Fri. June 3 -- Pianist John Beasley revolves 360 degrees of conceptuality: playing his melodic jazz (with trumpeter Rashawn Ross, bassist Kevin Brandon and drummer Oscar Seaton), shifting gears for raga-jazz and his latest duet work with singer Dwight Trible, and even scoring projections of urban-noir photos by Helen K. Garber. Are you tuff enuff? At the Blue Whale on the third floor of Weller Court Plaza, south of East First Street between South Los Angeles Street and South San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo 90012; 9 & 10:30pm; $15; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Fri.-Sat. June 3-4 -- Ex-Zappa guitarist-keysman-vocalist Mike Keneally launches a lot of weird and sometimes heavy stuff with true artistic vision (and humor). His band: bassist Bryan Beller, drummer Joe Travers, guitarist Rick Musallam and guitarist Griff Peters. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $20; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Fri.-Sun. May 2-5 -- Glad to see The Bad Plus continuing to get return stands here; melodramatic-sensitive pianist Ethan Iverson, composin' bassist Reid Anderson and cracktop drummer Dave King have brought Black Sabbath and Blondie into the jazz idyum to great effect. Maybe jazz won't die after all. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8 & 10pm; $25-$30; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.
Sat. June 4 -- Awesome event: trombone mainman Phil Ranelin pays tribute to Eric Dolphy with a crack band: saxists George Harper, Pablo Caloguero, Louis Van Taylor & Carlos Garnett (Garnett blew on a bunch of early-'70s Miles Records including "On the Corner" and my personal favorite, "Get Up With It"); pianist Kevin Toner; bassist Trevor Ware; drummer Kenny Elliott; and percman Don Littleton. At Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Suite 101, Leimert Park 90036; 2pm; $10 ($10 tix at www.goldstar.com); (323) 296-2272.
Sat. June 4 -- Circumnavigate the globe inside your head with pianist Larry Karush, an artist of great discipline and imagination. Read my recent live review here. At the Blue Whale on the third floor of Weller Court Plaza, south of East First Street between South Los Angeles Street and South San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo 90012; 9pm-midnight; $15, students $10; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Sun. June 6 -- Watch out when Kaoru, G.E. Stinson & Alex Cline get together: the vocalist/electronicist, guitarist & drummer have summoned many a volcanic spirit together, so they've got magic chemistry. And g'dam if it ain't Martian vibesman/drummer/composer Brad Dutz leading a chamberwise quartet with Paul Sherman (English horn), Jim Sullivan (clarinets) and Chris Votek (cello). At Center for the Arts, 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock 90041; 7pm; $10; (626) 795-4989.
Sun. June 5 -- The calm and leafy Quarteto Nuevo tote accessible sounds from around the world via drummer Christopher Garcia, cellist Jacob Szekely, guitarist Kenton Youngstrom and windman Damon Zick. Even the kids will dig this one. The big exhibit up now is "Art in the Streets," raising the question of whether it's still art if it's not in the streets. At MOCA, 250 S. Grand St., downtown 90012; 1-3:30pm; free.
Sun. June 5 -- Fans of extreme quietness and sensitivity may embrace The Didier Petit Trio, featuring the cellist with clarinetist François Houle and trombonist/electronicist Michael Dessen. At Royal-T, 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City 90232; 7pm; $10, $5 students; (310) 559-6300; www.royal-t.org.
Mon. June 6 -- Long-running Norwegian tombkeepers Aura Noir are a more basic noisy riffin' rock band (sans double-kick) than most of their blaque brethren; multi-instrumentalist Apollyon also rules with Immortal. Eye lyke. Also Winterthrall, Gravehill, The Funeral Pyre, Vesterian. At the Key Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 7pm; $12; all ages; www.keyclub.com; (310) 274-5800.
Mon. June 6 -- Few can sludge it up more headbangingly than Orange Goblin, an English inspiration to stoners the world over since 1995. With Gates of Slumber, Naam, Roadsaw. At the Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 7:15pm; $15; www.troubadour.com.
Tues. June 7 -- Agent Steel heave the old-skool L.A. power thrash; Dia de los Muertos are riptearin' the deathflag at a peak, so catch 'em now and read my recent review here. With MX Machine, Rogue Stallion. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 9pm; $7.50 or write firstname.lastname@example.org for free tix; (323) 848-5800; www.livenation.com.
Wed. June 8 -- Veteran avant guitarist Elliott Sharp wails bizarrely on his eight-string. Check him out if you think you've heard it all. At Royal-T, 8910 Washington Blvd., Culver City 90232; 8pm; $10, $5 students; (310) 559-6300; www.royal-t.org.
Thurs. June 9 -- Elliott Sharp twists a solo set on his eight-string, then improvises with piano bender Motoko Honda, who fears nothing. At the Blue Whale on the third floor of Weller Court Plaza, south of East First Street between South Los Angeles Street and South San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo 90012; 9pm-midnight; $10; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Thurs. June 9 -- Kneel before The Kristian Hoffman Paisley Pop Cavalcade and accept the absolute finest in intricate arrangements, delightful lyrics and amazing melodies since the Golden Age. At the Rhino Pop-Up Store, 10952 Santa Monica Blvd., Westwood 90025; 8pm; free. The Pop-Up Store is jamming for your vinyl-etc. delectation through June 12, with hand-curated music every night.
Read Matt Duersten's review of a recent Wadada Leo Smith-Motoko Honda concert here.