The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend
See Saturday: La Santa Cecilia
Photo courtesy of the Windish Agency
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!
Friday, July 25
For the better part of the past decade, Dierks Bentley has helped usher in a new era of country music. His catalog has spawned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts and cemented his status as one of mainstream country’s superstars. Every year since 2006, the 38-year-old has spent a good chunk of his time on the road entertaining fans with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean. In February, Bentley released Riser, his seventh studio album. The record’s second single, “I Hold On,” became his first song to climb to the top of the country airplay charts. In addition to his hits, Bentley is known for his energetic live show. But as Riser proved to even the most dismissive of critics, Bentley’s career isn’t slowing down anytime soon. —Daniel Kohn
Municipal Waste, The Shrine
Virginia punk-thrashers Municipal Waste are the modern-day spiritual kin to such ’80s crossover greats as D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies. Albums such as 2012’s The Fatal Feast showcase a ferocious beast whose primary lyrical obsessions include beer, pizza, partying and horror movies. While the subject matter may not be that serious, the group is dedicated to inspiring the largest mosh pits possible. The buzzsaw guitars of Ryan Waste and drumming from Dave Witte that’s simultaneously rock-solid and rock-hard lay down a great canvas for vocalist Tony Foresta to spew forth venom as the fans futilely try to avoid getting crushed in the pit. Venice punk-rockers The Shrine aren’t quite as metal, but their odes to surfing, skateboarding and rocking the eff out on new album Bless Off will help them fit on this bill just fine. RSVP is required for this one here. —Jason Roche
The Ron Carter Trio
CATALINA BAR & GRILL
Life is precious and ephemeral, and moments of greatness, which can be so fleeting in the overall scheme of things, should be savored while they’re still here. The recent passing of local bass legend Charlie Haden makes us appreciate even more the ongoing presence of double bassist Ron Carter, who’s been going strong for more than 50 years since he came out of Detroit as a classically trained cellist. He started as a sideman in drummer Chico Hamilton’s band, but really made a name for himself in the early 1960s with Miles Davis’ second great quintet, where his intuitive bass runs padded nimbly on cat’s paws underneath the thicket of Herbie Hancock’s rolling piano chords and Davis’ iconic clarion calls. Professor Carter has presided over, and pushed along, many of jazz’s greatest moments in his long career. Also Saturday, July 26. ?—Falling James
Saturday, July 26
Jon Hopkins, Teebs
A composer of film scores, remixer and longtime collaborator with Brian Eno and Coldplay, East London’s Jon Hopkins makes electronic music for — strange twist! — human beings. Hopkins has just released Immunity (Domino), which, a bit unlike his past, largely downtempo/ambient stuff, places the emphasis squarely on the dance, with epic blasts of throbbing beat and enveloping synths, wrapped around choice found-sound textures and more intimate episodes of pensive piano and baleful choral drones. It’s Hopkins’ great ear for warm, analog synth tones that might just make you want to curl up in a li’l ball right there on the dancefloor. Also L.A. hero Teebs, whose recent Estara album on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label is a superbly crafted slice of atmospheric hip-hop and much, much more. —John Payne
GRMLN, Gothic Tropic
A year after NorCal native Yoodoo Park, known as GRMLN, released his debut LP, Empire, he has joined a label (Carpark Records), garnered solid reviews and announced the arrival in September of his new LP, Soon Away. GRMLN’s ocean breeze–tinged power pop finds itself nestled somewhere between Wavves and Velvet Crush, where hazy nostalgia reigns. Now a trio, Park and his bandmates offer up a sound of colder beaches, with enough raucous live energy to keep you warm. Seasoned locals Gothic Tropic keep the evening’s trio trend going with their worldbeat-driven psych-pop. Singer Cecilia Della Peruti may or may not be barefoot, but count on her skilled guitar parts and extended solos to keep you hooked. —Britt Witt
La Santa Cecilia
FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH
It’s beyond foolish to try to force La Santa Cecilia into some convenient pigeonhole. The local sextet deftly draws upon such traditional Latin music styles as cumbia, bossa nova and tango, but they’re just as likely to mix in klezmer, jazz, folk and even new wave. Earlier this year, they won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album for their 2013 album, Treinta Días. Marisol Hernandez (aka La Marisoul) is a compelling and powerful singer, whether she’s cooing traditional Spanish-language ballads such as “Ice El Hielo” against Marco Sandoval’s languid acoustic guitar, or belting out passionate English anthems “Someday New” or the sinuously romantic “Jack.” When La Santa Cecilia pump up their unique versions of hits by The Beatles and Soft Cell, the songs are twisted further by Jose Carlos’ artful accordion. Also at the Pico Union Project, Monday, July 28, with Yuval Ron Ensemble. —Falling James
Sunday, July 27
It’s been almost four years since Cotton Jones released their last full-length album, Tall Hours in the Glowstream, but the Maryland combo is back on the road again and setting up intimate shows in seemingly every available living room in the country. The Silverlake Lounge isn’t much bigger than most living rooms, which should make Michael Nau’s gentle tunes feel even more personal and homespun. His songs range from countrified folk ambles to hazier pop interludes, splitting the difference on “Splitting Dreams,” where his rootsy delivery drifts along on a loopy, sidewinding guitar riff. Much of the music’s spectral warmth comes from Nau’s keyboardist wife, Whitney McGraw, whose sweet harmonies carry the melodies straight from the farm up into the clouds. —Falling James
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!
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