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The Best Concerts in L.A. This Weekend

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Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 3:30 AM

click to enlarge Vieux Farka Touré
  • Vieux Farka Touré

Friday, February 1

Vieux Farka Touré, Fool's Gold


Music critics often describe Vieux Farka Touré as "the Hendrix of the Sahara," but the Malian guitarist doesn't really sound much like Jimi Hendrix. Instead, Touré has a distinctively exotic style that's more similar to the music of his countrymen Tinariwen, the nomadic guitar army whose serpentine, side-winding riffs sizzle, sparkle and invert themselves in a mesmerizing, trance-like fashion. What Touré does have in common with Hendrix is the inexplicable ability to conjure shape-shifting patterns with his guitar, creating transcendent moods that take you to other worlds. There is much great music coming out of Mali today -- Amadou & Mariam, Toumani Diabaté, Rokia Traoré, Ballaké Sissoko -- even as the West African country is being torn apart by a vicious civil war. Tonight, Touré looks for guidance and comfort in the music of his late father, Ali Farka Touré, following a set by locals Fool's Gold, whose sunny, indie-rock songs are infused with African influences. --Falling James

Mark de Clive-Lowe


Keyboardist/DJ Mark de Clive-Lowe calls what he does CHURCH, which is fitting because it's spurring a revivalist movement on both coasts. But this is no religious ritual; instead, it's a new kind of jazz and improvised music that has captivated skilled musicians, bourgeois dilettantes and dancing fools alike. De Clive-Lowe's innovations fuse hip-hop, electronic music and jazz, which might be a trivial contrivance by someone less skilled, but he has the chops to pull it off. His big-band album, Take the Space Trane, drops Feb. 5, and could reintroduce big-band music to the dance halls where swing was once king. Tonight, De Clive-Lowe leaves his covenant residency at the Del Monte Speakeasy to embark on a second CHURCH mission trip to Little Tokyo. Vocalist Nia Andrews and trumpeter Kamasi Washington also are featured. --Gary Fukushima

See also: Mark de Clive-Lowe Throws a Great Party



Thirty years before metalcore was even a thing, New York City's Cro-Mags were fusing hardcore punk and heavy metal to crudely influential effect. A blizzard of band members and bastardized incarnations have come and gone since the revered The Age of Quarrel (1986) and Best Wishes (1989) albums; the band's recent history has been as much about mudslinging as music. The trouble peaked with a backstage melee at New York's Webster Hall in July, after which founding former bassist Harley Flanagan was charged with stabbing two current band members (the case was dismissed in December). Without an album since 2000's Revenge and currently centered by longtime vocalist John Joseph McGowan, Cro-Mags is literally not the band it once was, but even echoes of its original brutal brilliance should keep Key Club's stage-front security plenty busy. --Paul Rogers

Saturday, February 2

Shock, The Dogs


A night where rare records come alive! This is a reunion show by Shock, the first-wave local punks (produced by Danny Holloway!) whose "This Generation" is a Killed By Death Records classic and whose "I Wanna Be Spoiled" and "Overseas" did U.K.-style punk with L.A. vigor and velocity. Nerds will also remember them being right next to The Weirdos and Dickies on that famous flyer to save the Masque, L.A.'s original punk club. And speaking of: Detroit-to-L.A. high-energy trio The Dogs were among the first Masque bands. They did then and do now some of the best Stooges-MC5 rock & roll ever commited to vinyl. They play slightly more often than Shock ... once every decade, maybe? So let's be accurate and call this one a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity. --Chris Ziegler

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