Los Angeles is a hotbed of live music, and L.A. Weekly is here to help navigate this embarrassment of riches. From Compton's own Vince Staples to O.G. punks the Dickies to Russian surf rockers Messer Chups, here are the 12 best music shows in L.A. this week!

fri 3/29

Russell Haswell 


Blithely brilliant. That's the best way to describe the sounds that erupt and wend their way out of any given speaker system blessed enough — and stressed enough — to be moved by British sonic sorcerer Russell Haswell. Starting his creative life as a graphic designer and Merzbow remixer, quickly developing an uncompromising and deeply inquisitive streak of electronic music, Haswell became one of the leading lights of the Editions Mego and Warp labels. Tonight he presents a set of improvisations on themes explored by his most recent records, one of which is the 37 Minute Workout Vol. #2 album on Diagonal. You'd never think to look at him that he possesses such world-shaking power — but, like Thomas Carlyle's “unknown good man,” Haswell is that secret vein of water flowing underground, making the earth above so green. Nu Sire and Street Sects fill out the bill. —David Cotner

Spiritualized; Credit: Juliette Larthe

Spiritualized; Credit: Juliette Larthe



After nearly 30 years of spinning webs of psychedelic mystery, Spiritualized reveal a more vulnerable and human side on their latest album, And Nothing Hurt. Former Spaceman 3 trip-maker Jason Pierce croons intimate, delicate songs such as “Let's Dance” and “A Perfect Miracle.” Instead of wrapping himself up in an obscuring shoegaze haze of smoke and mirrors and volume, Pierce reduces some of these tracks to their barest, most open-hearted essentials. That's not to say there aren't hard-rocking, swirling odysseys of sound such as the Stones-influenced “On the Sunshine” or the glowing Velvet Underground–style shuffle “The Morning After.” But this time around, Pierce is just as likely to slow things down with floating, languid, countrified idylls like “Damaged.” —Falling James

sat 3/30

Electric Six


Honestly there are few better ways to spend an evening than in the company of Dick Valentine and his Detroit party rockers the Electric Six. There's a common train of thought that the band peaked in the early 2000s with the singles “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar,” but in fact each subsequent album has seen the band get a little more adventurous, interesting and exciting. They're insanely prolific, too, often putting out two albums per year, Beatles-style. Last year, we got Bride of the Devil and A Very Electric SiXmas, the latter a self-released Christmas album. They're still a force to be reckoned with, and they still put on a killer live show. DaveTV also plays. —Brett Callwood

Messer Chups 


In the world of Messer Chups, it's all about the riff. Guitarist Oleg Guitaracula will occasionally grunt some howling-man vocals, but most of the time he and bassist Svetlana “Zombierella” Nagaeva are stitching together spidery threads of conjoined melodies on their axes. Although there are heavy doses of rockabilly and garage rock in the Russian trio's approach on their latest album, Taste the Blood of Guitaracula, Messer Chups' sound is most heavily rooted in surf rock. Mr. Guitaracula's Batman-style riffs are soaked in reverb — and sometimes made even more spacey with washes of theremin — while Nagaeva underpins everything with her darkly lurking, subterranean bass lines. Drummer Evgeny “Rockin' Eugene” Lomakin chops it all together with dizzying drum rolls and curt, simple beats. —Falling James

Dickies; Credit: Scott Sturdy

Dickies; Credit: Scott Sturdy



Veteran L.A. punks the Dickies play around the area fairly often, but this show is an interesting one because they're playing the Stukas Over Disneyland and Idjit Savant albums in their entirety. Which in itself is fascinating, because those two albums were 12 years apart (1983 and 1995, respectively), and there was an album in between (1989's Second Coming). Why they chose to go this route, who knows? The important thing is that the two albums they're playing are both excellent, and we'll get to hear the cover of Led Zeppelin's “Communication Breakdown.” The Wraith and The Cocks fill out this awesome local punk bill. —Brett Callwood

Vince Staples; Credit: Liz Barclay

Vince Staples; Credit: Liz Barclay

sun 3/31

Vince Staples 


Compton-born, Long Beach–bred rapper Vince Staples has, in the 3½ years since his Summertime '06 debut album, seen his stock rise to the point that he's one of the most interesting and exciting hip-hop artists in the world right now, never mind the States or this region. His performance at Coachella last year was superb, as was the FM! album that dropped in November. Not as caustic as Big Fish Theory in 2017, at least on the surface, FM! benefits from incisive lyrics that seem to lull you into a sense of calm before hitting you over the head. It's a fantastic album, from an artist who only seems to get better. Jpegmafia also plays. —Brett Callwood

Hunx and His Punx 


Hunx & His Punx started out as a showcase for the goofy antics of former Gravy Train!!!! provocateur Seth Bogart. But over time, other members of the San Francisco garage-punk-pop combo have become charismatic stars in their own right, most notably bassist Shannon Shaw, who fronts her own popular group, Shannon & the Clams, in addition to a more recent solo career. Drummer Erin Emslie, meanwhile, leads Secret Stare, an intriguing local band combining Black Sabbath–style riffage with poppy melodies. For all their trashy silliness, Hunx & His Punx have always had a pop heart beating loudly underneath their punky tunes. Tonight's lineup also includes the brutal hardcore onslaught of Mexican punks Cremalleras and the fierce-tastic savagery of trans goddess Drew Arriola Sands and her L.A. punk group Trap Girl. —Falling James

The Rubens; Credit: Ali Lander

The Rubens; Credit: Ali Lander

mon 4/1

The Rubens, Veronica Bianqui 


2018 was a big year for Australian pop-soul rockers The Rubens, as they went out on tour in the States, Europe and Australasia before releasing their third album, LO LA RU, and then opening for Pink on 42 of her mega-shows. That's quite a successful 12 months. Apparently, that recent album was recorded in a World War II bunker in their hometown of Menangle, Australia, which is a fascinating nugget. They play at the Moroccan with Echo Park garage-soul singer Veronica Bianqui, and that makes for a bill that is just similar enough to work but different enough to not get dull. Bianqui aims to blend the raw, hard passion of garage rock with the sweet melodies of R&B and girl groups, and that makes for some wonderful tunes. —Brett Callwood

tue 4/2

Children of Bodom 


Finnish extreme-metal band Children of Bodom have been terrifying listeners since 1993, and they just released their 10th studio album, Hexed. It's the first record to feature new Swedish guitarist Daniel Freyberg, formerly of the band Norther. While Freyberg is inarguably a stellar player, the band's direction has pretty much stayed on course. That's brutally heavy death metal blessed with Alexi Laiho's guttural vocals, but with a strong sense of song and melody. They're one of the best-selling artists in their native Finland (though behind operatic Finnish metal band Nightwish), and Hexed suggests that they're still at the beginning of their metal journey. Swallow the Sun, Wolfheart and Fragmentum also play. —Brett Callwood

Sasami; Credit: Alice Baxley

Sasami; Credit: Alice Baxley

wed 4/3



You might remember Sasami Ashworth from when she used to add synthesizer and unusual musical embellishments during her time as a member of Cherry Glazerr. On her new solo album, Sasami, the local singer reveals other layers of herself. She duets with Devendra Banhart on “Free,” a gentle song in which their mournful voices murmur together with a somberly restrained introspection. The record ranges from the similarly low-key soft pop of “I Was a Window” and “Pacify My Heart” to more jangling slices of indie rock such as “Not the Time.” Other tracks, such as “At Hollywood” and “Jealousy,” are steeped in a watery veneer of art-pop, whereas the aptly titled “Adult Contemporary” is a glassy-eyed folk interlude in which Sasami coos mysteriously about “a darkness you can sell.” —Falling James

T-Pain; Credit: Romwel Findley

T-Pain; Credit: Romwel Findley

thu 4/4



T-Pain proves to be the GOAT of both R&B and autotune time and time again. Since releasing his debut album in 2005, the Tallahassee, Florida, native has provided soundtracks and moments for audiences all across the world. Hit records include “I'm Sprung,” “I'm 'n Luv (Wit a Stripper),” “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin'),” “Bartender,” “Can't Believe It” … the list goes on. Now in 2019, real name Faheem Rasheed Najm returns with another incredible piece of work titled 1UP, bringing old and news fans alike into his world. The records serve as nostalgia for the T-Pain we all grew up to, with a modern twist catering to the new generation. This will be a show for the books. —Shirley Ju

Carla Bozulich & Devin Sarno


Carla Bozulich's wide-ranging musical career can't be easily summarized in a short paragraph. She has fronted the intense industrial band Ethyl Meatplow and been a part of such disparate projects as Invisible Chains, Evangelista, The Night Porter and Scarnella. Her '90s group The Geraldine Fibbers were ostensibly a melodic alt-country band who nonetheless shifted into more punk and experimental passages. Bozulich even managed to get Willie Nelson to take part when she covered his entire The Red Headed Stranger album. Last year, she explored her more ambient, new-music side via an unusual and sometimes foreboding series of strange soundscapes titled Quieter. Tonight, she collaborates with Crib's Devin Sarno on a bill that also includes a solo set from Best Coast guitarist Bobb Bruno and “ritual whispers” from Teasips. —Falling James

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