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

Inc. -- See Wednesday
Inc. -- See Wednesday
Credit: Natasha Ghosn

Monday, March 25

Corima, Upsalon Acrux


There are, in fact, thriving musical styles that have blessedly little to do with the latest pop trends. Roughly intersecting prog-rock and art-jazz is a thing called Zeuhl Music, a very heavy, propulsive sonic form whose roaring rhythm sections and hypnotic, repetitive chants take inspiration from the idiosyncratic style of the legendary French band Magma. East L.A. Magma fanatics Corima have taken the Zeuhl sound to rad extremes with their recent album Quetzalcoatl, and live they are a raging hurricane. This show, which also features boundary-pushing rock/noise from Upsilon Acrux, starts at 9:30 p.m., costs just five bucks, and is all-ages, so bring the kiddies and let the band help raise 'em up right. --John Payne

Tuesday, March 26

Heartless Bastards


It's Erika Wennerstrom who brings the thunder with Heartless Bastards. Not only does she write all the Texas quartet's songs, she churns out waves of heavy guitar so thick, her band mates Jesse Ebaugh (bass), Dave Colvin (drums) and Mark Nathan (guitar) have to hit really hard to keep up with her. Wennerstrom's singing is boldly serene and yet searing enough to cut through the haze of aptly titled past epics such as "The Mountain" and "Sway." Although the songs on Heartless Bastards' 2005 debut, Stairs & Elevators, were shorter and punchier, Wennerstrom reveals newfound melodicism and traces of country on 2012's Arrow. Don't worry, though. With tracks like "Simple Feeling," the album still holds plenty of the explosive Who-style bursts that make this band great. --Falling James

Wednesday, March 27

Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble


Armenian-born pianist Vardan Ovsepian is likely the musician closest to Joon Lee's Blue Whale club in Little Tokyo, appearing there so many times that some think of him as the house pianist. Ovsepian's Eurasian roots shine through his original music, evoking memories of styles first made popular by the German ECM label in the 1970s and '80s. Ovsepian's March series of Wednesday night shows at the club ends tonight. This closing show plays double duty, as it is also a CD release event for Ovsepian's chamber ensemble, which features many of the top young jazz and new-music string performers in Los Angeles. The group includes violist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, cellist (and fellow Armenian) Artyom Manukyan and violinist Paul Cartwright, whose major talent manages to steal the spotlight in almost every show he plays. There's a lot to look forward to with this one. --Tom Meek



Anthrax doesn't get quite as much respect as their brethren in thrash metal's Big Four, (a group that also includes Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth). We think that's a damn shame. There is a stronger sense of fun and levity to Anthrax's brand of thrash than the soberly serious output from those contemporaries, but blistering thrashers such as "Caught in a Mosh" and "I Am the Law" still get us in the mood to storm into the pit and lay waste to motherfuckers left and right. On this current tour, the group is performing their 1987 masterpiece Among the Living in its entirety, and original vocalist Joey Belladonna is firmly back in the fold. Expect this show to be heavy on both first-decade Anthrax material and Belladonna's superb 2011 return, Worship Music. --Jason Roche



The debut album from inc. has been a long time coming. The neo-R&B band (formerly named Teen, Inc.) was started in 2010 by brothers Daniel and Andrew Aged. As kids, the Ageds idolized the session musicians on megahit albums, a practice as esoteric and awesome as idolizing particularly obscure cinematographers. (And dreams DO come true: The Ageds ended up sessioning for everyone from Cee-Lo to Elton John!) Now, almost three years after they put out their first song, the finally forthcoming LP no world demonstrates exactly the all-consuming commitment to craft you'd expect from guys who study the fine print. It's vintage Prince-style R&B as high art, the slow jam as religious ritual, the kind of endlessly detailed record you'd get if Quincy Jones, rather than Brian Wilson, was making a teenage symphony to God. --Chris Ziegler

See also: Inc.: Employing the Grateful Dead's Business Model


Thursday, March 28

John Reilly & Friends


Take your shoes off and sit 'round the campfire with John C. Reilly and his pals for an evening, wherein the Renaissance man (ace actor, tap dancer, damn fine musician and about a hundred other things) hosts a casual night of folk-roots, yodel-blues, hijinks 'n' hilarity. Reilly recently essayed choice singles for Jack White's Third Man Records label from artists including Becky and John and John and Tom, and tonight's show features some of these players. Special guests include Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond, a melodic force of nature and joyfully ethereal soul, along with singer-guitarist Tom Brosseau. Songwriter Dan Bern, (who wrote Reilly-as-Dewey Cox's songs in the film Walk Hard) will also jump into the fray. Seats are first-come, first-served, and assigned starting at 6 p.m. --John Payne

Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge


Ghostface Killah and L.A. producer Adrian Younge are about to release Twelve Reasons to Die, the coolest soundtrack to a movie that doesn't actually exist since Broadcast and the Focus Group put out Witch Cults of the Radio Age. Due April 16, Twelve Reasons is the score to a shockadelic Italian giallo film that would surely be a classic of this crime genre if someone had ever filmed it. Instead, it is Younge's exercise in what-if. Like, what if RZA had been hired by Mario Bava circa 1968 and then given the full resources of the Cinecitta studios? And what if Ghostface Killah burst out of the time machine to rap on songs about grinding up a human body into twelve vinyl records? (Obviously, it'd shatter history forever.) Peer into this ass-kicking alternate universe as Younge, Ghostface and some of L.A.'s best bring Twelve Reasons to Die to life at the Mayan. --Chris Ziegler

Billy Bragg


The music of Brit bard Billy Bragg is sozzled with nostalgia (he's perhaps best known stateside for his Woody Guthrie-inspired Mermaid Avenue collaborations with Wilco), but his often political, broadly lefty lyrics are soberly and vividly in the here and now. Like a lo-fi, less stylistically self-conscious Paul Weller, this folkie bloke is utterly English in his singing accent and subject matter (one of his signature tunes being 1983 single "A New England," later a U.K. hit for Kirsty MacColl.) A revered elder statesman of his genre, Bragg attracts an audience mostly "of a certain age" and hasn't been trendy in decades, but he's more of a treasure than ever for still speaking his mind in an era of voiceless singers. --Paul Rogers

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