72 Hours: A look at the top shows for the Fourth of July weekend
So Many Wizards @ the Smell. These locals have been developing quite nicely, as is apparent on new 7" single "Inner City/Best Friends," for which this gig at the Smell will celebrate. While the voice of singer Nima Kazerouni may be increasingly becoming a love-it-or-hate-it thing for some listeners, the adoption of a scratched-record falsetto suits the band's shambly upbeat indie pop just fine. Kazerouni doesn't overdo it, and his backing mates on "Inner City" tackle the melody as if their job is to answer each of Kazerouni's lines. Rhythms never stop running uphill, and the slender guitar leads briskly decorate each vocal pause as if they're toying with Kazerouni. It all foretells good things to come for the band's delightfully wacky pop confectioneries. The Smell, 247 S. Main St., Los Angeles. Friday. Admission is $5. -- Todd Martens
Hall & Oates @ the Hollywood Bowl. The resurgence of the fluffy Philly soul of Hall & Oates at first felt like a punch line that had gone on too long. Embraced by tastemakers such as Danger Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and the Bird and the Bee, and also mocked memorably on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," it was hard to discern whether the act's catalog was being re-evaluated or simply championed by the fashionable because the pair were out of fashion. Yet credit Hall & Oates for riding the yacht rock wave with pride and fervor, and becoming a potent touring act out to prove that its bevy of hits were timeless rather than dated. The Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. Saturday- Monday. Tickets range from $12-$158, not including surcharges. -- TM
Warped Tour @ Fairplex. Now in its 17th year, this traveling punk rock and skateboarding show may be older than much of its young-leaning audience. Heck, these days, the number of sponsors rivals the roster of artists. Still, it can be a reliable showcase for snotty pop-punk and all sorts of sounds that tastefully complement extreme sports and mall-adjacent suburban angst, this year's installment includes veterans Less Than Jake, Against Me!, Paramore, Jack's Mannequin, Gym Class Heroes and much more. Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave, Pomona, Friday. Tickets are $33.75, not including surcharges. -- Chris Barton
Nicole Eva Emery @ the Satellite. A singer-songwriter who places a premium on atmosphere, the songs of Nicole Eva Emery unravel with a patience that's designed to lend them a sense of expansiveness. Guitar notes are spare, perhaps even a little hollow, but it's a deftness that feels lived-in rather than empty. "The Gold Rush" burns as it if were only meant to be played in the desert twilight, and "Brave On" grows out of a musical mist and builds with a hint of the blues. It's a desperate plea for redemption, and by the time all is said and done, Emery has howled her voice scruff, and taken her electric guitar on a tour of West Coast soul. The Satellite, 1717 Silverlake Blvd., Silver Lake. Sunday. Ticket are $8. --TM
The Mean Jeans @ the Dark Horse. It's been a good first half of 2011 for punk fans, with strong releases from F . . . Up, Screeching Weasel and Le Butcherettes. Hopefully, this appearance from Portland, Ore.'s Mean Jeans means there's some new material on the horizon. Though the word "Ramones" gets thrown around with nearly every press mention of the band, Mean Jeans takes most of their cues from the bratty sense of suburban humor that was injected into pop-punk by the likes of Screeching Weasel and the Queers. "Tears in My Beers" (not to be confused with Screeching Weasel's "Crying in My Beer") and "Lets Pogo B4 U Gogo" are misfit sing-alongs of the highest order, with the latter even coming complete with a plea to have a send-off dinner at Sizzler. Dark Horse Saloon, 901 E 1st St., Los Angeles. Saturday. Tickets are $10. -- TM
Catwalk @ the Smell. A little cheap, as this is lifted from an earlier 72 Hours, but not much has changed in a couple weeks, so here goes: There hasn't been a shortage of scruffy garage-pop bands 'round these parts of late, but Oxnard act Catwalk has, in a limited output, shown enough style to earn a spot near the front of the litter. Credit, in part, the act's way with a ballad. "This Is Goodbye" isn't a kiss-off and it isn't steeped in regret, but as it gradually shimmies to a grand finale of boy-girl harmonies, its melancholic tones feel as if they're anticipating a future nostalgia. The Smell, 247 S. Main St., Los Angeles. Sunday. Admission is $5. -- TM
Photo: So Many Wizards, courtesy of the band.