George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
@ GIBSON AMPHITHEATRE
Even at 69 years old, North Carolina–born funk archetype George Clinton shows no signs of slowing down. “We got 25 members we gonna hit you with,” he said of his current tour in a recent interview. “We gonna hit you hard.” And though the current touring lineup of the legendary Parliament-Funkadelic doesn't include star players Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell, numerous members of the original '70s lineup (which combined Clinton's two bands into one massive psych-funk circus) are still with the group. This means that the majority of the radical politics, conceptual silliness, choppy instrumentation and stanking grooves are still intact. Clinton's most recent album is a 2008 soul covers project, so there's a good chance the band will play a mix of classics both its own and by others. —Chris Martins
@ THE SATELLITE
For sheer pluck and iconoclastic verve, veteran Dutch anarcho-punks the Ex win win win: Since 1979 they've released 25 albums on their own label (123 releases total), played something like 2,000 gigs all over Europe and the U.S., and never, ever sold out to the expectations of the mass-marketing meatheads. Their independence plays out musically, too, solid proof being their new Steve Albini–produced Catchmyshoe, a typically untypical batch of eclectica featuring their very own muscular hybrid of off-kilter post-punk discord — baritone guitar rifferini, Afro-rock horn blasts and jazzed-out drum polyrhythms, and loads of pure anarchist noise. Longtime vocalist G.W. Sok's yowling spot has been filled by the equally intense Arnold de Boer, best known as the vocalist for Ex touring mates Zea. —John Payne
Also playing Friday:
HOUSE OF PAIN, BIG B, DIRTBALL, SOZAY at House of Blues; YOUNG DUBLINERS, SURGEON MARTA at Key Club; LAVA BAND at Bootleg Theater; PHAROAH SANDERS QUARTET at Catalina Bar & Grill.
@ VALLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
One of the greatest gifts Roseanne Cash ever received from her late father, Johnny Cash, was a list of classic country and folk songs, which he gave to her when she was 18 years old. More than three decades later, she's released The List, an album with a dozen covers drawn from her dad's top 100 favorites. Joined by such celebrity guests as Jeff Tweedy, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello, she imbues her versions of “Long Black Veil,” “Sea of Heartbreak” and “Heartaches by the Number” with a gently contemplative perspective that's often quite moving, especially in the wake of all the travails she's suffered this decade, including serious brain surgery in 2007 and the deaths of her father, mother and stepmother June Cash. —Falling James
Also playing Saturday:
BIG DICK, BRENDAN HINES at the Satellite; DEVO, THE OCTOPUS PROJECT at Club Nokia; WILD UP at Bootleg Theater.
@ GETTY CENTER
Wu Man is the potentate of the pipa, a Chinese lutelike instrument whose roots date back more than 2,000 years. Since relocating to the United States from her native China in 1990, she has promoted the pipa tirelessly, researching the archives of ancient Chinese and Japanese dynasties for a deeper understanding of the instrument's true promise and power, and making great contributions in a deliciously daring series of collaborations with jazz, new-music and contemporary classical musicians such as the Kronos Quartet. She's a consummate musician of astonishing finesse and delicacy — and, when needed, strikingly soulful fire. To hear her pluck the pipa is a multidimensional experience, at the very least a voyage back through time. The performance accompanies the exhibit “Brush and Shutter: Early Photography in China.” —John Payne
Also playing Sunday:
FUGIYA & MYAGI, FOL CHEN at the Echo; JONAS BROTHERS at Gibson Amphitheatre.
@ BOOTLEG THEATER
Led by singer Suzanne Santo and guitarist Ben Jaffe, the local band HoneyHoney continue their monthlong residency at the Bootleg with a set of tunes from their upcoming second album, Billy Jack. Santo has an inviting purr as Jaffe adorns her melodic entreaties with a variety of musical settings ranging from straight-ahead country and down-home folk to dreamy pop and more exotic rhythms. After releasing their aptly titled debut full-length album, First Rodeo, on actor Kiefer Sutherland's Ironworks Music label, HoneyHoney struck out on their own, but they don't appear to have missed a beat with Billy Jack. Although HoneyHoney burst with mainstream commercial potential, they're even better when Santo confides quirky and unexpected lyrics like, “A sex change is the least of what you need.” —Falling James
@ HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM
Girl Talk, aka Pittsburgh's Gregg Michael Gillis, may have racked up most of his accolades and controversy for his rather liberal on-record interpretation of copyright law, but he deserves more attention for his live show. It invariably becomes a full-blown rave, thanks not only to his mix mastery (the man never skips a beat), but also to the very fabric of his songs. Gillis is, by trade, a mash-up artist who mines the entire modern pop spectrum for familiar musical moments that go well together. His 2010 album All Day cycles through 373 samples in 71 minutes, which means that Ice Cube ends up juxtaposed with Devo, and Pitbull winds up rapping over Depeche Mode. It sounds crazy, but it makes for the greatest touring house party on earth. [See Page Two.] —Chris Martins
Also playing Monday:
SPIRIT VINE, MI GU, WET & RECKLESS, SISTER CRAYON at the Echo.
Fresh & Onlys
@ THE ECHO
Surf's up and the Fresh & Onlys are coming to town. The San Francisco beat combo, specialists in a brash blend of classic guitar rock and garage grunge, skew an especially atmospheric slant on their jangle-heavy, in-your-face-and-mind pop. The songs' moody mystery is aided immeasurably by the jawdroppin' skills of guitarist Wymond Miles, who drenches just about everything in that echoed-out twang some of us craVve from all those Sergio Leone and Beach Blanket Bingo movies. That sound comes off fresh on the band's new album, Play It Strange, which the F&O's pumped out in one frenzied week with the almighty Tim Green (Fucking Champs, Comets on Fire) on the boards — which is cool, but understand that this band really delivers the chills via supersolid songwriting courtesy Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin. —John Payne
@ THE TROUBADOUR
Vancouver pop chameleon Dan Bejar got his biggest boost in the early aughts as a member of the indie-revered rock collective New Pornographers, but he's been making poetically knotty, musically challenging albums on his own since 1996. The recently released Kaputt is his ninth as Destroyer, and it might be his most accessible bit of weirdness yet — a fascinating mélange of quiet-storm R&B, Steely Dan–style jazz and new romantic pomp funneled through his own skewed take on singer-songwriterdom. As mercurial and mysterious as Bob Dylan himself, Bejar, who is accompanied by a full band in person, is always a good bet. Get there in time to catch local Devon Williams, the Lavender Diamond sideman who, on his own, crafts dreamy, haze-drenched guitar pop sure to set you swooning. —Chris Martins
Raphael Saadiq, Quadron
@ THE MUSIC BOX
[See Page Two]
Also playing Tuesday:
VIVA VOCE, DAMIEN JURADO, JEZABELS at the Satellite; THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES at the Echoplex; JULIANNA BARWICK, ESBEN AND THE WITCH at Bootleg Theater; ST. PETERSBURG PHILHARMONIC at Walt Disney Concert Hall; CITY AND COLOUR at El Rey Theatre; IF BY YES at Largo; ABIGAIL WASHBURN at Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace.
Acid Mothers Temple
@ THE SATELLITE
As a recent L.A. Weekly interviewee stated, “LSD is shamanistic,” and no current touring group embodies that ethos better than Japan's Acid Mothers Temple. Formed as a “soul collective” by legendary experimental guitarist Makoto Kawabata in 1995, the group has been a clearinghouse for the Far East avant-garde ever since. The Mothers' discography is, appropriately, incredibly long and difficult to navigate, but their sound is an ear-shredding combination of stony prog, arty atmosphere and groove-steeped Krautrock. Their latest psychedelic opus is In 0 to Infinity, another sonic soup of squirreling guitars, strange effects and confusing moans, but the best way to visit the Temple is in person, where Kawabata and his minions have free rein to melt minds however they see fit. Bring a bucket for your brain. —Chris Martins
The Watkins Family Hour
@ LARGO AT THE CORONET
For several years now, the Watkins Family Hour have been bringing their intimate Americana idylls to Largo, creating an oasis of rural warmth in Hollywood, of all places. Siblings Sean Watkins and Sara Watkins carry on with the bluegrass revisionism and country soul of their old band Nickel Creek while branching out in newer collaborations like the extended supergroup Works Progress Administration. As the Watkins Family Hour, Sara weaves heartsick fiddle reveries and high-lonesome vocals with Sean's sympathetic harmonies and fundamental guitar backing to often-enchanting effect. The Watkinses manage the neat trick of being folksy without being corny, and their regular shows at Largo take on an even greater allure when they're joined by such stellar pals as the moodily beguiling piano-pop diva Fiona Apple. —Falling James
Toro y Moi
@ THE TROUBADOUR
South Carolina chillwave maestro Chaz Bundick has been talking up the use of live instruments on Underneath the Pine, his new sophomore disc under the stage name Toro y Moi. (By the way, when your real name is as awesome as Chaz Bundick, why on earth would you adopt a pseudonym?) Yet where the presence of guitars, etc., turns many fellow electro types into insufferable jazz-jam dullards, Bundick ups the groove quotient considerably here: “New Beat” is rubber-band disco-soul à la Off the Wall, while “Still Sound” rocks Steely Dan down to Electric Avenue; in “Before I'm Done,” dude even figures out how to connect post-Air loungeadelica to Zombies-style pop. With Montreal's similarly groove-fixated Braids and Cloud Nothings, blog-buzzed fuzz-pop merchants from Cleveland. —Mikael Wood
Also playing Wednesday:
PRINCE RAMA, LUCKY DRAGONS, SUN ARAW, ADVENTURE at the Smell; ONIBABA at Blue Whale; THE NOVOCAINES, HOT PANDA at Silverlake Lounge; O'DEATH, DAVID DONDERO, FRANZ NICOLAY at the Echo; LIAM FINN at the Autry; BLACK APPLES at Bootleg Theater.
@ THE DOWN & OUT
Apart from everything else they've done, Mario Lalli and Larry Lalli were key figures in launching the Indio music scene that eventually led to the rise of stoner-rock bands like Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. The Lalli brothers booked the crucial desert nightclub Rhythm & Brews and currently run the Sierra Madre jazz club Café 322, but their own music, with such wacked-out jazz-and-beyond combos as the Sort of Quartet, shouldn't be overlooked. As Fatso Jetson, the Lallis crank out a sound that's as properly loud and heavy as their stoner-rock peers, but their jazz roots and prog-rock dexterity often take the band into much stranger and more diverse places on riff-tangled workouts like “Pleasure Bent” and “Procrastination Process.” —Falling James
@ THREE OF CLUBS
A truly multidimensional artist, Jason Mandell is a songsmith, guitarist, singer and writer (sometimes for this very newspaper). When the Coles (later, for legal reasons, the Coals), his bountiful collaboration with singer-guitarist Sutter Zachman — and a great young hope of the local country/folk scene — parted ways 18 months back, Mandell packed the tunes he'd penned and built a fresh band around 'em. Though he's a New Yorker who's lived his adult life in and around L.A., Mandell's musical expressions are shudderingly personal in content yet oddly escapist in tone — whispers from forlorn Texas trails, desperate Mexican backroads and elusive, possibly mythical, paths to happiness. Quaint and untainted, the Coals are a rare and beautiful thing to behold. —Paul Rogers
@ KEY CLUB
Nabbing New York's “Downtown Sweetheart,” video director Va$htie, as the host for your mixtape is a sign you're one of the cool kids. The East Coast counterpart of L.A.'s own neo–new wave hip-hop scene, Theophilus London keeps running his fingers through genres, smearing all the colors together for a sound that references early Prince as easily as Morrissey — the first track on his latest EP, “Why Even Try,” sounds like the Purple One layered with the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. Yet even as each of his four mixtapes (his full-length, major-label debut comes out this summer) has roots in the synth-driven dance-pop of the '80s, they all branch out and move hip-hop even further into the future. Like the title of his DâM-FunK remix says, “Accept the New.” —Rebecca Haithcoat
The Entrance Band
@ THE SATELLITE
A fantastic idea for one of the Satellite's inaugural residencies: L.A.'s unique wild jammers the Entrance Band. Every Entrance Band show is a physical workout for the psyche. Go. [Check out our interview with force-of-nature bassist Paz Lenchantin at laweekly.com.] —Gustavo Turner
Also playing Thursday:
THE STRANGE BOYS, NATURAL CHILD, WHITE FENCE at Eagle Rock Center for the Arts; AARON ROCHE, CHRIS SCHLARB at Origami; ED KOWALCZYK at Hotel Café; EMANUELE ARCIULI at REDCAT; KURT MASUR, SARAH CHANG at Walt Disney Concert Hall; THE HOURS at Bootleg Theater; HA HA TONKA at Hotel Café; DUNES at the Smell; WYE OAK at the Echo; DRIFTWOOD SINGERS, OLENTANGY JOHN, TOMMY SANTEE KLAWS at Silverlake Lounge.