This Week's Best Concerts: Mexrrissey, Muse, Little Dragon, Psycho California

Mexrrissey pays tribute to El Moz at the Regent on Monday
Mexrrissey pays tribute to El Moz at the Regent on Monday
Photo by Roger Alarcon

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, May 11

Mexrrissey
THE REGENT THEATER
Los Angeles has more than its fair share of events dedicated to Morrissey and Smiths obsessives. Between the tribute bands and near-constant stream of related DJ nights, it’s enough to make the haters grab a burger during “Meat Is Murder.” For the fans, though, there is no such thing as Morrissey fatigue, and Mexrrissey is hardly typical Moz-fawning session. The group of musicians includes Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound), Sergio Mendoza (Orkestra Mendoza/Calexico) and Ceci Bastida, who got her start in the seminal Mexican alternative band Tijuana No! In this British/Mexican pop mash-up, lyrics are frequently sung in Spanish and horns heighten the melancholy of Morrissey’s music. The band has already made a splash in the U.K., where they sold out their London show. Skapeche Mode opens, playing — you guessed it — ska versions of Depeche Mode songs. — Liz Ohanesian

Vijay Iyer
REDCAT
Since his 2009 trio album, Historicity, earned him a Grammy nomination and became a near-consensus pick for jazz album of the year, pianist Vijay Iyer has yet to descend from his rocket-propelled trajectory. He has a list of accolades too long to casually mention, so perhaps it’s easier to say one doesn’t become a MacArthur Fellow and Harvard professor for trivial reasons. Furthermore, Iyer has become an even better pianist, as is demonstrated on his latest trio album, Break Stuff, on which his new label, ECM, always manages to make the piano sound more delicious than a chocolate bacon sundae. Having spent his formative years in San Francisco as part of the Asian-American jazz movement, Iyer has a deep-rooted passion for justice and equality and has consistently drawn a link between his art and his heart to advocate for those causes. — Gary Fukushima

Tuesday, May 12

R. Ring, 1939 Ensemble, Spurs
THE SATELLITE
R. Ring marks the return of The Breeders’ Kelley Deal, partnered with Cincinnati bud Mike Montgomery of Ampline. Their concept is simple: just a mix of voices, guitars and keyboards in songs that can be harsh and haywire or gentle and dreamy, whatever feels right in the heat of the moment. The duo is not terribly concerned with getting product out on the market; they released a 7-inch on Misra Records in 2012 and have no plans for a full-length album. An exciting blend of Krautrockian moto-drive, avant jazz and screechy no-wave noise, Portland’s 1939 Ensemble are an instrumental trio in the “possible musics” mold who make intriguing new beats and melodies out of various percussive objects, vibes and head-warping amp feedback. Also: the psych/soul/cowboy experience that goes by the name Spurs. — John Payne

Vaadat Charigim: Israeli psych-rock comes to the Echo on WednesdayEXPAND
Vaadat Charigim: Israeli psych-rock comes to the Echo on Wednesday
Photo by Goni Riskin

Wednesday, May 13

Flamin' Groovies
THE ROXY
The Flamin’ Groovies are one of the few bands to establish actual classics across several incarnations and generations. Their Teenage Head album is Stones-y rock & roll that should’ve been huge; their variously re-recorded “Slow Death” is an unkillable proto-punk monster; and then in 1976, they regrouped again around founding guitarist Cyril Jordan and singer-guitarist Chris Wilson and put out the ne plus ultra power-pop song, “Shake Some Action,” quite possibly the very definition of the form. In 2011, Jordan and co-founder Roy Loney did their first West Coast shows since 1984, delivering what amounted to a very-best-of set. Now Jordan, Wilson and a highly capable crew will be performing the entire Shake Some Action album at this show, just one year shy of its 40th anniversary. Don’t think of it as a reunion — it’s more like a revelation. — Chris Ziegler

Froth, Vaadat Charigim
THE ECHO
In just a few years, Orange County’s Burger Records has gone from hole-in-the-wall cassette peddler to international psych-rock powerhouse. The latest proof of its global domination arrives in the form of Vaadat Charigim, an Israeli trio with a shoegaze-y sound that’s two parts Slowdive and one part favorite Burger touchstone The Brian Jonestown Massacre. On the Tel Aviv–based band’s sophomore album, Sinking as a Stone, frontman Yuval Haring’s Hebrew lyrics dissolve into a haze of reverb-drenched guitars and cavernous drums, rendering any language barrier moot. They share tonight’s bill with a Burger band from much closer to home: El Segundo’s Froth, whose self-described “barbecue rock” slathers on similar layers of reverb but to much poppier, surf-rock effect. — Andy Hermann

Thursday, May 14

Fool's Gold, The Happy Hollows
THE TROUBADOUR
With their shimmering guitars and ebullient rhythms, Fool’s Gold sound as if they’re from West Africa, but the five-piece band actually are from L.A. While their African affectations leave them open to accusations of cultural appropriation, much like what Paul Simon went through after the release of Graceland, there is no denying the joyful beauty in songs such as “Nadine” and “Surprise Hotel.” What really sets the group apart, though, are the intricately flickering shards of sound from lead guitarist Lewis Pesacov, whose skillful, rapid-fire licks take the group beyond mere imitation. In contrast to Fool’s Gold’s sunny outlook, The Happy Hollows have a more diverse sound, as lead singer Sarah Negahdari alternates the pop grandeur of “Endless” and “Cloud Head” with more shadowy post-punk explorations such as “Vietnam” and “High Wire.” — Falling James

Friday, May 15

Muse
THE MAYAN
Apparently oblivious to the traditional restrictions of a trio, Muse’s music is massive because the sounds inside their heads are massive. Though hailing from a faded English seaside resort, their meticulous recordings and famously extravagant live shows explode like some futuristic metropolis, overstuffed with endeavor and fizzing with cosmopolitan influence, from virtuoso prog, glam and space rock to throbbing dubstep and pristine electronica. Over six albums to date, Muse have willed themselves toward some shifting, otherworldly sonic ambition, rather than let their expression be limited by just six human hands. Teaser tracks suggest that latest opus, Drones, due next month, will float Matthew Bellamy’s soothingly knowing vocals on both testosteronic T. Rex riffing (“Psycho”) and decadent synth-iness (“Dead Inside”). — Paul Rogers

Psycho California with Earth, Sleep, Pentagram, Eyehategod
THE OBSERVATORY
Now in its third year, Psycho California is aptly named, as the three-day festival gathers more than 50 bands for a cheery weekend of death metal, post-rock, hardcore, stoner rock and hard-rock psychedelia. The avalanche of riffage starts Friday with New Orleans sludge-metallists Eyehategod, the newly reconfigured Pentagram spinoff Bedemon and the intense Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles. Saturday is headlined by San Jose stoner-rock icons Sleep, who belie their name with thick, primal, sub-Sabbath-y riffs that are rooted in the blues but are inevitably transformed into towering pillars of metal. Drone merchants Earth are another predominantly instrumental band, but their latest album, Primitive and Deadly, features guest vocalists Mark Lanegan and Rabia Shaheen Qazi. Sunday culminates with the latest lineup of Pentagram, led by founding singer Bobby Liebling, along with Om, Bongzilla and Earthless. Also Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17. — Falling James

Two Gallants: SF indie rock at the Roxy on SaturdayEXPAND
Two Gallants: SF indie rock at the Roxy on Saturday
Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy

Upcoming Events

Saturday, May 16

Little Dragon
THE GREEK THEATRE
It’s been a year since Little Dragon released their fourth album, Nabuma Rubberband. Since that time, the Swedish foursome has gained mainstream attention and snagged a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album. Easily the most accessible of Little Dragon’s albums, Nabuma Rubberband finds them slowing down and tapping into the sensual side of their R&B-flecked electronic pop. Vocalist Yukimi Nagano’s silky tones are in perfect balance with the soulful grooves of ballad-like numbers such as “Cat Rider.” In contrast, “Klapp Klapp” is propelled by a rumbling, jazzy bassline that proves Little Dragon still have one foot on the dance floor. The group recently collaborated with hip-hop producers The Alchemist and Oh No on a track for Welcome to Los Santos, an album of music inspired by Grand Theft Auto V, and also helped on the new, crowd-funded De La Soul album. — Lily Moayeri

Nellie McKay
LARGO AT THE CORONET
With her nimble, quick-witted lyrics and Liberacean piano talents, Nellie McKay has never belonged to any particular era or movement. So it's no surprise she's decided to dive into the '60s for her latest album, My Weekly Reader. With famed Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick, she's filled a mojo bag with songs both familiar and less so by Small Faces, The Kinks, Moby Grape and Country Joe McDonald, among others. The result is predictably delightful, but she's also managed to imbue such nuggets as Frank Zappa's “Hungry Freaks, Daddy” with a modern take on youthful rebellion. And her version of The Cyrkle's “Red Rubber Ball” might just be the cynicism-busting, shiny lollipop the world needs right now. At Largo, backed by a full band, she'll also throw in a few of her own songs that fit the spirit of the night. — Libby Molyneaux

Two Gallants
THE ROXY
Singer-guitarist Adam Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel find themselves as strangers in their own hometown, on Two Gallants’ latest album, We Are Undone. “Now that all my friends are gone/I walk these streets but don’t belong,” Stephens sings ruefully on “There’s So Much I Don’t Know,” the lonely piano ballad that closes the album. “None of you make sense to me,” Stephens says about the wealthy new residents who have gentrified San Francisco. “Why must you change what you came to see?” The increasing divide between the rich and poor is laid bare on the title track, on which Stephens’ laments are sharpened by his spiky blues riffs and Vogel’s nuanced drumming. Elsewhere, the duo wanders through the craggy electric spaces of “Invitation to the Funeral” and unplug themselves for the austere folk intimacy of “Katy Kruelly.” — Falling James

Sunday, May 17

Cold Showers, Animal Bodies, Bestial Mouths, Them Are Us Too
COMPLEX
Even the kids who wear all black can appreciate a good barbecue, and Complex and Dais Records have put together the darkest line-up you could hope to hear while the sun is out and dinner is grilling. Cold Showers has the guitar wails and thunderous drums covered, while Bestial Mouths get noisy with their brand of electronic deathrock. Make sure you show up early enough to catch Them Are Us Too. The Bay Area band has played L.A. a lot while crafting a cool, ethereal sound. Now that their debut album Remain is out, the duo is on the cusp of winning the hearts of old Cocteau Twins fans across the globe. Plan on arriving when the doors open at 4 p.m. and making a night of it. — Liz Ohanesian


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