Fri. Feb. 24 -- Twangin' country poets I See Hawks in L.A. preview their new acoustic album, "New Kind of Lonely," which comes out March 6, but I bet you can score a copy here tonight. I just checked out Rob Waller's lyrics on the band's web site, and they are sad & true to the bone. Ole pals Old Californio open. At McCabe’s, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 90405; 8pm; $15; (310) 828-4497; www.mccabes.com.
Fri. Feb. 24 -- Megadeth are pushing "Thirteen," their hottest shredfest in about 20 years; a recent Lemmy documentary is keeping Motorhead at a pinnacle of visibility; Denmark's Volbeat bellow the punky melodiousness like a cross between the Clash and Billy Bragg; and Italy's Lacuna Coil offer a blast & an eyeful, so it's no wonder that this edition of Gigantour is sold out. At Gibson Amphitheater, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City 91608; 6:30pm; www.livenation.com.
Fri. Feb. 24 -- Maybe Volto are kind of an old-fashioned jam band, but Tool drummer Danny Carey doesn't shy away from old-fashioned insanity. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $25; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Fri. Feb. 24 -- One of those guys who personify today's brainy but unpretentious melodic jazz: New York saxist Dave Binney. 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.
Fri.-Sat. Feb. 24-25 -- For sheer flash, nobody can match fusion giant Stanley Clarke on the bass, here leading a quartet. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8:30 & 10:30pm; $30-$40; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.
Sat. Feb. 25 -- I dunno why alto man Tim Berne is calling his latest superquartet Snakeoil, cuz there's nothing fake about his bent, rhythm-layering aesthetic. Read my review of his new ECM album here. Go see him. And pay attention. Time Out New York has named Berne one of the Top 10 Tall, Deceptively Spaced-Looking Saxophonists of All Time. Pic by Matt Brown. 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 I'm guessing; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Sat. Feb. 25 -- Kurt Rosenwinkel, not quite your standard jazz guitarist, plays standards tonight. What pushes this gig into the plus column? The presence in his trio, along with young whirlwind drummer Justin Faulkner (Branford Marsalis), of bassist Ugonna Okegwo, who used to lay down those massive stones with Leon Parker. A presentation of the Jazz Bakery's Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute, 1655 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood 90028; 8:30pm; $25; www.jazzbakery.org.
Sat. Feb. 25 -- Q: What guitarist played in Scorpions, UFO and Michael Schenker Group? A: _____ ______. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 9pm; $21; (323) 848-5800; www.livenation.com.
Sun. Feb. 26 -- SASSAS presents its monthly electronic/noise jam, Soundshoppe; come and sign up at 12:30 to crank, or just listen. At Center for the Arts, 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock 90041; 1pm; free; www.sassas.org.
Mon. Feb. 27 -- Some kinda night: Cabaret extremist Abby Travis celebrates her new record, and Queens of the Stone Age auxiliary, Eleven wiz, What Is This axman and original Chili Pepper spinoff Alain Johannes does whatever he wants, which is a good idea. DJs and surprise performances too, so they say. At the Dragonfly, 6510 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood 90038; doors 8pm; FREE; (323) 466-6111; www.thedragonfly.com.
Tues. Feb. 28 -- On the one hand, drummer-composer John Hollenbeck always stocks Claudia Quintet with musicians I love, such as bassist Drew Gress, windman Chris Speed and pianist Matt Mitchell (who's playing with Tim Berne instead this week, replaced by accordionist Red Wierenga). On the other hand, CQ's new "What Is the Beautiful" is too ethereal for even me, and there aren't many singers that move me, and Theo Bleckmann is not the exception. Maybe if I drank tea . . . 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. March 1 -- Musical improvisations will not include "Take the 'A' Train" when Anna Homler, Ted Byrnes, Jorge Martin, Brian Walsh and Vetza are getting spontaneous. At Atwater Crossing Theater, 3269 Casitas Ave. (approach via La Clede Avenue; it's near the corner of Tyburn Street), Atwater 90039; 8pm; free or cheap I'm guessing.