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Friday, March 13
THE REGENT THEATER
"If we don’t keep pushing forward the culture, who will?” This is the question that Primo and Royce recently posed to their Twitter followers, and it perhaps speaks to the reason they formed their PRhyme duo in the first place. DJ Premier, arguably hip-hop’s greatest producer, and Royce Da 5’9”, a lyrically untouchable Detroit rap legend in his own right, prove on their nine-track collaboration that pushing the culture is exactly what they’ve set out to do. Their self-titled 2014 debut uses samples from the original material of composer Adrian Younge (Black Dynamite) and features guest appearances by Jay Electronica, Dwele and a slew of lauded others, including millennial rappers Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. It behooves you to see the legends in action tonight at the Regent. — Jacqueline Michael Whatley
Slide on your leg warmers like you’re in the infamous “Call on Me” music video and join Swedish DJ-producer Eric Prydz at Exchange LA. On his 16-date Pryda Generate tour, Prydz is returning to his roots in a nightclub setting after dominating Madison Square Garden last year. A veteran of the club scene, Prydz has been packing the dance floor since before the words “EDM” or “Skrillex” were ever uttered. Genre-bending master of the club single, Prydz’s “BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix” was chosen as mix of the year in 2013, and tastemaker Pete Tong selected him to debut the first mix of 2015. Playing out tracks from his debut artist album, due out later this year, Prydz makes sure you get your money’s worth. — Lina Abascal
Wand, Death Valley Girls
Bonnie Bloomgarden unfurls her voice over Death Valley Girls’ sludgy punk anthems with all the fierce majesty of Vice Squad’s Beki Bondage and the late Red Scare chanteuse Bobbi Brat. Bloomgarden’s melodically fiery declamations contrast wonderfully with the fuzzed-out guitar explorations of Larry Schemel (The Flesh Eaters) and the primal, lo-fi garage-rock drumming of Laura Kelsey (ex–The Flytraps). Track “Sanitarium Blues” sounds more like a hard-rock fistfight than traditional blues, as Schemel’s guitar punches gaping holes in the asylum’s walls. Death Valley Girls are about to tour with Wand, the local trip-makers whose garage-rock structures are blown up into psychedelic, spacey passages. Cory Thomas Hanson’s yearning vocals shine a light into the grungy corridors and twisting hallways of songs such as “Clearer,” despite his best attempts to drown himself in a sea of distorted guitars. — Falling James
Saturday, March 14
PAPPY & HARRIET'S PIONEERTOWN PALACE
In the early ’90s, guitarist Dave Catching escaped from the hectic intensity of Los Angeles and relocated deep into the Mojave Desert at Joshua Tree, where he cofounded the Rancho de la Luna recording studio. He had been playing in quintessential Hollywood bands such as Tex & the Horseheads and pop-poetry collective The Ringling Sisters, but once he moved out to the desert, Catching began creating music with Earthlings? that was as expansive and alien as the dusty Mojave landscape. Paired with vocalist Peter Stahl (Scream, Wool), Catching crafts tracks that are alternately atmospheric and psychedelic (“Disposable Brain”) and heavy and grungy (“Tea Glitter”). Playing in his virtual backyard tonight, Catching gathers some of his stellar friends, including rumbling New Orleans hard rockers Dinola and a new outfit dubbed Rancho de la Lunatics. — Falling James
Kate Tempest is a writer of books, plays and poems, a spoken-word artist and the opposite of a sucker MC. The British rhyme master follows her brothers in beat, The Streets and Plan B, spitting out sharp-edged, cultural observations in the broadest of British accents. On her 2014 debut, the Mercury Prize–nominated Everybody Down, Tempest recounts a 12-chapter tale of loneliness that follows three characters in the big city. Drugs, clubs, prostitution, money; she spits raw and deft over uber-producer Dan Carey’s equally narrative backdrop. The rap battles of her teenage years serve Tempest well on the spare “Lonely Daze,” the kinetic “Circles” and the dark claustrophobia of “Happy End.” Her new single, the throat-catching “Bad Place for a Good Time,” rides on a simple piano and hints at further groundbreaking things to come. — Lily Moayeri
Killer Pussy, Evil Beaver
Yeah, this bill sounds like a frat-boy joke, but neither Killer Pussy nor Evil Beaver are kidding around with their heavy sonic attacks. Well, OK, Killer Pussy might have been kidding on sardonic ’80s punk anthems such as “Pocket Pool” and “Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage.” Led by the salacious Lucy LaMode, who often performs in a skin-tight nurse’s uniform, the Phoenix-based band recently reunited to revive tongue-in-cheek tunes from their mid-’80s cult classic, Bikini Wax. Evil Beaver generates a mighty racket with just bass and drums, led by frontwoman Evie Evil’s alternately alluring and snarling vocals. Evil and her rotating cast of drummers (all named Beaver, naturally) lure you in on seductive songs such as “Honey Pump” before kicking you in the teeth with pummeling, fuzz-drenched choruses. — Andy Hermann
Sunday, March 15
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The Ghazal Ensemble
SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER
To immerse in the music of the Ghazal Ensemble is to allow oneself a mind-expanding, soul-cleansing experience that pays repeated dividends. The group comprises three of the foremost exponents of their respective instruments: Iran’s Kayhan Kalhor (a three-time Grammy nominee for his work with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble) on kamancheh, a Persian four-stringed fiddle; Indian sitarist Shujaat Husain Khan; and Indian tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das. The much-heralded trio fuses Persian dastgah modal music and North Indian classical raga, demonstrating each form’s impact on the other in the artistic exchanges of the Middle East and India over hundreds of years. The two styles blended create a fascinating, genuinely new sound whose interwoven textures and melodic lines are mesmerizing and shiveringly beautiful. Ghazal Ensemble are cultural ambassadors of the very best kind. — John Payne