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The Five Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend

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Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge La Sera -- See Saturday
  • La Sera -- See Saturday
Friday, July 13

Aesop Rock


A heavy hitter in the early-aughts' onslaught of brainy indie-rap word-slingers, Aesop Rock now is 15 years into a nearly blemishless career. This New York native and San Fran transplant is celebrated for his nearly unmatched ability to braid colorful verbiage into delightfully euphonic lyrical daisy chains. He's an absolute master of alliteration and assonance blessed with Lewis Carroll's ability to turn nonsense phrases into poetic fodder. ("Who am I? Jabberwocky superfly," he declares on 2001's classic Labor Days.) Aes is also a moody, blessed beat-maker, and has spent the past five years lurking on collaborative projects (e.g., Hail Mary Mallon with tonight's support, Rob Sonic). Thankfully, his brand-new LP, Skelethon, makes up for lost time, delivering a full monty of noisy head-knockers, tastefully scrambled verse and, fans will be happy to hear, his most personal, poignant writing in a decade. --Chris Martins



Back in the '90s, NYC's Codeine fairly invented slo-core, a slow-moving, high-decibel genre that was solidified when bands like Low and Bedhead and others got a little more acclaim for it. Codeine's Sub-Pop records Frigid Stars, Barely Real and The White Birch were, actually, unclassifiable works of generally very spare and disciplined-sounding music, with an emphasis on space-between-notes and a masterful use of dynamics. With fuzz/distortion and a brutal drum thump, they made a supremely heavy impact not just for the sheer loudness but also for the towering majesty of it all. The trio is doing select dates to call attention to the three double-disc vinyl reissues and box set the Numero Group label is putting out. Check the merch table, cultists, it's beautiful stuff. --John Payne

Saturday, July 14

Mariachi El Bronx, L.A. Vampires, Peanut Butter Wolf


Highland Park's new vinyl-centric record shop is celebrating its opening with what essentially amounts to a festival: eight performances and at least as many DJ sets from an exciting lineup of local stars. Topping the live list are Mariachi El Bronx, the impassioned SoCal punks who traded their electric guitars (mostly) for the classical type -- plus horns, violins, accordions and congas -- in order to play their own roughed-up take on traditional Mexican music. Stones Throw CEO and long-revered rap producer Peanut Butter Wolf will contribute a beat-based set, while electronically inclined noiseniks David Scott Stone and John Wiese do their highly experimental thing. Pop psychonauts Peaking Lights are guaranteed to spin some rare left-field gems, but best of all might be LA Vampires, who play a goopy godsend of '80s etherea, crunchy bumps and opium-soaked vocals. Food trucks and free refreshments will be on hand. --Chris Martins

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