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Los Angeles Concerts

The Best Concerts To See in L.A. This Week: Nov 19-22

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Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 3:30 AM
click to enlarge Rachel Yamagata -- See Tuesday
  • Rachel Yamagata -- See Tuesday

Monday, November 19

Rush

GIBSON AMPHITHEATRE

Surely there was a moment - a time when it suddenly became not only socially acceptable, but also kind of, well, cool to admit you were a Rush fan. Years on, the Canadian prog-rock titan trio unspooled a whirly-gig of serpentine guitar, synths and sequencers, often serving as the bedrock for wild sci-fi nerdboy narratives. But then, much like Hall and Oates, Rush went from being the band no one admitted they dug to a cult crush only the cool kids really understood. (What's more, now they're even up for admission into the Rock Hall of Fame). Clockwork Angels, their latest album and their current tour's namesake, is as Rush-y as ever: a bloated concept record delving into a dude's Steampunk journey full of pirates and exotic carnivals. Laugh, we do not. It's just Rush being Rush. -Dan Hyman

See also: Is every piece of Neil Peart's monstro drum set necessary?

Tuesday, November 20

Rachael Yamagata

EL REY THEATRE

Like so many songwriters, Rachael Yamagata describes the ups and downs of romance as a boxing match on her recent EP, Heavyweight. She uses all of her powers of persuasion to soothe an angry lover, couching her entreaties in gentle piano and a wash of orchestrated strings. "There is not a thing here left to break," the Virginia-born singer-pianist advises. "You can take you anger out on me ... I will love you through all your mistakes." Yamagata is quietly disarming, winning by a technical knockout -- not with blind rage but by carefully framing her exposed feelings in stately and sympathetic pop structures. It is that ability to create something out of nothing that has led to Yamagata's endearing collaborations with everyone from Toots & the Maytals and Ryan Adams to Bright Eyes and the Muppets. -- Falling James

Natasha Agrama

BLUE WHALE

Young vocalist Natasha Agrama comes from a fertile musical bloodline: Her father is legendary jazz bassist Stanley Clarke (Return To Forever). Over the past couple years, Agrama has been cutting her teeth at L.A. clubs like 2nd Street Jazz and a Sunday brunch at Elderberries in Hollywood. Tonight she takes a major step up, fronting a solid young group at Little Tokyo's popular Blue Whale, backed by Nick Mancini on vibes, Louis Cole on drums, and Santa Monica piano wiz kid Austin Peralta. The evening's bassist is a "special mystery guest" - and a quick check of Dad's tour schedule suggests he's likely in town for the Thanksgiving holiday. You figure it out. - Tom Meek

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