Hot Friday Night in LA: Francois Kervorkian, Tindersticks, DJ/Rupture
Considering next week is relatively slow due to SXSW in Austin, it might be a good idea to go nuts this weekend (unless you're headed down there, in which case consider this weekend to be exercise). Amazing night in LA for music tonight.
Francois K. with John Tejada and Robtronik at King King
Dennis Romero on Francois K: [His] occasional Body & Soul parties are, alongside David Mancuso's Loft events, pontifical masses for true believers from New York to Tokyo. On the turntables Kevorkian is a high priest of dub-style and deep-end offerings who channels not only the black roots of post-disco but the future-forward space exploration of house music's heavenly promise.
In that way, he's a multidenominational shaman, skipping happily between the righteous and the raptures. So what's coach K. doing at a techno party in L.A. spinning records alongside local legend John Tejada? Mixing it up like a true missionary man.
Tindersticks at Henry Fonda Theater
John Payne on Tindersticks: The shrouded-in-legend Tindersticks haven't graced U.S. stages in more than five years, but they've come out of the cave to showcase The Hungry Saw, out a couple of months ago on Constellation. The album is another of the English group's trademarked (near-excruciatingly) sensitive renderings of the most elegiac, melancholic sound poetry. The music's fabric is a low-key kind of gorgeous, treading a highly romanticized Euro-urbanity whose burnished grandeur is conveyed so movingly in leader Stuart Staples' heartrending lyrical themes, delivered in that tremblingly hopeful baritone tinged with ... sigh ... a very Continental ennui. ... The live Tindersticks band is a seven-piece miniorchestra that features founders Staples on voice and guitar, David Boulter on various electric keyboards, and guitarist Neil Fraser; they'll be augmented by brass and cello players to further dampen the hall in foggy, fading elegance.
DJ/Rupture and Tormenta Tropical L.A. at Guatelinda
Daniel Siwek on DJ/Rupture: If any DJ/producer can be accused of being the globetrotting party-rocker, Rupture (a.k.a. Jace Clayton) definitely belongs in the lineup. Gold Teeth Thief from 2001 established him as guy with a good ear for music, but last year's Uproot (the Agriculture) proved he was a bonafide musicologist. The album's addendum, The Ingredients, gives you even more riddims to ponder. Crooked, crooked beats are twisted up and then broken up, dance hall from Zaire is tampered with by industrial-house, and nearly subconscious dub-step is sent to Afghanistan and then back to his home base of New York. This is why he's the perfect headliner for the Los Angeles version of "Tormenta Tropical," a club night that heats up San Francisco every month. Hosted by the neo-cumbia kings Disco Shawn and Oro 11 and brought to you by the Bersa Discos label (www.myspace.com/bersadiscos), the night will have your butt moving to the Pan-American/African percussion, your head spinning along with the synthesized accordions, and you may not remember where you are, or if you are in the past or the future.
Cursive at the Troubadour
Falling James on Cursive: During their decade-long career, the Omaha band Cursive have broken up at least once and gone on hiatus at other times, but it's a good thing that they've stuck around as long as they have. Their new CD, Mama, I'm Swollen, on Saddle Creek might be their most fully realized and stylistically diverse album yet. "I'm writing out a confession/every record I've written has left me spitting," Tim Kasher sings on the ambivalent autobiography "Mama, I'm Satan." He references "a career in masturbation," the nature of creativity, the commonality of evil and this country's history of slavery and declares, "We are the sons of butchers," before being consumed in a storm of spacy post-punk guitars. Cursive aren't as rootsy or countrified as many of their Saddle Creek peers, ranging instead from the punk urgency of "In the Now" to the gently lulling pop of "From the Hips," where a reluctant Kasher claims, "I'm in my best when I'm at my worst ... I don't want to know the goddamn words/I don't want to have to spell it out." But spell it out he does on "I Couldn't Love You," where he wails with a fractured yearning like Robert Smith of the Cure, who were paired with Cursive on the alliterative Curiousa Tour in 2004.