Courtney Love, First Aid Kit, Snarky Puppy: this week's new live music

Courtney Love, On tour

What with all the carnage created by Courtney Love the disastrous public figure, the noise generated by Courtney Love the musician tends to get a little obscured. Certainly, the chaos that comes with being a celebrity widow and also a very ambitious person has slowed her creativity in the last 20 years. Since the demise of Hole, she has only run to one solo album, 2004's characteristically witty but underperforming America's Sweetheart. Undoubtedly, Love still has a sound take on what might constitute a good idea – the LA coke rock vibe of her debut was an ahead-of-the-curve decision; her lyrics are good – but for all her wryness and forays into social media, you have to wonder if making her new single You Know My Name a punk-pop number suggests her hip barometer is currently a little off.

Shepherd's Bush Empire, W12, Sun & Mon; Manchester Academy, Tue; O2 Academy, Glasgow, Thu; O2 Academy, Leeds, Fri


First Aid Kit, London

Even if the evidence sometimes points to the contrary, you don't need a beard to sing about America. Nor indeed do you even need to be American, a point neatly demonstrated by Johanna and Klara Söderbeg. A duo from Stockholm, First Aid Kit understand the power of a harmony vocal when it's allowed to stand in a splendid kind of isolation; indeed, the YouTube clip that first spread word about them featured them singing a Fleet Foxes song in a wooded area. Many groups – the Pierces, Secret Sisters and Smoke Fairies, to name three – shoot for this kind of thing with varying degrees of success, but make the mistake of adding too much syrup and slickness. JR

Islington Assembly Hall, N1, Thu


Snarky Pappy, On tour

Without major-label backing or much mainstream-media coverage, but with a lot of back-to-back touring, sleeping on floors, and eager collective creativity, Snarky Puppy have built a grassroots fanbase all over the globe. The American jazz-funk outfit join up reggae, New Orleans R&B and Latin grooves; and splice slide-guitar bluesiness, scalding electric-violin forays, trombone-smoochings, and the remarkable bass-playing of founder and leader Michael League. This UK tour launches their latest CD/DVD release, We Like It Here, typically a live set, recorded and filmed in Holland last year.

The Sage, Gateshead, Sun; Kazimier, Liverpool, Mon; Band On The Wall, Manchester, Tue & Wed


Tectonics festival, Glasgow

Though he stepped down as the BBC Scottish Symphony's chief conductor five years ago now, Ilan Volkov has kept up his connections with the orchestra. As well as appearing regularly as its chief guest conductor, Volkov last year launched a weekend-long new-music festival with the BBC SSO in Glasgow. Tectonics is a sibling to the event that he directs annually with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik, and which he has also recently exported to Adelaide. Three giants of the US experimental scene, Christian Wolff, David Behrman and Takehisa Kosugi, all make appearances, and there are brand-new pieces from Georg Friedrich Haas, Klaus Lang, James Clapperton, Michael Finnissy, Catherine Lamb and Richard Youngs.

City Halls, to Sun


R Stevie Moore, London

After decades spent under the radar, one-man band R Stevie Moore is finally seeing the acclaim he deserves as one of the most prolific figures the American DIY underground has ever known. Now in his 60s and with disciples such as Ariel Pink, he began recording music as a teenager in the 1970s, and has committed hundreds of albums – the current count sits at around 400 – to tape, CD-R and Bandcamp, from hooky lo-fi guitar pop to spoken-word rambles, and everything else in between (and outside of) that. His late 70s recordings have been hailed retrospectively as pioneering lo-fi and hypnagogic pop, and online you'll find messageboards littered with fan-compiled best-ofs and themed compilations. Fun fact: He's also the son of Bob Moore, the top Nashville session bassist who worked with everyone from Elvis to Roy Orbison.=

Cafe Oto, E8, Thu


Le1f, Brighton & London

Much as it can be a place for new ideas, hip-hop can also be a bit slow to change its attitudes. Enter Le1f: an openly gay former dance student, who would seem to pose a challenge to some of rap's more reactionary elements (the hookline of his breakout track Wut is "I'm getting light in my loafers…"). At the same time, it would be tough for anyone to argue with his Busta Rhymes-speed flow or his irresistible pop productions. These have historically found favour with campus-friendly hip-hop acts such as Das Racist, and with indie dorks too; his current EP is on Terrible Records, the label run by Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear. Hey, with its five monosyllabically titled tracks, is a fine place to start, but it'll be when he shows up on a Beyoncé single (or even better a Rick Ross tune) we'll know Le1f is really making progress.

The Great Escape, Brighton, Sat; Oslo, E8, Mon


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