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Los Angeles Concerts

The Best Concerts to See in Los Angeles This Weekend

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Fri, May 10, 2013 at 3:45 AM

click to enlarge Okapi Sun -- See Friday - CREDIT: PETE SANTOS
  • Credit: Pete Santos
  • Okapi Sun -- See Friday

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

Friday, May 10

Rhye

EL REY THEATRE

There are no women on Rhye's debut album, Woman. If you mistakenly took Michael Milosh's androgynous voice for that of a female, however, you would not be alone. The soulchild of Milosh and Quadron's Robin Hannibal, Rhye has been dubbed the "electronic Sade." And like much of Sade's musical canon, Woman is a surefire pantydropper. Really, "seductive" is an understatement for the simmering, electro-laced R&B and overtly suggestive lyricism. The strings that usher in the stunning "Open" soon are knocked aside by Milosh's astonishing voice, the same instrument that brushes against the alluring horns of "One of Those Summer Days." It is not strictly temptation time on Woman, however; the disco-lite "Hunger" and "Last Dance" bump with gentle beats and keyboard stabs, while "3 Days" brings the dance party back to the bedroom with breathy anticipation. And speaking of anticipation, expect a packed crowd tonight, as Rhye have become a fan favorite and critical darling on the power of both Woman and their utterly captivating live performances. --Lily Moayeri

See also: L.A. Electronic and R&B Music Is Suddenly Sexy

Okapi Sun

HOTEL CAFÉ

San Diego electronic-dance duo Okapi Sun describe their music as "a cut-and-paste of our past, our now, our culture, our soul. We decorate ourselves with sounds and let them form into songs." To put it more simply, guitarist Leo and keyboardist Dallas lay down catchy dance grooves and blend their vocals on deliriously giddy pop songs like "Sidewalk," coming off a little like a postmodern Bananarama. Dallas keeps things funky with her throbbing synth lines, while Leo's surging guitar chords prevent the tunes from sounding too poppy. Like its namesake animal, Okapi Sun "decorates itself with different stripes to become one with its surroundings and add to its great camouflage." What that means musically is that the duo isn't limited to the usual dance-music rules, preferring to branch out into stranger territory, like their mysteriously cool and groovy remake of "Hit the Road, Jack." --Falling James

Alan Ferber Expanded Ensemble

BLUE WHALE

Over the past two years, NYC-based trombonist Alan Ferber has presented some of L.A.'s truly outstanding large-group jazz shows. Ferber's originals and arrangements are exciting enough to enlist the who's who of the area's best players, and they keep coming back for more. Tonight, pianist Josh Nelson and guitarist Anthony Wilson drive the rhythm section, while horn standouts include John Daversa, Katisse Buckingham, Walter Smith III, Jamie Hovorka and Phil O'Connor, among many others in this cast of West Coast ringers. Arrive early for a chance of getting a seat; this one will be out the door, for sure. Also Saturday, May 11. --Tom Meek

Saturday, May 11

Jim James

THE FONDA

Best known as the frontman for My Morning Jacket, Jim James has gone solo for his recent LP Regions of Light and Sound of God. Inspired by Lynd Ward's 1929 graphic novel, God's Man, James describes the album as a musical portrait of the novel as well as the product of his own introspection. The diversity in songwriting and overall sound on Regions of Light... is just as varied as with My Morning Jacket, but here James is singing of his own journey of personal change. The result is tangible and considerate music with an underlying message to build a life you are happy with. Onstage James is a force, a jam-rock shaman with a psychedelic, jazzified edge. He is still delightfully light at heart, however, channeling his love for the Muppets in the video for album single "A New Life," a song with a calm yet uplifting beat dressed in metaphors for, you got it, starting anew. --Britt Witt

Marina & the Diamonds

SHRINE AUDITORIUM

Considering that Marina Diamandis claims to be influenced by such adventurous musicians as Kate Bush, Patti Smith and Daniel Johnston, it's a little surprising that her own music is so slick and commercial. On shiny dance tracks like "Primadonna" and "How to Be a Heartbreaker," the Welsh singer comes off like any other ambitious synth-pop Material Girl, conflating love, lust, ambition and money as if they really are all the same thing. But there's clearly wit and intelligence bubbling under the sometimes-anonymous dance rhythms. "I guess you could say that my life's a mess, but I'm still looking pretty in this dress," Diamandis confesses amid the gaudy production adornments of "Homewrecker." One can only imagine the massive creative potential once this charismatic and smart diva breaks free from genre conventions and starts taking some real musical chances. --Falling James

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