Three Must-See Acts This Week

La Fleur, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and SHADES.

LaFleur. Photo by Patrice Brylla


La Fleur

9:30 p.m., Saturday, July 21, at Audio. $10;

Since her initial venture in the recording studio a decade ago, La Fleur knew her life as a pharmacist was over, as her passion for dance music would take her on a path that would eventually lead to her becoming one of Sweden’s top underground dance exports. Flirting in between the lines of minimal techno and sultry house, La Fleur gained international attention with her 2012 EP Flowerhead, earning the “Best Electronic Act” prize at the 2015 P3 Guld awards, the Swedish equivalent of the Grammys. Since then, legendary techno artists such as Carl Craig and Kenny Larkin have remixed her music, and she remains staunchly independent with her own label, Power Plant Records. For the past two years, La Fleur has cemented her status as a resident at top clubs around Europe, including Berlin’s Watergate and Ibiza’s Pacha. After a well-received Boiler Room session with Dubfire and Richie Hawtin, La Fleur is on pace to take over North American nightclubs with the same intensity she has overseas.


Toad the Wet Sprocket – Photo by Rob Shanahan


Toad the Wet Sprocket

8 p.m., Saturday, July 21, at Great American Music Hall. $45;

While many rock bands attempted to fill the grunge-void Nirvana left behind, Toad the Wet Sprocket was on the other end of the alt-rock spectrum, producing a string of delicately crafted melodic-folk albums that would come to define an era that continues to inspire other artists today. The band formed more than 30 years ago when four high school friends in Santa Barbara came together, including vocalist and guitarist Glen Phillips (only 15 at the time). After becoming a mainstay in their local music scene and self-releasing their debut album Bread & Circus in 1989, the quartet broke through to the mainstream with their platinum third studio album Fear, which included hit singles like “All I Want” and “Walk on the Ocean,” both of which are still in frequent rotation on alt-rock radio. The group went on to release two more albums during the decade, Dulcinea and Coil, and while each had its share of hits and acclaim, neither matched the heights of Fear, and the four musicians called it quits in 1998. After brief reunions and flirting with the idea of recording together, Toad the Wet Sprocket officially reformed in 2006, re-recording their older songs due to licensing issues with their discography. Through an enthusiastic crowdfunding campaign, the group released New Constellation in 2013, their first album in 16 years, to critical acclaim, and displayed a wiser, more optimistic version of the group.


Shades (Alix Perez & Eprom)

Bass music

Shades (Alix Perez & Eprom)

10 p.m., Thursday, July 19, at 1015 Folsom. $20;

Belgium’s Alix Perez and L.A.’s Eprom are two of modern bass music’s juggernauts, as both producers have established themselves as the genre’s most forward-thinking innovators. Perez began his career producing drum and bass, released his 2009 debut album 1984 via Shogun Audio to widespread acclaim, and established his own label, 1985 Music, in 2016. Under the alias of Alexander Dennis, Eprom turns heads with his unique, intricately layered production style that leans heavy on bass, hip-hop, and garage. Since he first roared onto the West Coast beat scene in 2006, Eprom’s complex, aggressive musical output has turned the likes of Flying Lotus, The Glitch Mob, and Aphex Twin into ardent fans. Perez and Eprom’s paths first crossed in 2013 at a New Zealand music festival, and they eventually came together in the studio where their Shades project was born. As Shades, the pair have released four EPs that combine Perez’s kinetic energy along with Eprom’s ear-splitting frequencies, and the fact that both are expert-level producers makes them able to pull off otherwise unheard-of techniques. Their first full-length album as Shades, In Praise of Darkness, saw its release earlier this month and hears the pair at their creative peak, as the album is an unpredictable, bass-infected journey that grips your attention for its duration.


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