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The Best Concerts in L.A. This Week

Ryat -- See Tuesday
Ryat -- See Tuesday

Monday, February 18

Om

CENTER FOR THE ARTS, EAGLE ROCK

Om's Al Cisneros is a cosmic explorer of the highest order, the kind of guy whose every musical effort is one more step along a spiral path to ... ultimate truth? Ultimate beauty? Something too ultimately primal and sacred for the guy who writes picks in L.A. Weekly to even comprehend? If ever anyone could peel back the veil of reality with just an electric bass, a killer drummer, a new guitarist and aspirations toward the infinite -- which means songs that unfold like fractals, revealing just the tiniest glimpse of forever -- it's gonna be Cisneros and Om. They're basically mantra incarnate, as the name suggests. It's heavy like a flower is heavy, man -- and if you get what I mean, you're already in the front row of this show. --Chris Ziegler

Tuesday, February 19

Tomahawk

THE MAYAN

Tomahawk is composed of Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More), John Stanier (Helmet), Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard, Unsemble) and Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantômas). Like their namesake, they're heavy, powerful, even animalistic. Tomahawk repurposes and rebuilds in ways never before imagined, incorporating everything from metal to Native American influences. Their music feels chaotic, even when it's making sense. The madness of wild drumming, squealing synthesizers, solid guitars and heavily distorted vocals comes together like a stellar collision that is simultaneously violent and alluring. --Diamond Bodine-Fischer

Rainbow Arabia, Ryat

LOS GLOBOS

As their name implies, Rainbow Arabia create an ebullient, electronic-based sound that's mixed with exotic strains of Middle Eastern and North African influences for a combination that's truly unusual and engrossing. Actually, the husband-and-wife duo (keyboardist Danny Preston of Wiskey Biscuit and singer Tiffany Preston) prefers the term "ethnotronic" to describe the funky mélange of clattering percussion, chanting voices, slinky guitars and thumping synthesizers. Either way, there's no one else in L.A. making music quite like this, with Tiffany's airy vocals darting in and out of the beats like a trilling bird while Danny pumps out throbbing dance-floor grooves. The electropop diva Ryat also has a heavy, percussive sound that's layered with her ethereal vocals and shiny synthesizers. The enigmatic track "Superficial Friction" is simultaneously arty, freaky, poppy, danceable and febrile. --Falling James

Wednesday, February 20

Warm Soda

THE SMELL

Oakland's Matthew Melton is the man of a thousand riffs. He's played with at least three or four bands, each of which has delved successively deeper into the world of the almost-punk outfits who played fast but weren't ever gonna give up their guitar solos and harmonies. Stiv Bators of The Dead Boys was the main dude for this sorta thing, with a solo album that was basically one evil boy's take on Cleveland legends The Raspberries. Melton's got just the same style. His newest band, Warm Soda, writes songs that are dripping with hooks and heartbreak, but which still go roaring along just like classics by The Real Kids or The Nerves. Debut single "Reaction" is basically as perfect as it gets -- plenty of pop, but plenty of power, too. --Chris Ziegler

 

Thursday, February 21

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

THE FONDA THEATRE

Singer, novelist, actor, screenwriter and film composer Nick Cave, a restless man to be sure, is now back with his old mates The Bad Seeds, whose 15th studio album, Push the Sky Away, is just out on Bad Seed Ltd. In schizo contrast to the cacophonous hellfire of Cave's Grinderman project, this Seeds outing finds Cave working his relatively pensive mode in an excellent batch of songs whose stately string, piano and guitar settings sneakily couch all that Cave-ish sinister aggression in florid loveliness -- a more, um, "mature" approach to the fine-detailing of Cave's perpetual dilemmas regarding the will, thrill and chill of love. While that all sounds quite adult and respectable, this is Nick Cave we're talking about, so be prepared for something perhaps a bit ... explosive. Pre-performance, filmmakers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard screen a short film about the making of Push the Sky Away. --John Payne

Old Testament, Fatso Jetson

THE SATELLITE

Dead Meadow's Jason Simon has a new project called Old Testament, where the singer-guitarist transmutes his stoner/hard-rock energy into trancelike, psychedelic passages like "Journey to the Center of My Mind." Such songs aren't flashy or fiery; instead, they build power slowly through Simon's wispy curls of guitar, Ryan Rapsys' lulling tom-toms and Jessica Senteno's buzzing harmonium, all of it together sounding much like Doors epic "The End." Fatso Jetson has long been one of SoCal's weirdest and most underappreciated bands. Led by guitarist Mario Lalli and his bassist brother, Larry Lalli, Fatso Jetson have the ability to throw down very heavy stoner-rock anthems while also mixing in a jazzy dexterity, thanks to saxophonist Vince Meghrouni. Fact is, these guys can play anything, which makes their music truly psychedelic; that is to say, it's mind-blowing, mind-expanding and yet eclectic and unpredictable. --Falling James

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