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Friday, August 29
On the title track of his seventh album, Manipulator, Ty Segall takes the punk fuzz guitars and garage-rock keyboards of his early days and braids them together into a newly psychedelic swarm of sounds, his ethereal voice riding coolly above it all. By the very next track, “Tall Man Skinny Lady,” his disembodied vocals float over a similarly psychedelic stew of squealing lead guitars — a deliciously weird contrast. Elements of glitter rock ram into more primitive strains of garage, broken up occasionally by trippy ballads such as “The Singer,” on which Segall’s hazy lyrics are filled out with an unexpected string section. Newly relocated to L.A., the prolific performer usually dashes off albums in a couple of days, but he reportedly spent a full month recording Manipulator with producer Chris Woodhouse. Also Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31. —Falling James
Retro Futura Tour
This paradoxically named tour points out the contradiction of once-forward-thinking new wave bands touring now on the oldies circuit. In the early ’80s, groups such as Thompson Twins and Ultravox generally ditched the guitar-heavy approach of ’70s classic-rock bands in favor of adventurous synths riding over postpunk and disco rhythms, but over the ensuing decades, that radical approach has become fairly commonplace. Tonight, Thompson Twins leader Tom Bailey takes a detour from his recent audiovisual experiments in the Bailey-Salgado Project for a nostalgic walk through the past, Midge Ure reprises his hits with Ultravox, and synth man Howard Jones croons his mechanized funk-pop songs. China Crisis’ lightweight pop has only become blander over the years, while former Katrina & the Waves diva Katrina Leskanich is still walking on sunshine but has always been influenced more by vintage Motown pop than new wave. —Falling James
Saturday, August 30
Made in America Festival with Kanye West, Iggy Azalea, Imagine Dragons
After spending two successive Labor Day weekends in Philadelphia, the Jay Z–curated, Budweiser-sponsored Made in America makes an ambitious leap westward. Despite all the apprehension by locals and what has been at times tepid support from city officials, the festival’s first incarnation features some of the biggest names in pop music. With stage names that celebrate the city’s flair, the weekend’s festivities boast as headliners firebrand Kanye West, current hip-hop princess Iggy Azalea, John Mayer and Imagine Dragons. Add to the equation local favorites Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, along with a smorgasbord of electronica outfits, and this concert differentiates itself from the slew of other large-scale events in the city by unabashedly catering to the mainstream, which may not be a bad thing. Also Sunday, Aug. 31. —Daniel Kohn
This Eagle Rock quartet’s missionary garb is a symbol of its dedication to “rock out,” not preach gospel. So no, they’re not part of the LDS church but they’re just as pesky. Since 1998, until its recent closure, they were the unofficial house band at Mr. T’s Bowl. They’re also notorious for taking their show to the streets like punk-rock guerrillas, crashing Coachella and the storefront of Amoeba with two battery-powered amps, a megaphone and a sound influenced by Devo, Dead Kennedys and The Voidoids. On Saturday, they celebrate 16 years of being a DIY punk band that’s wacky enough to write an anthem for fleeing authorities. Badtown Boys, The Black Widows and Bloody Brains join L.A.’s geek-punk misfits for a Sweet Sixteen celebration that should get weird. —Art Tavana
Sunday, August 31
Burger Presents with OFF!, Jacuzzi Boys, Cherry Glazerr
Fullerton’s low-down/hi-cred label and record store throws a moist ’n’ meaty all-day barbecue/musical feast featuring choice-cut teen-beat combos to suit every taste. Garage-rock stylizers Jacuzzi Boys will be there, and L.A. dreamy punk-rock trio Cherry Glazerr, too; also Portland’s punk ragnarok White Fang, lo-fi indie legend R. Stevie Moore (who plays selections from his 400-plus cassette releases), equally legendary weird funk icon Gary Wilson, and a varied batch of somehow relevant other artists including Lovely Bad Things, The Blank Tapes, Colleen Green, Adult Books, Beach Party, Girlpool, Wax Children, The Buttertones, French Vanilla, Palm Reader, Sultan Bathery, Los Craters, NO-FI and — got room for dessert? — impassioned, funny and wholly impure punk rock from ex–Black Flag/Circle Jerks dude Keith Morris and his jumpin’, jackin’ OFF! —John Payne
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This guitar phenom just released his debut album, Boiling High Idol, an uncategorizable mash-up of punk, electronica, Balkan folk melodies and unending, repeated melodic fragments that will leave you delighted and stimulated, if it doesn’t drive you to madness first. You’d think it’s the work of a lunatic, or maybe just a smart and friendly guy who shreds on guitar and cites experimental hip-hop group Death Grips as his latest inspiration. If he decided to focus on jazz guitar, Noice would be the next up-and-comer, but he’s too deep into other muses to do that, plus it’s hard to feel like you wanna jump off a stage at a jazz concert. His current band is a six-piece group with saxophone and two opera singers. If you like horror movies and Steve Reich serialism, this is for you. —Gary Fukushima
Arsonists Get All the Girls
This Santa Cruz quintet certainly looks all deathcore — unison crab-squats, illegible logo T-shirts, confrontational frontman — and, in earlier incarnations, they checked many of that oversaturated genre’s sonic boxes. But a decade and many, many members later, AGAtG has become something altogether more oblique, restless and just plain intriguing. The kick drums remain Grad rocket–relentless; Remi Rodberg’s fearsome vocal utterances are still mostly indecipherable retching; and the riffs chop and chug like possessed pile drivers. But then quasicomical, carnivalesque keyboards and mutant-jazz interludes waft an air of flippant psychedelia across the sheer heaviness. The Mr. Bungle of the selfie generation, Arsonists Get All the Girls are what all of their ilk could grow into, if only they had the talent and the balls. —Paul Rogers
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