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Monday, September 29
Bicycles and Jazz Saddleback College Well, it's pretty clear what Taylor Ho Bynum's two favorite things are. Currently winding down his 1800-mile Acoustic Bicycle Tour, Bynum makes a stop at Saddleback College's McKinney Theatre for a jazzy duet with local bassist Mark Dresser. Cycling down the West Coast on a "composition journey," the cornetist/composer's physically intensive musical trip started with a sunset solo performance in Vancouver and will soon come to an end with a sunrise solo concert in Playas de Tijuana later this week. Bynum is a modern jazz vet with more than 30 years experience--he's heralded as a leading influence in avant-garde jazz. So cycle over to Saddleback tonight (or drive or walk if you can) for an evening of contemporary jazz--spandex riding shorts may or may not be dress code. (Erin DeWitt)
Tuesday, September 30
Neon Trees The Observatory Utah-by-way-of-SoCal radio darlings Neon Trees have a wildly devoted work ethic. Bassist Branden Campbell, for example, just underwent open heart surgery to replace a valve--the doctors told him, obviously, to take it easy. So what does that mean for the band's current nationwide tour? Oh, just postpone a few dates but still play most of 'em. One of those concerts still on schedule is this Tuesday night's show at the Observatory, where Campbell and company will play from their hit-saturated catalogue of songs, some of which from the new album, Pop Psychology, released in April (though we're sure you've heard "Sleeping with a Friend" about a zillion times). Hopefully he does actually take it easy, at least a little. Fun fact: The band's name comes from the lighted trees of the In-N-Out sign. (Erin DeWitt)
Wednesday, October 1
Hank and Her Ponies The Wayfarer Hank and Her Ponies--formerly sharing a name with the eternally excellent Stones song "Dead Flowers," and including former collaborators with the erstwhile Blank Tapes--do honky-tonk as shocked back to life by psychedelia, and if you're thinking about those Mazzy Star songs about ghosts and highways, then you're thinking exactly right. Singer Lauren Chanel Cobb has that certain Hope Sandoval-esque catch in her voice and the music floats in clouds of smoke around her as she sings. Some of the songs slide toward the traditional, of course, since this is a band with their feet firmly planted in the good ol' dirt, but it's the paisley-underground-ified songs like "Chantys" and "Hey Little Baby" that really take flight. Be ready to get a little bit heavy. (Chris Ziegler) Thursday, October 2
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DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist House of Blues Anaheim DJ, producer, and master record collector DJ Shadow is an instrumental hip hop legend. The Bay Area native released his first full length album in the mid-nineties and continued to thrive by producing beats and crafting sample based music. His 2014 tour with Cut Chemist will be much different from his previous performances and showcase his adaptation to the contemporary DJ set. Dubbed the Renegades of Rhythm tour, the DJs will embark on a five week tour that pays tribute to hip-hop pioneer Afrikaa Bambaataa by spinning records from his legendary record collection. (Lina Abascal)
BLOK La Cave Here's something you don't see everyday: An avant-garde indie, dance, hip-hop electro band. Even odder, this the duo is comprised of suburban white siblings. One of the more esoteric songs "Get on It" features front man Damien Blaise rapping with his sister Gianna Gianna about nipples spraying sugar. Despite all the rhyming and synthesized drums, it's a rock & roll state of mind, and it's happening this week at La Cave. See them perform along with Nicker Jones, Sashcloth & Axes and Zawa. (Brandon Ferguson)