Sun., Nov. 25, 9pm. $5. With Memes, Grandchildren + Lesser Known Neutrinos. Queen Sheba II, 4511 Baltimore Ave. 215.382.2699.
Los Angeles' Clipd Beaks plumb--or maybe invent--a neglected strain of psych on Hoarse Lords, so blown out and disorienting that it initially seems like sheets of noise suspended only by defiant throbs of bass. There's a dub vibe to it, and the torn vocals usually trail echoes or get drenched in other effects, such that when you can actually make out some lyrics, as on "High on Charms," it's sort of surprising to remember there are humans behind this racket. But then it's right back to the deep fog and cryptic flashes of sound and you're out to sea again, stranded without a shore in sight. (Doug Wallen)
As a preteen, Norwegian phenom Sondre Lerche learned guitar from a Brazilian teacher, starting out not with "Iron Man" or "Smoke on the Water" but rather the songs of Tom Jobim. That early training shows up in Faces Down (recorded while Lerche was still in high school) as a trace of bossa nova warmth amid baroque pop arrangements. Lately Lerche has been exploring rowdier sounds with a band called the Faces Down, and also hitting the Hollywood circuit. His soundtrack for the Steve Carell film Dan in Real Life includes a cover of Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door." (Jennifer Kelly)
By birth he's Guillermo Scott Herren; by trade, he's variously known as Delarosa and Asora, Savath and Savalas, and Prefuse 73, spinner of the glitched out, experimental hip-hop aesthetic. From Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives onward, Herren has stuttered his way through dissonant productions--scotch-taping together eggshell fragments of rhythm, and bleeps and blips of melody. With the latter half of this year's double disc Preparations/Interregnums there's evidence Herren isn't just cerebral and can play to lush, emotive orchestration as well. In a way that's even more experimental of him. (Michael Serazio)
Whether you've been gettin' your swerve on to old Puff and Biggie tracks, catching up on classic Pam Grier blaxploitation vehicles or keepin' it real with vintage Tribe and Brand Nubian, you've been listening to a lot of Roy Ayers lately. Not quite your style, you say? You're more of a hip-hop snob who revels in flouting your underground expertise? Well that Quasimoto B-side you just mined is rife with samples from the vibraphone master too. From the moment Lionel Hampton handed a set of mallets to a 5-year-old Ayers, to that legendary 1979 world tour with Fela Kuti, he's been honing the skills that would eventually earn the oft-dubbed "godfather of acid jazz" the ultimate honor: placement in not one but two editions of Grand Theft Auto. (Joshua Valocchi)
Expecting Behold ... the Arctopus' latest album Skullgrid to be your run-of-the-mill heavy metal record is like mistaking the 17-foot, 15th-century Turkish Dardanelles gun for a bong. By the time you hold the lighter to what you think is the bowl and put your mouth to what you think is ... whatever that part is called, you've got, like, three seconds to realize your mistake before your brains paint the asteroid belt gray and red. But instead of firing boulders of granite, the Brooklyn trio blasts into oblivion anything in its way with a barrage of technical jazz-influenced black metal on par with Dillinger Escape Plan and Darkthrone. (Jean Luc Renault)
Mark Lanegan is like hot sauce--add his sepulchral croon to just about anything and pow, it's instantly better, with loads more zing. Over the years the ex-Screaming Trees growler's presence has done wonders for Queens of the Stone Age, Twilight Singers, and ex-Belle and Sebastian siren Isobel Campbell, and now Lanegan's fronting Soulsavers--a British outfit masterminded by two guys who previously made U.N.K.L.E.-style cinematic electronica. The group's latest It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land is arrestingly moody, guitar-centric, gospel-inflected midnight-rock that's perfect for Lanegan's booze-and-smokes delivery. Soulsavers' eight-member live lineup also includes members of Spiritualized, which should make this gig even tastier. (Michael Alan Goldberg)
Three saxophones, three countries, endless musical options--and a timely reminder that music bridges geography and language like nothing else. Yamauchi hails from Japan, Boubaker from France. Philadelphia's Jack Wright owns a communal musicians' dwelling called Spring Garden House (www.springgardenmusic.com) and philosophizes periodically at his blog Shakey Ground. If freely improvising horns aren't enough, you'll also hear the warped live electronics of Dave Smolen (a Spring Garden resident) and the solo cello of Jason Calloway, who will premiere compositions by Chinary Ung (Cambodia) and Yoon-ji Lee (Korea). To Bowerbird, the organization planning this fracas, it's all part of a unified creative continuum. (David R. Adler)
Time for a big Bang breakthrough?