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The Five Best Concerts in L.A. This Weekend

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Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 3:32 AM

click to enlarge Charli XCX
  • Charli XCX
See also: Marilyn Manson Rambles, Makes Jokes About the Dark Knight Killer

Friday, August 17

Charli XCX


This young London lass arrives in L.A. fresh from opening a string of Midwestern arena shows for Coldplay, which has to rank among the least appropriate bookings ever: On You're the One, a four-track EP released in June by the local indie IAMSOUND, Charli XCX layers her yelpy-but-sensual vocals over grinding, cloistered electro-goth beats produced by Ariel Rechtshaid (who also co-wrote Usher's thrillingly gloomy "Climax" with Diplo). Meanwhile, remixes from Blood Orange and Balam Acab only strengthen the impression that Charli's never experienced a breath of fresh air in her life. (The title track reminds us of t.A.T.u., the great Russian duo responsible for 2002's "All the Things She Said.") She'll no doubt feel more at home surrounded by her fellow hipsters tonight. --Mikael Wood

The Be Good Tanyas


Having met at tree-planting camps in British Columbia in the 1990s, the members of The Be Good Tanyas -- Frazey Ford, Trish Klein and Samantha Parton -- strum an appropriately rustic brand of folk. Sylvan songs like "Scattered Leaves" and an intimate version of the bluesy standard "In My Time of Dying," from their new career retrospective, A Collection, blend Parton's clucking banjo and Ford's and Klein's acoustic guitars with sweetly homespun harmonies. The Vancouver trio neatly avoids the hokey clichés that hold back so many modern Americana bands attempting to evoke a pastoral Neverland. Instead, the Tanyas seem newly re-energized, with Ford exploring her soulful side on the recent solo album Obadiah, and Klein keeping up her chops in the folk-jazz side project Po' Girl. --Falling James

Saturday, August 18

Dr. John


At a time in his life when he could be coasting on past glories, Mac Rebennack -- aka Dr. John -- is anything but an old fogey living in the past. The New Orleans native seemed to take Hurricane Katrina personally, forming a dim view of the federal government's less-than-benign neglect in the wake of the disaster on his caustic and scathing 2008 album, The City That Care Forgot. The good doctor rediscovered his voodoo roots on the excellent 2010 follow-up, Tribal, and he's still ornery on his latest CD, Locked Down, where he calls for a funky new rebellion ("Revolution") and decries the rise of drugs like crack and the modern loss of innocence ("Ice Age"). "My nuclear vision is everybody's bizness," Dr. John declares on "The King of Izzness," which is something akin to his personal Sermon on the Mount. --Falling James

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