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The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend

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Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 3:45 AM

click to enlarge California Wives -- See Saturday
  • California Wives -- See Saturday

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Friday, July 19

The Burning of Rome, Okapi Sun


Much like the Roman Empire itself, The Burning of Rome are all over the map, extending their reach far beyond music's usual borders. The San Diego band have a grand, ambitious sound as encompassed in the rolling thunder of "Little Piranhas," a stirring anthem set in a spaghetti Western neverland, and "Ballad of an Onion Sprout," which comes off like T. Rex covering Arcade Fire. The group shift gears yet again on "Cowboys & Cut Cigars," a metallic rocker with hard grunge riffs and such modest lyrical declarations as "I'm bigger than Led Zeppelin." Given The Burning of Rome's aptitude with a dizzying variety of styles, from the eerie goth-cabaret chanson "Norman Bates" to the arty, demented circus waltz "Island," it's not such an idle boast. They're paired tonight with Okapi Sun, another intriguing new band from San Diego, which features alt-rock/garage diva Maren Parusel venturing in a bright and shiny new electropop direction. --Falling James

Young and Wild Weekender


L.A.'s truly independent Wild Records is the heart and soul at the center of the most annihilating rock & roll this side of the San Andreas Fault, and if they do a two-day label party down in Orange County, well, guess that means you better book a hotel room in Orange County. With a lineup lit up by fire-starting soulette Gizzelle, the ferocious Omar & the Stringpoppers, the untamable maniac Luis Wildfire and mod-punk-soul-trash smashers like Black Mambas, The Hurricanes and Don Juan y Los Blancos, there is no better occasion for abrasion than the Young and Wild Weekender. If you've been wishing they still made bands like The Sonics, Thee Midniters or Thee Milkshakes, this is where they keep them. It'll be 48 solid hours of in-the-red '50s/'60s/'70s insanity, with booze and BBQ to chase. (Continues Sat., July 20.) --Chris Ziegler

Fanfare Ciocarlia


Straight outta the village of Zece Prăjini in northeastern Romania comes a Roma (Gypsy) jazz brass band to the 40th power. More than just a happy-happy oompah-oompah crew, Fanfare Ciocarlia bring to life wild scenes of Gypsy parties in hair-raisingly athletic trumpet/tuba/baritone horn/drum assaults on traditional dance tunes from Romania (plus some rad takes on Hollywood and Bollywood), all fired up with devilishly dense polyrhythms from Turkey, Bulgaria and Macedonia. Fanfare Ciocarlia are legendary on their home turf, having been sampled, revered and copied by several DJs, bands and other Gypsy orchestras. The group's breakneck speed, deftly punky thump and distinctively tart and sweet brass blasts can be heard in their cover of "Born to Be Wild" for the film Borat.--John Payne

Saturday, July 20

California Wives


California Wives are neither wives nor are they from California. It seems the Chicago-based quintet does have the Golden State (and perhaps California girls?) on its collective mind, however, as the group's debut album, Art History, is full of breezy, Pacific Ocean-perfumed pop. As such, the involuntary side-to-side head bob gets going the second Art History has its bubbly start. From the jangles of "Fisher King" to the exuberant "Purple" to the sparkles of "Los Angeles" and the quirky "Photolights," the Wives oscillate subtly between warm electronics and nostalgic, beach-y hum-alongs. The guitars are by turns shimmering and fuzzy, bringing with them all the good times the Wives sound like they're having. There isn't much of a sonic shift on Art History, but why mess with a good time? --Lily Moayeri

The Dillinger Escape Plan


The last time Summer Slaughter headliners The Dillinger Escape Plan performed in Los Angeles, they were on the undercard of Revolver magazine's Golden Gods Awards, headlined by Metallica. What ensued during the band's set left the mouths of slack-jawed people in Metallica T-shirts open in astonishment and confusion. Performing songs from their new album, One of Us Is the Killer, Dillinger Escape Plan's set that evening saw lead vocalist Greg Puciato busting himself open and bleeding all over the stage two minutes into their set, leaping 14 feet straight down from the top of a speaker cabinet, blowing fire directly toward the face of the band's drummer, and generally destroying any pieces of the staging he could get his hands on while the band's Faith No More-on-steroids and meth sound tortured the ears of the Metallica fans. It was one of the more boring Dillinger Escape Plan sets we have seen. --Jason Roche

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