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The Five Best Concerts in L.A. This Week

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Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 3:31 AM
click to enlarge Terence Blanchard -- See Wednesday
  • Terence Blanchard -- See Wednesday

Monday, August 13



In the year 2000, a group of schlubs from the California meth- and cow-town of Modesto released the perfect record to ring in the new millennium. It was called The Sophtware Slump, and its sun-dappled, spacey, sad-faced robot-pop seemed to capture so much about that epic moment in time: the irreparable melding of electronics and instruments, the stymied frustration of the modern male, the disappointment that followed all of that aughts anticipation and, of course, our deep-seated fears of what'll happen when the androids develop feelings. While songs like "Jed the Humanoid" are executed with a degree of cheek, Jason Lytle's delicate, damaged coo makes every emotion hit home. But after two more terse and beautiful albums, the band's own issues got in the way and Grandaddy called it quits in 2006. This is only their fourth show since, so make sure to party like it's ... --Chris Martins

As Blood Runs Black


A band like L.A.'s As Blood Runs Black, which lists more than 25 members in its nine-year history (and whose sole original member, drummer Hector "Lech" De Santiago, even took a couple of years off), becomes more about a sonic ethic than the expression of a specific group of musicians. ABRB's long-overdue sophomore album, last year's Instinct, is a beautifully articulate and accomplished deathcore manifesto, with actual intelligible lyrics (from the disconcertingly Barack Obama-like Sonik Garcia), twin busy-bee guitars that put melody before muscle, genre-requisite clicky kick drums, and bass you can both feel and hear. As much a brand as a band, As Blood Runs Black are frighteningly precise proof that an inspired and enduring vision (presumably De Santiago's) can transcend those executing it. --Paul Rogers

Tuesday, August 14



Back in business following a lengthy stretch of activity with various side projects, New York's premier Afrobeat ensemble hits Los Angeles a week after the release of its new self-titled studio disc. It's a characteristically groove-centric effort with two tracks longer than eight minutes in length and none less than six; "The Ratcatcher," in particular, packs a crazy amount of bounce to the ounce. Yet the soulful, tune-streaked Antibalas also show off fresh flavors these dudes have picked up over the five years since 2007's Security, in freelance gigs with the likes of TV on the Radio and Amy Winehouse, as well as in the work several members did on the popular Broadway musical Fela! Also Wednesday at the Fox Theater in Pomona, where they'll open -- somewhat weirdly -- for the Alabama Shakes. --Mikael Wood

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