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The Best Concerts to See In L.A. This Weekend

Dawn of Sequins Friday See
Dawn of Sequins Friday See
Photo courtesy of Dawn of Sequins

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

Friday, January 3

FOMO Fest  

THE ECHO & THE ECHOPLEX

If you play it right, FOMO Fest could be a one-stop guilt killer for all of your music-related New Year's resolution needs. Is your goal to go to more shows? Check. To break outside the top 40? Check. To find a new favorite band? Check. To impress your friends? Check. To just make better mix CDs? Check. Presented by the people behind Echo Park Rising, among others, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) Fest is designed to prevent you from realizing that fear, with acts handpicked because they deserve exactly the amount of attention they're not getting (yet). (Think "buzz bands" but without the eye-rolling.) Artists including Avid Dancer, Fever the Ghost, Bogan Via and others, some from Southern California and some from far from it, will fill both the Echo and the Echoplex with dream pop, retro rock, psychedelia, freak folk and, well, you get it. Don't miss out. (That's kind of the point.) --Kelsey Whipple

Blackmore

TROUBADOUR

Despite their relatively short time as a band, Blackmore have built a solid following in the tight-knit metal community. The quintet has won accolades with nary a recording to its name, but 2014 is shaping up to be a big year for the group. Less than two months ago, guitarist Vahan Aslanyan replaced Jack Heldt, and this will be one of the band's first shows with him in the lineup. Add to that the readying of their debut EP, slated for release early this year with guitarist Sonny Mayo (Ugly Kid Joe, Sevendust, Snot) handling production duties, and a summer tour in the works. --Daniel Kohn

Feral Kizzy, Dawn of Sequins

PEHRSPACE

Dawn of Sequins claim to be "a multigenerational, electronic-pop group from the Sequin Islands, the traditional center of sequin manufacturing for Europe, Asia and most of the Americas." But on closer inspection, they really appear to be led by married couple Eli and Mary Chartkoff, from local indie-pop bands The Monolators and Cobra Lilies. Although the couple insists that their repertoire includes such ancient peasant anthems as "The Maiden Wente to the Shoppe to Buy Sequins There for Her Sweater, Which Was Bejewell'd With the Face of a Kitten on It," their glittery tunes have much of the Monolators' endearing simplicity, with Eli Chartkoff's unique, almost-androgynous vocals and garage-rock guitars kept in line by Mary Chartkoff's matter-of-fact drumming. Long Beach sextet Feral Kizzy has a contrastingly harder and heavier sound with plenty of lurid menace, as charismatic lead singer Kizzy Kirk coolly warns an unknown rival, "I'd rather be in my shoes ... [as] opposed to your stolen stilettos." --Falling James

Chicano Batman

THE BOOTLEG

It's been a big year for L.A.'s Chicano Batman: They released their rejuvenating Joven Navegante LP, did their first-ever all ages show, toured Japan and got to experience a medium-sized Japanese earthquake while there. But the band's 2014 is going to be something else entirely, thanks to the long-long-long awaited release of a new Chicano Batman album. February full-length Cycles of Existential Rhyme includes the three songs from this year's Magma EP, itself an especially potent distillation of Chicano Batman's endlessly versatile prog-soul-cumbia-garage-and-that's-just-the-first-verse style, and promises an interpretation of "Stoned Soul Picnic," too. Like Thee Midniters, Os Mutantes and Love, Chicano Batman can take from any kind of music and make it completely and soulfully their own. If there's a better superpower for a band to have, I can't think of it. --Chris Ziegler

See also: Chicano Batman, Caped Crusader

Saturday, January 4

Chain and the Gang, 
Pizza! and more

THE SMELL

Hard to believe it was a whole other century back when the Smell started, in a little storefront next to the Aroma when the Metro Red Line stop across the street was just a hole in the ground. Sixteen years later, the now-downtown Smell is an all-ages incubator and institution, too, the place where a giant proportion of the musicians that make L.A. really feel like L.A. -- not just No Age, et al., but Nosaj Thing, Dam-Funk and more -- all helped build something special. Day one of this two-day Sweet 16 show is on Friday, headlined by the invigorating Moses Campbell with tons more I can't fit here. Today's day-two show matches cross-country Smell semi-regular Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysses, Make Up, books you need in your pocket) with ex-XBXRX mainstay Vice Cooler, reunited art-punk-pop band Pizza! and more, plus a few extremely formidable DJs. --Chris Ziegler

Heather Reid

THE HOTEL CAFÉ

Heather Reid was best known as part of New York indie-pop duo The Murmurs, where she collaborated with The L Word actress Leisha Hailey (who later went on to play in Uh Huh Her). However, Reid has done so much more since The Murmurs' heyday in the 1990s, including working again with Hailey in the group Gush around the turn of this century before venturing off a few years later with Redcar. She has co-written a hit single ("Don't Bother") for Shakira, penned her own musical, Dear Bernard, and has finally gotten around to releasing her debut solo album, Cross Words. New romantic songs like "Ivy" feature gentle acoustic-guitar strumming, empathetic violins and Reid's charmingly personal vocals. --Falling James

Sunday, January 5

Elvis Presley Birthday Bash

The ECHO

The occasion of the 79th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth gets a particularly regal acknowledgement at this year's Presley-venerating musical revue, with visits from such all-too-rarely seen, '80s-era L.A. roots potentates as Emy Bruzzo, the intoxicatingly perfect vocalist who flipped everyone's lids way back when with The Red Devils, and a most welcome visit (from his adopted Belgium home), by incomparable Blasters keyboard king Gene Taylor. There's a bevy of stunning seniors participating also: early-'60s soul-pop empress Ketty Lester, of "Love Letters" renown, the one and only Rod McKuen, the wild, wild, wild Troy Walker and that struttin', super-freaky bop cat Jimmy Angel. With an additional army of local lights and louts (Lisa Finnie, Groovy Rednecks, South Bay Surfers, dozens more), this one is definitely gonna seriously scuff up those blue suedes. --Jonny Whiteside

See also: Between Nowhere: Lisa Marie Presley

Acre Foot, Tone Drift Trio

CENTER FOR THE ARTS, EAGLE ROCK

Leave your preconceived notions at the door for the non-genre musical valiantry of these brave new ensembles. Acre Foot features a welcome return to action from Kaoru, a singer/mouthnoise artist, who will without notice spontaneously morph into something else entirely via electronic effects, and the post-post-chamber-jazz/contempo-classical sculpturing of electric guitarist Carey Fosse, along with bassist Darryl Tewes and percussionist Brad Dutz. Tone Drift Trio is G.E. Stinson on electric ax, digital toodlebug Steuart Liebig on bass guitar/electronics and Kris Tiner on trumpet and flugelhorn. Together they're three new-thing masters making shape-shifting aural landscapes pulled right out of the air -- and their own ears, of course. Note that admission for this choice event is a paltry 10 bucks and that students and seniors get in for half-price; loads of free parking, too. --John Payne

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Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

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