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Los Angeles Concerts

The Five Best Concerts in L.A. This Week

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Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 3:24 AM

click to enlarge Free the Robots -- See Wednesday
  • Free the Robots -- See Wednesday
Monday, September 10

Katisse Buckingham Oddsemble

SEVEN GRAND

Trendy downtown whiskey bar Seven Grand has quietly become a late-night, early-week music hang over the last couple of years under the direction of booker/trombonist Justin Kirk. While seating is at a premium, the jazz and blues offered usually are first-rate. Tonight sax/flute wiz Katisse Buckingham leads his aptly named Oddsemble, where Buckingham offers jazz standards in unique and difficult musical time signatures. Katisse reinvents the work of masters including Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and more, backed here by Wahid Music partners Jimmy Mahlis on guitar and Chris Wabich on drums, along with Jerry Watts Jr. on bass. When Buckingham pulls out one of his signature flutes, hang on for one of the wilder musical rides you'll take this year. --Tom Meek

Tuesday, September 11

Swans

FONDA THEATER

In the early '80s, no one cranked up a more fearsome and awe-inspiring hunk of noise than Swans. The New York City outfit's massive slabs of sound on albums like Filth were terrifying -- more like elemental, thunderous forces of nature than simple music -- making peers such as Sonic Youth come off like Justin Bieber in comparison. But, as so often happens to young rebels, bandleader Michael Gira and his ever-changing lineups evolved into mellower, prettier and presumably more "mature" directions. By the end of the decade, Gira was crooning more and shouting less, using acoustic guitars to create often-beautiful soundscapes even as Swans' sound became less distinctive. With the group's latest album, The Seer, Gira combines the best of both worlds, building gradual momentum on the propulsive, apocalyptic title track, which sounds like an avalanche in slow motion, while also layering in subtler elements that take the noise into a truly brave new world. --Falling James

Wednesday, September 12

Free the Robots

THE AIRLINER

Free the Robots is a beast when it comes to making beats. Founder/solo member Chris Alfaro helped run what was basically Low End Theory's little-brother night at his bar, the Crosby in Santa Ana, and his back-snapping instrumentals are the kind of thing Gaslamp Killer calls in as reinforcements when there are a few too many dismembered body parts left twitching in the crowd. The influences at work here are beyond all-encompassing -- Can, Dilla, Ethio-jazz godfather Mulatu Astatke and Os Mutantes, together at last and forever -- and the 2010 full-length Ctrl Alt Delete was one of the most vital beat releases that year. Follow-up EP The Mind's Eye was dirty, weird and beautiful, which are the three words you'll find in your own mind when you hear this yourself. --Chris Ziegler

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