The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend
Swamp Dogg plays The Echo this Friday.
Photo by Robert Matheu
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!
Friday, January 9
Swamp Dogg, Bobby Patterson
Swamp Dogg and Bobby Patterson are two wild cats whose tag-team billing represents a funk-soul summit of rare and arousingly apocalyptic proportions. Swamp Dogg, of course, has been flipping lids since the late 1960s with his brilliant, biting brand of psych-funk philosophizing, while esteemed Texas soul shaman Patterson has been raising temperatures and stopping hearts for just as long. Even more appealing, each roars in with a superb new album: Dogg’s characteristically provocative study on matters of race, The White Man Made Me Do It, and Patterson’s penetrating, achingly perfected I Got More Soul. No one’s resting on any musty old laurels, and when you mix in a special appearance by Vera Lee, Swamp Dogg’s 91-year-old mama, this gig assumes unparalleled, triple-whammy proportions. — Jonny Whiteside
A couple of years ago, a set of photos showing bands using hollowed-out amps and cabs as stage props went viral. This husband-and-wife sludge-metal duo answers the question of what it would sound like if all those amps were really plugged in. The duo’s albums are quite heavy in their own right, but live they crank up their wall of amps to 11, resulting in a thunderous din that rattles teeth and tests the limits of any venue’s sound system. They pull this off with only vocals, guitars and a drumkit, with not a single bass to be found. Jucifer’s newest album, District of Dystopia, is more in the fast-paced, thrashier grindcore vein than the rest of their catalog, but the raw power of their core downtuned sound is still well-preserved. — Jason Roche
In years to come, when the history of the New Garage Rock Revival is being written — or listicled, more likely — somebody needs to make sure Fullerton’s Audacity get their rightful place at the front. For years now, they’ve been the good stuff incarnate, and their newest 45 on Suicide Squeeze is one more worthy slice of wax: A-side “Counting the Days” is like Bleach-y Nirvana and Milo-era Descendents with a Thin Lizzy twin-guitar break in the middle, and the B-side is a cover of Delta 5’s “Mind Your Own Business,” done like Le Shok’s vicious year-2000 version. It starts like Flipper’s “Sex Bomb” and grinds that distinctive riff to a nub, ending up like something from X’s Aspirations LP. (That’s the Australian X — yes, there is another!) Plus they’re absolutely relentless live, too. Go see them in person to see how it’s really done. — Chris Ziegler
Saturday, January 10
THE FONDA THEATRE
As part of the burgeoning Minneapolis alt-rock scene of the mid-’80s that also spawned The Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks’ blend of rock and country helped usher in a new brand of alternative rock. While the band’s most productive years were well over a decade ago, they are reuniting this year after a short hiatus in support of September’s reissues of Sound of Lies, Smile and Rainy Day Music. These were the records that followed co-founder Mark Olson’s departure in 1995. The group’s 1997 touring lineup, led by Gary Louris, will be playing material primarily from those three albums, since those songs have largely disappeared from the band’s live show in recent years. — Daniel Kohn
Chris Potter will be part of the Jazz Bakery's "Movable Feast" series at New Roads School on Saturday.
Photo by Tamas Talaber
Saturday, January 10 (cont'd)
EL REY THEATRE
Newish, much buzzed-about U.K. outfit Snakehips return to North America for a second tour of mostly sold-out dates. The production and remix duo, highly influenced by ’90s R&B and golden-era hip-hop, gained global listenership with future-soul/electronica singles “On & On” and “Days Without You,” along with genre-blurring remixes for The Weeknd, Banks and Raury. Self-professed “suckers for anything with cool soul samples and old drum beats,” Oliver Lee and James Carter have had quite an active 2014, finishing up North American and European tours and performing at such acclaimed musical festivals as Glastonbury and Longitude. A Snakehips show is usually a high-energy one, marked by custom visuals, lighting and sonic excellence. — Jacqueline Michael Whatley
As an occasional music journalist and longtime songwriter, Ian Hunter has always been more willing than most musicians to demystify the rock industry. His bleary-eyed 1972 journal, Diary of a Rock ’n’ Roll Star, written during a tour with his old band Mott the Hoople, was one of the first truly incisive and revealing autobiographies by a classic rocker. When Hunter wasn’t commenting on the history surrounding him in memorable glitter-pop anthems such as “The Golden Age of Rock ’n’ Roll,” he was making it, bridging the gap between David Bowie and fervent Mott acolytes The Clash. Apart from several Mott the Hoople reunions in 2009 and 2013, Hunter has mainly focused on his extensive solo career, from collaborations with the brilliant late guitar hero Mick Ronson to a new live album with his current backing group, the Rant Band. — Falling James
ANN & JERRY MOSS THEATER, NEW ROADS SCHOOL
The Jazz Bakery continues to sponsor “Movable Feast” shows around Los Angeles while still hoping to build a new facility in downtown Culver City. Saturday’s program marks both its first concert of 2015 as well as the first major public jazz event at the Moss Theater on the campus of the New Roads School in Santa Monica, part of the Herb Alpert Educational Village. The 342-seat performance space features acoustics tuned by Yasuhisa Toyota, who also provided services for Disney Hall. Tonight’s show features the fine saxophonist Chris Potter, who’s been most recently touring with Pat Metheny’s Unity Band, backed by a trio of L.A.’s finest: pianist Alan Pasqua, bassist Darek Oles and drummer Peter Erskine. — Tom Meek
Sunday, January 11
MCCABE'S GUITAR SHOP
Scottish singer-songwriter Midge Ure’s unusually diverse résumé belies his relatively modest stateside profile. He snagged a U.K. No. 1 single in his early 20s (“Forever and Ever,” with bubblegum poppers Slik); enjoyed a decade of European success with new-wave mainstays Ultravox; was a Rich Kid alongside ex–Sex Pistol Glen Matlock; co-founded Band Aid (co-writing “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and co-organizing 1985’s Live Aid concert); and, perhaps most incongruously, was a touring member of Thin Lizzy. But a cult hero he rightly remains: His 7:30 p.m. acoustic performance at the decidedly intimate McCabe’s promptly sold out, so a second (separately ticketed) set has been added at 9:30. Ure’s latest full-length, July’s throwback-synthy Fragile, retains the man’s signature atmospheric yet optimistic sense of melody and finely grained, deceptively flexible vocal timbre. — Paul Rogers
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