Savages -- See Monday
Savages -- See Monday
Timothy Norris

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

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

Monday, September 30



When Savages laid waste to El Rey Theatre earlier this year, the thrilling new English post-punk quartet didn't bother to return for an encore. They didn't need to -- they had just finished off their set in an awesome cascade of sound and feedback, an unholy roar that couldn't possibly be topped. Lead singer Jehnny Beth might draw most of the attention with her fearsome keening and balefully unsentimental dispatches from the frontlines of the war between the sexes, but the other three members are the prime architects of Savages' impressive sonic structures. Guitarist Gemma Thompson conjures ominously growling feedback and searing bolts of light through a storm of sound, while the more outwardly exuberant Ayse Hassan hammers out muscular bass lines over drummer Fay Milton's toll-like slams of the snare. Savages thunder with extreme dynamic shifts in intensity. The heavier, harsher songs sometimes give way to softer, more lulling spaces, with shimmering pools of Thompson's guitar welling up behind Beth's heroic declarations and stern, stark observations. --Falling James

See also: Slideshow: Savages @ The El Rey Theatre

Tuesday, October 1

Laura Veirs


It's hard not to be caught up in the effusive joy when Portland, Ore., singer Laura Veirs celebrates the rare appearance of the sun in her rainy town on her latest album, Warp and Weft. Augmented by guest stars Neko Case's harmonies and Alice Coltrane's harp, Veirs' vocals are charming and lighthearted, but she's not just another airy folk-pop dreamer. She peppers her lyrics with smart, evocatively poetic imagery, and her gently engaging, countrified plucking is given more shadowy mystery through the production by her husband, Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Jesse Sykes, My Morning Jacket). "Here's to tears I've cried," Veirs confides on "Finster Saw the Angels," where she's accompanied by little more than close harmonies, a high-lonesome pedal-steel guitar and her own solemn arpeggios on guitar. --Falling James

Hauschka, Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm


Spaceland Productions' praiseworthy "Church Sessions" series tonight presents neo-neo classical music by a trio of European composers/sound artists, all probing the expanded potential of the piano. Iceland's Ólafur Arnalds draws on the interface of electronics with elegiac piano ruminations that frame elegantly crafted pop-ish melodies. His chillingly beautiful soundscapes have been featured in several TV and film productions, including The Hunger Games, Looper and So You Think You Can Dance. Berlin-based Nils Frahm, a frequent collaborator with Arnalds, extends the upright acoustic and electric Rhodes pianos by laptopping them to grandly orchestral heights, weaving in synth textures and collages of field recordings with the aid of reel-to-reel recorders and cassette tape decks. Dusseldorf sound researcher Hauschka's amiably mystifying "prepared" piano sounds derive from bits of leather, felt, cork or rubber placed among the strings, or by wrapping the hammers with aluminum foil. --John Payne

Wednesday, October 2



L.A.'s Allah-Las somehow reverse-engineered both the most serious and subtlest parts of 1966 garage rock. Actually, though, that "somehow," the band says, includes "studying live clips of obscuro songs to figure out equipment and technique," which is very admirable research! The group released a stand-out album with Innovative Leisure last year that sounds like it could've stood just as proudly on any of the great garage labels of the last few decades (Voxx, Crypt, Norton...). So go get that, and then get their new 45 with two unreleased tracks, including the live winner "Every Girl," which hits a particularly snarly spot between The Standells, Thee Midniters and ... let's say Ty Wagner. See, some bands stop at "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" but the Allah-Las know you gotta go to "Yeah, yeah, yeah, YEAH!" to really give the people what they need. --Chris Ziegler



Having taken a turn as a techno button-pusher, a punk rocker and a sound designer, on his 11th album, Innocents, Moby proffers adult listening. Most similar to his classic (and much-licensed) album Play, Innocents has an eye-catching list of collaborators, including but not limited to The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, Skylar Grey and Screaming Trees/Queens of the Stone Age's Mark Lanegan. On Innocents, crescendoing orchestrals crash into gospel spirituals and then are filtered through spooky synthesizers. The album's heavy looping and humming is exemplified on the aforementioned Coyne collaboration, "The Perfect Life," although Lanegan's rumbling baritone contribution on "The Lonely Night" really propels that number. Moby steps up to the microphone on the limit-pushing, nine-minute-plus "The Dogs." It's good to embrace your age, but the youthful abandon of Moby's previous works is missed. --Lily Moayeri

See also: Moby Talks About His Love for Los Angeles

Thursday, October 3

The Insect Surfers, Surf Kitty Surf, Lawndale


Summer may have finally slipped away, but this last die-hard, hedonistic gasp of a sticky, sunny, seasonal-themed celebration refuses to let it expire peacefully. This End of Summer Party is a triple-pronged assault force of instrumental-prone, Dick Dale-fixated rockers. Tonight we have the venerable, reverb-roiled, semi-psychedelicized phenom known to mankind as The Insect Surfers; the audacious, aggressive Agent Orange-esque punk-surf stomp of mostly female noisemakers Surf Kitty Surf; and the intricate, eccentric sonic safaris of long-running musical freakologists Lawndale. Thus, this fiesta is well stocked with not only drastically discounted libations but also kicks, thrills and more than enough all-around beachcombing rock & roll ka-pow to raise the dead. Or, at least, your temperature. --Jonny Whiteside

Miro Sprague Trio


Tucked away in a corner of the music building at UCLA is a secret program where an elite group of young musicians is being trained to take over the world. Like Charles Xavier's boarding academy of X-Men, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is a school dedicated to the fostering of exceptional talent. They're not actually clandestine but these young musicians are surely mutants, for they play jazz that is almost superhuman. Pianist Miro Sprague is a skinny 27-year-old from Western Massachusetts (allegedly), yet the pianistic abilities of Chick Corea and McCoy Tyner appear to be transplanted into his cerebellum. Sprague is joined by TMI brethren Jonathan Pinson on drums and bassist Dave Robaire, who is in his 20s but is suspected of being at least seven times that age. --Gary Fukushima

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

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