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

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Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 3:45 AM

click to enlarge Lucius - SHERVIN LAINEZ
  • Shervin Lainez
  • Lucius
Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

Monday, August 26

Courtney Love


Musician, actress, writer, artist, designer -- love her or hate her, she is Courtney Love. Nothing can stop the 49-year-old icon from partying, guitar shredding and unconventional candidness. Once deemed the most controversial woman in the history of rock by Rolling Stone, Love has ditched the trainwreck, drugged-out persona of old for more innocent chain-smoking and endearing (if still somewhat messy) media appearances. The former Hole frontwoman has gone solo again, but with no plans to perform any new material quite yet. Instead, Love skipped the urgency of a new album in anticipation for the release of her memoir, tentatively titled Died Blonde and out in December. The outspoken '90s grunge queen stands by her confrontational lyrics and maintains a stage presence that is unpredictable and bewitching. --Britt Witt

Mike Stinson


Even in a freshly pressed suit and tie, Virginia-born country singer Mike Stinson seems perpetually disheveled, a weird reflection of a spirit that, whether due to failed romance or tavern overindulgence (usually both), is always alcohol-tousled and adversity-tossed. His is the classic hard-country pathology and very few exhibit as penetrating and critical a knack for self-examination as Stinson. Artful, genuine and loaded with hangdog appeal, the one-time bard of North Hollywood returns from his adopted Houston home for a long overdue visit, toting a new disc, Hell and Half of Georgia. While it comes up a bit short on ballads and new material, any Stinson release rates as a powerful antidote to the scalding digital hell where country music fans are expected to suffer. (Also Fri., Aug. 23, at the Echo and Sat., Aug. 24, at Pappy & Harriet's.) --Jonny Whiteside

Tuesday, August 27



Alt-J's grasp on the 2012 U.K. Mercury Prize started with a shared stint at Leeds University seven years ago. There, one English major and three art majors began their trajectory toward the ambitious and art-riddled An Awesome Wave and their perplexingly modern band name. (The lyrical references to the Greek letter delta become clear when you press Alt + J on a Mac.) Since then, things have sped up for the quirky band, whose first tour stop in L.A. included fines for peeing from a Beverly Hills hotel balcony. While some American audiences with no access to a radio might still be warming up to the group, richly textured songs like "Tesselate" and "Breezeblocks" prove the difficulty of labeling Alt-J's off-kilter dynamism while cementing the band's well-deserved moment in the spotlight. Don't be afraid to let the former students school you: See if you can catch lyrical references to subjects including Where the Wild Things Are, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Leon: The Professional when the band plays live. --Kelsey Whipple

Wednesday, August 28

Stones Throw Soul Tour


Back in the 1960s, labels like Motown would pack all their heaviest hitters into a bus and send them out in search of fans, fame and further glory. This summer, L.A. label Stones Throw has put together an all-star revue of its own. Although Stones Throw built its empire on hip-hop legends like J Dilla and Madlib, the label has always been a home for artists with diverse record collections and deep connections to their roots. The Soul Tour hits the highlights of the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and '00s with a first-time-performing-together lineup including boogie funk virtuoso Dam-Funk, crooners Myron and E, the Shuggie Otis-meets-Funkadelic-style Stepkids and label founder Peanut Butter Wolf. (He'll be sharing DJ duties at this show only with breakout neo-soul polymath Mayer Hawthorne.) It'll be one of those rare nights when old school and new school are suddenly revealed as the same thing. --Chris Ziegler

See also: Stones Throw Records Turns 15

Wayne Shorter 80th Birthday Celebration


Like The Rolling Stones, Wayne Shorter is getting into advanced age and still selling out concerts worldwide. He's roughly 10 years older than Mick and crew, however, and playing jazz. The attention the saxophonist receives is justified, as Shorter is unequivocally our greatest living jazz composer. From Blakey to Miles to Weather Report, every band he was in defined the zeitgeist and destiny of jazz. Even his current band is now an institution, with Shorter, drummer Brian Blade, pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patitucci having played together for a dozen years now. Their latest album, Without a Net, demonstrates the rarity of a legendary master presently charting a path to the future. Tonight, Shorter gets birthday-week greetings from his quintessential friend Herbie Hancock, fellow jazz icons trumpeter Dave Douglas and saxophonist Joe Lovano, and Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding leading an all-star, all-female trio. --Gary Fukushima

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