The Five Best Shows in Los Angeles This Weekend: Including Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Sea of Treachery
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson -- See Sunday
Friday, September 28
When Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris in 1913, the audience was split in its reaction. There was punching, slapping, hair-yanking, and the hurling of epithets -- so scandalized were the older fuddy-duddies at how Igor messed so recklessly with the musical order. Roughly half the crowd loved it, though, hailing the piece as a ground-breaking achievement. We contemporary types will watch Gustavo Dudamel's debut conducting job of Rite with curiosity and anticipation; L.A. Phil predecessor Esa-Pekka Salonen's interpretations of Rite, after all, have set the bar at awesome new highs. Dudamel also debuts his skills at probing the music of contemporary composer Steven Stucky, whose aptly titled Symphony has its world premiere; you might trace the evolution of Stucky's far-flung orchestrations out of tonight's third piece, Maurice Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte. --John Payne
Light in the Attic Records Event
Hats off to the ever-righteous reissue kings Light in the Attic, who celebrate their 10-year anniversary by digging in the vaults for the most supremely obscure golden nuggets we failed to appreciate sufficiently the first time around. This stalwart and way-eclectic crew has chosen its artists wisely and farsightedly; the label's discoveries include funk-rock queen Betty Davis, protopunk baldies The Monks, folk singer Karen Dalton, Serge Gainsbourg, Lee Hazlewood, Kris Kristofferson, the Louvin Brothers -- it's all over the map, and it's all, with hindsight, real high-quality stuff. The El Rey lineup features a representative sampling of the label's vision and scope: veteran English fingerpicking demigod Michael Chapman, Korean rock star Shin Joong Hyun, Memphis soul greats Wendy Rene and Packy Axton, poet/Beach Boys lyricist Stephen John Kalinich and Rodriguez, the '70s rock star whose recent return from obscurity was the subject of this summer's excellent documentary Searching for Sugar Man. --John Payne
Saturday, September 29
Sea of Treachery
A shotgun marriage of ultra-disciplined twin-guitar metalcore, boyish sing-along refrains and deathcore's diaphragm-defying gurgle, this Kentucky quintet apparently endorses any sound that makes mosh pits out of tatted teens. Just as they dodge between genres, Sea of Treachery flip through personalities like a tweaker in a Halloween store, traversing psychotic demon throat-ripper, militaristic post-metal shred-head and angelic voice of optimism -- often all before the minute mark. They may have traded some of specialization's sheer quality for the comforting warmth of people-pleasing variety, but SoT nonetheless make for an almost comically exhilarating crash-course in all things -core. --Paul Rogers
Rapper Killer Mike is, of course, just as killer as advertised. His recent R.A.P. Music -- produced to the limit of ferocity by Def Jux main man El-P -- is one of the heaviest, most powerful hip-hop albums of the year. Example: If you've got a song called "Reagan," you better start bombing in five minutes, and so Mike marches off to war on society's wrongs -- drugs, lies, economic inequality, racism, etc. -- and snaps it all in half at the line, "I'm glad Reagan dead." Every lyric here is bleeding reality, even the one about his wife being "pretty as a singer, fine as a stripper/when we in the strip club strippers try to tip her." Actually, especially that. There isn't a lie on this album. Like he says: "What my people need is the opposite of bullshit." --Chris Ziegler
Sunday, September 30
Although not a household name himself, this violist is linked to many of them, recording and arranging for will.i.am, Erykah Badu, Dr. Dre, Flying Lotus and countless others. Artists are by definition creators, and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson has chosen to pour his life and considerable talent into the creation of good things. His five-year partnership with production house Mochilla and record producer ArtDontSleep has resulted in some outstanding shows dedicated to positive societal change through art that everyone can dig. Their latest show, "East Side Story," featuring such luminaries as Mayer Hawthorne, Bilal and legendary R&B drummer James Gadson, celebrates "low-rider" soul music from the 1960s, which was near and dear to the residents of East L.A. Witness pop music transformed into high art, minus the highbrow. --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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