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

See Sunday: Knower
See Sunday: Knower
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, April 11

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
EMPIRE POLO CLUB
The big box of candy known as Coachella is stuffed again with an assortment of familiar flavors, although there are fewer exotic confections overall this year than in previous editions. A couple of the more notable surprises occur on the first day, when André 3000 and Big Boi realign as Outkast for the first time in seven years, and a version of The Replacements reappears out of the misty haze. It should be a thrill to hear laid-back balladeer Paul Westerberg finally crank it up again (albeit, sadly, without key 'Mats members Chris Mars and the late Bob Stinson), but it isn't clear yet if Outkast is an organic entity again or merely two separate speaker boxes paired together for a nostalgia cash-in. Friday's other wonders range from Chromeo's goofy electro-funk and Neko Case's fiery vocal contrails to The Knife's electronic propulsion and Wye Oak's stormy, swirling melodicism. Saturday alternately rocks harder with Queens of the Stone Age, slinks strangely with Muse's dynamic waves, impresses with Pharrell Williams' pop-hop savvy and enchants via Lorde's gauzily contemplative dance pop. Sunday features the ubiquitous Arcade Fire and Beck, but highlights include Lana Del Rey's dreamy romanticism, Disclosure's engrossing electronics and a reunion of alt-rockers Neutral Milk Hotel. - Falling James

Motörhead, Graveyard
CLUB NOKIA
Motörhead may not have invented rock & roll, but they surely were the first to so completely weaponize it - although historical accuracy demands we give an iron-clad fist bump to Australian contemporary Rose Tattoo. If any combination of leather, riffs and whiskey gets your blood pumping, you're only reading this far to see if there's a reason to come find me and punch me later. (And I said Rose Tattoo, so we should be good.) Swedish openers Graveyard add outré '70s vibes (à la Sir Lord Baltimore or Pentagram) to their old-school r-a-w-k and have a healthy appreciation for psychedelic horror legend Roky Erickson, whose fearsome howl surely inspired at least one terrifying moment on recent album Lights Out. - Chris Ziegler

 

Saturday, April 12

Bambu
ECHOPLEX
Bambu walks the same L.A. streets as the rest of us. But the local Filipino-American rapper has the unusual gift of not only being able to pass unscathed through this city's madness but also to articulate what he sees - while offering something like hope for the hopeless. The self-described "Southeast Asian who can run rhyme" is "a byproduct of that LAUSD education, miseducated," but he learned much more through his intense experiences and a desire to teach himself. His 2012 album, One Rifle Per Family, starts off with violent opuses such as "Massacre" and "Pepper Spray," but he reveals where his heart really lies by closing with tracks "Kids," "Pops" and "Moms." - Falling James

Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors
BLUE WHALE
It's a dirty secret that many fine indie-rock musicians were at one time studying or playing jazz. Some will never admit it, for the j-word can mean career suicide in certain circles. Others embrace it and use it to their advantage. Bassist Todd Sickafoose earned some street cred playing with Ani DiFranco and Andrew Bird, and he has parlayed his folk and rock experience into a sound concept that makes for a satisfying synthesis of instrumental improvisation and atmospheric groove, with remarkable attention to detail in composition, color and texture. His band, Tiny Resistors, features an impressive lineup of savvy musicians, including violinist Jenny Scheinman, drummer Allison Miller and clarinetist Ben Goldberg. It will be unexampled, expressive, provocative and splendid. Just don't call it jazz. - Gary Fukushima

Sunday, April 13

Knower
THE SATELLITE
If you have ever wondered what life inside Tron is like, Knower will solve the mystery. Explosive from the first note, the duo's electro funk-pop is colorful, flirty and a direct route to hacking the ENCOM mainframe. Genevieve Artadi's nimble vocals chase the electro soundscapes of Louis Cole for a galloping array of beats and melodies that groove nonstop. Known for unique pop covers of artists including Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga and Daft Punk, the duo released its third album, Let Go, and made it all the way to Bonnaroo in 2013. Jazz-funk drummer Nate Wood joins Artadi and Cole for an even more intense aural and visual experience. Catch local friends yOya, who have added a drummer to their acoustic pop, opening before they head to Brokechella. - Britt Witt

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

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