fri 2/22

Kurt Rosenwinkel


Kurt Rosenwinkel's playing is richly complex and challenging, and while he is smarter than most of us, smart people also feel. Thus, to label this guitarist as “intellectual” or “cerebral” does him a disservice. He is more poet than scientist, more Lennon than Hawking. His music, rife with the innovations that have inspired a generation of jazz musicians, is defined by lyrical beauty and emotive soul. It is this union of head and heart that elevates Rosenwinkel to a place among the hallowed. The band tonight is the same as on his recent album, Star of Jupiter, with Eric Revis and Justin Faulkner on bass and drums and the superb Aaron Parks on keyboards. —Gary Fukushima

Victor Wooten


Béla Fleck & the Flecktones bassist Victor Wooten is thought of by many as one of, and in many cases the, finest electric bassist in the world, having now picked up five Grammy Awards. Wooten likes to take on unusual musical projects, and this stop at El Rey showcases his latest, as he plays in support of album releases Words and Tones and Sword and Stone. The seven-person band features four bassists, two drummers (including longtime Wooten bandmate Derico Watson) and a vocalist, Krystal Peterson. All the musicians play multiple instruments, including Peterson. —Tom Meek

Moris Tepper


Maybe you remember Moris Tepper from Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, gnawing at his guitar on “Hot Head” and “Ashtray Heart.” Maybe you remember when he popped up at the Echo with PJ Harvey as his bassist. Maybe you never had a clue this guy existed until the two sentences just before this one, and you're frothing at the mouth with pain and regret because you've yet to hear a note by this true and righteous animal man. Don't worry — we can fix you. Tepper's new album, A Singer Named Shotgun Throat, is traditional and original all at once, familiar at first listen but revealing something subtle and unexpected and sad and beautiful and real every time. Maybe that's why Beefheart liked him; maybe that's why PJ liked him. I don't know, but I do know that's why I like him. —Chris Ziegler

sat 2/23

Lloyd Price


When 19-year-old Lloyd Price cut his 1952 masterpiece, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” the kid likely had no idea just how far the track would take him. An epochal blast of grinding, funkenized New Orleans rock & roll it was, mightily enhanced by the all-star, Dave Bartholomew–led band that backed him. It was the teenager's loose, luminous, declarative pipes, though, that elevated the song to a celestial level. A slew of choice chart-toppers followed, and Price swiftly ascended to R&B royal. He went MIA for a spell starting in the 1970s, when he spent time in Africa, tending to diamond mines and co-producing, with Don King, the soul-funk music festival held in conjunction with the 1974 Ali-Frazier “Rumble in the Jungle.” This appearance, his first L.A. date in decades, is a must. Price, apart from our own Big Jay McNeely, is one of the last surviving stars from R&B's golden age. This opportunity must not be squandered. —Jonny Whiteside

Robert Randolph, Slide Brothers


The sacred-steel style is one of American music's unique forms. Created by black members of Southern Pentecostal churches in the '30s, it combines fervent gospel vocalizing with wild steel-guitar playing, the guitar replacing the traditional organ. The son of a deacon and a minister, Robert Randolph grew up unaware of most secular rock music; it was only after he was championed by jazzman John Medeski and the North Mississippi Allstars in 2001 that he realized the deep connection between sacred steel and bluesy classic rock. Since then, he's been widely recognized as one of the world's most dazzling guitarists, jamming with the likes of Buddy Guy and Santana. He returns the favor by presenting the Slide Brothers, sacred-steel whizzes who tear through Elmore James and George Harrison classics on their debut album. —Falling James

sun 2/24

Leni Stern


So much great music continues to come out of Mali, even as Islamic rebels attempt to take over the northern part of the country and impose Sharia law, which, among other things, discourages such unbridled and creative music making. Vieux Farka Touré, Amadou & Mariam, Tinariwen and Khaira Arby are among Malian performers who've toured here recently, and Ballaké Sissoko is due to appear next month at the Skirball Center. Now, even Western musicians like German jazz guitarist Leni Stern are being influenced by this distinctively hypnotic style. On her new album, Smoke, No Fire, Stern twists her fluid guitar runs with strains of the banjo-like instrument n'goni to weave a gently intoxicating spell as she sings haunting lamentations in several languages. For this show, she's joined by Senegalese bassist Mamadou Ba and percussionist Alioune Faye. —Falling James


mon 2/25

The Residents


Somewhere between rock & roll's spiritual mystique and a distinctly unhinged surrealist pathology, you'll find the lair of bizarro-art-imitates-music tribe The Residents. Unprecedented, with no discernible frame of reference, save for a magnificently idiosyncratic streak, The Residents explore a shadowy landscape where aural blunt-force trauma, deliberately opaque aesthetic intent and downright weird sonic collisions coexist like a thick growth of mutant cultural calico fur — on the roof of your mouth. The Bay Area–based clan has strange running through its veins, a bunch of talents so drastically odd that they make Captain Beefheart seem like Lawrence Welk. Any visit from these provocateurs is rare, and this 40th-anniversary Wonder of Weird tour should deliver as compelling a dose of rugged, all-American, underworld individualism as you'll encounter. —Jonny Whiteside



In the wake of last year's Plans in Progress, Robotanists are taking a lark with their digital-only EP, Souvenirs, a sort of surprise gift for their fans, with the local synth-pop group covering their favorite songs by The Motels, New Order, Todd Rundgren and others. Sarah Ellquist de Blanke's dreamy vocals and her musical partner Daniel de Blanke's shimmering synths give these new-wave and post-punk chansons a modern sheen, but the strangest track of all is their cover of Kenny Rogers' “Just Dropped in (to See What Condition My Condition Was in).” Rather than camping it up, Robotanists transform this corny country standard into a stirring, unexpectedly enchanting soundscape, as Sarah's languidly ethereal singing trails off in the haze of Daniel's blended acoustic guitars and distant-thunder percussion. —Falling James

tue 2/26

The Shrine


Venice Beach power trio The Shrine are shredders of the highest order — on their instruments, of course, and on their skateboards even more of course! They're basically an assistant principal's nightmare circa 1982: longhair heavy-metal punk 'n' roll skaters with custom fuzz pedals and an endless supply of inspiration from the most ripping ne'er-do-wells ever to have their band name carved into a desk during detention. The Shrine's most recent album, Primitive Blast (on Tee Pee), had pretty much the most succinctly descriptive title of 2012. Imagine a caveman with a flamethrower and a wide smile, and then add some guitar solos. Gentlemen, it's a pleasure to get disintegrated by you. —Chris Ziegler

wed 2/27

Van Dyke Parks


Composer-arranger-producer-pianist Van Dyke Parks is best known as a lyricist for Brian Wilson, notably on the Beach Boys' Smile album. Undeservedly shadowed is Parks' catalog of solo albums, which boasts at least one genuine masterwork, 1968's Song Cycle. He's also fondly regarded for his work as a poetic instigator in his arranging and accompaniment for The Byrds, Rufus Wainwright, Harry Nilsson, Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes, Ringo Starr and myriad others. Live, Parks is a charming, slyly folksy wag with a thousand tales to tell and a veritable mountain of great songs to sing. Tonight he's accompanied by his superb small ensemble; special guests include singer-songwriters Joe Henry and Inara George and the Merrick band. —John Payne



Fitting in neatly with sex-symbol frontwomen along the lines of The Duke Spirit's Liela Moss and Metric's Emily Haines is Deluka's siren, Ellie Innocenti. The Birmingham, England, group has relocated to L.A. to record its second album with Tim Pagnotta and Dan the Automator. While that brews for a summer release, Deluka are giving the locals of their adopted city a chance to catch their high-energy performances while exercising their live chops. Purposely leaked songs “Stranger Than Fiction” and “Never Alone” indicate Deluka have found the right balance between rich vocals and driving rhythms. The synth-laced dance pop Deluka have been known to do so well surrenders to the electrifying, tight rock hooks they also have mastered. —Lily Moayeri

thu 2/28

Chris Potter


The Jazz Bakery celebrates its 20th anniversary this month, and tonight presents New York–based saxophonist Chris Potter. Although Potter has done several shows for the Bakery in the past, this year he arrives riding the wave of his first Grammy Award as a member of the Pat Metheny Unity Band. Regarded as one of the finest saxophonists in jazz today, Potter brings a supporting cast including keyboardist Craig Taborn, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Eric Harland. The Musicians Institute Concert Center features fine sound and seating. —Tom Meek

Amon Tobin DJ Set


Whether hunched over his turntables or perched high within a towering, 3-D art installation, Brazil-born DJ/sound artist Amon Tobin expands the shape and scope of electronic music and, better yet, does it with little concern for how he fits in genrewise. Tobin obliterates stylistic boundaries, his tracks often integrating state-of-the-art digital visuals that both enhance and resonantly juxtapose with his frighteningly gorgeous flights of sonic abstraction and bone-shaking beats. His ever-morphing black hole of sound and vision finds true glory in his DJ sets, which plumb the depths of the hip-hop/drum & bass DNA that inspired him but go far beyond mere heavy beats and funky samples to mutate texture, ambience and low-low-end in mind-blowing, inspiring ways. —John Payne


Galactic, Latyrx


Couldn't get to Mardi Gras this year? Galactic will bring the carnival to you. The funky, jazzy combo employs traditional N'Awlins styles, but with a restlessness and curiosity that draw on everything from dance-music electronics to world-beat percussion. Galactic have recently been augmented by Living Colour singer Corey Glover; new album Carnivale Electricos combines his forceful intensity and charisma with their trademark funkiness, opening up for wickedly groovy passages that smash the barriers between soul and psychedelia. Tonight they're preceded by Latyrx, a collaboration between brainy Bay Area rappers Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker, who kick it out in a supremely slinky, hypnotic, mind-blowing fashion. —Falling James

LA Weekly