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The Best Concerts to See in Los Angeles This Week

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Mon, May 6, 2013 at 3:45 AM

click to enlarge Prince (performing at Coachella 2008) -- See Tuesday - CREDIT: TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Credit: Timothy Norris
  • Prince (performing at Coachella 2008) -- See Tuesday

For any show in town see our regularly-updated concert calendar.

Monday, May 6

The California Feetwarmers

JOE'S GREAT AMERICAN BAR & GRILL

The California Feetwarmers are an astonishingly fine, old-timey New Orleans jazz aggregation. This recently minted blend of two groups, the Balkan beatniks of Petrojvic Blasting Company and local Latin rhythm wranglers Capt. Jeff's Musical Chumbuckets, may be an unusual elemental mix, but their resolutely arcane interests converge for a magnificent harmony. Driven by sheer skill and passion, not detached fetishism and fixation, this gang dispenses glorious music. It's traditional jazz done properly and most definitely along the lines of New Orleans clarinet titan Sidney Bechet's artistic code: "Treat it Gentle." The Feetwarmers' sound is warm and open, with plenty of space and grace between the notes, making for a richly languorous and viper-mad experiment in groove that's as engaging an earful as you'll encounter anywhere this side of the Ninth Ward. --Jonny Whiteside

Eddy the Chief Clearwater

MAUI SUGAR MILL SALOON

Savage musical prowess, an eye-popping wardrobe, a powerhouse vocal style characterized both by bombastic audacity and soulful subtlety -- these are the calling cards of hard-charging 78-year-old Chicago bluesman Eddy "the Chief" Clearwater. The venerable guitarslinger began grinding it out in Chi-Town joints in the early '50s, and after Chuck Berry came to town, Clearwater developed his banging self-described "rock-a-blues" sound. It's a commanding, aggressive enhancement of the Chicago tradition, and Clearwater wrings every drop of funky satisfaction from his characteristically wild barrage of shuffles, rockers and ravers. Intense, joyful stuff. Also Sun., May 5 at the Topanga Blues Festival. --Jonny Whiteside

Tuesday, May 7

Prince

THE GROVE OF ANAHEIM

Prince Rogers Nelson has come a long way since he was pelted with trash by clueless classic-rock fans while opening as a relatively unknown performer for The Rolling Stones at the Coliseum in 1981. Don't be surprised if some of those same yahoos are lining up right now to score precious tickets to Prince's four sets at this 1,700-seat theater. It's always been foolish to write off the Minneapolis singer-guitarist or to attempt to neatly summarize his musically restless experimentation over the years. Just when you think you have Prince pigeonholed, he'll turn around and go off in a completely unexpected direction. A good case in point is his current tour, where he's backed by the all-femme group 3rd Eye Girl. Eschewing the shiny funk-pop of his early days, Prince is letting his freak flag fly high with ultra-heavy rock grooves and rampantly wild Hendrix-y guitar solos. Far from being anonymous backup musicians, guitarist Donna Grantis, bassist Ida Nielsen and drummer Hannah Ford seem to really push Prince and challenge him to rock much harder than ever. Also Wed., May 8. --Falling James

Kurt Vile and the Violators

THE ECHOPLEX

Kurt Vile is what you might call a natural -- put a guitar in his upturned palms and the songs just bloom. Within his ever-growing discography on Matador, he has everything from never-ending motorik hell rides (like his immortal "Freak Train," with the even more immortal lyric "I ain't never been so insulted in my whole life ... SHIT!") and lo-fi Bert Jansch city folk to Neil Young-meets-Vernon Ray ruraldelic jam-outs. Vile's warped, classic rock-ified anthems show just what would have happened if Bruce Springsteen had signed with landmark indie label SST. While Vile can break a heart just like breaking a string when he plays solo, he and his band, the Violators, are full-blast shredders most noble. Behold the joy and revelation that follow when serious guitar scholars try to stretch song after song into infinity. --Chris Ziegler

See also: Kurt Vile Gets Folky, Plays Largo Tomorrow

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