2014 fall concert critics' picks

Check out our critics' picks for must-see fall concerts in Los Angeles, from fests to local and big name bands.

There are tons of must-see fall concerts in Los Angeles. We help you sift through the options with our top picks, from fests such as Way Over Yonder to big name tickets like Pixies and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

 

Earth

Critics' pick

The veteran Seattle band that grew out of the city's '90s grunge scene has evolved past being simply frontman Dylan Carson and a bass guitarist. It now features an expanded lineup playing the lengthy, heady instrumentals, with a dash of country influence. Hear the pioneers of drone doom as they play behind their brand-new tenth studio album, Primitive and Deadly, at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever. Special guest King Dude opens the night.

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Slaughter & The Dogs

Critics' pick

Nearly forty years in the making, these Bowie-inspired 70s British punkers continue to bring down rock houses the world over. After a couple decades playing band member musical chairs, the foursome settled in '96 on Wayne Barrett, Mick Rossi, Noel Kay, Jean Pierre Thollet; and this has remained the longest running lineup in Slaughter & The Dogs history. They haven't released a new album in over ten years, but nostalgic glam punk fans catch them play the classics at The Observatory in Santa Ana this September.

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Unlocking the Truth

Critics' pick

These pint-sized rockers (none of them is over 13!) garnered attention for their performances in Times Square, earning themselves a record deal and a slot at this year's Coachella—they're the youngest group to ever play the fest. Hear the Brooklyn metal band at the Troubadour and see what the hype is about before the trio records its first album.

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Karen O at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Critics' pick

Frontwoman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Karen O debuts her first solo album, Crush Songs, on September 9, and shortly after its release you'll have the chance to see her at the intimate Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. True fans of KO can also attend a listening party hosted by Sofar Sounds on August 27 and hear the deluxe vinyl version of the album early. Tickets for the Masonic Lodge show, which are limited to 2 per person, go on sale August 15.

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Fatboy Slim

Critics' pick

Having conquered the world and its radio airwaves with his big beat antics (and by making Christopher Walken dance maniacally in one of his videos), Norman Cook has quite a track record. Considering the fact the top U.K. producer also doesn't play out much any more, tickets for this Shrine Expo Hall show are moving fast. "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat" to his raucous blend of house, funk, hip-hop and electro as he plays behind his latest mix album, Fatboy Slim Presents Bem Brasil.

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Neutral Milk Hotel

Critics' pick

Arguably the most successful band to come out of the infamous Elephant 6 Collective in Athens, GA, Neutral Milk Hotel ended up calling it quits in 1998, shortly after the release of their seminal sophomore album, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. After playing a string of well-received solo dates last year, frontman Jeff Mangum decided to get the band back together, sparking a flurry of nostalgic think-pieces that seemed overly concerned with the group's legacy. Nevermind how you may feel about the band and their body of work; the reunion gives a new generation of angst-ridden teenagers a chance to sing along to songs about Anne Frank.

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Caetano Veloso + Andrew Bird + Devendra Banhart

Critics' pick

Prodigious musical bravado comes to the Hollywood Bowl this fall by way of three first-rate acts. We start off with the hero of Tropicalia, who returns with a new album, "Abraçaço"—the fifty-second record for the Brazilian artist. Built on foundations of Tropicalia, Veloso's hypnotic style mixes Brazilian popular music, rock guitar riffs, funk Carioca and pop arrangements. He's joined by cassically trained violinist (in the Suzuki method), leftfield singer-songwriter, guitarist, master whistler and Chicago native Andrew Bird, supporting his most recent release I Want to See Pulaski at Night. Rounding out the trio is psycho folk Devendra Banhart, who, a decade since his first album, is no less wonderful and no less weird—the irresistible lead single from Banhart’s new album, Mala, is inspired by Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th-century nun, mystic and composer. Catch these three for a unique evening of top-notch listening September 21. Tickets on sale May 4.

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Temples

Critics' pick

Fronted by Marc Bolan look-alike James Edward Bagshaw, British psychedelic rock group Temples has won the admiration of Oasis's Noel Gallagher and Smiths man, Johnny Marr. The analogue fetishists play extremely retro psych-pop like a drier, more period-authentic Tame Impala. The released their Heavenly Records debut album, Sun Structures, earlier this year. Catch them play an intimate gig September 26 at The Glass House.

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Pixies + Gogol Bordello + Cat Power

Critics' pick

Pioneering alt-rockers Pixies are back in LA to scratch and scream their way through selections from their four classic albums, in addition to a new release, Indie Cindy, their first batch of new material in over two decades. Neither Kim (Deal nor Shattuck) is with the band anymore, so the lineup now looks like this: Black Francis, David Lovering, Joey Santiago and Paz Lenchantin. The new EP and members have given some renewed purpose to the band's ten-year reunion tour. They're joined at the Hollywood Bowl by your favorite high-energy gypsy-punks, Gogol Bordello, as well as mysterious indie crooner Cat Power. Ticket sales begin May 4.

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Way Over Yonder

Critics' pick

Folk lovers are definitely not starved in LA. There's the Echo's summer-long Grand Ole Echo Sundays, Old Time is a Good Time's yearly Old Time Social, the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and of course, the New LA Folk Fest—all of which mainly focus on amazing local acts. But when it comes to festivals featuring big-name artists, the pickins are slim: Diehard fans often travel to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco, Pickathon in Oregon or even the Telluride Bluegrass festival in Colorado to get their fill. Enter Way Over Yonder, LA's first big ol' folk fest—and the West coast offshoot of Rhode Island's famed Newport Folk Fest, which has been introducing new folk acts (such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, maybe you've heard of them?) since 1959. Now in its second year and boasting impressive acts such as Local Natives, Heartless Bastards, Moses Sumney, Jackson Browne and Lucinda Williams, this two-day festival strikes a chord with music-loving Angelenos—and might just have folks traveling South to get their old-timey music fix for a change. Yip! Check out the lineup (which doesn't strike us as super folky, we must admit...) here.

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