The Best Free Concerts to See in L.A. This April

The Giving Tree BandEXPAND
The Giving Tree Band
Photo courtesy of the artist

Thursday, April 2
The Giving Tree Band, The Cerny Brothers

PAPPY & HARRIET'S PIONEERTOWN PALACE
Yeah, sure, we wish Pappy & Harriet's was just a little closer, but when they give us free shows like this? We can't really complain. Catch popular "new age outlaw" folk-rock act The Giving Tree Band as they prepare for the release of their new live album (sixth in total), Like a Freight Train, out April 7, paired with a concert film of the same name. The group has added a few new favorite tracks since they toured with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros in 2013, so if you do make the drive, it will be well worth it. Especially with the ever-so-charming Americana rockers The Cerny Brothers in tow.

Monday, April 6
CalArts Soundstream 2015

THE TROUBADOUR
One of the most anticipated events of the year for current students at talent-factory CalArts, the annual Soundstream showcase gives the college's musicians a chance to play on one of the most famous stages in music at the Troubadour. Taking things outside the metaphorical music box, performers bring the kind of outlandish originality that's synonymous with "art school," introducing the audience to "future R&B" and other equally innovative genres. Whether you're looking for some new fresh faces in the live music scene, or you just want to know what the heck "psychedelic children's rock" sounds like, Soundstream is the place to be.

Matt and KimEXPAND
Matt and Kim
Photo courtesy of The Windish Agency

Tuesday, April 7
Matt and Kim

AMOEBA MUSIC
Notoriously upbeat indie pop duo Matt and Kim celebrate their forthcoming release, New Glow, with a live performance and a special treat for attendees who purchase the album at Amoeba that day (signed posters!). Considering the group is known for spreading smiles like a contagion, we suggest wearing comfortable shoes, because there's no way you're not going to dance — no matter how packed that record store is gonna be. Performance starts at 6 p.m. 

Wednesday, April 8
DJ Mark Ronson

AMOEBA MUSIC
Celebrating the vinyl release of his latest album, January's Uptown Special — which topped the U.K. charts and won a Brit Award for British Single of the Year for the infectious "Uptown Funk" — prolific producer Mark Ronson plays a special DJ set at Amoeba, along with a record signing if you buy the album in store (but you better hurry, the signing is capped at 200). Featuring an array of collaborators, including Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder, Tame Impala's Kevin Parker and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, who wrote some of the lyrics, Uptown Special is arguably Ronson's best work to date — and he's the guy that produced Amy Winehouse's "Rehab." Performance starts at 6 p.m. 

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Saturday, April 11
Nedelle Torrisi

ORIGAMI VINYL
What do you get when an ex-nun/pianist and an ex-priest/jazz drummer have a kid? You get Nedelle Torrisi, an L.A.-based classical violinist who's toured with the likes of Of Montreal, Deerhoof, Jens Lekman and Xiu Xiu, sung on albums for Ariel Pink and Sufjan Stevens, and also plays in one of Asthmatic Kitty Record's leading indie pop acts, Cryptacize. Her 2013 self-titled album (produced by Kenneth Gilmore of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti) was originally only available online. Now, Torrisi celebrates its re-release under the title Advice From Paradise, named after the love advice column she started writing in 2013, which currently runs in Flood magazine (formerly Filter).  

Louder Than Long Beach with The Slivers, The Skabbs and more
CULTURAL ALLIANCE LONG BEACH
Three-piece female punk group The Slivers are nitty, gritty and noisy, as well as a testament that you can't measure a band by their number of Facebook followers. Joined by fellow punkers The Skabbs, Die Grimm Die and others, they'll be providing a daytime mosh pit in downtown Long Beach. Performances from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 18
Badlands

CALARTS, THE WILD BEAST
Badlands is the project of Adrian Chi Tenney, a musician who can hold down basically any instrument, as she does on her 2013 debut So Little. She's been floating around the L.A. scene since she played drums in Together Pangea back in 2009 on one of their earliest releases, the Never Not Know Nothing EP. Now she's focused on forming her own stripped-down sound, one that's been described as "desert punk" but is also so gorgeous, so personal, that it almost feels sacred, like a look into the most intimate pages of Tenney's journal or a keepsake box hidden under her bed. Check her out at CalArts' spring concert series The Wild Beast, where she and her band will be performing new songs from her latest 7-inch, "Dark Dreams," Show starts at 5 p.m.

Record Store Day
ORIGAMI VINYL
If you don't feel like driving all the way out to CalArts in Valencia (we don't blame you, it's like 120 degrees out there), Origami Vinyl has something special up its sleeves to celebrate international not-really-a-holiday-but-might-as-well-be Record Store Day, which happens the third Saturday of April every year. Surprises include DJs spinning in-store and live band performances, as well as other to-be-announced goodies. 

Colleen Green
Colleen Green
Courtesy of the artist

Sunday, April 26
KXLU Fest II
 
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY
Long-time local college radio favorite 88.9 FM KXLU presents the second installment of KXLU Fest, an all-day, all-ages, all-L.A.-based cornucopia of music, art, zines and vegan cupcakes (!). This year's line-up is so impressive we actually can't believe it's free, but it is — even the parking. Seriously a miracle. Come watch The Muffs, Tony Molina, La Sera, Colleen Green and Bad Habits as they perform atop Loyola Marymount's iconic bluff overlooking gorgeous Marina del Rey. Pop-up shops from Burger and Lolipop Records, L.A. Record, Rock n' Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles and more will also be set-up on the campus's O'Malley Lawn, as well as live T-shirt screen printing by Hard Feelings Records and food by Clara Cakes and Alexander's Greek Kitchen, which we recently named the "most punk new restaurant in L.A." We just have one question: Why does it have to be a month away? 


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