The Five Best Concerts in L.A. This Weekend
Star ForemanFlying Lotus -- See Sunday
Friday, September 21
Both Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor went on to successful solo careers and side projects after their band Azure Ray broke up in 2004, but there was something irreplaceable about the way the two singers used to blend their sweetly sad voices together. When the Omaha duo briefly reunited in 2008, they realized they could still stir up that old magic. To their credit, they didn't just coast on past successes. Instead, they released mesmerizing new pop gems on their 2012 album, Drawing Down the Moon, and they've expanded their sound further on the upcoming release As Above So Below, where their languid voices drift in and out of consciousness, just like dreams. --Falling James
Six Organs of Admittance
Six Organs of Admittance guitarist/singer/mastermind Ben Chasny can shred with the best of them, and apparently, that's exactly what he decided to do on his new album, Ascent -- recruit the instrumental talents from his on-hiatus heavy-beyond-heavy rock band Comets on Fire for a set of songs practically boiling in their own intensity. The John Fahey-style guitar explorations are there, somewhere, but this is loud and limitless music that comes off as if Hawkwind, Crazy Horse and Ash Ra Tempel crash-landed on an unexplored planet where man must riff to survive. Ascent is an awesome record in both formal ("inspiring awe") and informal ("whoa, dude") ways, and should leave scorch marks on any speaker cones it touches. --Chris Ziegler
Mike Miller All-Stars
Tonight's show at Studio City's cozy Baked Potato gathers five of L.A.'s most respected musicians for an evening of musical semi-madness. Leading the festivities is Mike Miller (Chick Corea Elektric Band), one of the area's finest guitarists and composer of tunes that frequently have an offbeat edge. Joining the fray are trumpeter Walt Fowler (Frank Zappa) who played with Miller in the Zappa ultra-tribute group Band From Utopia; keyboard wiz Mitchel Forman (Mahavishnu Orchestra); former Tonight Show drum king Marvin "Smitty" Smith; and Jimmy Johnson, the longtime James Taylor bandmate regarded by some as the finest electric bassist in the world. With this much virtuosity on one small stage, the club's nightly potatoes may eventually end up flame-broiled. --Tom Meek
Saturday, September 22
Dublab 13th Anniversary Celebration
This looks to be one of those totally relevant nights of skills and flavors that our critically crucial dublab.com crew has become known for: live performances by Chico Sonido, Daedelus and Matthewdavid, plus a few others, and DJ sets by the advanced, artful likes of Danny Holloway, Hoseh, Lovefingers, Suzanne Kraft and the mighty, mighty Teebs, as well as many more spinning stars. The visual effects will be by Alex Pelly and Miko Revereza; bring a T-shirt so Hit + Run can kustom-kraftscreenprint your very own dublab-themed work of art. Food? Yes, Bánh mì sandwiches. Take the Metro Red Line -- on weekends, it runs until 2 a.m., just like this show. --John Payne
Sunday, September 23
L.A. beatmaker Flying Lotus really should be called a composer, and since he's playing the Hollywood Bowl, the time would seem right to make it official. 2010's Cosmogramma was an epochal record, less a piece of music than a sliver of actual human experience -- all density and intensity, overwhelming by design and cathartic in its conclusion. His brand-new Until the Quiet Comes, however, is sharper and more focused. It's a single star instead of an entire universe; its melodies and beats bloom and fade like a time-lapse film of a flower; its fractal-within-a-fractal songs fit together on some four-dimensional level -- only at the exact place and time and depth Lotus needs them to, and then they all dissolve into their component pixels. This is the real deal. When you see him play, look up at the night sky: That's when it will all become clear. --Chris Ziegler
For details about these shows and more live music happening in the city this week, check out our Concert Calendar.
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