Fri. July 16 -- Saharan tribal quintet Etran Finatawa groove with a real deep twangy boogie, kinda like an African Rolling Stones. Good stuff; read John Payne's article in LA Weekly here. At Levitt Pavilion, 30 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91103; 8pm; FREE; (626) 683-3230; www.levittpavilionpasadena.org.
Fri. July 16 -- Out is where it's at with extreme vocal overloader Bonnie Barnett, who not only improvises with her skillful group (windman Richard Wood, bassist Hal Onserud, percussionist Garth Powell), she also recites from Sartre and leads an audience-participatory group hum in B-flat (to sync with those plastic horns everybody blows in soccer games). At South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory, 1509 Mission St., South Pasadena 91030; 8pm; $15, $10 students; free parking behind; (626) 403-2300.
Sat. July 17 -- Nick Mancini employs vibes and vibraphone to reconstruct pop history via jazz with his new band featuring vocalist Celia Chavez, drummer Andy Sanesi, bassist Greg Swiller and percman Peter Korpela. At First and Hope, southwest corner of First Street and Hope Street, downtown 90012; 8pm-midnight; no cover.
Sun. July 18 -- Headlined by Poland's honorably reconstituted blastmen Decapitated, this year's 10-band Summer Slaughter Tour features some truly exceptional prog metal including The Red Chord, Cephalic Carnage, The Faceless. Quite a value. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 5:30pm; $26; (323) 848-5800; www.ticketmaster.com.
Wed. July 21 -- Smart & heavy instro fusion, anyone? Why, certainly. Read my live review of Trio Non Grata here. At Universal Bar and Grill, 4093 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood 91602; 10pm; $7.
Wed. July 21 -- Texas dubtechsman McPullish trances you out machinewise, along with all the great house DJs. Dub Club at the EchoPlex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park 90026; doors 9pm; $5, free before 10pm; www.attheecho.com.
Thurs. July 22 -- Prog metal is sweeping the planet, dude. Massive show tonight with Cynic (who praktikly founded the genre), Intronaut (an atmospheric & flowin' L.A. outfit) and New York's grinding Dysrhythmia. Three for three. At El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; 8pm; $16; www.ticketmaster.com.
Thurs. July 22 -- You seen Slake yet? The new quarterly publication founded by Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa is a fun read -- $18 may seem steep, but it's got the content of four magazines, and it's all real WRITING, about stuff ranging from the rock history of the Tropicana Motel to the resurgence of avant bassist Henry Grimes (as well as plenty of nonmusic entries). Slake throws its launch party tonight with "readings, music, art, food and drink." Highly supportable. At Track 16 Gallery in Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica 90404; (310) 264-4678; RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.