The Week That Will Be (In Shows)
Icelandic folk, cardigan-clad noise pop and Lily goshdarn Allen highlight your upcoming week in shows. Be there.
Emiliana Torrini: The Icelandic singer-songwriter wears a different genre hat every time she helms an album, starting from demure trip-hop to Nick Drake-y acoustic folk and now, with "Me & Armini," into skittish and scruffy guitar pop. She rarely plays Stateside, so beg, borrow or buy your way into this small show. Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. 8 p.m. Today. $18. (310) 276-6168.
Dave Rawlings Machine: The dapper alt-country singer has the fingerprints of his production work in a good swath of any pearl-button shirt aficionado's record collection. But his best work often comes in service of his longtime collaborator Gillian Welch, whose lovely yet gently scuffed alto sounds world-weary but never beaten down. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. 9 p.m. Tuesday. $25. (310) 855-0350.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: OK, kids, here's your latest hot ladle of Pitchfork gristle. This New York band barely -- just barely -- escapes the devastating preciousness of its name with a penchant for effervescent hooks and thick helpings of guitar fuzz that evoke the Jesus and Mary Chain without the menace, but with a summer-pop eagerness that should convert reactionaries pretty quickly. With the equally tipped scuzz rockers White Denim. Spaceland, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. $10. (323) 661-4380.
Lily Allen: On "It's Not Me, It's You," Allen is mischievous, sweet as powdered sugar, backstabbing at her worst and absolutely irrepressible. Her gift for satire is encapsulated on "The Fear," a poison arrow aimed at celebrity. It extends to herself in "Him," a rumination on God, in which she pokes a needle into her too-precious concept with knowingly ridiculous lines. Vaudeville, show-tune theatrics, lonely dance-floor pop and even a smidge of cartoon country give "It's Not Me, It's You" its clever foundation. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 8 p.m. Thursday. (213) 380-5005.
Jason Isbell / Justin Townes Earle: Any occasion to catch Isbell, one of the formative voices on the early albums by the great Drive-By Truckers, is worth taking for his wry wit and brash songwriting. But when he comes with an opening act like Justin Townes Earle, who inherited every bit of his dad Steve's gift for making self-inflicted folk misery seem like myth, it's a bill to savor over a few dozen whiskeys. Spaceland, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake. 8:30 p.m. Thursday. $15. (323) 661-4380.
-- August Brown and Margaret Wappler
Emiliana Torrini photo courtesy of Beggars Group