Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!
Monday, January 5
“A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat”: If nothing else, San Diego metal extremists Cattle Decapitation can boast some of the best song titles in the grindcore business. This band needs titles like that to convey its outrage and disgust at all the hypocrisy and corruption with which this wicked world continues to infect our puny little minds. The veteran crew’s kinda schizo sound spans the black-/grind-/death-/grotesquerie-metal areas of endeavor, with running lyrical themes regarding the impending apocalypse and how to either stun it into submission or hasten its sickly creep with artful (tuneful, even) brutality. This major night of creative noise also features sets by Theories, Bad Acid Trip, Fetus Eaters and Doesn’t Matter. Recommended if you like bashing your own skull ’til your brain pops out. — John Payne
Tuesday, January 6
John Daversa Progressive Big Band
Trumpet and EVI (electronic valve instrument) master John Daversa has become one of Southern California’s more prominent jazz musicians over the past 15 years, leading one of the area’s most dynamic big bands in addition to his role as an educator. After earning his Ph.D. from USC and serving a stint at CSUN, Daversa recently was recruited to become the University of Miami’s Jazz Chair at the Frost School of Music, promptly leading its concert band to its first win at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. Daversa plans a live recording of music from The Beatles (for which there’s an associated PledgeMusic campaign) over two nights at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, one of the best small concert venues in all of Southern California (also Wed.). — Tom Meek
Wednesday, January 7
Ras G, The Koreatown Oddity
It’s time for a new year and two new releases from beat visionary Ras G, headlining the first Low End Theory of 2015. His Down to Earth Vol. 2 (Leaving Records) perfectly balances his crushing bass-is-the-place production (as heard on 2011’s Space Base Is the Place) with his innate sense of cosmic and artistic freedom, for a sound that’s like the Impulse! label reincarnated as Wild Pitch. Billed as “Standard Bap Edition,” DTE2 is the producer’s tribute to instrumentalists and experimentalists from the golden age of hip-hop ’til now. He also has teamed up with rapper-producer The Koreatown Oddity for the 5 Chuckles album, which matches TKO’s street-surreal lyrics to Ras G’s hazy beats. Call it another successful mission to send a man into space. — Chris Ziegler
The Dictators NYC
If it’s recognized today that The Ramones were just as influential in their way as The Beatles, where does that leave The Dictators? The ’Tators recorded their version of “California Sun” several years before The Ramones, and the main riff to their hilarious fish-out-of-water tale “Next Big Thing” (“Yeah, I knocked them dead in Dallas/They didn’t know we were Jews”) was shamelessly repurposed in The Ramones’ “I Just Want to Have Something to Do.” Hook-filled Dictators originals such as “Baby, Let’s Twist” and “Stay With Me” would have fit in on a more enlightened version of classic-rock radio. They’re touring here for the first time in a decade, albeit without guitarist Scott Kempner and main songwriter Andy Shernoff. But lead singer Handsome Dick Manitoba and insane Manowar guitar shredder Ross “The Boss” Friedman should still save what’s left of rock & roll. — Falling James
Thursday, January 8
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The 28th Annual Elvis Birthday Bash
With big beat barrages from more than 30 musical acts, Hollywood’s annual Elvis Presley tribute bash is a richly ritualistic rock & roll variety show. This year’s edition, a special matinee show marking the King’s 80th birthday — on a stage where Presley himself once performed (on The Milton Berle Show) — should be a high-octane thriller. The bill is wildly kaleidoscopic, with grizzled, brilliant veterans Ray Campi, Troy Walker and Jimmy Angel, rabid hellraisers Groovy Rednecks, smoldering provocateur Lisa Finnie, the deliciously inept South Bay Surfers and dozens more, all drawing from a repertoire that ranges from classic blues and hillbilly to some of the worst rock songs ever perpetrated — Elvis’ movie soundtrack work. Always a fast-moving, flabbergasting musical rampage. — Jonny Whiteside