72 Hours: Decemberists, Aimee Mann among weekend's top gigs
The weekly Pop & Hiss rundown of the weekend's top concerts.
• The Decemberists & Wye Oak @ the Greek. For its new album, "The King Is Dead," Portland's the Decemberists dropped some of its more baroque trappings and followed up the rock opera of 2009's "The Hazards of Love" with its most direct effort to date. But straightforward doesn't necessarily mean simple, as the Decemberists have outfitted the modest melodies of "The King Is Dead" with an assortment of roots rock trappings, and the country accents should glisten under the stars at the Greek. Arrive early for Wye Oak, a Baltimore duo that balances more intricate harmonies and inventive keyboard lines with with crests of guitars. The Greek, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. Tickets range from $32.50 - $42.50, not including surcharges. -- Todd Martens
• Eels @ the El Rey. The recording alter ego of Los Feliz native Mark "E" Everett, Eels may have yet to hit the same exquisitely melancholy heights of 1998's "Electro-Shock Blues" but its darkly twisted way with barbed pop songs remains strong on a pair of 2010 albums, "End Times" and "Tomorrow Morning." The El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets are $30, not including service fees. -- Chris Barton
• Aimee Mann @ Burton W. Chace Park. Two promising projects are the horizon for Mann, with one being her eighth studio album, due in 2012, and the second being a musical based on her boxing-themed concept album, "The Forgotten Arm." Perhaps a preview of what lies ahead will be unveiled at this free Saturday twilight gig, but it won't be any great loss if not. Mann's a master of the melancholy, and a singer-songwriter who believes in collaboration and orchestral flourishes. Burton W. Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. The show is free and starts at 7 p.m.
• Califone @ the Satellite. Formed out of the ashes of space-blues outfit Red Red Meat, Califone creates a sonic universe of its own with a mix of rustic instrumentation, clattering percussion and parched avant-folk beamed from some unidentifiable other era. Long dabbling in improvising live film scores, the band officially made the leap into movies last year with "All of My Friends Are Funeral Singers," the filmmaking debut for bandleader Tim Rutili, whose soundrack was the band's sixth studio album. The group has its hands in a variety of projects including some of its members moonlighting as part of Iron & Wine's live band, and for this show the group will perform as a pared-down trio. The Satellite, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets are $12. -- CB
Need more weekend tips? Check out the Power of the Riff Fest at the Echo and the Echoplex, or perhaps a "Tropical Dance Party" in MacAurthur Park.