Three Must-See Acts This Week

Anderson .Paak on Thursday at Bill Graham, Sinkane on Friday at the Independent, and Sons of an Illustrious Father on Saturday at Starline Social Club.


Anderson .Paak

8 p.m., Thursday, June 27, at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. $69.50;

A show-stopping singer, rapper, producer, and drummer, Anderson .Paak may be the most naturally talented artist working at the moment, and the quadruple-threat has proven time and time again that he’s capable of headlining the biggest stages out there. Born and raised in Oxnard, he ground his way from the bottom of the L.A. music scene through his awe-inspiring talent and infectious charisma, releasing his soulful genre-bender debut Venice in 2014 to widespread acclaim. .Paak soon caught the ear of Dr. Dre, who would prominently use .Paak’s vocal and instrumental skills on his long-awaited 2015 album, Compton. The following year saw the release of .Paak’s breakthrough, Malibu, a sunshine-drenched journey through funked-out R&B hooks and bombastic hip-hop that earned .Paak a Grammy nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Lyrically, .Paak tackled excessive wealth and fame in his 2018 Aftermath-released album, Oxnard, which hears the musician simultaneously beef up his hip-hop and funk tendencies with appearances from Snoop Dogg and Pusha T. April saw the release of .Paak’s fourth album, Ventura, a return to the feel-good soul that .Paak excels at — with singles like the Smokey Robinson collaboration “Make It Better” that capture the spirit of classic Motown, but translates it into the 21st-century soundscape with effortless conviction.

Photo by Daniel Dorsa


Funk rock


9 p.m., Friday, June 28, at The Independent. $20;

Influenced by the music from his native Sudan — along with Western elements from house to shoegaze — Sinkane translates anger and frustration with our current political climate into something that radiates positivity and optimism. The singer and multi-instrumentalist, born Ahmed Gallab, immigrated to the U.S. when he was five years old, and has worked as a session musician with Caribou, Yeasayer, and Of Montreal while also putting out his own string of solo-releases, including his 2008 debut EP Color Voice. Sinkane’s 2012 breakthrough album, the DFA-released MARS, highlights Sinkane’s ability to blend previously disassociated genres like krautrock and Afrobeat, for a wholly original sound that works on the dance floor just as well as it does on a relaxed day by the pool. Sinkane’s newest album, Dépaysé, is the musician’s most personal yet grandest-sounding record yet, taking heavy notes from the likes of George Clinton and Sly Stone to the diverse music found in East Africa. A French word that means “to be removed from one’s habitual surroundings,” Dépaysé explores the sense of belonging in a country that is blatantly xenophobic and intolerant, but which ultimately culminates in a celebration of self-worth and acceptance through triumphant tracks like “Ya Sudan” or the psych-funk opus “The Searching.” 

Courtesy of Artist


Genre queer

Sons Of An Illustrious Father

7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 29, at Starline Social Club. $13;

While many artists go out of their way to defy genre conventions, Sons of an Illustrious Father create music by throwing out the concept of genres altogether, resulting in music that sounds like a little bit of everything without feeling forced. The trio, composed of Josh Aubin, Lilah Larson, and Ezra Miller, have described their music as “genre queer,” due to the band’s multifaceted sound and collaborative ethos where each member has an equal voice when it comes to the band’s creative direction. In a 2018 interview with them, Miller explains, “We’ve long since abandoned the effort to self-categorize, and that’s been a huge help. It’s been a wonder for our process of expression.” In May, the band released a dark and brooding reimagining of the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t Cha,” partly to mock and subvert the original song’s inherent heterosexual nature, but to also celebrate the hit’s gleeful and carefree spirit. The group is unflinching when it comes to confronting homophobia, climate change, and other issues that have plagued the world especially in the wake of 2016, with their latest album Deus Sex Machina: Or, Moving Slowly Beyond Nikola Tesla, serving as a vital piece of modern protest music, brimming with a raw emotion and vulnerability that is seldom heard elsewhere.

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