L.A. previews March 14-20: Karl-Garson, Drake-Rothbaum, Nick Mancini, Sarajo Frieden, Halfmonk, Divine Heresy, Shining of Norway-Exhausted Prayer, Thomas Doherty, Early Man, Carl Stone, Nile, Evangelista, Withered.

Fri. March 14 -- Drummer Bert Karl leads a postjazz trio with bassist Larry Steen and hallucinogenic pianist Mike Garson. At Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., downtown 90013; 8pm; $10 cover, $10 minimum; (213) 613-1537.

Fri. March 14 -- The ethereal guitar-trumpet duo of Jeremy Drake & David Rothbaum opens a five-artist bill. Right after them is electro twister Bobb Bruno; closing is over/underground home-tape maestro Ariel Pink. At the Smell, through the alley behind 247 S. Main St., downtown 90012.

Sat. March 15 -- Vibraphone jazz that pleases the crowd even (especially) when the crowd’s not stupid: The Nick Mancini Collective. At Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., downtown 90013; 8pm; $10 cover, $10 minimum; (213) 613-1537; reservations recommended.

sarajo.jpg Sat. March 15 -- Folktastic visual art with poppin’ color from Sarajo Frieden, thru April 6. Reception tonight at LittleBird Gallery, 3195 Glendale Blvd., Atwater 90039; 7-10pm.

Sun. March 16 -- Music like electronic mushrooms shakin’ around in a motorized dragnet from guitarist G.E. Stinson a.k.a. Halfmonk, teamed in duo with the vox and noises of Jen Hung. At Breaker’s Circuit in Cranes Hollywood Tavern, 1611 N. El Centro, Hollywood 90028; 10pm; (323) 467-6600; FREE.

Sun. March 16 -- Multifarious metal bill headlined by the crankin’ Divine Heresy. At the Whisky.

Sun. March 16 -- Like a way heavier King Crimson or a way more intelligible Meshuggah, Shining of Norway (from guess where) advance a riotous spear of modern prog-metal. And right before them at the end of a five-band night comes our local Exhausted Prayer, who mix up metallic genres as dynamically as anything, really suck you in. At Relax Bar, 5511 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 90028.

Mon. March 17 -- The second-best writer ever to come out of Gonzaga U., Brandeis film historian and fightin' Irishman Thomas Doherty, lectures on ‘40s Hollywood movie censor Joseph Breen, the subject of Doherty’s new book, a fun read indeed. He got a good plug in LA Times, no thanks to me. It's St. Patrick's Day: Get drunk and say something about his mother. At Linwood Dunn Theater, 1313 Vine St., Hollywood; 7:30pm; call (310) 247-2688 to see if you can get in.

Tues. March 18 -- Early Man, Saviours, Ancestors. Hey, is there some kinda concept goin’ on here? In the names, I mean. Got sludgy heavy bongable sounds in common, too. At the Key Club. FREE show, believe it or not.

carlston.jpg Wed. March 19 -- One electronic-music pioneer who knows how to make yer brain dance: Carl Stone. At Amoeba Music, 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 7pm; (323) 245-640; FREE.

NILE.jpg Thurs. March 20 -- Ain’t many modern-metal albums that grow on me the way “Ithyphallic” by Nile has: varied, inventive, with a good build to the whole thing. Warbringer are too young to be bored with thrash or to know what a cliché is. Three other bands too. At the Key Club.

Thurs. March 20 -- Guitarist Jeremy Drake and cellist Jessica Catron in Missincinatti (two N’s and one T in the Ohio city, guys) open for king o’ the road Mike Watt (9:15) and Carla Bozulich’s authentically dark & abstract Evangelista (10:45), with Silver Daggers and John Wiese in there somewhere. At Safari Sam’s, 5214 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90027; 8:15pm; $10 cheep.

Thurs. March 20 -- Death metal slow enough so you don’t have to drink a gallon of coffee: Withered. Plus a good local death-black unit, The Funeral Pyre. At Relax Bar, 5511 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 90028.