The Best Concerts to See in Los Angeles This Week

Devendra Banhart -- See Thursday
Devendra Banhart -- See Thursday
Credit: Ana Kras

For any show in town see our regularly-updated concert calendar.

Monday, May 13



Torches are an L.A. band (the band that was once Torches in Trees, if your indie rock database needs an update) who've submerged themselves completely in the same kind of anthemic, happy-sad music that put The Shins and Yo La Tengo in permanent teenage-mixtape rotation. Oh, and in that category let's not forget Arcade Fire. In fact, what about booking a string section and devoting this particular night of Torches' May residency at the Echo to nothing but heart-on-sleeve Arcade Fire covers? That's the plan for this evening. It's a nice little gesture that's part acknowledgment of influence, part thankful tribute and, most of all, true band-on-band love. Be ready to sing along, or at the very least sway along. With openers Infantree, Radars to the Sky and the indefatigable Manhattan Murder Mystery. --Chris Ziegler

Tuesday, May 14

The Egg, Sophie Barker


The Egg cracks open with chipper electronic dance music on new songs like "Catch," which fuses sotto-voce singing, new-wave keyboards, funky guitars and techno rhythms into a brand-new form of catchy house music. On the title track of their recent album, Something to Do, the British band shifts into a hypnotic idyll replete with laid-back crooning, sparkling alt-rock guitars and incandescent keyboard tones, a welcome respite from the hectic intensity of their more uptempo dance tracks. Former Zero 7 chanteuse Sophie Barker collaborated with The Egg on their 2005 "Walking Away," but she's recently moved away from her earlier downtempo style and opened up with a more lavish and yet introspective pop grandeur on her fully captivating recent album, Seagull. --Falling James



When U.K. hard-rock paragons Motörhead released their first single (titled, believe it or not, "Motörhead") in the spring of 1977, it was a sheer, devastating blast of untamed rock & roll epiphany. Go back and drop the needle on that one -- it's a bone-rattling, mad-dog howling slab of high, amphetamine sulphate-fueled adventure that is still nothing less than flabbergasting, and so damn loud as to almost reach the point of overmodulated distortion. Almost 40 years later, this terrible threesome (dang it, but we do still miss Philthy Animal) roars on with unstoppable zeal, displaying the unflagging, momentous drive that has rightfully installed the mighty Lemmy as one of the most influential, celebrated and singular beasts in rock & roll demonology. Chronically gleeful, slightly demented, loaded with menacing appeal and unerringly louder than any other band anywhere, every Motörhead performance is a rich, ritualistic exercise in transcendent musical hellraising. --Jonny Whiteside

Wednesday, May 15

Duniven, The Bixby Knolls


Eastside singer-songwriter Duniven boasts at least two things that set him apart in that overpopulated field: an authentically roots-rusty voicebox and bona fide songwriting skills. His folky pop-rock resides firmly in a roots-Americana mold, recalling most obviously the hooky rock & roll of Tom Petty. Better yet is that he serves it all up with a Dylanesque style of taking folk-based forms down more poetically adventurous paths. Long Beach's The Bixby Knolls do choice classic soul-infused garage/post-punk. --John Payne


Thursday, May 16

Devendra Banhart


Devendra Banhart's new album, Mala, is his Nonesuch label debut, which might suggest his entry into a, well, "respectable" world of arty mainstream pop. But while the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist's eighth studio album is on the surface less blatantly unconventional than much of his past work, it's really more a focusing and refining of the eclectic states of mind he's always traversed. Banhart has a way of making airy ballads, sunny pop rock and gently experimental sound ornaments twist as if attuned to a musical zeitgeist where almost anything goes. (Mala does that partly by its having been recorded on a crappy old Tascam four-track cassette machine, which funks up the music quite tastily.) He also has become a singer of considerable gifts, especially with the handful of tunes he performs en español. Devendra Banhart 2013: Still full of surprises, and never boring, not for a moment. --John Payne

See also: Devendra Banhart: Days of mud and poses



A lot should be said about a band that can maintain a strong hold on its audience despite vanishing completely between shows. This disappearing act didn't mute Papa's impact during their over-capacity residency at the Bootleg in January or prevent their inclusion in many a SXSW top-10 list. The duo's rise to popularity is one part former Girls member (singer-drummer Darren Weiss), two parts boyhood friendship and all parts rock. Papa is the kind of soulful band that will cover a Patti Smith song and then turn the crowd into a swoonfest with Weiss' demands to "make you [his] woman." Given the friendly demeanor of Weiss and bassist Daniel Peasant, it's no surprise that they can get away with songs like "Let's Make You Pregnant." Vocals have an exuberance similar to Springsteen's and charms like those of Dean Martin; better yet, it's all laid on top of exhilarating beats and elegant piano. While balancing gentle crooning with their captivating melodies, Papa remain robust. Fingers crossed for new songs at this show. --Britt Witt

For any show in town see our regularly-updated concert calendar.

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