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Los Angeles Concerts

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

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Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 3:45 AM

click to enlarge Hard Summer -- See Saturday - CREDIT: TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Credit: Timothy Norris
  • Hard Summer -- See Saturday

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

Friday, August 2

Kitten

THE TROUBADOUR

Kitten, local kids born in the '90s yet channeling the '80s, are an A&R exec's dream. The group is a collision of vibrant youth and timely nostalgia for a decade that seemingly has been in vogue for, well, a decade now. Above and amongst pulsing, New Order-ish synths, front gal Chloe Chaidez's detached, dreamy delivery recalls a slightly more intelligible Liz Fraser, albeit yelp-flecked like Siouxsie Sioux or Björk. Yet for all of Kitten's techie bleeps and bloops, the quintet's expression is rooted in the organic, as their frequent acoustic performances demonstrate, and onstage they are every bit the rock band, replete with insistent electric guitars and occasionally epic drumming. Personified by the effervescent Chaidez, Kitten's animated concerts wonderfully reimagine rather than faithfully re-create the group's more intimate, introverted recordings. --Paul Rogers

Blackalicious, Busdriver

ECHOPLEX

Words will be flying fast and furiously tonight at this hip-hop summit featuring the Sacramento duo Blackalicious and local rapper Busdriver. Both acts are distinguished by brainy, rapid-fire tongue twisters that provoke the mind at the same time they get you moving. In Blackalicious, it's Chief Xcel who lays down the infectious array of beats over which the aptly named Gift of Gab layers his thoughtful insights, which veer more toward the personal than the political. Considering how brilliant they are together, it's a bit surprising that Blackalicious haven't released a full-length album since 2005's The Craft, although The Gift of Gab has been busy making excellent solo albums like The Next Logical Progression. Busdriver's busy raps are more wide-ranging, commenting on racism and inequality with a poetically searing and rabidly sarcastic vision on such madcap albums as Jhelli Beam and last year's provocatively pun-laden Beaus$Eros. --Falling James

Saturday, August 3

HARD Summer

LOS ANGELES STATE HISTORIC PARK

"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." HARD Summer is taking that sentiment to heart. On its sixth go-around, the electronic music event stretches over Saturday and Sunday from noon to midnight. Spreading its formidable stable of talent across four stages, one has no choice but to attend both days to get the full experience. Among the artists you can catch only at HARD Summer are the multifaceted Ed Banger lot, who are bringing a posse, including Justice DJing, to celebrate their tastemaker label's 10-year anniversary. Day one has the slick machinations of the youthful Disclosure, Duke Dumont's feel-good house (previewed on HARD Summer Mixtape #2), Flying Lotus' glitchy experiment-hop and fan favorite 2 Chainz. Day two has Empire of the Sun presenting its Pixar-inspired, sci-fi/fantasy live set and the fearsome Rudimental offering up its zany, happy hits. --Lily Moayeri

Bob Dylan & His Band, Wilco, My Morning Jacket

VERIZON WIRELESS AMPHITHEATER

The Americanarama Festival of Music rolls into the Southland tonight, led by a 72-year-old Pied Piper from Duluth, Minn., who should be settling down into an easy retirement but instead finds himself in the middle of a decade-long creative peak. This guy doesn't play much guitar these days, preferring to stand behind his keyboards like a pulpit preacher, and his voice is so filled with a lifetime of sediment and sentiment that it's now gruffer than Tom Waits'. He's unlikely to bother ingratiating himself to the audience with between-song pleasantries, and he tends to drawl so far behind the beat, some of his phrases don't show up until the next tune. But Bob Dylan, bluesier than ever, is still writing great songs of soulful wanderlust ("Duquesne Whistle") and plain old lust ("Thunder on the Mountain"). He challenges himself further by following the electric, elaborate guitar constructions of My Morning Jacket and, speaking of guitars, the spacey, Nels Cline-infused ramblings of Wilco. --Falling James

See also: Bob Dylan Turns 70

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