam Green & Binki Shapiro, La Sera
Guitarist Adam Green and Little Joy singer Binki Shapiro play the purest pop possible, with her angelic vocals bumping languorously against his low harmonies and gentle acoustic strumming. Former Moldy Peaches tunesmith Green comes from a folk background, but once violins are layered in with Shapiro's crystalline purring on tracks like "Here I Am," these simple folk structures turn into grand pop edifices. The photogenic duo comes off like a postmodern version of Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood, turning The James Gang's "Collage" into a febrile psychedelic opus. Vivian Girls' Katy Goodman opens the show in her La Sera guise, moving from such charming pop idylls as "Real Boy" to more darkly melodic tunes like "Drive On." --Falling James
Wednesday, January 30
The CSI franchise has kept The Who's presence vibrant by blasting classic numbers from the group through its opening sequences. Remedying the fact that not all viewers realize what band they're hearing, the foursome embarks on the second leg of its "Quadrophenia and More" tour. The most recent release from the group, The Who Live in Texas '75 DVD, captures the members at their prime. Lean and forceful, they smash through 25 of their signature hits, from the excitable stutters of "My Generation" to the power twangs of "I Can't Explain." This tour focuses on songs from the 1973 standard-setting rock opera double album it's named after. Slightly thicker around the middle though its members may be, The Who are as powerful as ever, windmilling guitar stylings and all. Also Mon., Jan. 28, at the Honda Center. --Lily Moayeri
Thursday, January 31
Two Gallants' recent The Bloom and the Blight is the San Fran-based duo's first album in five years. There have been some interesting developments since the pair was last heard from, as they devolve sonically from largely folk- and blues-based work back to their punk-thrash roots. The Bloom set is full of ripping anthems/power ballads, plus a nicely developed instrumental/vocal lyricism via a handful of sweetly melodious acoustic interludes. The new songs have an urgency to them, shaded with both brooding reflection and kickass momentum, no doubt having something to do with singer Adam Stephens' recovery from a serious van accident in 2010. Also playing at the Constellation Room on Wed., Jan. 30. --John Payne
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