Los Angeles Concerts

The Five Best Concerts in L.A. This Weekend

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Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 3:30 AM

click to enlarge Fiona Apple -- see Saturday
  • Fiona Apple -- see Saturday
Saturday, July 28

Dirty Projectors, Wye Oak


What few critics there were of Dirty Projectors' 2009 magnum opus, Bitte Orca, took issue with the LP's idiosyncrasies. As thrilling as those songs were, they clearly weren't written for anyone other than main brain David Longstreth. But on new album Swing Lo Magellan, that same savant-like genius lifts up his voice to sing, without any irony, "There is an answer, I haven't found it, but I will keep dancing till I do." Fitting that the track is called "Dance for You," because this new set plies more traditional songcraft in a brutally successful stab at accessibility. The herky-jerky editing of the past has given way to fluidity, the flurries of Afro-inspired guitar plucking replaced by emotive electric squall, the Reichian choir vocals ditched for soothing harmonies and soaring leads. Finally, art-pop that actually makes good on the second part of that handle. --Chris Martins

See also: The Dirty Projectors' David Longstreth on Wearing a Haz-Mat Suit in the Largest Landfill in the Country

Computer Jay


Computer Jay was the guy stage left in Master Blazter with DâM-FunK, J-1 and an entire Mercury space capsule's worth of old-school technology stacked around him, as well as onetime keyboardist for the Pharcyde and one of the earliest 8-bit beatmakers in L.A. But you can't talk about the man without talking about the machine -- you know, the Computer. Built by hand just like Anakin did C-3PO, Jay's partner is a talking, rapping, futuretronic disco machine with an Atari 2600 for a brain and an MPC for a heart, installed next to him onstage to deliver inhumanly precise beats and rhymes. HAL 9000 plus Deltron 3030? It'd take the entire processing power of the American space program to solve that equation. Hip-hop at the sci-fi limit, with a series of new EPs coming this summer. --Chris Ziegler

The Ettes


The bands with which The Ettes have toured (The Black Keys, The Dead Weather) and their long relationship with producer Liam Watson (best known for engineering/mixing The White Stripes) imply their analog revival-pop silhouette without sketching in details. For while the Nashville trio gets plenty garage-y, with a penchant for pouring fuzz onto just about everything but Lindsay "Coco" Hames' wonderfully tremulous vocals, last year's Wicked Will offers more. Album opener "Teeth" is a slow-smoldering ballad built of sparse yet cinematic guitars and funereal kick drum; closer "The Worst There Is" is a Saturday morning spaghetti Western with beehive-d vocals. In between, The Ettes get fresh with the serrated, finger-in-your-face "Excuse" and the loud bit/quiet bit bluntness of "You Never Say." Certainly of a type, just not quite ready to be typecast. --Paul Rogers

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