RZA performs at Bedrocktoberfest -- See Saturday
RZA performs at Bedrocktoberfest -- See Saturday
Photo courtesy of the artist

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

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

Friday, October 4



A decade and a half after the release of their exuberant debut, Good Feeling, and five years since their last album, the unnoticed Ode to J. Smith, Travis attempt to recapture their youth on their seventh LP, Where You Stand. Case in point: "A Different Room," with singer Fran Healy's voice soaring atop arm-pumping instrumentation. But it's not all air guitars. There's the lighthearted and simple, pretty country rock of "Reminder," or "Another Guy," which takes its guitar line cues from Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" and keeps things basic with about three lines of lyrics. The accessible, midtempo, pop/rock for which the group is known has better served its counterparts Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol. As the blueprint creators of that genre, however, Travis remain reliable, if predictable. --Lily Moayeri

Angel City Jazz Festival


Once a humble grassroots event, Angel City Jazz Festival has steadily grown into an annual powerhouse, bringing to L.A. a remarkable number of creative improvisers from the ever-evolving front lines of jazz. Now co-produced by the Jazz Bakery, ACJF plays out over the next two weekends at LACMA, REDCAT, Royce Hall and the Ford Amphitheatre. Well-established acts like guitarist John Scofield, Dave Holland and Terence Blanchard are balanced with powerful stalwarts of jazz modernism, including saxophonists Yosvany Terry and Greg Osby (with Anat Cohen on woodwinds), drummer Dafnis Prieto and flautist Nicole Mitchell. We'll also see several emerging artists who presage the future of jazz, including the bands Kneebody and the Claudia Quintet, pianist Richard Sears (playing with legendary drummer Tootie Heath), and a trio featuring drummer Jim Black, reedman Chris Speed and bassist Tim Lefebvre, who are among the new guard's elder statesmen. --Gary Fukushima

Saturday, October 5

Eagle Rock Music Festival


The Eagle Rock Music Festival is one of the most neighborhood-y of the year-round mini-fests that fill streets throughout the L.A. Basin -- the kind of event where Main Street meets Beat Street and even Shakin' Street, depending on who's performing. This year, the ERMF lineup is all over the map in the best possible way. On the bill: The Mars Volta/Le Butcherettes collab Bosnian Rainbows, the Inland Empire's on-the-rise Latin combo Quitapenas, the energizing guitar-banjo-fiddle of Triple Chicken Foot, Low End Theory's veteran producer/beatmaker Dot and, of course, the Bob Baker Marionettes, who ideally will be closing the entire fest with some kind of cast-of-a-thousand-puppets extravaganza. It's music from the four corners of the Earth, delivered right to your own backyard. --Chris Ziegler

Claude VonStroke


So far, the career of house DJ Claude VonStroke has been about as serious as his stage name and as fluid as his sets. In his early years, he transitioned from filmmaking into musicmaking, from Detroit to San Francisco and from birth name Barclay Crenshaw into drum-and-bass devotee DJ Tree, before becoming bewitched by West Coast house and then determined to transform it. A new focus on tight, minimalist beats came with the new name, which started as a joke about a fake, pretentious European DJ but soon fit Crenshaw and his down-to-earth blend of deep and shallow, tech and funk. Most recently, VonStroke has molded Dirtybird Records, the label he founded, from free parties into sold-out shows, from NorCal hype into international respect, thanks to that same mix of intuition and imagination. Tonight he plays behind his just-out LP, Urban Animal. --Kelsey Whipple

See also: Claude Vonstroke Got in the EDM Game Late and Now He's Taking It Over

Bedrocktoberfest featuring RZA


The multitalented RZA has come a long way from his humble beginnings as a downtown Brooklyn fruit peddler and paperboy. A co-founding member of game-changing rap posse Wu-Tang Clan, the music producer, kung fu fanatic and math whiz has busied himself in recent years with music supervision, film scoring and directing, acting and screenwriting ventures. In a recent interview with Mojo.com, the hip-hop treasure credited his immense success and longevity to consistent martial arts practice, saying, "Martial arts ... prepares a man. It strengthens his mind, body and spirit." Tonight RZA headlines L.A. Weekly's first Bedrocktoberfest, which also features Liam Finn, Twin Shadow, Wynn and Vanaprasta, among others.

--Jacqueline Michael Whatley

See also: RZA Headlines L.A. Weekly's Bedrocktoberfest: Here's Our Interview

Sunday, October 6

Way Over Yonder Festival featuring Conor Oberst


When Conor Oberst introduced himself as Bright Eyes in the 1990s, he inadvertently launched a version of emo rock that spoke to teenagers in shadowy bedrooms around the world. Whether or not the lyrics he sang were fictional, Oberst's fixation on isolation and dark memories led him down a musical path of aching narratives and harsh emotions. Oberst has matured since that early Bright Eyes work, gaining a folkier sound and taking his acoustic chord progressions and orchestral instrumentals in a more positive direction. Whether playing solo or backed by one of his several projects, Oberst hasn't completely abandoned his melancholic tales but rather has transformed them into existential and reflective exclamations doled out with a complex lyrical style. Today, Oberst is joined by First Aid Kit, Jonathan Wilson and more for day two of the Way Over Yonder Festival. --Britt Witt

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

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