It's been a revelatory year or so for Kele Okereke.
His band Bloc Party put on the brakes in 2009, announcing mid-tour that they were going on hiatus. (Surprise.) He quickly retreated to a London studio to make a solo album, The Boxer. (Surprise.) This spring he came out in Butt magazine. (OK, maybe not that big a surprise.) And in an interview about that solo record, he allowed as how that's not his ripped physique in the video for the single "Tenderoni" but a stand-in. (Aw, damn.)
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Oh, but the album: The Boxer isn't liable to make anybody forget Bloc Party, but it won't clear the dance floor either. Producer XXXchange (Spank Rock, the Kills) helps the falsetto-wielding frontman keep things lively but not too obvious, and the album has just enough "Banquet" to make you long for Kele's indie-rock days.
Kele has tossed in some Bloc Party on his current tour, even taking requests at a weekend show in San Francisco. Expect him at his charismatic best tonight at the Music Box, where Does It Offend You Yeah? opens.
Elsewhere: East L.A. dance-punk contenders Funeral Party continues their residency at the Bootleg Theater (the Belle Brigade opens). ... Behind its new album LP$, Ratatat headlines Club Nokia. ... And local psych-pop favorites the Parson Red Heads (supported by Red Cortez) play a going-away show at the Echo -- the Red Heads are moving back to their native Oregon after being headquartered in Los Angeles for five years.
Also: Furthur featuring Phil Lesh & Bob Weir at the Greek Theatre; Efterklang at the Troubadour; Typhoon and Y La Bamba at Spaceland; Rhett Miller of the Old 97's at Largo; the Jim Jones Revue and the Dance Party at the Viper Room; Adam Heldring at the Silverlake Lounge; Ana Nalick and Megan Jacobs at the Hotel Cafe; Hair Nation at the Roxy; and A Pretty Mess at the Redwood Bar.