My Morning Jacket, Avi Buffalo at the Greek
"Of late, My Morning Jacket singer Jim James has been devoting the majority of his time to projects sporting his inexplicable Yim Yames moniker, so it's a bit of a relief to find him once again at the helm of the exceptional band that first put the maned Louisvillian on our collective radar. That's not to say his EP of Paul McCartney covers or the work he's done in the indie-Americana supergroup Monsters of Folk has been anything but exemplary, but the down-home, barefoot, blazing Southern blues of MMJ has been sorely missed, most of all on the stage. Presenting a wall of hair, guitars and exposed toes, these raw roots players shred, howl, jam and croon their way through stellar sets that tighten up the genre just enough to avoid the pitfalls of bona fide jam bands, even as they allow their songs some room to stretch. Long Beach youngins Avi Buffalo are on a similar path with their psychedelic new self-titled Sub Pop LP, and the titular frontman(child) is a real beast on the guitar." At the Greek.
Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal at Club Nokia
"The evening's choice event that does not involve an overrated pop diva with a thing for grotesque outfits is, without a doubt, Josh Homme's benefit concert for Eagles of Death Metal bassist Brian O'Connor, recently diagnosed with cancer and currently undergoing treatment right here in L.A. Net proceeds from the tickets, which should not be easy to find at this point, will go to a fund for O'Connor's medical bills and living expenses endorsed by renowned musicians' charity Sweet Relief."
- Gustavo Turner
Coheed and Cambria, Porcupine Tree at the Wiltern
"In a frantically orgasmic two days for local prog rock lovers, genre greybeards Rush grace Gibson Amphitheatre on Wednesday and two of its later generations pair at The Wiltern tonight. Though Coheed and Cambria are yet to top their defiantly ambitious 2003 breakthrough, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 - a concept album of angular twin-guitars and love-'em-or-hate'em upper-register vocals set in an imagined universe - newbie Year of the Black Rainbow offers welcome, cinematic accessibility. Their touring with perpetual cult band Porcupine Tree suggests a step away from being Gen Y oddities and towards older-audience longevity. Relentlessly muso Brits Porcupine Tree, formed in 1987, are one of those earnest, slow-burning album acts that aren't supposed to exist anymore. Marrying pompously precise bombast with pristine acoustic passages, the Porcs can be a grinningly guilty pleasure or cringy change-it! cheeseballs, depending on your mood."
Budos Band at Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park
"Budos Band do record for Daptone, so they often get lumped with the "soul revival" crowd, the house that Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson built and that is providing a nice retirement fund for Sharon Jones. Budos Band are very, very different though. They describe themselves as "Instrumental Staten Island Afro-Soul" and their influences are jazz, deep funk, Mulatu, etc. Also, they are pretty brilliant in a low-key way, without a lot of the pseudospiritual (or actual spiritual) trappings and the stonerism of a lot of their peers with similar collections. Their new record, The Budos Band III, has not left the L.A. Weekly music-headquarters sound system since it arrived. Great work music, vibes music, ambient music -- whatever you wanna call it, it's worth getting."
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- Gustavo Turner
Hot Club of Cowtown at City Hall Courtyard in Culver City
"Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies and Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys combined the au courant hot jazz with the fiddle music of their Southwestern upbringings and invented Western Swing in the early 20th Century. Similar influences and instincts led to something called rock 'n' roll a couple of decades later, yet Western Swing remains a classic American dance music that never sounds dated. Asleep At The Wheel revived it 40 years back (and are still swinging full-speed ahead) and the Hot Club of Cowtown are damn fine 21st Century practitioners. Fiddler and smooth singer Elana James and Djangoesque guitarist Whit Smith met through a 1996 Village Voice ad seeking compatible pickers and realized their blend was a match - the kind that starts a fire. Add one upright bassist (currently Jake Erwin) and they had themselves a combustible trio that nailed Bob Wills' tunes ("Ida Red"), Hoagy Carmichael ("Stardust") and original compositions. Tonight's show is free as part of the Culver City Summer Concert Series."