Fri. Feb. 19 -- A desirable balance of prog-metal and sludge tonight with mythically brainy Intronaut (pictured; read my review of their latest album here) and the drifty psychedelia of Ancestors. At Spaceland, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake 90026; 10pm; $8; (323) 661-4380; www.clubspaceland.com.
Fri.-Sat. Feb. 19-20 -- Your watchword for technical fusion: CAB, which these days stands for drummer Virgil Donati, keyboardist Haakon Graff, guitarist Mike Miller and bassist Bunny Brunel. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $25; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Fri. Feb. 19 -- The South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory Faculty Recital opens a two-day Don Preston-fest. Tonight's faculty jammers include violinist Catherine Lamb and guitarist Michael Campagna, not to mention ex-Mothers of Invention Preston and Bunk Gardner playing Frank Zappa's "Uncle Meat" and "Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue." At South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory, 1509 Mission St., South Pasadena 91030; 8pm; $5; free parking behind; (626) 403-2300; events page here.
Sat. Feb. 20 -- A rhapsodic Mothers keyboardist and a wild Italian percussionist form the free duo of Don Preston & Andrea Centazzo, doing a new multimedia work. At South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory, 1509 Mission St., South Pasadena 91030; 8pm; $5; free parking behind; (626) 403-2300; events page here.
Sun. Feb. 21 -- The ever-mutable Afrocentric jazz unit The Gathering gets up close and personal with you at this afternoon salon at Mimi's. The quintet version includes extreme windman Jesse Sharps, viola dervish Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, pianist Kenneth Crouch, bassist Nick Rosen and drummer Zach Harmon. This exceptionally true ensemble celebrates the download release of a couple of fresh Gathering tracks available here: "Justice" is a deep, deep blues that didn't fit on the Gathering's amazing "Leimert Park" album, and "Warriors All," a 2008 live take hailing from the Horace Tapscott songbook, is a compressed invocation of African history chased with Dwight Trible's vocal ecstasies. 2pm; $20; refreshments provided; for locations and details call (818) 788-6199.
Mon. Feb. 22 -- The success a couple weeks ago of Dr. Elaine Sullivan's California Museum of Ancient Art lecture makes this week's follow-up a reliable pick. Tonight Dr. Elizabeth Waraksa discusses "The Goddess Mut and Her Theban Temple." Queen Hatshepsut paid special attention to Mut's edifice, which has remained closed to the public until recently while it was being excavated. Feminist implications abound. At the Piness Auditorium in the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90005; 7:30pm; $15.
Wed. Feb. 24 -- The funk of Bombastic Meatbats without founding drummer Chad Smith blasts forth from guitarist Jeff Kollman, bassist Kevin Chown and keyboardist Ed Roth, and the man on the stool is . . . Kenny Aronoff, not only a renowned Mellencamp-Fogerty skinsman but the dude who slammed so hard on the superb Tony Iommi-Glenn Hughes weightwork "Fused." At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $20; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Wed. Feb. 24 -- It's not often that two pianists take the time to develop a seasoned chemistry; it's especially worth listening up in the case of Andy Milne & Benoît Delbecq. Milne has long established his theoretical and abstract-funk credentials with Steve Coleman, Ralph Alessi and his own Dapp Theory, among many efforts, but when he gets together with Delbecq, it's a whole different game. Their current "Where Is Pannonica" establishes an unusual relationship between post-traditional jazz improv and prepared piano, with the one supplying moods of social dis-ease, spy-movie tension and hopeful beauty, while the other plays distinct but unifying roles of multitextured percussion and foggy atmosphere. It's abstract stuff, but the duo occasionally lock into nut-grabbing rhythmic step, as on the Afro-tango "Chander Logic" and the improbably attractive "Water's Edge Part II," which punctuates gentle arpeggios with grave Chinese clonking. Serious, but you'll stay awake. In FA 101 at Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo 926922; 8pm; $10.
Thurs. Feb. 25 -- Andy Milne & Benoît Delbecq. In Roy O. Disney Music Hall at CalArts, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia 91355; 8pm; cheap or free.
Thurs. Feb. 25 -- Cheap Trick, one of the few rock bets where you never lose. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 8:30pm; $57.50; (323) 848-5800; www.ticketmaster.com.