The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend
See Saturday: Matthewdavid
Photo by Logan White
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!
Friday, July 11
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Nick Cave has numerous ways of delivering his fire-and-brimstone sermons from atop various pulpits and stages. He’s written novels and appeared in films, and these days Cave has at least two ways of propelling his music forward — he splits his time between Grinderman, whose angular aggression evokes the junkyard clamor of his first band, The Birthday Party, and the venerable Bad Seeds, who back him tonight. On Thursday, July 10, he performs a (sold-out) solo set at the Egyptian Theatre for the local premiere of 20,000 Days on Earth, a pseudo-documentary focusing on a fictional day in his life. If Cave’s creaky murder ballads and eternal lyrical obsession with God and the Devil occasionally become repetitive, pianist Conway Savage and the rest of The Bad Seeds pick him up with a compulsively moody, late-night allure. Also Saturday, July 12, at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. —Falling James
RHONDAVOUS AT 333 LIVE
Basement Jaxx got the ingredients right for their multiflavored house music seven albums ago: bumping beats, Afro rhythms, carved-out vocals. On their latest, Junto, house music is the framework but style mixture remains a Jaxx tradition. Steel drums on “Power to the People,” breakbeats and ragga vocals on “Buffalo,” sped-up reggae on “Rock This Road” and the Beastie Boys–like “Sneakin’ Toronto” keep Junto’s tempos fluid. The urban essence of Soul II Soul is recalled on “Unicorn,” setting the mood for the soul ripper “Never Say Never,” while the twinkling ballad “Something About You” contrasts against the zesty Latin number “Mermaid of Salinas.” It is apparent that with Junto, the U.K. duo is still the architect of the house-music blueprint. Ahead of the album’s release, Basement Jaxx are hitting a select few North American cities, including L.A., with DJ-set dates. —Lily Moayeri
Saturday, July 12
Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples
Jurassic 5 is the globally renowned, six-piece hip-hop act featuring Chali 2na, Marc 7 and Cut Chemist (formerly The Unity Community), Akil and Zaakir (formerly Rebels of Rhythm) and later, DJ Nu-Mark. Founded in 1993 via Los Angeles underground rap hub the Good Life, they are widely respected standard-bearers of hip-hop culture. J5 disbanded in 2007 but reunited in 2013 for Coachella. In April, the legends performed at Glastonbury. Tonight’s show is one of the first stops on their 20-date North American tour and features legendary hip-hop peers Dilated Peoples, who are set to drop their forthcoming Directors of Photography sometime this year. ?—Jacqueline Michael Whatley
Chalice California with STS9, Duo de Twang, E-40, Hieroglyphics
NOS EVENTS CENTER
A festival highlighting “glass, music and medicine” — in other words, pot culture — Chalice California brings together a small but eclectic musical lineup centered around the makers and users of that greatest piece of marijuana-inspired folk art, the glass waterpipe. Between checking out the latest in pipe technology, attendees of the two-day celebration on Saturday can get their nod on to the funky beats of Oakland hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics and their grittier East Bay neighbor, E-40, or freak-dance to the jammier Sunday lineup, which includes electro-rockers STS9 and the Primus-meets-bluegrass pick-a-thons of Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang. Further down Saturday’s bill, don’t sleep on motor-mouthed Kansas City rapper Mac Lethal or the jungle/reggae/chopped ’n’ screwed mash-ups of DJ collective Haggard & Friends. Also Sunday, July 13. —Andy Hermann
Crash + Burn with Matthewdavid
Hit + Run’s Crash + Burn — and ain’t that some kinda dynamic series of verbs? — is a yearly tradition dedicated to upending tradition, where future funkers and outsider beat creatures meet for a show under the banner of the city’s premier guerrilla silkscreening machine. At the top of this year’s bill are Zackey Force Funk and Matthewdavid, both coming off recent albums, but let’s zoom in on MD for a moment. His new In My World (Brainfeeder) is a love song to love songs, metabolizing sweet soul, Low End beats and waves of blissed-out New Age noise into some kind of sci-fi mash note to forever. In moments, it’s startling, adorable and ferocious; as a whole, it’s pure, personal and honest. Too bad it’s not already Valentine’s Day, but In My World definitely has power enough to win you over anew in February. —Chris Ziegler
There’s something about the glimmering, simmering days of summer that gives soul music an even deeper pull and emotional heft. Perhaps it’s the way the sun warms everything up from within, igniting summer romances and crystallizing the mad idea that life will somehow last forever. You can feel the sunlight glowing in the groovy passages of Chicano Batman’s latest album, Cycles of Existential Rhyme, where the local band fuses Latin soul with old-school R&B. Carlos Arévalo’s guitar flutters, flickers and soars like a bird over Bardo Martinez’s pumped-up organ, while bassist Eduardo Arenas and drummer Gabriel Villa shuffle and mix together a series of subtly shifting rhythms. The slippery, funky wah-wah guitars of “Bilbao” soon segue into the restfully dreamy balladry of tunes like “Stoned Soul Picnic.” —Falling James
Sunday, July 13
New Order, La Roux
For a band that ushered in a brave new sonic world after rising from the ashes of the tragically silenced Joy Division in 1980, New Order has risked becoming a merely retro act in recent years. The English group haven’t released a new album since 2005, and they haven’t been quite the same since founding bassist Peter Hook departed a couple years later. However, frontman Bernard Sumner and the remaining members recently have been performing two synth-heavy new songs, “Plastic” and “Singularity” — a flickering sign of life amid all the nostalgia. Yet despite all the propulsive pleasures of ancient hits such as “Blue Monday,” New Order are most thrilling these days when they uncork the stirring guitar chords of Joy Division’s curiously timeless “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Openers La Roux blend Elly Jackson’s yearning vocals with producer Ben Langmaid wash of ’80s-era synths. —Falling James
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!
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