Los Angeles is a hotbed of live music, and L.A. Weekly is here to help navigate this embarrassment of riches. From Japanese garage rockers to the farewell tour of one Sir Elton John, a night of drum & bass and an all-female Iron Maiden tribute band, here are the 12 best music shows in L.A. this week!

fri 1/18

The Flesh Eaters, Mudhoney


In recent years, late-1970s L.A. punks The Flesh Eaters reunited out of the blue for a few shows that emphasized what a powerfully dark and compulsive live force they can be. With the release of a sarcastically titled new album, I Used to Be Pretty, lead howler/mastermind Chris D. has pulled off an even more impressive carny trick — avoiding the nostalgic pitfalls of other reunions by putting out a fulsomely satisfying mix of unusual covers and strong original material. Mr. D. applies his morbidly mournful vocals to remakes of classics by The Sonics, The Gun Club and Peter Green–era Fleetwood Mac, and such sprawling, psychedelicized tracks as jazzy-blues freakout “The Youngest Profession” and the 13-minute incantation “Ghost Cave Lament” evoke the febrile intensity of the early Flesh Eaters. Seattle grunge stalwarts Mudhoney give the bill a double shot of raw power. Also at the Echoplex, Saturday, Jan. 19. —Falling James

Glitter Trash


Led by statuesque punk hellraiser Jenna Talia (one of the great punk monikers, by the way), Glitter Trash came to L.A. by way of Detroit — Talia relocating here and putting together a new lineup of the group that she gigged with back east for years. She joined forces with fellow Michigan native and gunslinger Loren Molinare, who also plays with proto-punks The Dogs, Michael Des Barre's Mistakes and hard rockers Little Caesar, and now Glitter Trash is killing it on this side of the country. As the name suggests, Glitter Trash plays sleazy, filthy punk & roll, with healthy dollops of New York Dolls, Jayne County, the Dead Boys and the Plasmatics. The Cocks and Bitch Please complete what looks like a riotous lineup. —Brett Callwood

Mustard Plub; Credit: Bryan Kremkau

Mustard Plub; Credit: Bryan Kremkau

sat 1/19

Mustard Plug


Born in the conservative outpost of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1991, ska-punk band Mustard Plug have split and re-formed before but they've now been a going concern for a solid 12 years and they're on the top of their game. That said, it's now been five years (almost exactly) since Can't Contain It, their seventh studio album. That needs to change, guys. For now, we'll have to content ourselves with the fact that they're very likely the best ska-punk outfit on the circuit outside of SoCal. The Viper Room is a great room in which to see a band like this — it'll very likely devolve into a sweaty mess and there's no point fighting it. Just dance. The Phenomenauts, Matamoska and Stupid Flanders also play. —Brett Callwood

The Iron Maidens


To some, the idea of a female Iron Maiden tribute band seems like a total gimmick, à la AC/DShe, The Missfits and Cheap Chick. In fact, though, these women are all accomplished musicians in their own right, and this band has been around since 2001. That's 18 years of fine-tuning a show that, at this point, is actually spectacular. Drummer Linda McDonald was a founding member of '80s hair rockers Phantom Blue, a band that scored a couple of MTV hits (“Why Call It Love” is a killer power ballad) and were signed to Geffen. Aided by vocalist Kirsten Rosenberg, bassist Wanda Ortiz and guitarists Courtney Cox and Nikki Stringfield, the Maidens have created something special. Madman's Lullaby, The Hots, Fierce Justice, Tara Black and Seeing Red also play. —Brett Callwood

RNB Rewind Fest


The fourth installment of the annual RNB Rewind Fest sees TLC and Bell Biv DeVoe top a bill of nostalgic soul. With 65 million records sold, TLC are the best-selling American girl group of all time (second only to The Spice Girls worldwide). So we can expect beloved hits such as “Creep,” “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs” at the Microsoft. Of course, the absence of Left Eye still hits hard, but it's good to see the other members getting out there. Bell Biv DeVoe, of course, was formed by the members of New Edition who weren't Bobby Brown (or, in fact, Ralph Tresvant). Let's face it, “Poison” is a banger. Mya, Ginuwine, 112, Dru Hill, Next and Choc also perform, and comedian Katt Williams hosts. —Brett Callwood

sun 1/20



The's are best known to casual observers for their appearance in Quentin Tarantino's 2003 film Kill Bill: Vol. 1, but die-hard fans of garage and surf rock have been following the band since their start in Tokyo in 1986. Lead singer/guitarist Yoshiko “Ronnie” Fujiyama and her drummer-sister Sachiko Fujii have played with varying lineups ever since, and they are augmented these days by longtime bassist Akiko Omo. Ronnie's crude guitar solos, Akiko's basic bass lines and Sachiko's stripped-down drumming might seem simple, but the trio's combination of Japanese-language originals and remakes of vintage rockabilly, R&B and garage-rock songs are nonetheless insanely catchy. In adapting American roots music with a Japanese twist, The's kick up a sound that is wildly groovy and always fun. Also on the bill: The Rhythm Shakers and Los Hurricanes. —Falling James

Cassandra Violet; Credit: Morgan Demeter

Cassandra Violet; Credit: Morgan Demeter

mon 1/21

Cassandra Violet


“You're an invisible man, I catch you when I can,” Cassandra Violet coos on her 2017 single, “Invisible Man.” But even as she muses about a disappearing lover, the local singer keeps the mood ebullient with sugary melodies. Violet is similarly effusive on “Drinking Song” as she finds herself “crying on the floor” alone after a legendary night of partying. On the title track of her 2016 EP, Body & Mind, she shows a more contemplative side, singing restlessly while wrapped in a cloak of solemn piano and bewitching harmonies. The folk-country idyll “Lady” is similarly engrossing as Violet reveals a more rocking persona in contrast to the bubbly pop of her more recent singles. She's part of a loaded bill with January resident Jen Awad, Disco Shrine, Sarah Ault & the Super Natural and Polartropica. —Falling James

Michael Nesmith; Credit: Andrew Sandoval/Beatland Tours Inc.

Michael Nesmith; Credit: Andrew Sandoval/Beatland Tours Inc.

tue 1/22

Michael Nesmith


At age 76, Michael Nesmith has been on a roll recently. Not only has the singer-guitarist finally embraced his past as a member of The Monkees in tours with Micky Dolenz in the past few years but he also has drawn from his underrated solo career, in which he paved the way for numerous musicians by mixing rock and country long before it was considered hip. Tonight, Papa Nes revisits his 1972 solo album, And the Hits Just Keep on Comin', accompanied by guitarist Pete Finney, who will evoke the parts originally played by the late pedal-steel maestro Red Rhodes. And Hits is an unusual record, with such thoughtful ballads as “The Upside of Goodbye” and a homespun, intimate version of the early Linda Ronstadt hit “Different Drum” delivered with little more than stripped-down guitars. —Falling James

Fiona Grey


Whether she's backed by just an acoustic guitarist or pulling out all the showy stops in a full-band performance augmented by her crew of sexy dancers, Fiona Grey radiates star power and endless charisma. Decked out onstage in a long, sheer wedding veil, white boots and matching thigh-high stockings, the local singer revels in and embraces the idea of fame with such wearily cynical but inevitably seductive dance-pop songs as “Money” and “Media Queen,” from her 2018 album, Cult Classic. “If I had a god, it would be you, honey/Lay me on your bed, fuck me on your money,” she pleads soulfully on “Fangirl.” “I'm all dressed up, queen with no crown/I try to be tough/It's safer here on the ground,” she laments on the more introspective ballad “Girls Like Me.” Catch her now in small clubs while she's still a cult heroine. —Falling James

Reverend Horton Heat


Truth be told, there are few better ways to spend a night than in the company of Jim Heath, aka the Reverend Horton Heat. The Dallas rockabilly/psychobilly pioneers have been dazzling rockers (including Beavis and Butt-head, in one infamous episode) since forming in '85, and they're not about to stop now. Heath can hold a crowd in his hand like none other, and they're still celebrating the release of the Whole New Life album, which dropped right at the end of last year. True to form, it's a stunner, at least as good as 2014's excellent REV. The band now has 12 studio albums of material to pull from, so expect a thriller in Long Beach. Big Sandy and The Delta Bombers also play. —Brett Callwood

wed 1/23

Elton John


2018 turned out to be the year of musicians going away, and now it's Elton John's turn. Following on the heels of the departures of Joan Baez and Paul Simon from the concert stage, Elton's Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour sees the king of the keyboard running through his rich panoply of pop hits, from “Your Song” to “Friends” to “Blue Eyes” to “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” You never quite know what to expect from one of Sir Elton Hercules John's live actions, but tonight you're guaranteed to experience chills down your spine and tears out your eyes as you wave goodbye to an artist whose place in the pantheon is as assured as is his place in your heart. Also on Jan. 22, 25 and 30. —David Cotner

Wilkinson; Credit: Justin De Souza

Wilkinson; Credit: Justin De Souza

thu 1/24

Wilkinson, Calyx & TeeBee, Loadstar


Two of North America's most dedicated entities in drum & bass — Bassrush and RESPECT — band together to present a night of blistering sounds. It's becoming a tradition of sorts to have some of the genre's heavy hitters come through Los Angeles soon after New Year's parties are wrapped up. Perfect timing for this triple threat featuring crossover favorite Wilkinson and his crowd-friendly jams; Calyx & TeeBee with their curated selections that go from melodic vocals to bassbin-splitting bombs; and Loadstar, who brings the best of the dark sounds. Experiencing this monster event at the Exchange brings both the glitz and the grime — the venue's state-of-the-art sound system and professional setup for the former and its spacious, cavernous, festival-like interior for the latter. Pro tip: Please wear some type of ear protection; your future self will thank you. —Lily Moayeri

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