What better way to greet the new year than with a top-notch concert? Justly venerated Philadelphia rap crew The Roots will take a recess from their Tonight Show stage to bring their jazzy take on hip-hop to Santa Ana's Observatory. Expect drummer ?uestlove, rapper Black Thought and company to play from their latest album, ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, with songs that take a satirical look at violence.
Our very own Cali-born psych-pop duo Foxygen is comprised of twenty-somethings Sam France on vocals and Jonathan Rado on guitar and keybaords. The songwriting twosome strikes us as a gentler, cuddlier version of MGMT, but this time around they've morphed into a nine-piece punk touring machine, dubbed "Star Power." Catch them play an LA gig at the Roxy in support of their hot third LP, ...And Star Power.
Cold Cave's dark prince of neo-new wave, Wesley Eisold, revisits his punk past each year, when he joins up with his old Boston hardcore punk band—fearsome and eclectic underground faves Give Up the Ghost (originally called American Nightmare)—for a handful of high-profile reunion gigs. Bl'ast! and ROTTING OUT will open this L.A. date at the El Rey.
Eccentric Washington D.C.-based singer Ian Svenonius—you might know him from Nation of Ulysses, Weird War or the Make-Up—takes the stage with his kitsched-up garage-rock vehicle Chain And The Gang. Hear him and his band put post-hardcore music to a conspiracy theory that decries liberty and idolizes a new breed of bondage, as they play behind their newest album, Minimum Rock N Roll, at the Satellite.
San Diego's Little Hurricane is another boy-girl duo à la the White Stripes that creates the type of grungy, head-nodding beat perfect for cranking on a Friday night: Listening to their down-and-dirty blues makes you feel pretty badass. The vibe is similar to the Black Keys, but with a Southern-sounding twang and a feminine voice to balance out the intense blues guitar and pounding drums. Hear them play behind their new album, Gold Fever, at the Troubadour.
Buzzy LA-via-SF blues-punk rocker Hanni El Khatib knocks out distorted riffs and soulful growls sure to appeal to fans of the White Stripes and the Black Keys. Khatib, of Palestinian and Filipino descent, also churns out some unexpectedly sweet songs like “Penny,” which caught the full attention of local radio stations last year. Head out to the desert to hear him play behind his upcoming album, Moonlight.
The current Dead Kennedys incarnation features a respectable three quarters of the San Francisco punk heroes' classic lineup. Unfortunately, the quarter that's missing is the one that really counts: Jello Biafra, one of the funniest and most charismatic frontmen to emerge from the early-'80s hardcore scene. Still, the band's catalog of spaghetti western-tinged punk rock is deep, and current vocalist Ron "Skip" Greer does a decent enough Jello, so we'll leave the final verdict to you. Catch them at two SoCal shows: first at Santa Ana's Observatory and then at the Roxy.
Lo-fi, funky garage-electro with vocals aping TV On The Radio crossed with Vampire Weekend makes up the sound of this seriously groovy LA five-piece. Dry Land is Not a Myth was the White Arrows' debut album and featured sweetly melded glitchy synths, pop sensibilities and tribal instrumentation into a potent, gleeful blend. At this January show they'll play from their sophomore LP, In Bardo, where the outfit has truly come into their own, tightening their gauzy electronics and hypnotic grooves.
Indie darlings the Wombats are hitting town to play Echo Park's Bootleg HiFi. Expect a multitude of harmonies and hand-claps as the Liverpudlian trio's candy-coated indie pop fills your ears. The band will be getting fans pumped up for its highly anticipated third album, the upcoming Glitterbug. Their Friday night show is sold out, but tickets to a special matinee show on Saturday are still up for grabs. Both concerts are part of a handful of special US "Warm Up" gigs.
These four young California dudes—they hail from Woodland Hills—are new to the music scene, but find their inspiration in older, '70s-era punk tunes. After a couple of well-received singles and an EP, the group finally released its debut album, Language & Perspective, in 2014. Catch them now, before they hit indie pop stardom. They'll play the El Rey on Jan. 24, followed by a show at the Observatory in Santa Ana the next night.