Pop & Hiss

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72 Hours: Little Dragon, Jandek and your weekend in rock

January 6, 2011 |  5:31 pm

The weekly Pop & Hiss rundown of the weekend's top concerts has resumed with the conclusion of the holiday season, albeit significantly later than it should have been posted.Pop & Hiss apologizes for the delay. Don't hate.



Peter & the Wolf @ the Smell. The bill says Peter & the Wolf, but the low-fi folk-pop project of Red Hunter will likely be on hiatus tonight. Instead, expect Hunter's latest project, Traffique, a sort of dream-within-a-dream "Inception"-like art-music-experimentation. The songs follow a gay man who cross-dresses in his sleep, which appears to awaken the closeted lesbian inside him. Fine, but songs like "Nora" and "Get Weird" are electro-pop with a dash of funkiness, re-imagining Prince as an art-house bohemian who composes music on a laptop. The Smell, 247 S. Main St. Admission is $5. 


The Melvins @ Spaceland/The Satellite. A four-week residency from the grunge forebears and alt-era survivors begins Friday, with each night alternating between an exploration into the act's catalog and a tackling of more recent material. The first night of the residency is going to be something of a loud mess, ricocheting between the electronic noise of "Colossus of Destiny" and the early sludgy metal-inspired works found on "Lysol." Read more about the Melvins' residency on Pop & Hiss. Spaceland, 1717 Silverlake Blvd. Tickets are $20.

The Smell's 13th Anniversary Party @ the Smell. Since opening more than a decade ago in North Hollywood, the Smell -- for all its dingy odors and overworked soundsystems -- has been something of a godsend to the Los Angeles music community. The Smell is run by Jim Smith, a union organizer who has dedicated much of his free time over the last decade to keeping the club afloat, and any anniversary that the all-ages club hits is one worth celebrating. This year's runs two days, and Saturday is capped with experimental pop duo High Places, whose laid-back mix of genres should go over better in Los Angeles than it did in Brooklyn. Sunday is led by the long-running Captain Ahab, whose mix of punk, techno, dance, hippie chants and free-form jazz encompasses a bit of everything the Smell could touch upon in any given week. The Smell, 247 S. Main St. Admission is $7 for one day and $10 for two.


Little Dragon @ the Echoplex. If the return of First Fridays at the Natural History Museum wasn't looking to be a sold-out affair, Little Dragon would have been a Friday pick. But alas, one must venture to the dark maze of pillars that is the Echoplex to get a glimpse of these Swedish dance-pop-maestros. Yet the setting should suit the minimal electronic grooves of Little Dragon just fine, allowing plenty of room for cheery, toy-like sounds and pillow-soft vocals to snake around the club. The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd. Tickets are $15, and only a limited number will be available at the door. 

Jandek @ UC Irvine’s Crystal Cove Auditorium. Reclusive is the term that gets tossed around with Jandek, and indeed, Jandek is rarely seen outside of his native Texas. His appearance in Orange County -- his first in the Southland -- comes backed with one of Jandek's biggest champions in bassist/punk vet Mike Watt. The two will also be joined by Health's B.J. Miller. What to expect? Pop & Hiss can't offer much help. It will be unlike any other shows you've seen in recent months, and will feature some sort of off-kilter guitar arrangements with near spoken-word-like vocals. For much of the show, one could likely hear a pin drop. Or there could be lots of loudly stark guitar parts. The Crystal Cove Auditorium on the campus of UC Irvine at Pereira Drive and West Peltason. Tickets are $20. 


Art Fein’s Annual Elvis Presley Birthday Bash with the Usual Guilty Suspects @ the Echoplex. An annual sort of hootenanny down at the Echoplex, with upward of 20 artists -- from the past and present, and no doubt one should expect some surprises -- all paying a rough and rollicking tribute to the King. There's wailers (Ruby Friedman), country swingers (the Dusk Devils), a rockabilly legend (Ray Campi) and everything and all in between -- and likely even something on the extremes. The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd. Tickets are $20.

-- Todd Martens

 Photo: Little Dragon. Credit: Seek