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

See Thursday: Charles Bradley
See Thursday: Charles Bradley
Photo by Darren Bastecky

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Monday, September 8

Taylor Greenwood
HOTEL CAFÉ
Taylor Greenwood is the latest musician touted by the seemingly ubiquitous Dave Grohl, who strums guitar on her gentle acoustic ballad “Sing You to Sleep.” The local singer-songwriter has a fittingly lulling voice, and although she’s not doing anything radically new, Greenwood has an engaging presence and considerable commercial potential. Her instincts are generally mainstream on bouncy pop tunes such as “Something With You” and “All the Right Ones,” and while her romantic-minded lyrics are fairly unremarkable, her singing has enough personality and charisma to override the generic setting and production. At the moment, Greenwood seems to spend half her energy covering cutesy songs by other musicians (Katy Perry, One Direction, Maroon 5), but she’s far more intriguing when she allows her own personality to creep through. —Falling James

Tuesday, September 9

Upcoming Events

The Entrance Band
THE SATELLITE
“Lay your illusions down forevermore,” Guy Blakeslee urges on “No Needs.” The lyric evokes the sense of psychedelic wonder that he tries to conjure with The Entrance Band, even as the quaint phrasing also marks him as a man out of time. Blakeslee surrounds himself in a spin of flamenco guitars, castanets and flute, his droning vocals pulled away in a stormy updraft of whirling strings. Paz Lenchantin, presumably on a break from her new day job with The Pixies, keeps Blakeslee tethered to the ground and/or reality with her firmly roaming bass. When Lenchantin and Blakeslee plug in their axes for maximum impact, their bluesy, hard-rock riffs rise and resound like thunder over Derek James’ drum collisions. —Falling James

Wednesday, September 10

Hospitality
COMPLEX
What’s more inviting than attending a party that calls itself Hospitality? The event arm of the U.K.’s Hospital Records, Hospitality is an established rager overseas. The respected, award-winning drum ’n’ bass label, which recently opened its stateside doors in Los Angeles, kicks off an every-other-month Hospitality residency with its crown jewels, Fred V & Grafix. Released this past spring, the duo’s multifaceted debut full-length, Recognise, swings from the sci-fi bent of “Hydra” to the frisky “Maverick Souls,” the symphonic “Green Destiny” and the tuneful “Forest Fires.” Local talent DJ Roxanne and Kid Hops keep the vibes rolling in preparation for the secret surprise guest. Additionally, Hospitality has partnered with Uber for this evening, making the trek to Glendale a smooth one. —Lily Moayeri
  Thursday, September 11

Charles Bradley
SANTA MONICA PIER
Soul singer Charles Bradley has had some kind of life. In fact, it’s the kind of life people write songs about, and not always happy songs, either. After decades of touch-and-go living, including a near-death penicillin reaction, sleeping on subway trains and a long stint as a James Brown impersonator, Bradley — by then in his early 60s — was picked up by the meticulous funk/soul musicians at the legendary Daptone label and put in front of the elite band he’d always deserved. And the rest, as they say, is history. His two full-lengths on Daptone sublabel Dunham reveal him as a ragged-voiced heartbreaker like Syl Johnson or Darondo, and at his live shows he’s nothing short of magnetic. So consider this one of the most triumphant “better late than never” scenarios ever. (And don’t miss his Sabbath cover, either.) —Chris Ziegler

Earth
MASONIC LODGE AT HOLLYWOOD FOREVER
These Seattle instrumentalists unleashed an innovative wave of distorted drone metal with their early work in the mid-’90s, paving the way for later acts like Sunn O))) to push the boundaries of low-end repetitive riffs. That sound gained popularity during Earth’s 1996-2005 hiatus, but bandleader Dylan Carlson lessened the heaviness upon return by retreating into a sea of Americana influences. The pants-ruining rumble may have departed from their sound, but the new direction still resulted in soundscapes that were just as minimalist and haunting as Carlson’s work from the early days. The current lineup’s new album, Primitive and Deadly, dabbles slightly with heavier riffs and features guest vocals on a couple tracks from ’90s grunge great–turned–folk rocker Mark Lanegan, but they are integrated tastefully with the influences of Earth’s more recent work. —Jason Roche

Sturgill Simpson
TROUBADOUR
Sturgill Simpson is a country singer who lives near Nashville, but any further resemblance to his colleagues ends there. Simpson’s current CD, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, is a mind-ripping set of aggressively psychedelicized manifestos, served up with a high-voltage electro-tinge. “I wanted to make a psychedelic album and I wanted some of it to sound like, say, Skrillex, only using a lot of old analog equipment, which we did.” Simpson says. “We geeked out like music nerds and had a great time. We wouldn’t be able to do this if we were on a label — that’s why I do it all myself.” A singular intellectual renegade — and a hell of a good singer — Simpson’s bold, idiosyncratic stance ranks him as a critically important country music voice. —Jonny Whiteside

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