Fri. Feb. 20 -- Bay Area post-thrashers Machine Head keep cranking on a high level of art, heft and emotion; read my review of their current "Bloodstone & Diamonds" here. They promise a long set, deep cuts and no opening bands, which sounds like a good idea for a unit with a catalog this solid and varied. Great live performers, too. At the Regent Theater, 448 S. Main St., downtown 90013; 8pm; $23; 18+; www.ticketfly.com.
Fri.-Sat. Feb. 20-21 -- With his new "Exploring Mars," omnipresent L.A. pianist Josh Nelson probes an ambitious concept: the relationship between Earthlings and Martians (who, by Ray Bradbury's analogy, also represent ourselves). Perhaps to highlight the interworld similarities, Nelson brushes the keys in Californian pastels rather than angry Martian reds, although the prettiness of his compositions contrasts strangely against the theme of heedless annihilation. My favorite track is Nelson's warm, open interpretation of a segment from Holst's "The Planets." 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; 21+; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Sat. Feb. 21 -- Garretson & Gorodetsky present an update and polish of their folkjazzy urban-nature meditation "What Does the Hummingbird See?," which I reviewed here. Your $5 donaton gets you a free download of their album, "My Skin Craves Soil," produced with presence and sensitivity by Mark Wheaton (dig the insect-flight stereo effects on "Dead Bee"). Video projections, Joe Baiza illustrations -- can't beat tonight's value. Hey, I just noticed that Weba has the same vibrato as Phil Ochs. At the Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park 90026; 8pm; $5 first-come (no reservations) ; (213) 484-8846; www.echoparkfilmcenter.org.
Sun. Feb. 22 -- My musical brother Kyle C. Kyle died a few weeks ago (read my useless words here). He played in a lot of bands and was loved by a lot of people, as represented in a memorial featuring artists he performed with or who knew him. In order of appearance: Atomic Sherpas, Mecolodiacs, Karl?, Wild Stares, Emmelda Beech, Sylvia Juncosa and more. The music's super even if you didn't know Kyle, who would have been 60 on Thursday. At Café NELA, 1906 Cypress Ave., Glassell Park 90065; doors 5pm; $10 (just a guess, it could be free); beer only; 21+; www.cafenela.net.
Sun. Feb. 22 -- Grind forefathers Napalm Death collect a time-honored retinue of metal rebels including Canadian evolvers Voivod and California deathsters Exhumed, plus rising bangers Iron Reagan and Black Crown Initiate. Early-ish show. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 5pm; $29; (323) 848-5100; www.livenation.com.
Sun. Feb. 22 -- Notable session guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Ani DiFranco) also likes to butt up against most any mode, as I've discovered a few times when he jammed African-style with Leni Stern; here he teams with pedal-steel guy Rich Hinman. Also on this bill: 24-string bassist Kai Kurosawa, plus percussionist James Beauton, guitar tapper Joshua Lopez and live painter Pete Morris. Brilliant Strings at Curve Line Space Gallery, 1577 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock 90041; 4-6pm; $12; (323) 478-9874; www.brilliantstrings.org.
Sun. Feb. 22 -- Trumpeter John Daversa fronts his six-member Contemporary Small Band, which includes multi-instrumentalist Katisse Buckingham and soul-slappin' drummer Gene Coye. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $20; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Tues. Feb. 24 -- Garretson & Gorodetsky. See Saturday. At Track 16 Gallery in Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica 90404; 8pm; free.
Tues. Feb. 24 -- Ingenious vibraphonist Nick Mancini likes to keep his collaborations changing; tonight his quartet includes flutist Rumi, percussionist Pete Korpela and bassist Ben Shepherd. Pianist Jon Nau closes at 8:45. At WitZend, 1717 Lincoln Blvd., Venice 90291; 7pm; $10 (bring a guest for free, one item minimum); bar & food; all ages; (310) 305-4792; www.witzendlive.com.
Tues. Feb. 24 -- Eclipse Quartet always scours your noggin with the most challenging modern music, this time by Schulhoff, Revueltas and Golijov, with special collaborators James Sullivan (clarinet) and Andrew Pirozzi (dance). At Monk Space, 4414 W. Second St. near Western, Los Angeles 90004; 8pm; $25 ($20 students), cheaper online; www.monkspace.com.
Wed. Feb. 25 -- Skating the edge between melody and avantitude, toneworthy alto man David Binney leads an exceptional quartet featuring piano thriller Joshua White, Branford Marsalis bassist Eric Revis and extrasensory drum driver Alex Cline. 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; $20; 21+; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Thurs. Feb. 26 -- "Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014," a film documenting a June performance at England's legendary outdoor headbang hub, premieres for one theatrical night only, nationwide. Locally at the Burbank 16 and the Universal Citywalk Stadium 19, both 7pm; $15.
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