Fri. Feb. 3 -- Three substantial improvisational names converge in Trio M: rising spraydrive pianist Myra Melford, astounding bassist Mark Dresser and grooverattling drummer Matt Wilson. Brainy yet passionate energy to kickstart your weekend, and something of an event. A presentation of the Jazz Bakery's Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute, 1655 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood 90028; 8:30pm; $25, students $15; www.jazzbakery.org.
Fri. Feb. 3 -- In and out of the tradition, but always dancing through the forest with a big flashlight to guide you: pianist John Beasley. Swooping above and between, high and deep: vocalist Dwight Trible. They want to share their new duo album with you. At Joe's Restaurant, 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice 90291; 7-11pm; no cover but food order required; reservations recommended; www.joesrestaurant.com.
Fri. Feb. 3 -- No sooner does guitarist Paul Lacques wrap up his Spy Car residency at Taix than he saddles up again with the Western poetics of manly singer Rob Waller and I See Hawks in L.A., previewing their acoustic album with an unplugged set around 9pm. Karen Tobin opens at 8pm. At the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena 91001; $15; reservations (626) 794-2424; cash or checks only; no booze; www.coffeegallery.com.
Fri. Feb. 3 -- Slake, the literary journal of malcontent outsiders, presents a high-concept evening. You write your anonymous confessions, and they'll be announced throughout the night, between readings by contributors from the new dirt-themed issue of Slake -- Luke Davies, Joseph Mattson, Antonia Crane, Lauren Weedman, Larry Fondation, Harry Shannon/Joe Donnelly. Go in peace. At the Last Bookstore, 453 Spring St., downtown 90013; 7pm; free.
Fri.-Sat. Feb. 3-4 -- Saxist Ben Wendel has a new album, which always means taste and smarts, especially when he's got a band like Tigran Hamasyan (piano), Adam Benjamin (keys), Larry Koonse (guitar), Dave Robaire (bass) and Nate Wood (drums). That's at 9:30. At 7:30 it's the duo of bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Nels Cline, Endangered Blood) and New York saxist Travis LaPlante. 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; $10; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Sat. Feb. 4 -- Poet Dorothea Grossman calls, and more and more musicians in addition to boundless trombonist Michael Vlatkovich respond: not only faithful drummer Rich West, but extreme clarinetist Andrew Pask. At the Battery Books & Music, 1005B Mission St., South Pasadena 91030; 8pm; free but donatable.
Sun. Feb. 5 -- Stagger out of the Super Bowl party just in time for quiet auditory refreshment. The abstract acoustic intuitions of guitarist Jim McAuley join windman Andrew Pask, multi-instrumentalist Mary MacQueen and ethereal drummer Alan Cook in Gongfarmer. And opening, it's the solo explorations of Misincinnati drummer Corey Fogel, who found the one booker in town who'd let him do that (and who'd know it would be good). At Center for the Arts, 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock 90041; 7pm; $10; (626) 795-4989.
Tues. Feb. 7 -- Give heartful singer-songwriter Julie Christensen a boost so she'll polish up that new album of hers, and reminisce about Divine Horsemen and infernal cowgirls. At Cinema Bar, 3967 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 90036; 9pm; no cover; (310) 390-1328; thecinemabar.com.
Tues. Feb. 7 -- Swedish metalloids In Flames churn with twin-guitar semimelodic angst; Trivium get all twiddly and technical; Veil of Maya and Kyng support. At the Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90010; 8pm; 6:30pm; $31-$39; (213) 388-1400; www.livenation.com.
Tues. Feb. 7 -- From his many estimable avant associations, bassist Anthony Shadduck has put together a double-barreled double quartet, so give him his props. It's guitarist Tom McNalley, bass clarinetist Brian Walsh, bassist Adam Goodwin, drummer Alan Cook, trumpeter Jeff Kaiser, alto man Alex Sadnik and drummer Ted Byrnes, with Norton Wisdom providing the live ever-mutating paint display. 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; $10; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Wed. Feb. 8 -- It takes an electronified saxist (and the guy who "arranged" the latter-day "Metal Machine Music"!) like Ulrich Krieger to really steer a space ship. With trance from multimedia artist Thomas Köner, better hold on to your head. At Villa Aurora, 520 Paseo Miramar, Pacific Palisades 90272; 8pm; $10; shuttle service from Los Liones Drive & Sunset Blvd.; RSVP to (310) 573-3603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thurs. Feb. 9 -- Down from Ojai by way of Iowa, Julie Christensen gives you a second shot this week; don't blow it. At Genghis Cohen, 740 N. Fairfax Ave., LA 90046; 8:30pm; $10; (323) 655-8666; www.genghiscohen.com.
Thurs. Feb. 9 -- Reading? You got screenwriter/poet Luke Davis. Playing? You got the modern folk-rock band Yellow Red Sparks. Must be the latest partyin' intallment of Slake After Dark, with books, food and sneaky bibulations, so quit whining. At Atwater Crossing, 3245 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village 90039; 7pm; free; free parking in lots.