The Five Best Concerts in L.A. This Weekend
No Doubt -- See Saturday
Friday, November 23
Leimert Park native Dom Kennedy joins West Coast compatriots TY Dolla $ign, Niko-G4 and Audio Push for what is sure to be an energy-packed performance at Club Nokia. Greatly influenced by the likes of the Notorious B.I.G., Ice Cube and DJ Quik, Dom chose to pursue rap full-time in the late 2000s after a brief stint at junior college. His witty and braggadocious rhymes were unforgettably showcased on his 2008 debut, 25th Hour, which yielded the locally lauded jam "Watermelon Sundae." In later years, his mixtapes From the Westside With Love and From the Westside With Love II acquired international hip-hop renown, scoring co-signs from rap stars Rick Ross and Kanye West. --Jacqueline Michael Whatley
Moris Tepper, Jon Wahl & the Amadans
Moris Tepper is a magic man, and not just because he used to be a part of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. He's a veritable magician onstage, turning simple chords into rabbits and doves that hop and flutter with the barest sleight of hand. Tepper's the guitarist responsible for much of the arty sounds on Tom Waits' Frank's Wild Years album, and he's also twisted up strange shimmers for PJ Harvey and Frank Black. His own solo recordings are less overtly freaky, with Tepper drawling in an easygoing voice over amiable, Dylanesque blues-folk rockers like "How Many Ways Can a Rich Man Die?" from his most recent solo album, A Singer Named Shotgun Throat. Speaking of shotguns, former Claw Hammer mastermind Jon Wahl has a scattershot approach to country, jazz and rock, blasting them together into a bitchin' brew while he rants over it all. --Falling James
Saturday, November 24
The San Diego singer Sara Petite was raised in the sticks of the state of Washington, and, not surprisingly, a country-rocking spirit runs through her rootsy tunes. Bluegrass rhythms and fiddles adorn homey songs like "Little House." While it might seem strange that such a young performer would sing traditional songs about bootlegging and making moonshine (does anyone really make moonshine anymore?), the charming Petite comes off with plenty of rural authenticity. She's even more appealing when she slows it down a bit and reveals her heart on such gentle ballads as "I Shouldn't Be Doing This" and "Circus Comes to Town." --Falling James
Delicate Steve, Dana Buoy
With his hyper-musical second album, Positive Force, New Jersey wonderlad Delicate Steve weaves a not-so-crazy quilt of superbly melodic everything-pop, mellifluously laid out in his bedroom studio with many, many guitars and even more effects boxes. Head-spinningly eclectic, with classic-rock/vintage R&B/electro/tropicalia/Afrobeat flavors, the record's glorious haze of lovingly layered loudness cannot hide the hummable pop structures that dart out of the fray and fly into the sky. Delicate Steve is a joyful type who makes addictively catchy yet sonically complex tunes with one clear goal in mind: liberating rock & roll ecstasy. A nicely psychedelic post-post-rock comes courtesy of opener Dana Buoy, better known as percussionist Dana Janssen of Akron/Family. --John Payne
With six albums of solid, genre-hopping pop and, in Gwen Stefani, one of the most magnetic figureheads of its generation, Anaheim's No Doubt could play to the exact same crowd for this entire seven-night stand and still leave every fan satiated, every night. The epitome of a sum transcending its parts, No Doubt boasts no single songwriting genius but collectively conjures singable ditties kept interesting by variously incorporating ska, punk-lite and '80s New Wave (their first three albums), quasi-Caribbean dancehall (2001's Rock Steady) and, on newbie Push and Shove, even pangs of country. But the band's enormous connection, which appears as much emotional as sonic, centers around Stefani, who augments her tremulous Cyndi Lauper timbre with an easy-to-identify-with palette of neuroses, still raw even after a decade-plus of A-list adoration. (Also Nov. 26, 28 & 30; Dec. 2, 4 & 6.) --Paul Rogers
For details about these shows and more live music happening in the city this week, check out our Concert Calendar.
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