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A Few Shows To Check Out This Week

Cameron Avery at Harvard & Stone


A few concerts you and me and you should check out this week:

James Chance and the Contortions at the Echoplex on Sunday March 19th: I have never seen these legendary No Wave pioneers and this will be their first live appearance in Los Angeles since 1982. I have heard that Henry Rollins has burst a few of their tracks during his radio show lately, so I hope the Black Flag man will attend the show.


Residency of Tashaki Miyaki on Monday March 20th: This one will not cost you a dime, it’s free and they have great guests. Joel Jerome, but also Lael Neale, a young and remarkable songwriter who gives emotionally-charged performance with a crystalline voice, and the result is so stunning I have compared her to Aimee Mann, Joan Baez and even Angel Olsen. I have seen her a few times, and she can transport you in a very melancholic place, full of heartbreaks and loneliness, where she sounds vulnerable, resigned and determined. She is always a must-see, my only problem is that her set is scheduled to start at midnight!

Cameron Avery at the Teragram Ballroom on Tuesday March 21st: I saw him at Harvard & Stone 2 years ago, and his name should soon be a household favorite first because he belongs to the very popular Tame Impala. However his music greatly differs from that of the dreamy psychedelic pop band, his dark baritone and his old-timey charisma (he is very good looking) should make him a superstar. He has a new album ‘Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams’ that you can stream on his website, and honestly it’s hard not to get a sort of Nick Cave/Leonard Cohen vibe during the stomping ‘Dance with Me’… which should be the supreme compliment to his superb dark croon. The rest probably gets more romantic with a very symphonic twist (these strings!), or totally lonely-smoky cabaret noir with a few ambitious detours and rewarding hooks. ‘I wanted to make something that sounded like the old records I love,’ he said about his new album, ‘Johnny Hartman, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Sarah Vaughan, Etta James – the big band stuff with less metaphorical lyrics. So I kept recording, bit by bit, and every time I came back from Tame tour I’d blow another ten grand on string arrangements.’

La Luz at the Echo on Friday March 24th: the Seattle all-female band plays with a bunch of other bands, and I remember seeing them about three years ago. These women have survived a high-speed highway collision shortly after releasing their 2013 debut LP ironically called ‘It’s Alive’, and it’s difficult not to love their doo-woppy surf guitar songs and girl group harmonies. However, since their accident, their music has naturally evolved toward a “surf noir” sound with themes of loneliness and of course death.

Of course, there’s also Van Morrison at the Theater at Ace Hole on March 18th and 19th, the Wu Tang Clan at the Palladium on March 23rd.

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