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72 Hours: Esperanza Spalding, Eagle Rock Fest among weekend's top gigs

September 29, 2011 |  4:31 pm

The weekly Pop & Hiss rundown of the weekend's top concerts -- back after an extended hiatus.

Esperanza Spalding plays the Orpheum on Friday


• Esperanza Spalding @ the Orpheum. The glow of the spotlight might have faded a touch since Spalding rocked a nation of Justin Bieber fans with a new artist Grammy earlier this year, but all eyes will be on her for this performance of her breakthrough album “Chamber Music Society.” Past Grammy winners in this category have found trouble living up to the title, but in this case -- and for this show -- don't bet on it. A review of this concert will appear this weekend on our sister blog Culture Monster, as we at Pop & Hiss are too unsophisticated, apparently, to discuss jazz. Orpheum Theater, 842 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. Tickets range from $24.50-$57, not including surcharges.

• Tinariwen @ the El Rey. Incorporating elements of Malian and Middle Eastern music, as well as a penchant for trance-like guitar figures, Tinariwen’s songs can blend seamlessly into one consistently engrossing whole. There’s something inherently spiritual in Tinariwen, a sort of devotional aspect to its performances that transcends the group’s often grim lyrics in its native Tamashek about revolution and regret. Ultimately, the music is transformed into something cathartic -- joyful even -- that’s impossible to resist. Much of this stems from the group’s distinctive hybrid of traditional Tuareg sounds with electric instrumentation, and while longtime bandleader Ibrahim Ag Alhabib’s biting yet at times ebullient guitar pyrotechnics deservedly receive much of the notice, it’s the popping hand-drum rhythms and subtle bass counter-melodies that give the music its entrancing backbone. The band is playing as part of the OohLaL.A. Festival; promised is a guest appearance from TV on the Radio. The El Rey, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets are $30, not including service fees. 


• Angel City Jazz Festival @ John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. The marquee event of the seven-day festival dedicated to the best in forward-looking jazz, this show features a stacked roster of international talent, including Downbeat's alto sax player of the year Rudresh Mahanthappa, young pianist Tigran Hamasyan, the sprawling improvisations of Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura and local jazz institution the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles. 5 p.m. Tickets are $45.

The Eagle Rock Music Festival @ Colorado Boulevard between Argus Drive and  Eagle Rock Boulevard. Since moving out into the streets in 2006, the festival has doubled in attendance annually, last year attracting around 100,000 fans over one day of surprisingly experimental local music. This year’s lineup may be its strongest yet. Headliners at the festival, which is produced by the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, include the jazz-infused avant-garde beatsmith Flying Lotus and the deconstructionist noise-rock quartet Health. The Low End Theory, a Wednesday club night held regularly at the Lincoln Heights club the Airliner, brings a collective of brain-frying beatmakers to its own stage at the festival, such as Nosaj Thing, Tokimonsta and Gaslamp Killer. Other stages will highlight the revival of throwback garage rock with Barrio Tiger and Allah Las. The Eagle Rock music studio the Ship  also will host its own stage, featuring widescreen rock such as Shadow Shadow Shade. The festival's website has a map (PDF) for directions. Admission is $5. 


Dum Dum Girls @ the Detroit Bar. The Dum Dum Girls arrived seemingly out of nowhere in late 2009 with a look ripped from Marlon Brando’s “Wild One” and a sound that was all toughened up Girl Group classicism. The act is one year removed from its debut, "I Will Be"; its just released follow-up, "Only in Dreams," may be the better place to start, as it marks the first time the Dum Dum Girls have recorded together as a full band. Co-produced by the Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner and industry vet Richard Gottehrer (perhaps still known best for cowriting “My Boyfriend’s Back”), “Only in Dreams” ranges from the dance-party kiss-off of “Creep” to the jangly, Western-influenced garage rock of “Caught in One.”  Layered, wistful backing harmonies dominate throughout, as do passionate vocals and an assortment of fast-burning guitar tones. The Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa. Tickets are $13. Also Monday at the Troubadour


The Eagle Rock Music Festival is set to soar

Erasure returns after giving Frankmusik 'carte blanche'

OohLaL.A. showcases the diversity of Franco-friendly sounds

-- Chris Barton, August Brown and Todd Martens

Photo of Esperanza Spalding by Getty Images.