From Canadian alt-pop band The Courtneys and Pasadena Daydream starring The Cure and Pixies to trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack and the dream package of Redd Kross and the Melvins, here are 12 of the best music shows in Los Angeles this week.

fri 8/30

The Groans, Sister Mantos


“No one should have to prove that their lives matter,” Annie Padilla laments on “Lives on the Line,” from The Groans’ 2017 EP, Everything for Everyone. During the course of the record, the L.A. band celebrate the secret lives of dogs (“Bebo Song”) and repurpose the hateful words of a demented leader to create an incendiary sound collage (“Drumpf Rap”). The Groans put their money where their mouths are by donating royalties from “Bebo Song,” “Lives on the Line” and the anti-abuse anthem “Leave Me Alone” to BFF Pet Rescue, Black Lives Matter and House of Ruth, respectively. Proceeds from the contemplative, swirling 2018 indie-pop single “Colors,” meanwhile, go to Trans Lifeline. Sister Mantos are a venerable, funky Latin-dance collective who stirringly chanted “No ICE! No ICE!” at the recent Echo Park Rising fest. —Falling James

The Courtneys


The Courtneys are from Vancouver, Canada, but they are so influenced by the smart, jangling alt-pop passages of such Flying Nun bands as The Clean that have been signed to the landmark New Zealand indie label. Drummer-singer Jen Twynn Payne, bassist Sydney Koke and guitarist Courtney Loove often find themselves lyrically obsessed with pop-culture touchstones such as Beverly Hills 90210 and Keanu Reeves while also paying homage to their namesake by going under the pseudonyms Crazy Courtney, Classic Courtney and Cute Courtney. “Country Song,” from the group’s second album, II, doesn’t sound at all like country music. Instead, it’s marked by droning, raining sheets of guitar and soaring grunge-pop vocals that evoke The Courtneys’ Kiwi inspirations. Similarly, enigmatic tracks like “Minnesota” are shrouded by a fuzzy shoegaze filter. —Falling James

sat 8/31

Pixies (Travis Shinn)

Pasadena Daydream 


Any opportunity to see The Cure should be grabbed with two hands. Robert Smith and his band of recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees are only getting better with age, certainly in the live environment. But the bill that they have assembled for this Rose Bowl show is simply phenomenal. The Pixies could headline the venue by themselves, probably. Plus, Black Francis’ crew have a new album ready to drop. Then there’s alt-metal band the Deftones (they left the nu-metal tag behind years ago), Scottish post-rockers Mogwai, indie rock heroes Throwing Muses, plus The Joy Formidable, Chelsea Wolfe, The Twilight Sad, Emma Ruth Rundle, Kaelan Mikla and The Chill Out Zone Experience. That’s a breathtaking lineup of talent, so get there early. —Brett Callwood

sun 9/1

Ringo Starr & his All Starr Band (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Beautiful Day Media)

Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band 


Fresh from his guest spot at old mate Sir Paul McCartney’s L.A. show — a half Beatles reunion if you will — Ringo Starr is doing his own thing at the Greek. Probably best not to expect Macca to return the favor, although you never know. What you can expect is a career spanning set that will surely be packed with Beatles favorites. That All Starr Band features Steve Lukather (Toto), Colin Hay (Men At Work), Gregg Rolie (Santana/Journey), Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth) and Hamish Stuart (Average White Band). But at the end of the day, you go to see Ringo — one of the two surviving Beatles. If that isn’t enough to get you to the Greek, we can’t help you. —Brett Callwood

The's; Credit: Courtesy the artists

The’s (Courtesy the artist)



The’s really are “Three Cool Chicks,” as they declare in their lo-fi garage-rock remake of The Coasters’ “Three Cool Cats,” from their 2012 album, Bomb the Twist. While the Tokyo trio are most often recognized for performing in a scene from Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 film, Kill Bill Volume 1, their roots stretch back to the mid-1980s. Over the years, the music of The’s —a mix of original tunes and classic covers — has incorporated rockabilly, surf and garage styles in a stripped-down but appealing fashion. Songs range from the rootsy, 1950s-style rawness of “Bomb the Twist” to surf instrumentals like “Jane in the Jungle,” which is drowned in an ocean of reverb. Also at Pappy & Harriet’s, Monday, September 2. —Falling James

Glands of External Secretion 


No truer a time, no freer a bunch of musical misfits and no finer an atmosphere in which to find creative inspiration than here tonight — crippling depression and doubt notwithstanding. You’ll marinate in the fucked-up fuzzed-out netherworld of guitar sorcerer Carla Bozulich. You’ll thrill to the return of Glands of External Secretion, a duo featuring World of Pooh guitarist Barbara Manning and Seymour Glass of Bananafish magazine, who once famously wrote his temporary professional epitaph with used diapers across the breadth of a hundred Merzbow records. You’ll call the paramedics to help you through the singular sonic explorations of Sult, coming to you all the way from Norway, you ingrates. Lastly but not leastly, you’ll vibrate to the mysterious strains of Tasting Menu, a musical enterprise the nature of which will be determined by the way your brain cells dance. —David Corner

mon 9/2

Orange Goblin; Credit: Courtesy of Candlelight Records

Orange Goblin (Courtesy of Candlelight Records)

Orange Goblin 


A stunning stoner metal bill at the Regent this week, as San Francisco sludge duo Black Cobra join up with San Diego psychedelic rockers Earthless, plus High Tone Son of a Bitch and Ape Machine to open for Brit band Orange Goblin. Ben Ward and his quartet have stayed pretty much intact since forming in 1995 — a rarity today. Last year they put out the The Wolf Bites Back album, their ninth in total and a more than respectable follow up to 2014’s Back From the Abyss. The band has always had solid Black Sabbath and Motorhead roots, though they’ve dabbled in punk and psychedelic sounds over the years. But whatever they do, they sound like Orange Goblin. —Brett Callwood

tue 9/3

Massive Attack 


English trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack play three nights at the Hollywood Palladium this week, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They all promise to be special events though, as the band celebrates the 21st anniversary of their much loved Mezzanine album. While the debut Blue Lines in 1991 and the sophomore ’94 effort Protection might be referenced more often by fans and critics, Mezzanine is Massive Attack’s more commercially successful album and for good reason. As before, the band blended hip-hop with dub/reggae and even a bit of rock. But the singles here were standout — “Risingson,” “Teardrop,” “Angel” and “Inertia Creeps” are all incredible and are worth revisiting. Which is exactly what Massive Attack is doing with these gigs. —Brett Callwood

Ramonda Hammer; Credit: Mathew Tucciarone

Ramonda Hammer (Mathew Tucciarone)

Ramonda Hammer


“We will have to save ourselves with physical and mental health,” Devin Davis confides on “Hoax,” from Ramonda Hammer’s debut full-length album, I Never Wanted Company (New Professor Music). “We’re ascending way too slow, plagiarizing hymns and troves, a growth hoax.” The local quartet have previously demonstrated their power on past singles and EPs, with lead guitarist Justin Geter, bassist Andy Hengl and drummer Mark Edwards slamming through Davis’ restless reveries and ruminations with an unrelenting grunge heaviness. On the new record, relatively gentle interludes like “Fake Thoughts” are soon swept away by the compulsive punk-grunge intensity of “Who’s the Narcissist?” and “Future Discounted.” “Relativity” is another temporary break from the storm that reveals the melodicism lurking just beneath those savage power chords and dynamic shifts of volume. Ramonda Hammer headline a free set with Broken Baby and Kevin. —Falling James

wed 9/4



Tuareg musicians come from all across the sprawling Sahara Desert and incorporate a variety of traditional and rock-music styles in their songs, which are distinguished by hypnotic grooves and mesmerizing layers of psychedelic guitars. Omara “Bombino” Moctar hails from Niger, although he and his family ended up for awhile as war refugees in Algeria, where he taught himself how to play guitar. Bombino’s latest album, Deran, ranges from “Imajghane,” a funky, uplifting groove spiked with reggae accents, to the intricate stop-and-star blues patterns of “Deran Deran Alkheir (Well Wishes).” His fiery guitar playing relents at times for such sun-dappled idylls as “Tehigren” and the trance-like meditation “Midiwan.” Bombino’s twist on Tuareg music is so distinctive that he was the subject of the documentary film Agadez, the Music and the Rebellion. —Falling James

thu 9/5

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets 


Fans of neo-psychedelia and garage-rock revival should mark their calendars for this Thursday, when the Regent hosts a stacked triple-header. Perth, Australia’s Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are another great Aussie psych-rock band in the model of Tame Impala or King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and the Crumpets’ And Now for the Whatchamacalit is one of the most eccentric and strangely infectious albums of 2019. Two L.A. acts open the night: Meatbodies are fronted by Chad Ubovitch, a longtime associate of Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin. Sub-Pop recording artist Morgan Delt—who channels acid casualties Skip Spence and Syd Barrett—rounds out the bill. —Matt Miner

Redd Kross (Julian Fort)

Melvins, Redd Kross 

The Troubadour 

This tour is going all over the States, and the fact that bassist Steve McDonald plays with both the Melvins and Redd Kross means that he’s going to be a busy boy for a few months. We’re sure he won’t be complaining though — he gets to perform with two of the most exciting rock bands in the country right now, two bands with an incredible armory of albums between them. Last year’s Pinkus Abortion Technician is the Melvins’ most recent album and McDonald’s third with the band (although, as the title suggests, it also features original bassist Jeff Pinkus. Meanwhile, Redd Kross put out the spectacular Beyond the Door this year — their first album since 2012’s Researching the Blues. With both bands on such killer form, the shows should be amazing. —Brett Callwood

LA Weekly