The Best Concerts To See in L.A. This Week: Nov 5-8
Bleached -- See Thursday
Monday, November 5
Well-dressed man Leonard Cohen is often referred to as a ladykiller; no doubt, the gifted songwriter, musician and poet is effortlessly suave, with a quiet charisma that surely aids in conveying the pointedly poignant words and hues of his music and poems. Since his 1967 debut, Songs of Leonard Cohen, the man has consistently kept it rolling; it's inspiring to note that he produced some of his best work decades after he got started, including I'm Your Man (1988) and the elegiac excursions of this year's Old Ideas, another satisfying blend of the wrenchingly heartbreaking and happily hopeful, with time-earned simplicity that's deeply felt and, better yet, shrewdly thought out. Both live and in the studio, Mr. Cohen is in fine, funny, fighting form. --John Payne
Tuesday, November 6
Miss May I
Defying its (relatively) clean-cut aesthetic, this quintet -- whose members were still in high school when they formed the band in 2006 -- summons a witheringly dense, guitar-driven din that allows little room for argument, let alone vulnerability. But for these unassuming Ohioans, heft and deft coexist in furious harmony, with plenty of noodly six-string detail and industrial strength (and speed) kickdrums amidst a veritable monsoon of oversaturated riffery. There's melody, too, with bassist Ryan Neff offering heartfelt, singable counterpoints to frontman Levi Benton's apocalyptic roar. (Unusually, they've retained their original lineup all the way since high school.) Miss May I may not sound especially original today, but they came early to metalcore's table, and a rare sense of single-mindedness still pervades their angry yet anthemic assault. --Paul Rogers
Wednesday, November 7
To most people, saxophonist Danny Janklow looks even younger than his 23 years. The Agoura Hills native and 2011 Temple University grad returned to Los Angeles and quickly began making a name for himself in local jazz circles. After hearing Janklow sitting in with Conan saxophonist Jerry Vivino, leading saxman Doug Webb was impressed enough to lend the young man one of his personal instruments. Tonight Janklow is upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City, the club where he cut his chops a year ago jamming in the downstairs bar. He's backed by former Wynton Marsalis pianist Eric Reed, drummer Wes Anderson and fine young bassist Mike Gurrola, who turned down a Juilliard scholarship offer to stay on the West Coast. Janklow promises a mix of original tunes and standards from the likes of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon. --Tom Meek
Thursday, November 8
Much has been made of Cat Power's recent makeover, with critics seemingly just as enamored of her new hairstyle (after the Atlanta native sheared off her trademark long, straight, brown hair in favor of a short, pixie-like blond cut) as they are the musical evolution on her ninth album, Sun. She shifts away from the Memphis soul of previous releases into a more overtly poppy, piano-laced sound, flecked with newfound traces of electronica. Such cosmetic adornments don't really change the soulful intensity that remains at the heart of Power's emotionally cathartic ballads. The arrangements might be different, but Power still hypnotizes with that languidly mournful yet ever-comforting voice. --Falling James
The Clavin sisters and their band, Bleached, came out guns blazing with two 45s (vinyl records, we mean) and a sound somewhere between the WipersT Wire, The Ramones (in the most primordial, awesome way) and The Shop Assistants. Which means: punk before it got all fossilized and cranky; pop as it should have been if Rough Trade ran the radio. No album yet, but that's OK because this is a band born to communicate through an A-side and a B-side: They know you probably can say in two minutes anything you could say in three, and you probably should make sure at least 30 seconds of that goes to some "ooh-oohs" for a chorus, too. If you've been looking for the perfect thing to paint on the back of your army-surplus jacket ... deeply consider B-L-E-A-C-H-E-D. --Chris Ziegler
For details about these shows and more live music happening in the city this week, check out our Concert Calendar.
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