Los Angeles-based R&B savant Kelela brings her dreadlocks and electronically-charged intensity to the Fonda this December. Her lyrics weave together a romantic sensibility with an ultimate sense of loss, all while searching for that perfect synergy between vocalist, producer, and DJ. Kelela's striking and deeply personal debut, last year's Cut 4 Me, features production work from NGUZUNGUZU (also playing on Tuesday), Kingdom, DJ NA, and Girl Movement. Expect a huge, dynamic live set.
Underground LA band Gateway Drugs is an enigmatic quintet playing multi-dimensional psych rock. They won fans at a Battle of the Bands during this summer's Echo Park Rising fest. See them here, preceded by "dense danse" band Vows and the hypnotic Silver Hands—a new synth-tastic band from Love Grenades' Elizabeth Wight.
Cult-fave songman Cass McCombs excels at both wistful psych-pop and scrappy lo-fi indie rock. Expect to hear from the itinerant enigma's latest alluring head-scratcher, the sprawling Big Wheel and Others. He's joined by the long-running Meat Puppets, who have aged from the grunge riffage you might recall to a more damaged punky folk music. Catch them all at the Troubadour.
Aimee Mann and Ted Leo have spent quite a bit to time on the road together over the past few years. Most recently, the two singer-songwriters have been working together on Mann's project The Both. But this December, Mann brings the return of her electric holiday show, featuring herself and Ted Leo in a fit of Santa-centric carols, original tunes, video displays and sketches. For those who like their rock shows with a side of festivity.
LA singer-songwriter-producer Jesse Nolan brings his vintage-soul hybrid music to the Troubadour with his band Caught A Ghost—an eclectic lineup consisting of multi-instrumentalist Nolan, kindergarten classmate Stephen Edelstein and Veronica Mars cast member Tessa Thompson. Expect an appealing set, with notes of classic Motown, Fitz and the Tantrums, LCD Soundsystem, the Black Keys and even Cake, as they promote this year's debut album, Human Nature. The band doesn't go on until 10:30pm, but In The Valley Below, Paper Pilots and DECORATOR fill out the bill.
Tokimonsta is the stage name of L.A. producer Jennifer Lee, who makes psychedelic hip-hop with skittering electronic beats. Fans of Flying Lotus—in fact, she used to be signed to the producer's label, Brainfeeder—will likely dig the Torrance native and UC Irvine alum's sound: dance music infused with ethereal beauty. See her at Santa Ana's Observatory as she performs in support of her new LP, Desiderium, with new beat bands Doja Cat and Djemba Djemba opening.
Virtuosic banjo player Béla Fleck is a staple on the jam-band circuit, but even those who don't live for perfectly executed impromptu fusion wizardry might know Fleck's work—he and his Flecktones composed incidental music for the Weather Channel. Tonight Fleck pairs with his wife, singer-songwriter-banjo-player Abigail Washburn, to perform duets at downtown's Regent Theater—newly renovated by the Echo's Mitchell Frank.
Brazilian star and daughter of famed singer-guitarist João Gilberto, Bebel Gilberto is the hip songstress responsible for modernizing the classic bossa nova sound with slick electronic flourishes. A mainstay of popular film and television soundtracks, she's known for appearing alongside top artists, but now has come into her own with intimate, soulful tunes. Here, she'll play the El Rey in support of her breezy latest album, Tudo.
LA-based indie folk supergroup the Living Sisters take a break from their solo careers—which include The Bird and the Bee and Lavendar Diamond—to perform at Hollywood Forever Cemetery's historic Masonic Lodge this December. They'll bring their retro four-part harmonies to play behind their most recent release, this fall's inclusive holiday record, Harmony Is Real: Songs for a Happy Holiday. Expect classics like "Jingle Bells" and "Little Drummer Boy," as well as a collection of originals. The jangly “Christmas In California” should go over quite nicely.
Artsy singer-songwriter Madi Diaz plays warm, melodic pop with an '80s bent. Born in a backwoods Pennsylvania town, she recently moved to LA and adopted our fair city as her new hometown. She'll take a break from touring with Echosmith for her own headlining show at the Troubadour to promote her visceral new break-up album, Phantom. Mosco Rosco and King open the night.