72 Hours: Oh Land, Dom, Sharon Van Etten and more lead the weekend's top gigs
Oh Land @ The Music Box. A shame that Denmark's Oh Land (real name: Nanna Øland Fabricius) is confined to an opening slot on the Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark reunion tour, as the relative unknown artist on these shores deserves a smaller, cheaper gig -- one more conducive to curious concertgoers than OMD die-hards. Fabricius is an enchanting singer, carrying a voice that seems fit for an animated Disney fairy tale. It's enough to make one look past the somewhat simple lyrics, and simply enjoy the electronic soundscapes, which are all starry-eyed wonder. Think of it as an intricately detailed long-lost score to "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The Music Box at Henry Fonda Theater, 6126 Hollywood Blvd. The show is sold out, and tickets on the secondary market are about $100.
Sharon Van Etten with Little Scream @ the Satellite. Plenty to like on this bill, including the $12 ticket price. Headliner Van Etten had one of 2010's sturdier singer-songwriter albums in "Epic," in which orchestral-light arrangements backed her cunningly frank lyrical approach. She'll have the boys in the crowd rushing to touch their heads when she sings, "know your balding still / you're older than you feel" on "Save Yourself." Meanwhile, Little Scream, the moniker for Montreal's Laurel Sprengelmeyer, is a bit more unpredictable. Depending on which rotating cast of musicians are backing Sprengelmeyer, this could be a relatively quiet affair, or a ramshackling take on Arcade Fire-like grandeur. The Satellite, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd.
Dom @ the Satellite. This five piece -- six if you count a cat -- has an irresistible summer anthem in "Living in America." Probably the one song in Dom's short catalog that puts the keyboards up front, and leads to silly, dance-ready chorus. It's a "California Gurls" or a "Party in the U.S.A." for the ironic misfits, with fuzzy guitars that submerge the vocals of lead singer Dom (no last name for now). But the goofiness shines through, with Dom repeatedly declaring that it's "so sexy" to live in America and such corny jingiostic slogans as "America is for lovers." Though based in Massachusetts, this is sunny, shout-along pop with just a hint of surf tones. Plus, the band has a song about a cat ("Bochicha"). The Satellite, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd. Tickets are $10.
Girl Talk @ the Hollywood Palladium. This is the party you've been looking for, and the good news is tickets are still available -- although a $36 price tag to see a man with little more than a couple laptops in a venue where beverages top $10 may have something to do with that. Yet 10 or 15 minutes into a Girl Talk set none of that matters, as every half-wit club DJ in Los Angeles should run to the Palladium to watch an absolute master cutting-pasting-slicing the popular songbook. Most of it is recognizable, surprises abound and no Girl Talk show goes down without a little mayhem. The Hollywood Palladium,
6215 Sunset Blvd. The $36 ticket price includes fees.
Gold Panda @ the Troubadour. If the over-stimulation of a Girl Talk set is not to your liking, try the more cerebral electronics of London producer Gold Panda. It can be danced to, at least most of it, but it might be better for a chill-out, as Gold Panda intertwines vinyl hiss and chants, all while manipulating snyths to stand in for Eastern instruments or precisely cut vocals. The few minutes I caught at the South by Southwest conference and festival in Austin, Texas, felt like I had stepped into an unreleased psychedelic Japanese video game. The Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. Tickets are $10, not including surcharges.
Photo: Oh Land. Credit: Sony Music Entertainment