72 Hours: Aurelio, a Beefheart tribute and Jimmy Webb lead this weekend's gig list
The weekly Pop & Hiss rundown of the weekend's top concerts, once again arriving significantly later than it should have been posted. Sorry -- the main writer's cat needed to visit the vet today. Pop & Hiss apologizes for the delay.
Gary Lucas' Captain Beefheart Symposium @ the Echoplex. The late Don Van Vliet, best known in rock circles as Captain Beefheart, would have turned 70 on Saturday. To celebrate the legendary iconoclastic artist's art and influence, former Magic Band guitarist Gary Lucas will offer something that serves as a tribute as well as an educational event. Lucas will play unreleased Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band tracks, show slides of Van Vliet's art, screen unseen footage of the band at work, and demonstrate some of the odd techniques that the notoriously demanding band leader developed to convey ideas to his musicians. The Echoplex, 1822 Sunset Blvd. Tickets are $15 in advance; $17 at the door. Read the Pop & Hiss interview with Gary Lucas.
Champagne Champagne @ the Silverlake Lounge. Seattle's experimental hip-hop trio seem to have been on the verge of something for the last two years. If a bit too weird for wide acceptance, Champagne Champagne's punk-influenced rap psychedelics surely have a place in this Kid Cudi and Drake world that's the bigger than the cozy Silver Lake Lounge. Just sample the mischievously tripper "Molly Ringwald." The Silverlake Lounge, 2906 Sunset Blvd. Tickets are $8.
Jimmy Webb @ Largo. The chance to see this songwriting great shouldn't be taken lightly, and the fact that the following night's gig with Andrew Bird is sold out and tickets remain for Webb just breaks this writer's heart. Few in pop music can out-weird Sir Webb, or at least match the ambition of this songwriter-composer. His classics "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" are piano exquisite and emotionally wrenching. For a more over-the-top example of Webb's composition skills, many are no doubt familiar with the many renditions of "MacArthur Park." Largo, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd. Tickets are $40.
The Budos Band @ the El Rey. On the heels of last year's party-ready third album "III," the Staten Island-based instrumental ensemble delivers a powerhouse mix of Afrobeat, psychedelia and soul jazz, led by the swirling organ of Mike Deller and a heavy, irresistible funk groove. The El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. 8 p.m., $17.50, not including surcharges.
Lissie @ the Music Box. If David Lynch's A&R skills are to be believed, Lissie is going to be the next big thing. Best known, perhaps, for a scorching bluesy cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance," Lissie doesn't need the help of any well-known choruses or familiar hooks to whip up a frenzy. Signed to Fat Possum, Lissie flirts with conventionalism, but a deft vocal delivery, a sharp guitar and an unassuming atmosphere make this modern road-trip music. The Music Box, 6126 Hollywood Blvd. Tickets are $20, not including surcharges.
Andrew Bird @ Largo. The two Bird shows at Largo (he also plays Sunday) are sold out, so Craigslist is where you procrastinators and bad-date-planners will need to head. If sometimes wordy, precious or all too comfortable on record, Bird is always a treat live, as the instrument-swapper is a conjurer of the unexpected. That being said, expect many an instrumental at Largo, as Bird is here to promote the voiceless "Useless Creatures," and it's his skills as a composer-arranger that are to be cherished. Promise, even those more interested in Bird's indie rock will walk away amazed at the kind of sounds he can spring from a violin. Largo, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd. Tickets are available on secondary markets.
Tigran Hamasyan @ the Edye at the Broad Stage. Mixing elements of jazz and classical with sounds from his native Armenia, this 24-year-old piano prodigy won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. His major label debut on Universal France, a solo album, will be released next month. The Edye at the Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, 7:30 p.m. $22.
Aurelio @ The Getty Center. Angelenos have had good reason to pay close attention to Seattle's Sub Pop of late, what with signings of No Age, the Dum Dum Girls and Ari Bufallo. But with Aurelio, Sub Pop goes all Anti- on us, and instantly makes up for the label's recent sin of foisting wannabe-punk-revivalists Pissed Jeans on the indie rock kids. A venture into world music, the Getty setting is a pristine one for the Honduras-born Aurelio. His "Laru Beya" is due Tuesday, and I've been spinning its mix of Caribbean traditions and African rhythms since it landed at my desk. The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive. Free, but reservations are required. Aurelio also plays Saturday, but only reservations for Sunday remain.
-- Todd Martens, Chris Barton & Randall Roberts (Yes, we know, it shouldn't take three people to write this)
Photo: Aurelio.Credit: Sarah Weeden