Small wonder this sad, square world is on the brink of apocalyptic revolution. Every stratum of society and culture is soiled by equal measures of decay and exploitation, and that pox's reach into art and music is particularly vexing. While pop's arbiters seem fixated on emphasizing the irrelevant (Yawn: Madonna-Gaga dogfight, anyone?), the accompanying neglect, abrogation and stone-cold dislocation of funk, blues, gospel and soul is, in musical terms, as troubling and destructive as the institution of corporate personhood and its dreams of midnight rendition for all dissenters. Yet even as the anointed plasticene sirens lip-synch their way to Auto-Tuned payola paradise, there remains a staunch guerrilla coven of sisters dedicated to exploring, furthering and enhancing the mystical power of our vernacular African-American musical bedrock. Moving steadily up from the rear guard is Texas-born wailer Ruthie Foster, whose employ of gritty, Mavis Staples–ish spiritual bite, funky wah-wah limned grooves and blues-enriched soul deep testimony is revelatory in its simple humanity. Bringing tunes from her new, out-today Let It Burn disc, Foster — a singer whose resolute elevation of old-school agony dissection carries an emotional presence so concrete it'll just about knock you out — will definitely be throwing down tonight. Grammy Museum, Clive Davis Theater, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., dwntwn; Tues., Jan. 31, 8 p.m.; $15. (213) 765-6800,

Tue., Jan. 31, 8 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly