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Friday, November 14
Slayer remains the heaviest of the “Big Four” of thrash metal — out-shredding Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax — more than 30 years into their career. Their seminal 1986 release Reign in Blood is 29 minutes of scorching thrash that still inspires some of the most violent headbanging anywhere. But fans would have understood if the SoCal metal greats called it quits after a tumultuous 2013. Weathering a storm that included the acrimonious departure of drummer Dave Lombardo and the tragic death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman, remaining band founders Tom Araya and Kerry King are moving forward with a new as-yet-untitled album in 2015, alongside returning ’90s Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt. This show – shockingly, the band’s first-ever performance at the Forum — should be a good indicator of what the future holds for the veteran act. — Jason Roche
Flying Lotus, Thundercat
As overheard at a recent record swap, when the subject of Flying Lotus’ new album came up: “Fuck all those new guitar bands, this is psychedelic!” And you know what? That guy was right. Producer and L.A. beat music visionary Lotus’ latest, You’re Dead!, goes beyond the beyond both musically and philosophically, with world-class guests like Herbie Hancock, Snoop and Kendrick Lamar barely keeping their component atoms together as FlyLo dives into a future-perfect version of jazz fusion. Or considering how explosive this album is, maybe it’s jazz fission? Either way, it’s ambitious, artistic and dedicated to exploring the infinite. Opener Thundercat is one of Lotus’ most committed fellow travelers, with preternatural bass capability and the fearlessness to go with it. — Chris Ziegler
Foster the People
SHRINE AUDITORIUM & EXPO CENTER
Foster the People continue to ride the wave from 2011’s Torches more so than gaining ground with this year’s Supermodel. Supermodel trades Torches’ studio-generated sounds for organic ones, pulled from various spots on the globe. The percussive African rhythms of “Are You What You Want to Be?” and the undulating Spanish guitars of “Nevermind” give way to modern-day psychedelia with the electric layers of “Pseudologica Fantastica” and the intricately shaped grinder, “A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying the Moon.” In contrast, “Goats in Trees” and “Fire Escape” are wholly acoustic, the latter so stripped down, it feels unfinished. Supermodel is most like Torches’ crafted exuberance on the rumbling bass lines, pretty synths and candy-coated vocals of “Ask Yourself” and the warbling riffs of “Coming of Age.” Supermodel isn’t as instantly gratifying as its predecessor, but it’s a steady grower. — Lily Moayeri
Sabine Trio (Hard Bop Chicks)
EPIC BAR & LOUNGE
Russian pianist Sabine (born Yelena Koshelevskaya) arrived in L.A. some years ago. Her love of jazz began here, following an upbringing of classical piano in Moscow. While she credits graduate studies at USC with introducing her to America’s classical music, Sabine’s stylistic preferences are straight out of New York post-bebop traditions, as she willingly steps into difficult music from such icons as Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. Sabine released a 2010 CD of her own music recorded live in L.A. with bassist Tony Dumas and the late Ralph Penland on drums. Her latest project is an all-female trio she calls “Hard Bop Chicks,” with bassist Sherry Luchette and drummer Rivkah Ross. They’re appearing at the Epic in Sherman Oaks, a space jazz fans formerly knew as Spazio. — Tom Meek
Saturday, November 15
After 15 years of peppering his hip-hop with some of the most intricate wordplay in rap, Busdriver has achieved the ultimate status — realizing that he has Perfect Hair, on his 10th album. The artist formerly known as Regan Farquhar is looking backward with the first track, “Retirement Ode,” but it turns out the local rapper isn’t close to settling down. Even as he recites a fanciful list of the album’s expenses (“The studio time at our home studios cost half a million Brazilian reals per lockout session”), Busdriver boasts, “I’m a frequent flyer and a decent liar,” before admitting, “I’m not a cool dad nor a new fad.” With the help of Pegasus Warning, he attempts to “Colonize the Moon” and moves into full freak mode with Open Mike Eagle on “When the Tooth-Lined Horizon Blinks.” — Falling James
The Yellow Payges
CODY'S VIVA CANTINA
The Yellow Payges were hard-rocking, psych-pop originators from the circa-’66 “Riot-on–Sunset Strip” scene, and far more than just a Hollywood sensation. They toured for a solid year with Eric Burdon and The Animals in ’68, and were the first rock band ever to record a Jimmy Webb song, the penetrating Vietnam-era classic “Our Time is Running Out,” which Webb personally brought them. After management signed a 1970 deal with AT&T to promote telephone books, the kids perceived ’em as squares, and it all went south. Resurrected by original singer Daniel Hortter and ferocious drummer Danny Gorman, and ably augmented by brilliant guitar slingers Dave Provost and Mike Livingston, they’ve only done a handful of shows since reforming a year or so ago, but each delivers scads of high rock & roll adventure. — Jonny Whiteside
Sunday, November 16
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EL REY THEATRE
To many, Daniel Lanois is known as one of the preeminent producers in rock history. The Canadian’s production credits include U2’s The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, as well as work with luminaries like Bob Dylan, Neil Young and more recently, The Killers. Though not as renowned as his work for others, the 63-year-old’s solo material is just as exploratory and intricate in itself. In late October, Lanois released the ambient Flesh and Machine to critical plaudits. What separates him from other producers-turned–solo artists is that Lanois is willing to push the creative boundaries of his sound by going beyond traditional song structure. After he’s done showcasing his latest solo work, he’ll likely having A-list rockers waiting for their turn to work with him. — Daniel Kohn