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Los Angeles Concerts

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

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Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 3:00 AM
click to enlarge Janelle Monáe -- See Saturday - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Janelle Monáe -- See Saturday

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

Friday, November 1

Bernhoft

THE TROUBADOUR

Norway's Bernhoft must have a whole record store in his brain -- and one of those retro-expert vintage-instrument dealers, too. On his recent album Solidarity Breaks, the bespectacled Norwegian artist ably delivers the kind of maximalist, everything-new-is-old-again pop/soul that guys like Mayer Hawthorne and Nino Moschella make with bits and pixels and painstakingly restored original synthesizers, which just can't be duplicated any other way. A song like "C'mon Talk" is a perfect example of the way Bernhoft turns concepts like "retro" and "futuristic" inside out: Every decade since the advent of electrically powered instruments is represented here, wrapped up so tight you can't tell where one stops and another begins. So yeah, you can dance to it. But you can also wander through it for hours, discovering new little twists and turns and trap doors you missed the first 40 times. --Chris Ziegler

Chris Schlarb

THE VELASLAVASAY PANORAMA

Long Beach jazz guitarist Chris Schlarb wanted to do something a little different in reprising his 2007 debut album, Twilight & Ghost Stories -- an often-engrossing series of languid guitar idylls and watery, New Age-y soundscapes -- for a full-length live performance. He booked this unusual venue in the University Park district, although the Velaslavasay's sumptuous, panoramic landscape paintings won't provide much eye candy during tonight's two sets -- which will take place in near-darkness. "Spontaneous lighting cues" will replace sheet music as the band members are "paired up in the moment, choosing how to respond and react to the music (or silence) around them." Interestingly, Schlarb is mixing his group of the usual avant-jazz suspects with folks like The Mars Volta's Ikey Owens and former Minuteman Mike Watt, although the mostly male lineup is a distressingly quaint throwback to the real late 1800s, when panoramic paintings were still all the rage. --Falling James

Nobunny

THE ECHOPLEX

Nobunny's Secret Songs longplayer is just out on the most esteemed Goner Records, and herein we find our hero taking back "rock & roll," chopping it up, wolfing it down and ralphing a big pebbly mess back out into the stratosphere or, at the very least, onto the garage floor. It's quite the gnarly stew of trashy, childish choons about girls, drugs and creepy enemies -- all the essentials. Meanwhile Nobunny himself, you gotta wonder about. Why would a grown man don a bunny rabbit mask, stockings and handcuffs and roam a stage wanking songs like "(Do the) Fuck Yourself," "Rotten Sweet Tooth" or "Buried in a Bong"? More importantly, why wouldn't he? Have you tried getting a straight job lately? All seriousness aside, beneath the mask, Nobunny is a gifted, versatile songwriter and performer; more hard evidence of this is found on his new mixtape-style LP, which also features that song "Bye Bye Roxie," which you heard on MTV's 120 Minutes were you pinheaded enough to watch that show. --John Payne

See also: Nobunny at FYF Fest: The West Coast Sound Interview

Saturday, November 2

Johnny Marr

THE FONDA THEATRE

The musical love affair between Johnny Marr and Steven Patrick Morrissey was one of the great romances of the previous century. When they combined forces as The Smiths, they made (literally) beautiful music together. As artful as many of Morrissey's self-absorbed lyrics were, they were suffused with incredible drama and far more passion when combined with Marr's imaginative surges of guitar, particularly when Marr opened up his Pandora's box of eerie sounds on tracks like "How Soon Is Now?" While it's admirable that neither Marr nor Morrissey seems interested in reliving their ancient glories, one also has to admit that neither has really sounded quite the same without the other. Since leaving The Smiths in 1987, Marr has worked with The Pretenders, Pet Shop Boys, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs. His new solo album, The Messenger, is surprisingly involving, with Marr's hazy vocals blending well with that famously ringing and jangling guitar. Also at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Sunday, Nov. 3. --Falling James

See also: Think Morrissey Is a Douche? Go Join the NRA

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