The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week

Gogol Bordello -- See Wednesday
Gogol Bordello -- See Wednesday
Timothy Norris

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

Monday, October 7

Fiona Apple & Blake Mills


Singer Fiona Apple and guitarist Blake Mills are calling their current tour of a dozen North American cities Anything We Want, after the surreally hopeful tune on Apple's 2012 album, The Idler Wheel. Touring in a stripped-down duo format will indeed give the pair the flexibility to do almost anything they want, whether that's spontaneously changing the set list, going in unexpected vocal directions or doing other things that we can't even imagine. When the tour was announced in July, Apple and Mills confessed in a press release: "We know it'll be something special, and we aren't being coy here -- it's just that we have about 26 percent of an idea of what the fuck we will be playing for you." Besides being an engaging singer and songwriter in his own right, Mills is a masterful accompanist who'll cloak Apple's passionately cathartic entreaties in layers of dreamy chords. What's still not 26 percent clear is whether Apple will play piano or if the duo format will prevent them from pulling off complicated studio tracks like the dazzling cycle of voices on "Hot Knife," which recently was turned into a snazzy video by Apple's former beau Paul Thomas Anderson. --Falling James

See also: Here's to the Machine: How the Bad Guys Saved Fiona in her Time of Need

Tuesday, October 8

Goran Bregovic Wedding and Funeral Band


Sarajevo-born composer and bandleader Goran Bregovic leads a scarifyingly tight ensemble of strings, horns, choir, brass and percussion. The group is a purveyor of traditional Balkan tunes for any occasion. Best known for his score for the 1989 film Time of the Gypsies, Bregovic delivers a good-humored yet schizoid sound in which dignified, pensive pieces by his orchestra's string quartet are rudely interrupted by marching brass bands, hammering bass drum and Bregovic's skanking electric guitar. It's slyly referential music that shifts wildly through nostalgic, tuba-heavy tunes that bear some similarity to those of the marching memorial bands of New Orleans. The sound then jump-cuts into frenzied party jams that recall both polka-inspired mariachi and reggae's chunky thump. --John Payne

Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside


"Never have I had a rational mind," Sallie Ford spits out defiantly between stomping drumbeats and coolly fuzzed-out reverb guitar chords that hang ominously in the air on her aptly titled third album, Untamed Beast. "Never gonna apologize for being so intense. How the hell would that make any sense?" With such a provocative manner and a fiery voice that twists together blues and gospel, the Portland, Ore., singer is a captivating presence, and her songs are kicked up to the next level by the energetic rockabilly machinations of her band, The Sound Outside. Jeffrey Munger rocks out with supremely twangin' guitar on bar-brawlers like "Party Kids," but even when the group keeps it cool on such romantic ballads as the unabashed Valentine "Paris" (where Ford proudly calls herself a "Paris-ite"), the singer inevitably manages to find herself "in trouble again." --Falling James

Wednesday, October 9

Gogol Bordello


One of the great things about the sprawling, three-ring circus known as Gogol Bordello is that no animals are ever harmed during their riotous performances. Except for human animals, that is. Lead singer Eugene Hütz usually remains unscathed when he flings himself about the stage, climbs into the rafters or surveys the horizon like a captain in his ship while being carried precariously atop a giant drum through the crowd. But, as his Gypsy combo moves from traditional folk rhythms into flat-out punk rock, Hütz becomes ever more reckless with his body, and his fractured poetry turns even more manic. "I was born with a singing heart," he declares on the New York band's sixth album, Pura Vida Conspiracy. "Everybody loves a nut." As ever, the album is a merry blend of feverish violins, punk guitars and ragged, shout-along choruses. Also Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 7-8. --Falling James


Thursday, October 10

John Fogerty


John Fogerty, who as leader of late-'60s hitmakers Creedence Clearwater Revival managed to cleave to old-school American rock & roll vernacular at the height of the Flower Power era's patchouli-doused self-indulgence, has endured a bizarre course of thwarts and vexations. Perhaps the only pop-music figure ever to be sued for plagiarizing himself (a long, weird, ugly story -- Fogerty, of course, prevailed), his professional life has been hobbled by bitter litigious disputes with former bandmates and a decade of self-imposed exile. Yet through it all the California singer-songwriter has maintained an artistic stance that's equal parts tradition bearer and creative seeker. When the 68-year-old rocker rides in tonight, with a stack of numbers from his 10th solo release, the semi-retrospective Wrote a Song for Everyone, he's certain to provide a warm, churning tide of his swampy, blues-tinged classics. --Jonny Whiteside

Culture Collide featuring Liars, Phoenix, The Raveonettes, Of Montreal, et al.


Emphasizing the cultural diversity thing, Filter's annual rock and pop extravaganza boasts a nicely varied slice of some of the best bands we've got going in L.A. and beyond, as Culture Collide includes acts from England, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Singapore. Headliners include the essential Liars, King Khan & the Shrines, the perennially great Raveonettes, Of Montreal, Junip, Clinic and the return of indie legends Dinosaur Jr. There's also Penguin Prison, The Wombats, Patrick Wolf, Niki & the Dove, Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, Voxhaul Broadcast, The Moog, Touchy Mob and about a million others. Venues include Taix, the Echo, Echoplex, The Church, 826LA, Lot 1 Cafe and the World Stage. There'll also be film screenings, and happy hours featuring free food and drinks at some venues. --John Payne

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

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