From a mega ’80s package show and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O with Danger Mouse to hardcore heroes Black Flag and the avant-garde artiness of Black Love, here are 12 of the best music shows in Los Angeles this week.

fri 9/6

(Courtesy of The Tubes)

Lost ‘80s Live 


These ’80s package tours are easy to raise the nose at for those who tend to do that sort of thing. But the truth is, they’re always insane fun. Oftentimes, the bills are a mixed bag, with different vibes and genres coming together under the guise of “the ’80s.” Here, we have new romantic icons Flock of Seagulls alongside new-wavers Missing Persons, punks The Tubes, plus Wang Chung (just to remind everybody to have fun tonight), The Escape Club, Bow Wow Wow (at least one of the current versions on the circuit), Boys Don’t Cry, Dramarama, Real Life, The Vapors (of “Turning Japanese” fame), and Farrington and Mann (of When In Rome fame). So many great songs, one after the other. —Brett Callwood

Danger Mouse & Karen O (Eliot Lee Hazel)

Karen O & Danger Mouse


“I’m lost in the sea of sweet design,” the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O coos reverently and breathily on “Ministry,” a gauzy soundscape from Lux Prima, her recent album with Danger Mouse. “So day by day, I’ll turn my dreams into a ministry, a ministry, a ministry of her love.” Throughout the record, producer/multi-instrumentalist Danger Mouse designs a candied sea of watery sounds that blend with Karen O’s whispery vocals. Tracks range from the low-key disco of “Turn the Light” and the mutated ’60s garage-pop of “Woman” to the softly spacey, electronic shimmers of the nine-minute title track. The duo reportedly decided to collaborate more than a decade ago but didn’t start recording until two years ago. These two weekend shows at the Ace Hotel will apparently be their only live performances of the work. Also Saturday, September 7. —Falling James

sat 9/7

Hammerfall (Courtesy of Napalm Records)



It was in 1993 that power metal band HammerFall formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the groundbreaking debut Glory to the Brave album arrived four years later. Prior to that, they were mostly playing covers in clubs. Here we are 22 years after that debut, and HammerFall have just put out their 11th studio album, the quite excellent Dominion. Longtime members Oscar Dronjak, Joacim Cans and Fredrik Larsson are still in the ranks, which isn’t a bad record for a metal band with a pedigree. The first single from the new album is also spectacular; “(We Make) Sweden Rock” pays tribute to power metal icons such as Judas Priest and Yngwie Malmsteen. Ophiuchus, Syn Absence, Masked Jackal, Anibus and PowerTribe also play. —Brett Callwood

Mindy Smith

Mindy Smith


In 2003, an unknown singer named Mindy Smith stirred up attention with an especially poignant remake of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” A desperate plea to a romantic rival, the country-pop song has been covered numerous times, by everyone from The White Stripes to surf-instrumental band The Surfrajettes. Parton liked Smith’s interpretation so much that she has performed and recorded it with Smith and has declared it’s her favorite of the many versions. “Jolene” closes Smith’s 2004 debut album, One Moment More, a set of otherwise original ballads by the Long Island native that includes the blues-tinged “Come to Jesus” and the intimate folk idyll “Train Song.” Smith marks the 15th anniversary of the record’s release with a solo acoustic set in which she’ll tell stories and uncage her birdlike vocals. Also Sunday, September 8. —Falling James

Jon Langford

Jon Langford


Jon Langford isn’t finished with L.A. just yet. The singer-guitarist played a satisfying albeit relatively rare local show with Mekons at Lodge Room in July, but the Chicago-based Welsh exile also has an extensive catalog of folk-country-punk songs cobbled together with numerous other projects, including Waco Brothers, The Three Johns, Skull Orchard, and Pine Valley Cosmonauts. “Expect lots of very short vocal-heavy numbers from all over the map … and quite a lot of back-story bantering,” he announced in a recent Facebook post. “I will attempt to play something from every project I’ve been wrestling with over the last 40 years yet simultaneously keep it under five hours … Oh yeah, and it’s free.” The day before, La Luz de Jesus presents a reception for “Make Americana Great Again,” a solo exhibition of Langford’s woodcuts invoking legendary roots musicians. —Falling James

sun 9/8

Black Flag 


This current lineup of Black Flag is taking a lot of stick from fans, and it’s not massively difficult to understand why. After all, guitarist Greg Ginn is the only member of the band who was in any of the classic lineups, with Mike Vallely singing (he was in the band in 2003 for a bit, then since 2013), Tyler Smith playing bass since 2014, and Isaias Gil taking the drum stool this year. That contrasts heavily to the band touring as Flag, which includes Keith Morrie, Chuck Dukowski and Dez Cadena. Reports of Black Flag 2019’s live prowess are decidedly mixed too. But look — if you want to see a Black Flag running through some SoCal punk classics, the option is open to you. —Brett Callwood



Even if you’ve witnessed the astonishing guitarist Alexander Noice casually cast aloft dazzling solos as a sideman in the glittery space-pop band Polartropica, it doesn’t fully prepare you for the range of spectacular sounds and ideas bursting out of his own project Noice. The bandleader-composer’s eponymous new album, Noice (Orenda Records), is an intricate puzzle box that unlocks and expands into a 30-ring circus, which plays out across several densely detailed layers like 3-D chess. Noice’s cycling guitar patterns are intercut with febrile samples and Karina Kallas’ and Argenta Walther’s rapid-fire operatic vocals. There are elements of free jazz in the interplay between Noice and alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton, but full-bodied bassist Colin Burgess and inventive drummer Andrew Lessman nail everything down with an exacting precision, groove and disciplined heaviness that draw simultaneously from prog, art-pop, electronica and punk. —Falling James

mon 9/9

Qaalm (Paul Lee)



No greater an aura of tension awaits you this week than when Los Angeles doom metal band Qaalm — vocalist Pete Majors, guitarists Henry Derek Elis and Brock Elmore, sampling keyboardist Christopher Jon, bassist David Huet, drummer Etay Levy — unveil an experience that’s as much about the forging of something heavy as it is about the genre of metal itself. Their Reflections Doubt demo EP is out now. Think of it as the thinking devil’s heavy metal. So what actually goes through your head when you know that you’re doomed? Qaalm asks that most final of all possible questions and crystallizes it into something beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful doom. Also tonight: the auric electronics of Andorkappen, the blackened ambience of The Sun and the Mirror, and the brutal cello of Isaac Takeuchi. —David Cotner

tue 9/10

D Savage (Todd Midler)

D Savage 


D Savage represents all things Los Angeles, which is exactly why this show at The Roxy will mean the most. Coming up amidst the SoundCloud wave of melodic rap and trap, the 21-year-old has been relentlessly unleashing bangers for his growing fanbase. It was at age 14 when Savage began whipping up beats on his cell phone. Three years later, he recorded his first song ever in his friend’s garage: “30 Round Clip.” The track eventually turned into his breakout single, breaking him through the underground into the mainstream light. Most recently, he signed to Steven Victor and Caroline Music (Capitol Records imprint). The Trust No One Tour — named after his most recent album, released at the end of July — will definitely be a high-energy hip-hop show. —Shirley Ju

wed 9/11

Black Love 


Three years since they last performed live, Black Love are returning to the stage with this highly anticipated show at the Hyperion. Full disclosure — our own David Cotner fronts the band, and he describes it as, “stellar, discomfiting and unmissable.” Meanwhile, their Facebook bio says that they make, “primitive disorienting hard rock: music shot through with wretched and redemptive songs about loss, annihilated love and the godly glamor of the enigma.” Suffice to say that they create some sort of Lynchian nightmare, pummeling you with simplicity and repetition. It’s a beautiful mindfuck. If that hasn’t roped you in, they’re joined at this show by Electric Sound Bath, Elmer Lang, Myriad Slits and Trade Show. —Brett Callwood

Prophets of Rage


“We bust the sound of outrage against the hate y’all made,” Chuck D declares, serious as death, on “Made With Hate,” the recent single by rap-rock supergroup Prophets of Rage. Decrying “that factory-manufactured sucker energy,” the Public Enemy rapper goes on to lay out his Orwellian warnings in brutally direct terms: “This is not a drill, this is fascism/It is here, poised as a government takeover threat … It is not alarmist to say these things/It is simple truth.” Chuck D’s truths are seconded by Cypress Hill’s B-Real and given a hard-rock punch by the group’s three former members of Rage Against the Machine. Another recent single, “Heart Afire,” is distinguished by the unrelenting wordplay exchanged by B-Real and Chuck D. Also Thursday, September 12. —Falling James

thu 9/12

Brian Wilson, The Zombies


Brian Wilson is one of the greatest songwriters that has ever lived. This isn’t in doubt. It also is without question that Mike Love’s current touring version of The Beach Boys is, while not terrible, a bit bar-room/cabaret act. Wilson, meanwhile, still puts on an incredible show and for this one at the Greek he’ll be joined by former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. He’s co-headlining with English rockers The Zombies, and that band has something special in store. The original and current lineups are joining forces for a big Zombies mega-jam through the Odessey and Oracle album in its entirety. It all makes for a fun night of ’60s singalongs in the wonderful open air surroundings of the Greek. —Brett Callwood

LA Weekly