JMSN (pronounced Jameson) is the stage name of Detroit-born singer-songwriter Christian Berishaj, who has a sound reminiscent of Prince, and a look reminiscent of Jesus. Hear his take on R&B at a special album release party for his upcoming second LP, JMSN (Blue Album), at the Echo. Two LA-based bands—Olivver and Spelles—will open the night.
Merrill Garbus and her crew roll back into town for a night of extraordinary looping, innovative instrumentation and primal, hair-raising vocals. tUnE-yArDs' nuanced folk-pop calls upon Micachu and The Shapes-esque riffs mixed with Afrobeats, psych-folk and more. Tricky to quantify, but it all makes sense live. Catch the tambourine-tapping New Englander & Co. at The Wiltern, as they play from newest release, Nikki Nack. Face paint is optional, but recommended.
Long-running pop-punkers the Ataris visit LA on their "You Call the Shots" tour, with a set list chosen exclusively by fans. "San Dimas High School Football Rules" and their accidental KROQ-spawned hit—a cover of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer"—are safe bets. Fans of the Warped Tour faves should jump at this chance to see the band at the El Rey, after recently reuniting after ten years apart.
It may sound too good to be true, but it's actually too weirdly perfect to be false. LA jazz singer Gretchen Lieberum and comic goddess Maya Rudolph sync their creative genius to create the musical sensation we didn't even know we wanted which is Princess, a Prince cover band that manages to showcase all of the pop icon's greatest hits with, dare we say, even more purpley flavor. We can't think of two women better for the job (have you seen Maya Rodolph's incredible celebrity impersonations?), and to describe our anticipation of this staggering musical hilarity as eager would be an understatement wilder than Prince's signature dance moves. Princess plays two shows at the Troubadour this season, and at thirty bucks a ticket, U don't even have 2 be rich to attend.
Rocking LA quartet Allah-Las combine the West Coast psychedelic sound of the Doors with garage and R&B. Three of the members used to work at Hollywood’s Amoeba when they formed in ‘08, so you know you can trust their taste in music. Joining them are fellow Angelenos Tashaki Miyaki, playing selections of their gauzy dream pop.
This LA post-hardcore band deals in lurching, hair-flailing panic-rock, which ranges from sexy garage punk to metal-heavy dirges and dark psychedelia. The members make it a point to embody their professed punk lifestyle, too; they became notorious for pranks like tagging the Strokes' tour bus and stealing Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar. Catch their antics at the Echoplex as they play behind recent album Slave Vows—a "sordid rock 'n' roll" album the group recorded in Burbank—and the follow-up, Avowed Slavery. Zig Zags, Zodiac Death Valley, Neo Globs and Death Valley Girls complete the night's bill.
Rising R&B/neo-soul singer Jhené Aiko has worked with Schoolboy Q, Childish Gambino and Drake. Now the Los Angeles singer-songwriter will perform two in-demand SoCal shows at the Observatory and Club Nokia, joined by frequent Top Dawg Entertainment collaborator SZA and Odd Future soul duo the Internet, as part of her "Enter the Void" tour. Hear her play behind her recent Def Jam debut studio LP, Souled Out.
KCRW presents Ryan Adams in three LA shows. The prolific singer-songwriter has kept himself busy in 2014, between a new, self-titled solo album, live collaborations with Bob Mould, and knocking out questionable covers of Bryan Adams and Foreigner. Don't miss him, though; he always delivers live.
If ever there were an excuse for an impromptu mini road trip, this is it. Local favorites the Dustbowl Revival will grace desert hotspot Pappy and Harriet's with a free concert. Born from a Craigslist ad placed by founder Zach Lupetin, this Venice, CA-based collective's tunes bring to mind Bob Wills, Bob Dylan, and even the more contemporary Old Crow Medicine Show. Their energetic and engaging live sets are like a ride through the history of American folk music, and prompted the folks at LA Weekly to dub them the "Best Live Band in LA"—no small honor. It's hard not to be in a good mood while taking in the "new-wave jug-band" and its delightful cacophony of fiddles, ukeleles, tubas, washboards and kazoos.
The ska-tinged Long Beach rockers will appease their diehard fans with two shows at the Glass House in Pomona, as they tour behind their seventh studio album, the crowd-funded Gemini, Her Majesty. The Warped Tour and Coachella veterans have been ska mainstays since the '90s, and while the first night will be dedicated to playing the new album in its entirety, second-night concertgoers can vote for songs they want to hear from the band's 19-year history here. Both nights will be filmed, and the band will have its horn players on hand as well, for a special touch.