The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week

See Thursday: Lucius
See Thursday: Lucius
Photo by Peter Larson

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, September 1

Long Beach Funk Fest
THE QUEEN MARY
Each summer, the Long Beach Funk Fest lands in the heart of the city and unloads several decades of funk founders and fundamentalists — recently including Shuggie Otis, Charles Watt, Bernie Worrell, Dennis Coffey, Steve Arrington, Fred Wesley and more. But for its fifth anniversary this year, the festival has relocated to the Queen Mary with arguably its funkiest lineup ever, with headliners George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, support from The Meters’ Leo Nocentelli, and a truly staggering selection of Southern California DJs, topped by the mighty Dam-Funk. (Dam and George Clinton on the same bill? You should already be driving down the 710 right now.) Reinforced with DJs from L.A. institutions Funky Sole and Subsuelo, it’s the kind of event that quite possibly could transform that stately old ocean liner into the P-Funk Mothership. —Chris Ziegler

Tuesday, September 2

Upcoming Events

Bear in Heaven
ECHOPLEX
Over the course of four albums, Brooklyn’s Bear in Heaven have carved out a unique sound, which straddles the line between epic and intimate. Ornate but never fussy, progressive but seldom pretentious, their head-rush, synth-driven songs take the best bits of shoegaze and dream-pop and crank the volume up to 11, occasionally approaching Muse-like heights of pomp and splendor. Though pared down in the studio to just a trio — founder and frontman Jon Philpot, guitarist/bassist Adam Wills and drummer Jason Nazary — the band sounds bigger than ever on their latest, Time Is Over One Day Old, especially on the surging, Slowdive-like “Autumn” and the anthemic “Demonic,” on which Philpot’s choirboy vocals come across like Jose Gonzalez crooning a School of Seven Bells cover. —Andy Hermann

Wednesday, September 3

Stiff Little Fingers
EL REY THEATRE
When Stiff Little Fingers emerged from Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1977, their militantly raucous sound echoed the violent contradictions of their religiously and politically divided hometown. Early songs such as “Suspect Device” and “Alternative Ulster” decried the waste and ruin of “the Troubles,” and lead singer Jake Burns’ hoarse-throated roar made him the Northern Irish equivalent to Joe Strummer. Burns’ antiwar broadsides, such as “Tin Soldiers” and “Bloody Sunday,” still retain a startling power, especially in contrast to the more cautiously derivative and mainstream approach of bands they influenced, such as U2. Over the years, Burns has led varying lineups of Stiff Little Fingers, but the band’s original bassist, Ali McMordie, has returned to the fold, replacing onetime Jam bassist Bruce Foxton, who sat in earlier this decade. —Falling James
  Thursday, September 4

OK Go, Allah-Las
SANTA MONICA PIER
No one will ever forget the “Here It Goes Again” treadmill dancing phenomenon, which took the music video world by storm and put OK Go on the map in 2006. These days the Chicago-bred, L.A.-based four-piece is still high on creating innovative single-take videos, but their power-pop is undeniably infectious and uplifting as well, with no shortage of energy on and off the record. Making the touring rounds in honor of their latest EP, Upside Out, featuring new single “The Writing’s on the Wall,” OK Go also are slated to release a new full-length in October. While they won’t be able to blast their customary ocean of confetti for the free Twilight Concert Series, rumor has it they’re putting together something special to meet the environmental challenges. Local fringe rockers Allah-Las will set the beachy tone as the sun sets. —Britt Witt

City & Colour, Lucius
GREEK THEATRE
Canadian singer Dallas Green croons sleepy songs under the name City & Colour, blending easy-listening arrangements and soft washes of strings with laid-back vocals. “I don’t know what drugs to take to successfully alter the state that my mind has been in of late,” he croons mournfully on “Of Space and Time,” from his fourth album, The Hurry and the Harm. Green belies the title of tracks like “Harder Than Stone” with gentle vocals and acoustic-guitar strumming. There are occasional moments of beauty, such as “Ladies and Gentlemen,” amid all the quiet and empty spaces on the new album. Brooklyn indie-pop quintet Lucius also stirs up a mellow sound on new full-length Wildewoman, but lead singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig have much richer, more melodiously pleasing voices, and their bittersweet harmonies are loaded with dreamy pop potential. —Falling James

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