The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend
Friday, January 17
THE FONDA THEATRE
There was one thing and one thing only missing from the discography of Tim Presley's White Fence, and now that thing ain't missing no more. In November, the Castle Face label teamed up with mad Sacramento sound scientist Chris Woodhouse to release the definitive White Fence live album, which proves right every laudatory curse word I've ever attached to these guys. White Fence here is a hi-fi flamethrower burst of a band, something between the Hex Enduction Hour - era Fall and the S.F. Sorrow - era Pretty Things, or maybe The Adverts and The Other Half - art at heart, punk in the guts, instantly ready for shreddery when it's time for a solo. "Baxter Corner" and "Harness" destroy on this live album, as they surely will when you hear them in person, too. Note to Castle Face: Do a Zig Zags live LP next! - Chris Ziegler
Superhumanoids start their five-shows-in-eight-nights West Coast run on the right foot by beginning the mini-tour with a hometown gig. This L.A. trio, whose stylish soundings find a balance between blissful indie pop and layered, funked-out R&B, have become critical darlings of late. Though they've released several singles and EPs, last year they finally unleashed their debut, the aptly titled Exhibitionist. The laid-back comfort of the album's loose grooves is accentuated by the chemistry between Sarah Chernoff and Cameron Parkins, who trade vocals in a carefully crafted manner that seems to bring out the best in one another. With the way the band is blistering through January, 2014 looks like it's going to be a jam-packed ride to relevancy for one of L.A.'s best up-and-coming outfits. - Daniel Kohn
Saturday, January 18
Motorcycle Black Madonnas
Local quartet Motorcycle Black Madonnas features Los Angeles punk legends including Backbiter guitar shredder Jonathan Hall and the fluid and deeply grooving Legal Weapon bassist Steve Reed, but they are more than just a typical punk band. Hall and Reed trip out with psychedelic riffs and classic-rock dexterity as drummer Mark Segal (Bag: Theory) adjudicates the rhythms with solidly jazzy aplomb. But what really makes the group special is the way that lead singer Marea Katopodis fills gauzy rambles like "Golden Clouds" with her gentle, Velvet Underground - inspired cooing. "You can see me walking through your dreams," she confides softly as Hall crumbles together jangling, melodic chords and knotty, Pete Townshend licks. - Falling James
Open Gate Ensemble, ?Fear for the Dust
LIVE ARTS L.A.
Now more than ever, this town needs ambitious new venues for the progressive arts, and the recent opening of Live Arts L.A. in Eagle Rock is a major boost to the scene. This converted-warehouse studio is the home of the treasured Open Gate music/performance group, which tonight offers another ingeniously risk-taking mix of multimedia, poetics and sonorous spontaneity in a performance piece titled "Cave I," featuring company founder Will Salmon (voice, flute, dance), sax/woodwinds hero Vinny Golia, pipa meister Jie Ma and percussionist Trevor Andries. There also will be a beautifully genre-skewing set by extended/prepared-guitar man Antony DiGennaro and massed-guitars chamber ensemble Fear for the Dust. - John Payne
Sunday, January 19
McCABE'S GUITAR SHOP
Lawrence Lebo has a good heart - literally. Just last month, the fiery local blues chanteuse underwent surgery to have the battery in her pacemaker replaced. The procedure went well, although Lebo and her bassist-husband, Denny Croy, now are dealing with the considerable expense of the operation. In dramatic the-show-must-go-on fashion, though, she's not letting a minor distraction like heart surgery distract her from getting onstage and belting out sly and sultrily swinging blues-jazz numbers like "Blue Line Blues" and her witty Three 6 Mafia answer song, "Lawrence's Working Girl Blues." Beyond being such an engaging song stylist, Lebo is that rarity among blues divas: She actually writes her own memorable tunes instead of relying only on the ancient classics. Tonight, she opens for the veteran acoustic-blues stylist Doug MacLeod. ? - Falling James
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