This Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week

See Monday: Nine Inch NailsEXPAND
See Monday: Nine Inch Nails
Photo courtesy of the artist

Monday, August 25

Nine Inch Nails, ?Soundgarden
When Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden emerged in the 1980s, they were each going in strikingly different directions. Cleveland’s Nine Inch Nails combined the awesome force of industrial music with dark metallic leanings, and came off as stirringly new and forward-thinking. Starting a couple years earlier in 1984, Soundgarden rose out of the vibrant chaos of punk and the ensuing cerebral reinventions of postpunk to crank up a sound that was decidedly evocative of heavy metal, launching a revival of more safely comforting rock sounds, which paved the way for grunge. Usually when rock bands end up at the Hollywood Bowl, it means that their critical mass has already peaked and they’re on the long, slow side into nostalgia. But NIN’s recent tours still have the power to unsettle. —Falling James

Tuesday, August 26

Allan Holdsworth
Englishman Allan Holdsworth is one of the most highly respected guitarists of the past several decades, cited by legions of fellow players, including Eddie Van Halen, as a major inspiration. Holdsworth first came to prominence in the New Tony Williams Lifetime band of the mid-1970s, and while Holdsworth has most often remained close to his jazz-fusion roots, he’s also had stays in the groups U.K. and Level 42. Tonight’s show at Hollywood’s King King is his first in Los Angeles in two years. He’s joined by fellow virtuosos Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets) on bass and Australian Virgil Donati, often cited as having the best feet of any drummer in the world; Holdsworth recorded with Donati on the terrific 2007 album Quantum by Planet X. —Tom Meek

Wednesday, August 27

Lee “Scratch” Perry
Eccentric, innovative, slightly demented and thoroughly brilliant, venerable Jamaican studio shaman Lee “Scratch” Perry’s romance with the groove continues to pop, crackle and blaze with unabated passion. The unhinged auteur has well and truly gone the full reggae route, from his start hustling records for sound-system pioneer Coxsone Dodd to his late ‘60s Upsetters discs like “Return of Django” to rivaling King Tubby as one of mid-’70s dub’s most artistically aggressive studio wizards. Along the way, Perry famously torched his Black Ark studios and burnished his always wildly checkered reputation with a series of outrageous business stunts. Yet he never lost sight of the one critical, constant thing in his fabulously chaotic life: making great music. Expect nothing less. Also at Santa Monica Pier, Thursday, Aug. 28. —Jonny Whiteside

Thursday, August 28

Trance Farmers, Sun Araw, ?Odd Nosdam
Leaving Records’ new signees Trance Farmers are gonna be right at home in the L.A. freak scene. If you’ve already signed on for the lo-fi postpunk-as–hip-hop of Vex Ruffin, the overcranked Hasil Adkins–isms of Restavrant, or that first beautifully indistinct White Fence LP, you’ll enjoy plenty of, “Dude, do we know each other?” moments during Trance Farmers’ new full-length, Dixie Crystals. And if not, you’ll still experience happy flashes of recognition, as long as you’ve spent a little time floating along the fringe. “Dream Train,” for example, taps that Syd Barrett spirit, while “Fume” builds on the blissed-out/bleaked-out psych-dub that served Brightblack Morning Light so well. Like a lot of Leaving acts, Trance Farmers are in-betweeners — there’s something from everything here, but not in the way you’d expect. With local visionaries Sun Araw and Odd Nosdam, as well. ?—Chris Ziegler

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