Fri. Apr. 10 -- Just back from a cultural ambassadorship to Nicaragua, Leni Stern offers a rare solo opportunity to experience the spontaneous subtleties of her award-winning guitar work, the intimate ache of her desert-wind voice and the African-influenced rhythms of her songwriting; she plays African music so authentically that some Malians claim she's possessed by a guiding demon on her shoulder. Stern also shares a few numbers with young protegée Emily Elbert, a naturally funky and superskilled L.A. guitarist-singer out of Berklee who'll carve out her own solo spot as well. An exciting collaboration. Afterward at 10pm: Vancans. At Room 5 Lounge, 143 N. La Brea Ave., above Amalfi Bar & Kitchen, L.A. 90036; 8pm; $10; 21+; cocktails & food; (323) 938-2504; www.room5la.com.
Fri. Apr. 10 -- The virtuosic accordion-guitar duo of Merima Ključo & Miroslav Tadić get quiet and nuanced with a Balkan folk flavor. Good to see Miroslav getting his internationally acclaimed digits out in the smog regularly. Brilliant Strings at Curve Line Space Gallery, 1577 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock 90041; 8pm; $10; (323) 478-9874.
Fri. Apr. 10 -- Harmonic expectations get bent some when pianist Joshua White grooves with his quartet: true-toned saxist Bob Sheppard, bassist Dave Robaire and drummer Dan Schnelle. 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.
Fri. Apr. 10 -- April being the cruelest month, it's time for those black, wrinkled seeds planted in the dead of winter to burst from the neglected cemetery soil and twist skyward to become the carnivorous night-blooming vines of Crowhurst, a band of metallic L.A. noisicians who celebrate the release of their new album (auditable here) tonight. This deeply layered, semimelodic stench just might be what I'll suck up the next time I'm in the mood for Z'ev, Throbbing Gristle or Electric Wizard, because it kinda combines all three. With Wovoka, Yidhra, Skinslip, Tower and Stone. At Loaded Bar, 6377 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 90028; doors 8pm; $10; full bar & food; 21+; (323) 464-5623; www.loadedhollywood.com.
Sat. Apr. 10 -- Syd Straw may not be jazz, but the Golden Pal gal is an improvising musician who intersperses her conversational folk music with a spontaneous combination of goof and troof. Syd usually has some special guest musicians; she is loved. At McCabe’s, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 90405; 8pm; $20; (310) 828-4497; www.mccabes.com.
Sun. Apr. 12 -- Double-reed instruments such as oboe, ghaita and bassoon possess a certain soul-shattering, body-healing quality, accessible en masse tonight via "L.A. Bassoons," a varied program of music by Edward Elgar, Toshio Hosokawa, David Newman and Michael Gordon, performed by the CalArts Chamber Orchestra (directed by Mark Menzies) and featuring soloists Jonathan Stehney, Sara Schoenbeck and Archie Carey. At REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown 90012; 8:30pm; $25 (students $20); www.redcat.org. Illustration by Pearson Scott Foresman.
Mon. Apr. 13 -- Whoa, electronically inflected Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker has enlisted a monstrous quartet of avant all-stars featuring windman Oscar Noriega (Endangered Blood, Chris Speed), bassist Trevor Dunn (John Zorn, Ben Goldberg) and drummer Jim Black (Tim Berne, Uri Caine). Gonna give your ears a serious twist, even if you ain't been bad. 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.
Wed. Apr. 15 -- The wonderful Israeli groove trio Maetar rises above with its funky psychedelic instrumentality. Always a favorite. At WitZend, 1717 Lincoln Blvd., Venice 90291; 8 & 9pm; $10 (bring a guest for free, one item minimum); bar & food; all ages (21+ after 9pm); (310) 305-4792; www.witzendlive.com.
Thurs. Apr. 16 -- An illustrious jazz name since around 1990, Geoff Keezer is one mainstreamish pianist who won't bore ya with clichés (though he might tap some standards), tonight with guitarist Peter Sprague and gorgeous singer Gillian Margot. 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.
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