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

Dessa -- See Saturday
Dessa -- See Saturday

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

Friday, July 12

The Mo-Odds

THE SATELLITE

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Somebody's gonna hear this and think White Stripes, and somebody else is gonna hear this and think Hanni El Khatib. But L.A.'s Mo-Odds surely have Troggs and Pretty Things 45s in their record stacks, or else they wouldn't be doing a guest set at the Black Eyed Soul Club at the Satellite. Now expanded to a full sextet -- including a sax, judging from the new Soto EP (a follow-up to 2010's even rawer Los Angeles Rock & Roll EP) -- the Mo-Odds do over-the-top maximum rhythm 'n' punk that'd go great with Wild Records' unstoppable rockers Don Juan y los Blancos. It's fast; it's raw; it's an "oh-man-watch-out-they're-comin'-right-for-you!" kind of sound. Some bands get followers; these guys probably get chased. No wonder these songs move so fast. --Chris Ziegler

Daniel Rosenboom

ARTSHARE L.A.

Imagine a giant cosmic arrow piercing the sun, which is actually the heart of a mythic figure, a "seer" whose death destroys the universe so it can be reborn again. Now, stop eating those magic mushrooms long enough to realize it's just a neat story dreamed up by trumpeter-composer Daniel Rosenboom, whose soundtrack to his catastrophic imagery is debuting this evening as the album Book of Omens. Accompanied by guitarist Jake Vossler, bassist Tim Lefebvre, Matt Mayhall on drums and featuring free-jazz icon Vinny Golia on woodwinds, Rosenboom has created music terrifyingly spacious yet beautifully dense. If Meshuggah ever did a free-improv album, it might sound like this. Adding to the devastation is some spontaneous video imagery by artist Kio Griffith, which will allow for a mushroom-free psychedelic experience. --Gary Fukushima

Vieux Farka Touré

LEVITT PAVILION PASADENA

There are guitar heroes, and then there's Vieux Farka Touré. Forget for a moment that he's the son of the late and legendary Ali Farka Touré and consider his music on its own terms. Vieux Farka is certainly a dazzling guitarist, spilling forth a flood of notes in that blurrily intense style that's unique to Malian musicians, but he can pierce your heart with just a few well-chosen bluesy string bends. Often called the "Jimi Hendrix of the Sahara," the son is not just about flash. His latest album, Mon Pays ("My Country"), is a soulful ode to Mali, which is still recovering from two years of civil war between Tuareg tribes and Islamic forces. Touré's guitar sparkles and shines and soars through the sky with a searing intensity, but his passionate vocals are also considerably moving. --Falling James

Shugo Tokumaru

THE ECHO

Shugo Tokumaru played and recorded every sound on his recent In Focus?, an album whose 15 songs each contain an average of 20 instruments and hundreds of recorded parts. His celebratory, broad-palette pop is inspiringly obsessive, a head-turningly eclectic sound rooted as much in English Invasion and The Beach Boys as it is in Japanese techno-pop kings Yellow Magic Orchestra and the more arcane nabobs of vintage avant-jazz. Yet Tokumaru manages to stamp his own character on all of it, boasting a particularly strong gift for indelible, multicolored melodies so persuasive in feel that they seem to convey the essence of his Japanese-sung lyrics. Tokumaru's kaleidoscopic cornucopia might just open your ears to what all this pop music can and should be all about. You might even say it's life-affirming. --John Payne

Saturday, July 13

Dessa

TROUBADOUR

You wouldn't necessarily think of Minneapolis as a hotbed of hip-hop, but that frozen city has already given us such fiery performers as Brother Ali and the rapper P.O.S. Minnesota native Margret Wander, aka Dessa, is the latest singer to emerge from the Twin Cities' Doomtree collective, which also includes her former boyfriend, that same P.O.S. The interesting thing about Dessa is that, although she can spit out rapid-fire imagery like any self-respecting rapper on tracks like "Warsaw," she also has a melodic voice that's perfect for confessional, romantic ballads such as "The Man I Knew." (She's such a technically adept singer that it's no surprise Dessa also fronts an a capella group, The Boy Sopranos.) All of her mad skills come together on songs like "Call Off Your Ghost," where she segues from sotto-voce raps to lavish pop dreaminess. --Falling James

 

Flamin' Groovies

THE ECHOPLEX

Big Star just got a beautiful new documentary, so who wants to do one on the Flamin' Groovies next? Because the Flamin' Groovies are the other great lost band in the secret history of American rock & roll. They started with a DIY EP in 1968 and went from Stones-y rock & roll to howling Detroit proto-punk to heart-on-sleeve power-pop across three decades and at least as many continents. In the process, they built a cult following that even in this overexposed age still seems to be one of the last, best secrets out there. The Groovies' "Slow Death" is an immortal classic, their "Shake Some Action" is a classic with a completely different sound, and we haven't even talked about their Teenage Head album. They should be up there with The Stooges and The Ramones for adolescent mind-unwinding, and one day, or one documentary from now, they will be. --Chris Ziegler

Sunday, July 14

Rodrigo y Gabriela, DeVotchKa, Lord Huron

HOLLYWOOD BOWL

Rodrigo y Gabriela are so intense onstage that they've already released almost as many live albums (three) as they have studio releases (four). Often described as flamenco guitarists, the Mexican duo actually is more influenced by heavy metal than traditional styles, but there's no doubt that Rodrigo Sanchez's brash, elaborate soloing and Gabriela Quintero's solid rhythmic accents stand out in the normally meek world of acoustic guitarists. On their latest studio album, Area 52, the pair moves away from the stark, stripped-down intimacy of earlier work, fleshing out instrumentals with full-band backing by the Havana orchestra C.U.B.A. Not surprisingly, Rodrigo y Gabriela's originals now encompass a wider, jazzier and more Cuban sound, even as guest Anoushka Shankar's sitar slithers alongside the guitars on exotic whirls like "Ixtapa." Tonight's lineup also includes the ponderously orchestrated pop of Colorado neo-Gypsy folkies DeVotchKa and the semi-rustic reveries of Lord Huron. --Falling James

Black Flag

THE VEX

Yeah, I saw Black Flag back in the day. Back in 2003, actually, when guitarist and famously ... iconoclastic founder Greg Ginn put a Black Flag together as a benefit for feral cats, if I remember right. (He was into cats way before being into cats was a thing.) Ginn and band members of various Flag pedigree played 23 songs, mostly with a prerecorded bass track, before doing anything that wasn't a punishing, nonpopular deep cut. Then the band blew up and quit during "Jealous Again" when someone hit Dez with a cup of beer. That was the end until now, as Ginn returns with a new Black Flag to guitar-orrize a new generation. Is he a loose nut, you ask? Damaged? Ten years later, I can't decide. But 10 years later, I still remember everything about the time I saw Black Flag. --Chris Ziegler

See also: Henry Rollins: The Interview! Anger, Drugs and the Black Flag Reunion

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

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