fri 7/25

Dierks Bentley


For the better part of the past decade, Dierks Bentley has helped usher in a new era of country music. His catalog has spawned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts and cemented his status as one of mainstream country's superstars. Every year since 2006, the 38-year-old has spent a good chunk of his time on the road entertaining fans with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean. In February, Bentley released Riser, his seventh studio album. The record's second single, “I Hold On,” became his first song to climb to the top of the country airplay charts. In addition to his hits, Bentley is known for his energetic live show. But as Riser proved to even the most dismissive of critics, Bentley's career isn't slowing down anytime soon. —Daniel Kohn

Municipal Waste, The Shrine


Virginia punk-thrashers Municipal Waste are the modern-day spiritual kin to such '80s crossover greats as D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies. Albums such as 2012's The Fatal Feast showcase a ferocious beast whose primary lyrical obsessions include beer, pizza, partying and horror movies. While the subject matter may not be that serious, the group is dedicated to inspiring the largest mosh pits possible. Ryan Waste's buzzsaw guitars and Dave Witte's drumming — simultaneously rock-solid and rock-hard — lay down a great canvas for vocalist Tony Foresta to spew forth venom as the fans futilely try to avoid getting crushed in the pit. Venice punk-rockers The Shrine aren't quite as metal, but their odes to surfing, skateboarding and rocking the eff out on new album Bless Off will help them fit on this bill just fine. RSVP is required for this one at —Jason Roche

The Ron Carter Trio


Life is precious and ephemeral, and moments of greatness, which can be so fleeting in the overall scheme of things, should be savored while they're still here. The recent passing of local bass legend Charlie Haden makes us appreciate even more the ongoing presence of double bassist Ron Carter, who's been going strong for more than 50 years since he came out of Detroit as a classically trained cellist. He started as a sideman in drummer Chico Hamilton's band but really made a name for himself in the early 1960s with Miles Davis' second great quintet, where his intuitive bass runs padded nimbly on cat's paws underneath the thicket of Herbie Hancock's rolling piano chords and Davis' iconic clarion calls. Professor Carter has presided over, and pushed along, many of jazz's greatest moments in his long career. Also Saturday, July 26. —Falling James

sat 7/26

Jon Hopkins, Teebs


A composer of film scores, remixer and longtime collaborator with Brian Eno and Coldplay, East London's Jon Hopkins makes electronic music for — strange twist! — human beings. Hopkins has just released Immunity (Domino), which, a bit unlike his past, largely downtempo/ambient stuff, places the emphasis squarely on the dance, with epic blasts of throbbing beat and enveloping synths, wrapped around choice found-sound textures and more intimate episodes of pensive piano and baleful choral drones. It's Hopkins' great ear for warm, analog synth tones that might just make you want to curl up in a li'l ball right there on the dance floor. Also L.A. hero Teebs, whose recent Estara album on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label is a superbly crafted slice of atmospheric hip-hop and much, much more. —John Payne

GRMLN, Gothic Tropic


A year after NorCal native Yoodoo Park, known as GRMLN, released his debut LP, Empire, he has joined a label (Carpark Records), garnered solid reviews and announced the arrival in September of his new LP, Soon Away. GRMLN's ocean breeze–tinged power pop finds itself nestled somewhere between Wavves and Velvet Crush, where hazy nostalgia reigns. Now a trio, Park and his bandmates offer up a sound of colder beaches, with enough raucous live energy to keep you warm. Seasoned locals Gothic Tropic keep the evening's trio trend going with their worldbeat-driven psych-pop. Singer Cecilia Della Peruti may or may not be barefoot, but count on her skilled guitar parts and extended solos to keep you hooked. —Britt Witt

La Santa Cecilia


It's beyond foolish to try to force La Santa Cecilia into some convenient pigeonhole. The local sextet deftly draws upon such traditional Latin music styles as cumbia, bossa nova and tango, but they're just as likely to mix in klezmer, jazz, folk and even new wave. Earlier this year, they won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album for their 2013 album, Treinta Días. Marisol Hernandez (aka La Marisoul) is a compelling and powerful singer, whether she's cooing traditional Spanish-language ballads such as “Ice El Hielo” against Marco Sandoval's languid acoustic guitar, or belting out passionate English anthems “Someday New” or the sinuously romantic “Jack.” When La Santa Cecilia pump up their unique versions of hits by The Beatles and Soft Cell, the songs are twisted further by Jose Carlos' artful accordion. Also at the Pico Union Project, Monday, July 28, with Yuval Ron Ensemble. —Falling James


sun 7/27

Cotton Jones


It's been almost four years since Cotton Jones released their last full-length album, Tall Hours in the Glowstream, but the Maryland combo is back on the road again and setting up intimate shows in seemingly every available living room in the country. The Silverlake Lounge isn't much bigger than most living rooms, which should make Michael Nau's gentle tunes feel even more personal and homespun. His songs range from countrified folk ambles to hazier pop interludes, splitting the difference on “Splitting Dreams,” where his rootsy delivery drifts along on a loopy, sidewinding guitar riff. Much of the music's spectral warmth comes from Nau's keyboardist wife, Whitney McGraw, whose sweet harmonies carry the melodies straight from the farm up into the clouds. —Falling James

mon 7/28

Washing Machines


Some bands wear their influences on their sleeves, but L.A.'s Washing Machines helpfully put them in their song titles: “Sonic Fuck” ain't so far from Sonic Youth, and “Vaseline” ain't so far from one of The Vaselines' sarcasto-pop tracks. (Alt. title: “Urinal Vaseline,” just to rep for local noiseniks The Urinals, whose spirit is also at work here.) The opener of their recent EP is “Big Cyst,” but if that's a band, it's beyond the search-engine capabilities of this writer — but those tore-up vocal hooks are adeptly Cobainian, and the topic is just one medical emergency away from Nirvana's “Aneurysm.” (Plus there's the album Washing Machine by Sonic Youth.) Anyway, they obviously love what they love and they do it with gusto. If you wanna start a label called Sub SST Pop, here's your first signing. —Chris Ziegler

tue 7/29

Boston, Cheap Trick


More than three-quarters of Boston's 31 million album sales are for their 1976 eponymous debut and its '78 follow-up, Don't Look Back. So gargantuan were these creations that the band, built around founding guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Tom Scholz, remains an arena-filling radio staple, despite releasing only four full-lengths since. Boston's secret is essentially simple songs performed and recorded with staggering attention to detail. For all of Scholz's love of virtuoso musicality and complex, harmony-saturated production, at the heart of his compositions are bar-rock and garage-pop sensibilities (Nirvana's grunge template “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is unashamedly built upon the main riff of Boston's signature single, “More Than a Feeling”). Equally enduring and perhaps even more influential on contemporary acts, from Smashing Pumpkins to Kings of Leon, are ultimate power-poppers Cheap Trick. —Paul Rogers

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson 0x000ALarge Ensemble


Violaist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson has developed a reputation for being one of L.A.'s most adventurous young composers, finding himself involved in film and television projects on larger and larger scales. His own music is just as challenging, as he often creates large ensembles that perform chamber, jazz and Latin hybrid works. Tonight's show at Blue Whale features a live laptop, five vocalists, a DJ and no fewer than 11 instrumentalists drawn from the area's finest young talent, including Dennis Hamm, Sara Gazarek, Katisse Buckingham and Walter Smith III. Atwood-Ferguson's shows always offer a unique musical experience, and tonight's effort at Little Tokyo's Blue Whale will be no different. —Tom Meek

wed 7/30

Aerosmith, Slash


When Aerosmith released “Seasons of Wither” in 1974, the power ballad was distinguished by its elegantly chilling arpeggios and singer Steven Tyler's bittersweet evocation of a Massachusetts winter and the end of a love affair. But Aerosmith's own season of wither has been going on for decades now. The Boston group's last fully consistent album, Draw the Line, was released all the way back in 1977, and although they've occasionally cobbled together such plasticized and overwrought pop hits as “Love in an Elevator” and “Jaded” since then, very little of their recent output comes close to their late-'70s heyday. On the other hand, Aerosmith remain an awesome force onstage, with Joe Perry's florid flurries of lead guitar rampaging gloriously around Brad Whitford's formidably interlocking riffs. Former Guns N' Roses ax-man Slash's style is heavily influenced by Perry's solos, contrasting dazzling speed with stinging eloquence. —Falling James

thu 7/31

DEEP with Marques Wyatt, Doc Martin and Raul Campos


For the last five years, KCRW has been making Los Angeles' cool summer evenings even cooler with its Summer Nights series in various outdoor spaces throughout the city. As part of that series, City of Angels native son Marques Wyatt shepherds summer 2014's final Made in L.A. evening at the Hammer Museum under the banner of his long-running club night, DEEP. A perfect match for Made in L.A.'s ethos of “niche music that is quintessentially L.A.,” Wyatt has been throwing events in Los Angeles since the late 1980s. The original West Coast house-music torchbearer, Wyatt hosts two other DJs with deep roots in the sound: Doc Martin and KCRW's Raul Campos. Gear up for an evening of rounded 4/4 beats, soulful rhythms and moody grooves guaranteed to keep you at a happy, steady shuffle in the museum's gracious courtyard. —Lily Moayeri

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