Fri. May 10 -- Virtuoso among guitar virtuosos Yngwie Malmsteen may have made a slip by playing all the instruments himself on his current "Spellbound," but he's got a band here (including longtime drummer Patrick Johansson), and the shredding Swede is kicking his whole classically influenced metallic catalog whilst also flogging his biography, "Relentless." Read a review from the Cleveland tour opener a couple weeks ago here.At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 9pm; $30; (323) 848-5100; www.livenation.com.
Fri.-Sat. May 10 -- Just thought I'd remind ya that big-blowin' tenor man Azar Lawrence is still holding down the weekends with his quartet, which features excellent vets Henry Franklin (bass) and Theo Saunders (piano), and drummer Alphonse Mouzon has returned after having been on the road with the Miles Smiles band. Plus, this just in: Olympian singer Dwight Trible joins the gang Saturday as special guest. At the RG Club, 2536 Lincoln Blvd., Venice 90291; 9 & 11pm; $15; (310) 822-1715; rgclubvenice.com.
Fri.-Sat. May 10-11 -- When trombonist Alan Ferber puts together an "expanded ensemble," it means you get more colors and counter-rhythms with yer melodic modern jazz, not just more loudness. A connected dude with access to top swingers. 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. May 11 -- Tributes ain't usually my thing, but this re-creation of Led Zeppelin's 1973 Tampa Stadium gig by The Moby Dicks looks like fun due to the quality of the masked men: Brian Tichy (Ozzy, Whitesnake), Brent Woods (Sebastian Bach, Vince Neil), Chas Smith (Jason Bonham) and James LoMenzo (Black Label Society, Megadeth). Opening are Falling Still (8pm), Diamonds Under Fire (9pm) and American Made (10pm). At the Viper Room, 8852 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 11pm; $20; (310) 652-7869; www.viperroom.com.
Sat. May 11 -- Sometimes you just don't want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on a Sunday, so why not wait for today's "Thrasho de Mayo" and see MOD, Morbid Saint, Idolatry, Fueled by Fire, Ghoul, Witchaven and a dozen more on a day after which you can recover at leisure? At Vex Art & Culltural Center, 5240 Alhambra Ave., East L.A. 90032; doors 3pm; $30; (800) 660-9015; tickets here.
Sat. May 11 -- It must be metal since it's titled "Mother": Tonight's "Hoopla!" presentation, hosted by Erika Schickel, assembles writers, comedians and lurkers such as Sandra Tsing Loh, Weba Garretson, Amy Simon, Gayle Brandeis and Samantha Dunn for "modern vaudeville." At Fais Do Do, 5257 W. Adams Blvd., LA 90016; 6pm; $10; (323) 931-4636.
Mon. May 13 -- Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker always stirs up some alchemy with his slippery lines and electronic savvy, here in a trio with bassist Chris Lopes and drummer Chad Taylor (who've been with him for nearly three decades); the duo of Fabiano do Nascimento & Sam Gendel opens. At the Del Monte Speakeasy in Townhouse, 52 Windward Ave., Venice 90291; doors 9pm; $10; (310) 392-4040; www townhousevenice.com.
Tues. May 14 -- Don't take Motorhead for granted; Lemmy's liver won't hold out forever. With Anvil (stars of the heartbreaking documentary) and Kemical Kill. At Club Nokia, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown 90015; 8:30pm; $40-$50; www.ticketmaster.com.
Wed. May 15 -- Raging twin guitars, humpin' drums, nasty cut-'em-up (yet melodic) vocals -- pretty hard to argue with Pasadena's Holy Grail. With Behold! The Monolith, Gravehill, Metallica tributors Cliff 'Em All and (sigh) a pornstar competition. At the Viper Room, 8852 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 8pm; $12; (310) 652-7869; www.viperroom.com.
Thurs. May 16 -- Jeff Parker Trio (see Monday). 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.
Thurs. May 16 -- Never too early to celebrate the birthday of goodtime trombonist Phil Ranelin, which is actually nine days down the road. With windmen Pablo Calogero & Jacob Sesceny, pianist Mahesh Balasooriya, bassist Aneesa Al-Musawwir and, just to toss in somebody whose name we can pronounce, drummer Don Littleton. In the park across the courtyard from Barbara Morrison's Performing Arts Center, 4305 Degnan Blvd., Suite 101, Leimert Park 90008; 7:30 & 9:30pm; $20; (323) 296-2272; www.barbaramorrison.com.
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Gotta say a belated something about Andy Johns, who died April 7 from bleeding ulcers. The distinction between engineer and producer frequently blurs, but all a top band usually wants is to get a SOUND in the studio, and thanks largely to Andy Johns and his older brother Glyn Johns, the early 1970s marked an era of rock reproduction that has never been equaled in combining power, balance, shading and punch. Andy's hands rested on the knobs during sessions for some of the best-sounding albums of all time, including "Blind Faith," "Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti," Jethro Tull's "Stand Up," Traffic's "John Barleycorn Must Die," Free's "Heartbreaker," Spooky Tooth's "Spooky Two" and Mott the Hoople's "Brain Capers." He's most famous, though, as the master auditor who gathered up the tapes from the Rolling Stones' 1972 "Exile on Main St.," slaved over the chaotically recorded, sweat-stained, drug-soaked tracks for months, and emerged with the layered blues magic of rock's greatest album. He knew what rock music should sound like, and he made it sound that way. A deep bow to a supreme technical artist.
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