The Five Best Concerts in L.A. This Week
Timothy NorrisLadyhawke -- See Monday
Monday, September 24
Lavender Diamond are back, and they come in peace, as usual, and also with synthesizers, which is a bit more unusual. The heartbroke piano-folk they made on their one-and-a-half beautiful albums about five years ago is still there on the new Incorruptible Heart, but there is also approximately 147 percent more bleeps and boops and all kinds of other never-before-Lavenderized things, thanks to producer Damian Kulash of OK GO. And truly, he produces the hell outta this thing -- can you say "hell" in a piece about Lavender Diamond? Truly, too, it's beautiful in ways no one would've expected. This is a record that wants to climb up high and sit pretty next to Kate Bush, Tom Tom Club or even Blondie. It's pop that's equal parts art, smarts and heart. --Chris Ziegler
New Zealand-born multi-instrumentalist Pip Brown takes her stage name, Ladyhawke, from the 1985 fantasy film. Before taking that moniker, Brown was part of a band named after the 1971 classic Two-Lane Blacktop. Both of these nods to film are perfectly fitting, as Brown's music creates lucid visuals, from soft-focus fantasy to roadside stands flying by in a reckless late-night drive. To craft her songs, the Kiwi uses signature sounds from a vast array of genres, incorporating crunched guitars, fuzzy synths, super-clean precision bass lines, wah effects and more. She blends these effects and styles so that her sound rarely embraces a single one, and yet each is always present -- like a delicious smoothie studded with pieces of fruit. Her synth-driven mix of pop and rock walks a line between the very latest in pop music and memory-invoking vintage sounds. --Diamond Bodine-Fischer
Tuesday, September 25
Gentle but firm, Ferraby Lionheart strikes with a focused intelligence underlying his down-to-earth, laid-back persona and his engrossing story-songs. He's a real musician with superior technical craft: His acoustic guitar- and piano-accompanied pieces take their cues from Dylan's '60s folk and, a bit strangely, what sounds like Elton John channeling Cole Porter. Ferraby's love-and-loss-and-love-again subject matter often is paired with bubbly, bouncy music, giving his songs a resonant ambiguity and highly visual impact. With eyes shut and a slight grimace, he'll deliver a lyrically involving and musically deep set from his Catch the Brass Ring EP and Jack of Hearts full-length, and a few new tunes to boot. --John Payne
Wednesday, September 26
While Accept's brand of metal is more grounded in hard rock than the punishing thrash executed by fellow German natives Kreator, both groups have joined the growing club of heavy-metal acts that are aging gracefully. Accept's new album, Stalingrad, is a bruising ripper that stands strong alongside their classic '80s material. Though he doesn't make longtime fans forget the rasp of original vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, new screamer Mark Tornillo leaves an impressive mark on Accept's metallic blueprint. Our favorite German metal record this year, though, is Kreator's Phantom Antichrist. The band has completed its return to the ruthlessly efficient thrash that made fans mosh worldwide three decades ago. Kreator have one simple purpose with their music: brute force. Together, Accept and Kreator lead a German invasion that we welcome. --Jason Roche
Thursday, September 27
Brian Charette Organ Sextette
This fabulous NYC organist sports a wide-ranging resume, having played with everyone from Joni Mitchell to Max Weinberg, and his inspiration comes from an equally diverse subset, from kung-fu to Olivier Messiaen. Imagine an austere French composer chasing birds while leaping from tree to tree in a yellow Bruce Lee jumpsuit, and you'll have an idea of what this music is about. Charette's arrangements draw upon Messiaen's harmonic innovations, but while Messiaen was ever in pursuit of the sublime, Charette manages to keep things grounded, even earthy. A faithful lifetime church organist, Messiaen might raise an eyebrow over titles like "Computer God" or "Prayer for an Agnostic," but were he to meet Charette, they might have a nice time, comparing scale modes and White Crane to Wing Chun. --Gary Fukushima
For details about these shows and more live music happening in the city this week, check out our Concert Calendar.
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