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Friday, February 21
Grammy-nominated rapper 2 Chainz helped to cement trap music's reign with Billboard Hot 100 hits including "No Lie and "I'm Different." The College Park, Ga., native, formerly known as Tity Boi, was a member of DTP duo Playaz Circle before going solo and independently releasing a wealth of singles and mixtapes. In 2012, Def Jam released his debut studio effort, Based on a T.R.U. Story, which has since been certified Gold by the RIAA. His quick ascent to stardom has yielded features alongside some of hip-hop's biggest acts, including Kanye West and Drake, plus countless award nominations and a shoe deal with Adidas. His highly anticipated follow-up to B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, last year's sophomore LP, is scheduled to drop later this year. - Jacqueline Michael Whatley
CENTER FOR THE ARTS, EAGLE ROCK
In the footsteps of polygenre polymath producer Daedelus comes ingMob, a Caltech Ph.D. student who even made his own monome. (If you've never heard of a monome, it's the digital musical instrument of the extremely near future, used to excellent effect by Daedelus at many a show.) After years of catch-as-catch-can composition, ingMob has just finished his debut album, Marrow. The LP is a DIY effort full of Brainfeeder-y natural atmosphere and breathy, indie-boy vocals - basically incarnating a good part of the zeitgeist of the right now - over songs quite possibly revealing relationships to the organic-chemistry research that occupies the artist's daily life. Fans of Baths and Animal Collective (before they hit the pop stratosphere) will discover plenty of potential here. With Non Projects' Anenon, whose own spacious sounds will offer a sympathetic counterpoint to ingMob. - Chris Ziegler
THE CHURCH ON YORK
Boston folk-pop chanteuse Marissa Nadler spins enchanting spells with little more than a soft acoustic backing, subtle sound effects and her delicately ethereal voice. "You said you need a wrecking ball to break the cement 'round the heart/A company of mad machines would take the walls, crumble them apart," she coos on her 2012 album, The Sister. Her airy-eerie vocals glide coolly over the patient ticking of her acoustic guitar, slowly melting the concrete and filling the hollow space with a spectral glow that evokes the starkly intimate delivery of Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval. "Your Heart Is a Twisted Vine" is similarly mesmerizing, with Nadler's romantic entreaties wrapped up engagingly in a cocoon of cottony guitars. She moves even deeper into the hushed shadows on her upcoming album, July. There's something curiously timeless and innocently childlike about the way her sweetly pure singing unlocks the door to such boundless pastoral reveries. - Falling James
Saturday, February 22
HOUSE OF BLUES HOLLYWOOD
Alongside groups such as In Flames and At the Gates, Swedish death-metal greats Dark Tranquillity were among the pioneers of the '90s Gothenburg metal sound, which influenced American metalcore giants including Killswitch Engage. Around the turn of the millennium, their sound shifted gears from harsh, vocal-led death metal with melodic guitarwork to a sound that embraced more electronic elements and keyboards, which lent a more ethereal atmosphere to the music they were producing. Most bands that make such an evolution in their sound either disappear completely or abandon the elements of change after a backlash. Dark Tranquillity, however, has become the rare breed of band that has come full circle to a moment where all eras of their sound are excellently represented on albums such as 2012's Construct. - Jason Roche
At times, it's hard to tell where Miley Cyrus' public persona ends and where the real human being begins, but the singer takes some significant steps away from her cutesy Disney Channel image on her latest album, Bangerz. New strains of hip-hop are woven within anthemic pop structures, and guest appearances by Nelly, Ludacris and Big Sean, along with production by Pharrell Williams and will.i.am, increase her overall credibility. As with so many pop stars, most of her songs were factory-assembled and co-written by a horde of the usual suspects, but Cyrus' personality nonetheless shines through on relatively personal and vulnerable ballads such as "Wrecking Ball." Despite the tempest in a teapot she stirred with her infamous plushie-twerking collisions at last year's MTV Video Music Awards, Cyrus is relatively down-to-earth, coming off as the only celebrity with an ounce of sincerity and genuine warmth at Ryan Seacrest's recent New Year's Eve horror show in Times Square. - Falling James
A sure sign of a band catching on with Angelenos is when it gets promoted to a bigger venue when it returns to town. But to get bumped up to a larger spot when it swings back on the same damn tour? It doesn't happen too often, yet this is the situation that New York duo Phantogram finds itself in. Originally slated to play the Wiltern, Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter will appear at the Palladium instead as they ride the wave of the greatest success so far of their blossoming career. Over the past two months, Phantogram have steadily released a slew of songs and music videos, wisely drumming up interest and playing the hype game like a piano, with the catchy "Fall in Love" from their sophomore effort, Voices, leading the way. One thing is for certain: When they hit the Palladium stage, a lot of feet will be stompin' and many arms will be swaying to Phantogram's anthemic indie pop. - Daniel Kohn
Sunday, February 23
Sylvia Tyson, Cindy Cashdollar, Scarlet Rivera
McCABE'S GUITAR SHOP
Sylvia Tyson was half of the influential Canadian folk duo Ian & Sylvia with her then-husband, Ian Tyson. The pair is cherished for Ian's timeless, Alberta-centric folk ballad "Four Strong Winds," which was covered by Bobby Bare, The Brothers Four and Neil Young but always sounded best when drenched in Ian & Sylvia's lovelorn harmonies. Sylvia is also a noteworthy songwriter, penning We Five's "You Were on My Mind" and kicking up her heels with Quartette and Great Speckled Bird. Her most ambitious project, however, was 2011's Joyner's Dream: The Kingsfold Suite, a string-laced, classically eloquent set of songs based on her own multigenerational novel about a larcenous family. Tyson's appearance here is rare enough, but she's part of a loaded bill with steel guitar/dobro mastermind Cindy Cashdollar (Asleep at the Wheel, Ryan Adams, Dave Alvin) and spirited violinist Scarlet Rivera, who, among many other things, sparked Bob Dylan's Desire and his Rolling Thunder Revue with her mournful consolations and intuitive weaving. - Falling James
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