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

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Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 3:30 AM
click to enlarge See Saturday: Jenny Lewis - PHOTO BY AUTUMN DE WILDE
  • Photo by Autumn de Wilde
  • See Saturday: Jenny Lewis
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Friday, August 8

Eminem & Rihanna 
Monster Tour
Two of music’s more polarizing figures, Eminem and Rihanna, team up once again for their national, six-date Monster Tour. The Bajan singer stirred things up in July after flashing the crowd at the closing of Brazil’s World Cup games. Eminem was this year’s most Grammy-nominated artist yet left the ceremony with wins in only minor categories. In an interview with Shade 45’s Sway, Eminem remarked on his and Rih’s musical chemistry, explaining that their Billboard Hot 100 hit “The Monster” was a “last-minute” endeavor. Tonight’s show is the second of two nights at the Rose Bowl, the tour’s first stop. The tour features official merchandise design by London-based lifestyle company Trapstar and will conclude Aug. 23 at Detroit’s Comerica Park. 
—Jacqueline Michael Whatley

On the heels of their newest release, Spoon are hitting the ground running with an international tour. They Want My Soul is the Austin-based quartet’s eighth studio album, marking an indomitable run for their minimal yet hooky indie rock. Led by singer-guitarist Britt Daniel, Spoon are reinvigorated after their longest break to date, with a power-charged energy you can hear on the album and most certainly can expect in their live performance. With chord changes reminiscent of “The Underdog” and pulsing melodies dating back to “Mountain of Sound,” Spoon’s return has a little bit of something for every fan. Their galvanizing rhythms will raise spirits (though hopefully only the audience’s) on the lawn of Hollywood Forever Cemetery. —Britt Witt

The Kooks
Listen, the fourth studio album from The Kooks, is a brave — and overdue — change in musical direction. Produced by the British group’s vocalist and principal songwriter, Luke Pritchard, alongside up-and-coming hip-hop producer Inflo, Listen takes its cues from soul, funk, R&B and time spent on the road with Foster the People. A gospel choir ushers in album opener “Around Town,” which crashes against the funky grinds of “Bad Habit.” Expansive keys and Chic-like guitars emphasize the romantic sentiments of “Westside,” while “Are We Electric” is a slinky, neo-disco number. Not throwback in the least, Listen is in touch with the roots of its influences, running the gamut of styles and playing out like a ’70s musical variety show. The Kooks play two shows at the Roxy tonight, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. —Lily Moayeri

Jay Leonhart and Josh Nelson
New York-based Jay Leonhart has been called “the world’s wittiest bassist.” While navigating a career that has included performing with artists as far-ranging as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra and Sting, Leonhart also has been composing music and poetry for several decades. Beginning with 1983’s Salamander Pie, Jay has recorded 15 albums with songs dedicated to everything from Wonder Bras to Leonard Bernstein to how the poet Robert Frost made a living (could he go down to the country store and sell a poem, saying, “Here’s a nice one I wrote about the snow”?). Leonhart’s usual one-man show takes on a partner tonight in the form of pianist Josh Nelson, whose deft touch and musical attentiveness should make for a unique evening. —Tom Meek

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