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

Beck -- See Sunday
Beck -- See Sunday
Timothy Norris

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

Friday, November 22

Cayucas

TROUBADOR

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Named after the sleepy seaside town of Cayucos, near San Luis Obispo, this L.A.-based tropical-pop group pays homage to sweet memories of endless summer nights and sunny leisure with musical tales of pretty girls and shell-covered beaches. Although the group's rich surf-rock melodies imply carefree living, their intricate guitar riffs and drum sizzles offer depth. Catchy hooks and warm calypso rhythms have warranted comparisons to early Vampire Weekend, although Cayucas trade that group's East Coast decorum for golden reverb and SoCal nostalgia. Their debut full-length, Bigfoot, is bright, wistful and harmonic, with nods to The Beach Boys, Real Estate and Best Coast. With support from brother-sister duo Wardell and high school pals Hindu Pirates, this night is sure to have you shimmying as though the sun never sets. --Britt Witt

See also: Stand Back: These Los Angeles Bands Are About to Blow Up

The Handsome Family, John C. Reilly, Becky Stark, Tom Brosseau

BOOTLEG THEATER

The Handsome Family come from a land called Americana, a place where rustic banjos and acoustic guitars peck away at the dirt and lonely voices twine together in well-worn folkie lamentations. What makes the Albuquerque married duo of banjo plucker Rennie Sparks and singer-guitarist Brett Sparks different from other country-rock revivalists is the way Brett eerily intones Rennie's tangled lyrics, which twist history and mystery into a new form of Southern Gothic mythology. On their latest album, Wilderness, Rennie ties together odes to disparate animals (octopuses, wildebeests, owls) with bizarre allusions to Stephen Foster, General Custer and "the capture of the Wisconsin Window Smasher of 1896." Actor-singer John C. Reilly opens, surrounded by such stellar collaborators as Lavender Diamond chanteuse Becky Stark and Tom Brosseau, the gentle-voiced folkie who has a new album, Grass Punks, out soon. --Falling James

Saturday, November 23

Echoes West Festival

ECHOPLEX

By fall, most of the year's big music festivals have already come and gone, but today the Echoplex hosts one more grand gathering -- a curious collection of bands old and new and oft-psychedelic -- to benefit Spindrift's Sasha Vallely, who is recovering from a serious accident. The beloved 1970s S.F. power-pop group Flamin' Groovies shake some action in a rare flashback, featuring early members Cyril Jordan, George Alexander and Chris Wilson (although not Roy Loney). Bauhaus bassist David J also is looking backward, reprising the hits of one of his other early bands, Love & Rockets, backed by members of Sky Parade. Ya Ho Wha 13 guitarist Djinn Aquarian hails from the distant past (as in the 1970s), but his extremely spacey blend of psychedelia still sounds bracingly futuristic today. Apart from a cover of the Stones' "Citadel," hard-rock warriors The Hangmen have never been all that trippy, but they've always slammed out a mean version of Flamin' Groovies' "Slow Death." Newer spins on the ancient incantations come by way of Magic Wands, with their gauzy, interstellar dream weaving, and the alternately funereal and glittery circus-rock anthems of The Moonbeams. --Falling James

Pearl Jam

L.A. SPORTS ARENA

The last time Pearl Jam played Los Angeles, in 2009, they completed a four-night stint at the Gibson Amphitheatre that featured a number of surprises, including an impromptu Temple of the Dog reunion with Chris Cornell. Since then, Eddie Vedder and company have toured the globe relentlessly, with their shows attracting the largest crowds of their career. Touring now behind Lightning Bolt, their 10th album (and their fifth to hold the top spot on the Billboard Top 200), the notoriously commercial-wary outfit has maintained a surprisingly high profile this time around. Pearl Jam recently provided the soundtrack to the MLB World Series, and their single "Mind Your Manners" has generated major radio airplay. Not bad for a band many considered finished at the beginning of the last decade. --Daniel Kohn

See also: Pearl Jam's "Jeremy": Why This Song Sucks

 

Sunday, November 24

Beck's Song Reader

WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

It's a father-and-child reunion tonight as celebrated arranger/producer David Campbell (Carole King, Radiohead, Metallica) leads the L.A. Phil in a performance of his son Beck's Song Reader. Of course, Beck and Campbell have worked together before, with dad playing viola and arranging string parts on some of the kid's albums, but never on such an unusual project. Late last year, Beck released 20 new tunes -- as unrecorded sheet music. At tonight's show, Beck, Campbell and the orchestra flesh those notes out into vibrant sounds augmented by more than a dozen musicians and narrators, including Jenny Lewis, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Juanes, Van Dyke Parks, Moses Sumney, Tig Notaro, Roger Manning Jr., Childish Gambino, Jon Brion, Becky Stark, Tom Brosseau, John C. Reilly, Jack Black and gospel singer Merry Clayton, who wailed the chilling duet on the original recording of "Gimme Shelter" and is spotlighted in the recent doc 20 Feet From Stardom. --Falling James

Austin Peralta Memorial Concert

BLUE WHALE

Little Tokyo's Blue Whale was the last place brilliant young pianist Austin Peralta played on Nov. 20, 2012, before the events that led to his tragic and untimely death the following day at age 22. Blue Whale owner Joon Lee has set aside this night for Peralta's musical family to give praise and remember his legacy. More than two dozen of Peralta's contemporaries, including many of L.A.'s finest young jazz musicians (most of whom Peralta played with on multiple occasions in his brief life), will be on hand to celebrate the immense talent that left L.A. and the world far, far too soon. This evening will celebrate all that Peralta was -- musically and more -- and leave the audience to consider how much more there should have been. --Tom Meek

Deltron 3030

THE FONDA THEATRE

They're baaaaack... It's a most welcome return for hip-hop head-squeezers Deltron 3030, whose just-out Deltron 3030: Event II is the long-awaited (10 years!) successor to their genre-smashing debut. On Event II, rapper Del the Funky Homosapien (Hieroglyphics, Da Lench Mob), producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and Canadian turntable king Kid Koala dole their funked-out sonic kaleidoscopes with a trademarked comic vibe that feels way relevant right about now. Call it a sense of perspective when silver-tongued Del extols his alien sci-fi scene while slipping in pithy rags on this corrupt, crazy place we call the real world. (Rage Against the Machine's Zack De La Rocha chips in a rant on the album, too.) The tour features the 16-member 3030 Orchestra and a three-piece touring band that includes The Mars Volta/Racer X bass fella Juan Alderete. --John Payne

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