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

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Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:30 AM
click to enlarge See Tuesday: The Polyphonic Spree - PHOTO COURTESY OF SHORE FIRE MEDIA
  • Photo courtesy of Shore Fire Media
  • See Tuesday: The Polyphonic Spree
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, July 14


Arum Rae
HOTEL CAFÉ
“It looks like the tide is calling/Sendoff is drawing near,” Arum Rae confides amid a slowly unfolding series of chords that emerges like a sunrise. “I don’t know … if this is love at all/But your lips on mine have branded a sign.” The former White Dress singer-guitarist was raised in Texas but now is based in Brooklyn, and her new music is an intersection of influences, from the heartfelt, countrified ruminations of tracks such as “So Bad” to the more electronic whoosh of “2001,” from her new EP, Warranted Queen. Regardless of the musical style she wears, a restless loneliness is at heart of all her music, as she finds herself walking the streets alone late at night: “There’s no hope for myself trying to be a good pearl. … All I do is watch the moon.” —Falling James

Tuesday, July 15

The Polyphonic Spree
BOOTLEG HIFI
As with most mysterious happenings, reports of roving Texan troupe The Polyphonic Spree vary. While there were a good two dozen of its matching-robed members onstage a few years back, lately the count is in the mid-teens. Though pared down, and with the days of playing the Greek with Bowie or co-headlining the Wiltern’s New Year’s Eve bash a decade distant, the Spree retain their signature glee and remain a uniquely immersive, inclusive and ecstatic experience. Lead by blissfully detached singer-conductor Tim DeLaughter, TPS are Godspell meets Flaming Lips via The Wicker Man: the beating heart of a rock band made multidimensional with brass, strings and an all-gal choir. Celebrating their 14th anniversary (to the day) at the Bootleg, The Polyphonic Spree’s sheer warm-hearted ambition is yet to be replicated. —Paul Rogers

Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas
THE ECHO
Call it rock, call it soul, call it gypsy-jazz, but the only genre we can all agree on when it comes to Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas is “unclassifiable.” The charismatic leading lady and her jazz-trained band hail from Detroit, where they have soaked up the influences of the gritty streets and added a little bit of Wanda Jackson and Dolly Parton. The band of six has just as flirty yet tenacious a stage presence as its recordings imply, balancing onstage banter with growling chords and hip-shaking melodies. Their R&B foundation makes for a sultry backdrop to bouncing cabaret rock and funky blues, a rich sound with a dark side. They’re touring in honor of their upcoming debut full-length, Secret Evil, out Aug. 19, so you’ll definitely hear their single “Tired Oak” along with the rest of their dance-floor–packing tunes. —Britt Witt

Wednesday, July 16

A Sunny Day in Glasgow
BOOTLEG HIFI
A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s perplexing pop aesthetic gives them a yearning to pump out dreamy teenbeat chock-full of nagging hooks, which plague the brain and keep the toes a-tapping. The Philly-based ASDG like their tunes with angles out of true, smearing blobs of pop’s rich past in a thousand nonlinear images and sounds, and have even drawn inspiration from modernist composers such as Arvo Pärt and Alvin Lucier. While highly conceptualized stuff can come off tedious in the wrong hands, ASDG is anything but; there’s sheer glee in everything they do, as best grokked on their recent Sea When Absent (Lefse), a genre-free yet way inviting blast of post-post-pop meltdownery where the band refractures disparately obscure sounds. As Chic would say: Don’t be a drag, participate! —John Payne

Thursday, July 17

Loudon Wainwright III
LEVITT PAVILION MACARTHUR PARK
These days singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III is as well known for being father to daughters Martha and Lucy and son Rufus as he is for his own extended musical career. But Wainwright is as good as any modern songwriter in turning a phrase, and has branched out from his early days as a humorist (“Dead Skunk”) into tunes concerning life and family. Rufus was first immortalized as a nursing infant in “Rufus Is a Tit Man,” while Wainwright’s divorce from wife Kate McGarrigle was lyricized in the haunting “Your Mother and I,” an attempt to explain the separation to their children. There’s no better way to spend this particular musical evening in Los Angeles than at the free and outdoor MacArthur Park bandshell. —Tom Meek

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

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