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

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Thu, May 15, 2014 at 3:30 AM
click to enlarge See Sunday: London Grammar - PHOTO COURTESY OF CHUFF MEDIA
  • Photo courtesy of Chuff Media
  • See Sunday: London Grammar
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, May 16

Connan Mockasin, 
Kirin J Callinan
While we'd love to believe the Syd Barrett comparisons Connan Mockasin is getting, we just don't hear it. (Maybe with the hair, though?) Instead, this New Zealander found his sound in Ariel Pink's bottomless discography and dug deeper from there, with unexpected nods at Ween, The Cure and Shuggie Otis - often simultaneously, like on the pitch-shifted pop of "I'm the Man That Will Find You." Mockasin is sharing this bill with Kirin J Callinan, a polysonic Australian auteur with music so happily, unpredictably diverse it makes Connan seem positively normal. Callinan's recent Embracism bounces between Nick Cave, The Triffids' David McComb, James Chance, Roxy Music, The Homosexuals and ... I don't know, but let's go look at my eBay saved searches and surely we'll find something else to reference. - Chris Ziegler

Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, Chantal Claret
Many people first became aware of Holly Golightly when she sang a charming duet, "It's True That We Love One Another," with Jack White on The White Stripes' 2003 Elephant. But the British songbird came to attention earlier as a member of one of Billy Childish's garage combos, Thee Headcoatees. Since then, she's moved away from garage rock into rootsy Americana, joined by her longtime accompanist, Lawyer Dave. The duo's latest album, All Her Fault, alternates between energetic barnburners like "Can't Pretend" and such country-blues laments as "SLC." At times, their roots digging and slide guitars are mighty pleasin', but elsewhere the pair's cornpone accents and stylized, down-home affectations come across as studiously mannered instead of truly authentic. Former Morningwood chanteuse Chantal Claret adds considerable energy with her newfound R&B-infused sizzle and quick-stepping choreography. - Falling James

Saturday, May 17

Billy Joel
He hasn't released any new music since 1993, yet the Piano Man from Long Island remains a strong draw. For his first solo Los Angeles show in many years, Joel will rely on his catalog of endless hits, which made him one of the best-selling and most popular artists of the 1970s and '80s. Whether it's singing about characters like Brenda and Eddie or championing the cause of the longshoremen on "Downeaster Alexa," the 64-year-old singer's music has managed to become more popular as he heads into senior citizenship. Though he was dismissed by critics in his earlier years, many of Joel's most popular songs have become part of the Great American Songbook, proving that fans sometimes do know best. Also Thursday, May 22, and Tuesday, May 27. - Daniel Kohn

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
Perhaps someday John and Yoko's kid won't have to jump through hoops to prove he's got something of his own to say. In fact, Sean Lennon has been doing just that for several years now; his duo with longtime partner Charlotte Kemp Muhl as The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger proves again his well-versed individuality in the contemporary meltdown-rock stakes. The pair's just-out Midnight Sun on Lennon's own Chimera label is highly crafted, proggy psychedelia loaded to bursting with aurally surprising twists and turns, stamped heavily with the more arty rock of the '60 and '70s, among a kaleidoscope of other sources (including The Beatles, which makes sense, after all). Quite an accessibly hard-rocking affair, too, Midnight Sun at its best tells intriguing new stories and devises shining new shapes. - John Payne

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