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

See Wednesday: Kelis
See Wednesday: Kelis
Photo courtesy of the artist

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, June 2

Justin Hayward
TROUBADOUR
The Moody Blues singer-guitarist comes to town toting a bag filled to brimming with indelible tunes from the Moodies' songbook. This rare-ish acoustic outing also spotlights songs from Hayward's solo output, including his recent album Spirits of the Western Sky. Hayward wrote and sang many of The Moody Blues' most memorable songs, such as "Tuesday Afternoon," "It's Up to You," "Question" and the ubiquitous "Nights in White Satin." In their original form, the songs often were caked in sumptuous production and instrumentation, obscuring the fact that they were models of construction, boasting Hayward's supreme gift for imaginative melody and harmony. Here's a chance to hear those sturdily elegant songs stripped down to their bare, beautiful essence, sweetly sung by one of the most recognizable voices in all of pop music. - John Payne

Tuesday, June 3

Tijuana Panthers
THE ROXY
Long Beach trio Tijuana Panthers play punky power-pop, sure, but they're also iconoclasts among iconoclasts. Like the Buzzcocks or The Modern Lovers, they confront the existential with a few well-chosen chords and a lot of catchy choruses. (Example: "Summer Fun," the most unsettling song about summer fun probably ever.) Their newest, Wayne Interest (on Innovative Leisure), connects them with producer genius Richard Swift, who makes them sound tougher, sweeter and sadder all at once. There's still plenty of Posh Boy DNA in here - if the Panthers had been around in 1979, they'd for sure have been on the Beach Blvd compilation - but there's plenty that recalls guitar philosophers such as The Verlaines and The Feelies, too. And they close with an outta-nowhere sweet soul song, just to make sure you'll keep expecting the unexpected. - Chris Ziegler

 

Wednesday, June 4

Kelis
EL REY
In the last decade and a half, Kelis has tried the modern R&B crooner and dance-diva personas. But it's the vintage soul songstress of her latest, Food, that best suits her. Skillfully produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Food is a culinary concept album on its surface but, at its core, a gritty album about being in love. Kelis huskily breathes, "I want to be blown away," floating on a stream of baritone horns on "Floyd," and sighs suggestively over the jazzy brass on "Hooch." The syncopated beats of "Forever Be" balance against her scratchy murmurs, and saucy keys underscore her quivering declarations on "Biscuits n' Gravy." Easily her most sophisticated work to date, Food is also Kelis at her rawest and most visceral. - Lily Moayeri

Doug Gillard
THE ECHO
Doug Gillard is a guitar hero for the alt-rock generation. For many years, he's added glittery sizzle to Guided by Voices, but he first came to attention in Cleveland in the early '80s with the recently reunited Death of Samantha, the supremely cynical band that influenced GBV and many other better-known groups. When Death of Samantha morphed in the 1990s into the harder and heavier Cobra Verde, Gillard came along to add his Mick Ronson - inspired licks. Throughout it all, Gillard also has had a fairly prolific solo career, whether fronting the underrated group Gem or on his latest solo album, Parade On. The new CD moves from the power-pop title song to the softer acoustic strumming of "Ready for Death," which belies its morbid title with breezy harmonies. - Falling James

Thursday, June 5

tUnE-yArDs, Sylvan Esso
THE FONDA THEATRE
From puppeteer to musician, tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus is an ardent advocate of pop music and being yourself. The Oakland transplant collaborates in the writing process with her bassist, Nate Brenner, to enhance her already complex melodies and nontraditional harmonies. With quirk and expansive, unhinged talent, Garbus puts herself somewhere between Björk and St. Vincent, constructing the dance-y, excitable and mind-altering tUnE-yArDs. While rumor has it that her show now features less live looping, Garbus' eccentric attire has grown even more exuberant, with shimmering ruffles and tribal face paint. Touring in honor of her most recent and critically acclaimed release, Nikki Nack, Garbus will deliver no shortage of playful, booty-shaking material. Sylvan Esso join the night to open with their energetic synth-pop. - Britt Witt

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

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