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The Best Concerts in L.A. This Week

Solange -- See Thursday
Solange -- See Thursday

Monday, February 4

Gliss

LOS GLOBOS

Gliss is one of L.A.'s more unusual bands. All three members -- Martin Klingman, Victoria Cecilia and David Reiss -- switch off on instruments and vocals. Yet no matter who's on the mic, their sound is always dreamy, packed in cottony layers of shoegazer guitars and keyboards. The trio's latest album, Langson Dans, is their best yet, fully realizing the potential sparked by earlier releases like Devotion Implosion. On Gliss' new video, "Weight of Love," Cecilia's languid voice floats like a disembodied ghost over Klingman's and Reiss' hazy wash of keyboards, and the overall impact is delicately haunting. Cecilia imbues "Blur" with a girl-group sheen, deepened by echoing Raveonettes/Dum Dum Girls--style reverb, even as her low vocals turn somber and sad, belying the poppy setting. With Gliss launching a weekly residency this month at Los Globos, now is the time to catch up to them before the great wide world steals them away. --Falling James

Ron King Big Band

TYPHOON

Typhoon at the Santa Monica Airport offers a unique combination of food and music. How unique? Scorpions and crickets are on the menu. Mondays at the Typhoon have long been a regular gig for big bands, and tonight trumpeter Ron King steps out as a leader fronting no less than a 17-piece band. A past Grammy nominee as a soloist, King's orchestra moves freely from jazz standards to Latin to contemporary styles. In recent years King took the band to the highly regarded Java Jazz Festival, eventually being named to its Hall of Fame in 2011. Come back Tuesday for the silkworm larvae and catch the 2012 Grammy-nominated Clare Fischer Latin Band while you're at it. --Tom Meek

Tuesday, February 5

Hot 8 Brass Band

BOOTLEG THEATER

The Hot 8 Brass Band is the kind of outfit that could only come out of N'awlins -- a second-line marching band that makes The Specials' "Ghost Town" into something almost spiritual, that matches rapped verses to fiery horn lines. The band even went after the New Orleans Police Department after the cops killed one of its members, with a song called "Can't Hide From the Truth." Spike Lee put the band in his Katrina doc, When the Levees Broke, and David Simon used it for both a plot point and a soundtrack in Treme -- you'll see Hot 8 leading a call-and-response of "New Orleans, that's where I wanna be/that's the place for me." This is strong and revitalizing stuff -- in the human spirit way, and in the stiff drink way, too. With local polymath Oliwa and his Pleasure Circus. --Chris Ziegler

Wednesday, February 6

ZZ Ward, Delta Rae

THE TROUBADOUR

These co-headliners are both on the rise, and at this point they're so evenly matched that tomorrow, when the bill continues at this club, they'll switch places, with Delta Rae headlining. Tonight, local singer ZZ Ward gets the top billing, crooning easygoing, rootsy tunes like "Charlie Ain't Home" and darker, bluesy plaints such as "Put the Gun Down." For all of her down-home soul, Ward is funky enough to collaborate with rappers like Freddie Gibbs. North Carolina's Delta Rae is the latest in a long line of stellar signings by Sire Records' Seymour Stein, who previously discovered the Ramones and Madonna. The coed band features four singers -- three of whom are siblings -- and while the songwriting on their debut album, Carry the Fire, is uneven, the singing is always impressive, especially on "Bottom of the River," where Brittany Hölljes wails with a compellingly fiery gospel fervor. Also Thursday. --Falling James

 

Holly Williams

HOTEL CAFE

Holly Williams (yes, granddaughter of hillbilly Shakespeare Hank Sr.) doesn't pussyfoot around when it comes to her own music. On her just-released CD, The Highway, she opens with a drinking song, addresses the harrowing experience of a near-fatal 2006 auto wreck, calls out to her mama's spectral ancestors and generally takes out the bobby pins to let her hair down. All the way down. Being born into this famous family can lead to agonizing attempts to rectify individual aesthetics with an inescapable musical legacy -- it's just about driven Hank III completely mad, and as for Junior -- hell, look at the mess he's in. But this Williams, with her straightforward, inescapably Southern brand of soulful expression, makes a damn convincing case for herself. --Jonny Whiteside

Emeli Sandé

EL REY THEATRE

Emeli Sandé's debut, Our Version of Events, opens with one of her standout numbers: "Heaven." Its beat pattern is lifted directly from another standout number: Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy." Rather than working against "Heaven," this larceny triggers a familiarity in the listener that makes the song an instant winner. Breakbeats line most of the album, giving it a modern, British street flavor. Sandé, however, takes her vocal cues from classic -- and contemporary -- R&B singers. The soul-fused "My Kind of Love" crunches with emotional intensity, and her voice on the chorus of "Next to Me" will grab you by the shoulders and shake you, hard. Although not wholly original, Sandé's requisite man issues, strong personality and sincerity makes Our Version of Events a contender among albums by thick-throated female vocalists. --Lily Moayeri

Thursday, February 7

Solange with Jhene Aiko

HOUSE OF BLUES

It can be difficult for musicians with uber-famous musician siblings to step out of familial shadows and have their art judged on its own terms. In fact, Solange, she of the famous Knowles family, is one of the few artists who've managed to accomplish the former. Her 2008 sophomore release, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, showcased her talent as a songwriter and vocalist, forcing the music world to acknowledge the brand she created sans papa or big sis. Her more recent True EP, released in 2012, found critical acclaim. Not just musician but trendsetter, Solange's change of hairstyle in 2009 unintentionally made her a figure of the natural-hair movement. Opening tonight's show is lauded Los Angeles underground songwriter-vocalist Jhene Aiko. --Jacqueline Michael Whatley

See also: Jhene Aiko Wins With the Hand She's Dealt

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

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