Nick Waterhouse
Nick Waterhouse
Naj Jamal

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

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Friday, March 7
Nick Waterhouse
Nick Waterhouse is more retro-minded than many musicians, but the singer-guitarist has turned his love of the past into a way of discovering who he is in the here and now. "You become something on the way there," he says about the various ways he's incorporated the influence of idols Mose Allison and Van Morrison into his own music. Wearing oversize spectacles and formal suits, Waterhouse slightly resembles Buddy Holly, while the cover art of his upcoming second album, Holly, evokes Herb Alpert and Ladies of the Canyon. The Orange County - raised singer, however, is more about vintage soul and R&B on such uptempo, horn-pumped numbers as "This Is a Game." Amid the Hammond-like organ, stylishly clipped guitar accents and overall early-'60s vibe of "High Tiding," Waterhouse urges, "Come close and see something moving in me." - Falling James

See also: Nick Waterhouse Is Stressed Out

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Anny Celsi
Anny Celsi is one of this city's smartest and catchiest pop songwriters but, as is the case with so many talented musicians, she's far more popular in Europe than in her hometown. She might even be too clever for her own good, adapting the lyrics of such early songs as "'Twas Her Hunger Brought Me Down" from a Theodore Dreiser novel and combining them with jangling power-pop melodies. On her latest album, January, Celsi revels in the simple pleasures of new friends and British record stores ("Travelogue"), hidden natural wonders ("Citybird") and the hope of romance ("Kaleidoscope Heart"). Love isn't always easy to find with "Ghosts in the Room," but she imbues sad, spare ballads like "Oh Baby, Is the Circus Back in Town?" with contemplative lyrics and intimately affecting vocals. - Falling James

Saturday, March 8
Mark Kozelek
From his early days with San Francisco band Red House Painters to his more recent solo albums and work with Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek has always been an unpredictable musician, crooning his tales of tragic boxers in a distinctively wounded baritone. This is the man, after all, who once released two albums of AC/DC covers, where he marvelously transformed the Australian hard-rock group's feral anthems into gentle singer-songwriter introspection. Not many folks have covered songs by both Stephen Sondheim and Hüsker Dü, but even when he's interpreting music by John Denver and Simon & Garfunkel, Kozelek tends to radically rearrange the structures until they're virtually brand new. On Sun Kil Moon's just-released Benji, he creates an eerie and unsettling mood on such twisted interludes as "Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes" and "I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love." - Falling James

Though playing the Wiltern for many is a promising sign of things to come, for Datsik, it's just another notch on the accomplishments belt. When the 25-year-old Canadian DJ hits the stage at one of Los Angeles' most hallowed concert halls, he'll bring with him the experience that comes with playing mega-festivals including Ultra, Coachella, EDC and Electric Zoo. Fusing a number of eclectic influences, the artist also known as Troy Beetles included the likes of Z-Trip, Infected Mushroom and Korn's Jonathan Davis on his 2012 debut. Late last year, via his own Firepower label, he unleashed Let It Burn, an album that continued the spread to the masses of his dirty, drop-ridden brand of dubstep. Attracting both EDM fans and bros alike, expect the floors of the 83-year-old Wiltern to be thumping like it has only a few times before. - Daniel Kohn

Gardens & Villa
Gardens & Villa's second album, Dunes, starts with "Domino," a burst of synth pop that instantly puts the listener in a mood better than the one he was in before the song started. That's the whole aesthetic of Dunes, which got its start in Gardens & Villa's hometown of Santa Barbara. It's a safe bet that this locale inspired the album's inherent beachiness and upbeat attitude, even if it was produced by former DFA Records stalwart Tim Goldsworthy (The Rapture, Cut Copy), in a cold, small town in Michigan. Dunes marries analog instruments with fresh, danceable sensibilities for a winning synth-rock/soft-rock fusion. "Bullet Train" taps into '80s robotic sounds, while "Chrysanthemum" hits stratospherically high vocal registers and "Purple Mesas" moves at the speed of chillwave - a term possibly coined for such a record. - Lily Moayeri

Sunday, March 9
Aussie BBQ
Bootleg Theater
Oz meets L.A. today with an event featuring 22 bands hailing from the land Down Under. A local SXSW showcase, the Aussie BBQ returns to L.A. for its sixth year, landing at the Bootleg Theater and featuring a boatload of top-of-the-line Australian acts making a stopover on their way to Austin, Texas. The mini-festival (yes, there will actually be BBQ) spans genres, with the charming, heartbroken sounds of Gossling, the infectious excitement of The Jungle Giants, cheery gang vocals of The Griswolds, Sun Rai's jazzy melodies and more. This daylong pageant offers a glimpse into the musical happenings on the other side of the world and is a supremely pleasant opportunity to catch bands that just may never roll through the City of Angels again. Throw another shrimp on the barbie, and dive into the foreign fun. - Britt Witt

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

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