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Monday, February 16
Simon Phillips & Protocol II
CATALINA BAR & GRILL
English drummer Simon Phillips first came to prominence in the early 1980s, backing guitarist Jeff Beck, followed by stints with The Who and two decades with Toto. Phillips recently gave up the Toto seat in order to concentrate on his own music. Phillips’ band, Protocol II, was in the studio late last year recording their latest album, promising a mix of jazz fusion, blues and world music. Tonight’s show at Catalina in Hollywood should feature Phillips’ trademark explosiveness, which one musician described as “like being in front of a jet engine.” Joining Phillips are guitarist Andy Timmons, bassist Ernest Tibbs and the underrated keyboardist Steve Weingart, who’s spent much of the past several years backing Phillips’ longtime Toto partner, guitarist Steve Lukather. — Tom Meek
Tuesday, February 17
Besides having one of the coolest band names around, Slutever’s Nicole Snyder and Rachel Gagliardi are starting to gain national attention, much like their pals Girlpool, who shared a recent split-cassette release in which the duos covered each other’s songs. Slutever sound like they’re doing anything but surrendering on “White Flag,” where the pair’s close harmonies soar over a thick wave of fuzzy, distorted power chords. They reveal more melodicism amid the grungy tempo and guitars on their new track, “Open Wide,” where the slower pace gives them more time to unwind those sullenly hypnotic vocals. They return to punk speed and make claustrophobia seem thrilling on “Smother,” which will appear along with “Open Wide” on their upcoming cassette release, Almost Famous. — Falling James
Wednesday, February 18
Though he made a convincing punk rocker while fronting London’s Generation X in the late 1970s, Billy Idol had his eyes on bigger, brighter prizes. He swiftly reinvented himself stateside as a glossily produced MTV staple with a string of hits (including “White Wedding,” “Mony Mony” and “Eyes Without a Face”), yet punk echoes lingered beyond just his signature curled-lip sneer and spiky white ’do. As well as being a naturally compelling performer, Idol’s enduring appeal lurks in the niche he cunningly created –– somewhere between hard rock, classic rock & roll and quasi-soulful pop, with sufficient bad-boy swagger and street-level hoarseness to sound dangerous without alienating mainstream listeners. He’s touring behind a new album, Kings and Queens of the Underground, but still playing most of the old hits. Also Thursday, Feb. 19. — Paul Rogers
EL REY THEATRE
Last year, Japanese musician Miyavi earned a lot of buzz in the States for his role as Mutsuhiro “The Bird” Watanabe in Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken. Among local fans of J-rock, though, the guitarist has been a favorite for years. Miyavi plays without a pick, slapping the strings to create a complicated and rhythmic style that works surprisingly well in a multitude of genres. On his 2013 self-titled album, the fashion-forward artist gets eclectic. With “Justice,” he veers into ’80s funk terrain and does a pretty good job with it. “Horizon” has an EDM-influenced pop vibe. Where Miyavi excels, though, is with stadium-sized rock songs. Expect the music to swell beyond the size of El Rey Theatre on Wednesday night. — Liz Ohanesian
Thursday, February 19
EL REY THEATRE
After spending the better part of 2013 touring in support of their self-titled 2012 debut, local five-piece Milo Greene returned with a strong sophomore release, Control, on Jan. 27. Operating more as a songwriting collective than a traditional band, Milo Greene constructed Control with individual song ideas brought together to make a whole, resulting in a well-rounded powerhouse of an album, full of moody tales of growing into oneself. While the group can excite crowds at major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, the El Rey offers fans an intimate setting for a more powerful impact. — Britt Witt
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