Fri. Jan. 11 -- Pickax metal guitarist Dino Cazares (Fear Factory, Divine Heresy, Brujeria) rustles up the all-star masked band Asesino. With L.A. thrashers Demolition (very active these days), abstraction geniuses Cephalic Carnage (pictured; they can smoke legally in their Colorado homeland now), Nine Millimeter Execution and La Voz. At the Key Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 6:30pm; $15; 18+; www.keyclub.com; (310) 274-5800.
Fri.-Sat. Jan. 11-12-- Post-Trane saxist Azar Lawrence swings regularly this month with some of L.A.'s most trusted jazz names: drummer Alphonse Mouzon, pianist Theo Saunders and bassist Henry Franklin. I visited this new club last Saturday, and though Azar wasn't blowing, the music ripped. The band freshened up the standards repertoire by uptempoing a ballad here, squeezing blue into the cheese there, jamming to the rafters till we forgot where the hell they'd started. Big, braided Mouzon (Herbie, Gil, Weather Report) rocked and smashed joyfully as 72-year-old Franklin slipped around the bass neck with youthful quickness, flexibility and imagination. Trumpet king/track champ Nolan Shaheed (in a sharp tan suit) focused the wildness into a soft laser of communication. And masterful pianist Kevin Toney (Blackbyrds) colored in the spaces with a buttery touch that reminded me of Tommy Flanagan's. The room had an open, sophisticated feel, with a full bar, several tables (wish I'd reserved one) and quite a few comfortable folding chairs. Full house following the previous day's club feature in LA Times. At the RG Club, 2536 Lincoln Blvd., Venice 90291; 9 & 11pm; $10; (310) 822-1715; rgclubvenice.com.
Sat. Jan. 12 -- Terrific multicoastal trio: established pianist Uri Caine (a crisp attack, a perfect meld of intellect/passion, a strong sense of concept), bassist Drew Gress (a sensitive plunker and a fine composer, great with Chris Speed or Ravi Coltrane for instance) and drummer Clarence Penn (Stanley Clarke, Charlie Haden, Maria Schneider). This one would be $50 in New York. At the Blue Whale on the third level 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; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Sat. Jan. 12 -- Eve Brandstein's "Poetry in Motion" presents reading & music from rootsorial singer Julie Christensen & Friends, partying poetically with Ron Zimmerman, Ronee Blakley, Steve Abee, Patti Davis, Ben Brandstein, Rich Ferguson. Julie says buy early cuz it fills. At Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice 90291; 8pm; $15 here, $20 at the door; (310) 822-3006; www.beyondbaroque.org.
Sun. Jan. 13 -- ACE Jazz Collective has Empty Cage bassist Ivan Johnson steering a nonet through beautifully strange modern waters, and lookit the lineup: Kris Tiner, Damon Zick, Beth Schenck, Jodie Landau and goodgosh. When I saw a similar ACE lineup last year, it sucked me in for real. At Art Share L.A., 801 E. Fourth Place, downtown 90013; 7:30pm; $10.
Mon. Jan. 14 -- You can trust AACM flutist Nicole Mitchell's Sonic Projections to etch some deep scary curlicues into your brain; her quartet features fellow Chicagoan windman David Boykin, Chicago Underground drummer Chad Taylor and renowned piano abstractionist Craig Taborn (Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Formanek, David Binney). For the hard-listening crowd. At the Blue Whale on the third level 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; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Mon. Jan. 14 -- LATE ADD: Family ain't the only reason to check out a distinguished bill of original improv chance takers. On the senior side, you get vet percussionist/composer Brad Dutz in a stellar ensemble with saxist Kim Richmond and trumpeter John Fumo, plus Cathy Segal-Garcia as guest vocalist. Opening is the quartet of Brad's son Jasper Dutz, one of the winners of last year's Angel City Young Performer Award. At the Gate Mediterranean Restaurant, 16925 Ventura Blvd., Encino 91316; 7:30-11pm; $10.
Wed. Jan. 16 -- Down keeps getting dredged up whenever Pantera voxrasper Phil Anselmo and CoC guitarist Pepper Keenan feel like stretching out into murky groove territory, and I say they should be encouraged. At the Key Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 8pm; $30; 18+; www.keyclub.com; (310) 274-5800.
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Read Don Heckman’s jazz picks here and MoshKing's metal listings here. Read John Payne's plutonic Bluefat.com (with a mess of new material including an interview with Mike Watt talking about Coltrane) here.
A year ago, recognizing that the main purpose of television is to help you sleep, Congress enacted a law prohibiting commercials from being louder than the programs in which they are embedded. That law, the CALM (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) Act, went into effect December 13. Nothing will change unless you speak up, so the next time you're slammed awake by a commercial for loan sharks or boner pills, COMPLAIN HERE. Select the second-to-last option (Broadcast) on the first page, and the last option (Loud Commercials) on the second page. On the third page, be specific about the cable system, the channel, the advertiser and the time. Bookmark this FCC complaint site, cuz you'll be needing it. (You can use it against phone solicitors and other stuff, too.) Thank you, reader. And thank you, California Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Silicon Valley), the bill's sponsor.