From country singer Amy LaVere and Boston doom band Magic Circle to blues rocker Gary Clark Jr. and horror-soundtrack faves Goblin, here are 12 of the best music shows in Los Angeles this week.

fri 9/27

Amy LaVere (Jaime Harmon)

Amy LaVere


Amy LaVere is often described as a country singer, but her songs roam restlessly through jazz and folk to create spells that are dreamy and hypnotic, vaulting her music past genre boundaries into something far more magical. The Memphis-based singer/upright bassist stirs up engrossing moods on her new album, Painting Blue, which was produced by her husband and bandmate, Will Sexton. “I don’t wanna know about evil/I only wanna know about love,” LaVere purrs on the opening track, “I Don’t Wanna Know,” as dark chords swirl somberly around her. She charts the ups and downs of love on poppy songs such as “No Battle Hymn” and “Not in Memphis,” but LaVere is at her most captivating on such sad ballads as “No Room for Baby,” which instills an air of nameless mystery. —Falling James

Magic Circle (Reid Haithcock)

Magic Circle 


This Boston act is part of the new wave of bands flying the flag high for epic doom-laden heavy metal that is obsessed with the timeless inspirations of fantasy, sorcery and wizardry. The group’s latest record, Departed Souls, is bolstered by the powerful pipes of Brendan Radigan. The group approaches their music from the same angle as many other bands that worship the slower side of Black Sabbath’s 1971 classic, Master of Reality, and does that well. It’s Radigan’s vocal power though that elevates Magic Circle to being a special act. Radigan has pipes that match those vintage Ozzy Osbourne performances to the point that when classic-metal pioneers Pagan Altar went on their latest tour, he was called upon to fill live vocal duties, stepping in to the giant shoes vacated in the wake of the 2015 death of their vocalist, Terry Jones. —Jason Roche

sat 9/28

Revocation, Voivod 


It’s the sort of technical death metal double bill that will shake your brain right out of its skull while simultaneously leaving you wondering how the various musicians involved were able to play so fast and accurately. Boston’s Revocation have been around since the turn of the millennium, and their seventh studio album, The Outer Ones, dropped a year ago — a phenomenal piece of work inspired by the novels of H.P. Lovecraft (hence all the eyes and tentacles on the sleeve art). Meanwhile, Canadian band Voivod have been dabbling in these dark arts since ’82, blending prog with thrash long before Mastodon came along. Voivod also put out an album a year ago, the superb The Wake, so it makes sense that the bands are touring together. Psycroptic, Skeletal Remains and Conjurer also play. —Brett Callwood

sun 9/29

Jonathan Richman & Tommy Larkins 


So yeah, “Roadrunner” and “Pablo Picasso” are masterful works of proto-punk. In fact, that entire debut Modern Lovers album is fantastic, and Richman will very likely pull from it during this three night run at the Bootleg. But it’s not like Richman has stood still since then, putting out a string of excellent albums including last year’s chill, world music-inspired SA. Tucson drummer Tommy Larkins has been playing with Richman for 18 years now, having previously played in bands such as Naked Prey and Giant Sand. The fact that he gets his name listed at the top alongside Richman speaks volumes. Also Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28. —Brett Callwood

Mega Bog (Jesse DeFrancesco)

Mega Bog


Erin Birgy leads her band Mega Bog through a labyrinth of unusual sounds, mixing jazzy idylls with folk and atmospheric, psychedelic passages. The group’s latest album, Dolphine, is about the strange creatures who chose not to evolve as humans but instead remained underwater as dolphins. The theme is a launching point for Birgy’s own evolution as a person dealing with tragedy, set against a backdrop of political and environmental chaos on land. According to Birgy’s bio, “Dolphine is an album for the swimming human shadow obscured by waves.” Such glassy, intimate tracks as “I Hear You Listening (To the Bug on My Wall)” segue into the arty, baroque jazz-prog of “Left Door” and the austere, enigmatic folk of “Waiting in the Story.” Mega Bog open for the jazz-punk Fugazi spinoff The Messthetics. —Falling James

Gary Clark Jr.


Gary Clark Jr. has long established himself as a masterful guitarist whose passion and fiery playing sets him apart from more retro-minded blues musicians. But he takes his original music to another level on his latest record, This Land, mixing funk, soul, psychedelia and anthemic rock to deliver the Austin native’s pointed state-of-the-union address. In the title track, which loosely alludes to Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” Clark declares, “Paranoid and pissed off … 50 acres and a Model A, right in the middle of Trump country/I told you, there goes a neighborhood.” While other musicians use the blues to create a happy, escapist Neverland, Clark wields his guitar like a searing light to reveal how divided this country remains today. The atmospheric hard rock of “I Walk Alone” alternates with the militantly confrontational hard funk of “What About Us.” —Falling James

mon 9/30



The fear show of the year is here! However — contrary to the American ads that once screamed at you to go see it — this time you’ll actually live though it when Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin gives you the Los Angeles premiere of their live soundtrack to Dario Argento’s 1975 film Profondo rosso (Deep Red). Profondo rosso was the first film that Goblin scored for Argento — Goblin mainman Simonetti wowed him with tracks feverishly written overnight after the producers couldn’t get Pink Floyd — and even though it opened at The Tower on Broadway in 1977 under the slightly more lurid title Dripping Deep Red, it’s as near to that premiere as you can get. A second set covers all the band’s hits, including Suspiria and Dawn of the Dead, as well as tracks from their thrilling new album The Devil is Back. —David Cotner

tue 10/1

Hoodie Allen (Katy Cooper)

Hoodie Allen & Jake Miller 


Welcome to the Whatever USA Tour! Hailing from New York, Hoodie Allen has been described as one of the hardest working artists in the game, with the accolades to prove it. For one, the singer/songwriter’s standout 2002 single “No Faith In Brooklyn” has over 20 million views on YouTube alone. Opening for Allen is Jake Miller, who recently unleashed his Based on a True Story EP,  which he wrote and produced in his own bedroom. The six-track project quickly went on to skyrocket to Top 3 of iTunes’ Pop Albums chart. The synergy between the two artists is what makes this one fascinating. The evening will be the perfect fusion of pop, R&B and hip-hop. —Shirley Ju

Madison Cunningham (Claire Marie Vogel)

Madison Cunningham


“The camera’s always on the wrong side of the glass,” Madison Cunningham observes on “Plain Letters,” from her new album, Who Are You Now. “I hope you find a weakness that you’re stronger than.” The Orange County singer-songwriter moves from breezy pop songs into more intimate folk interludes, all of it smartly delivered with sophisticated arrangements and insightful, thoughtful lyrics. Like Joni Mitchell, Cunningham is skilled at combining yearning poetry with jazzy chord changes and luscious vocal melodies even on relatively stripped-down acoustic ballads like “Bound.” She blossoms even more with full-band backing on “Pin It Down,” in which Cunningham tries to define a nameless romantic impulse with nimble vocal dexterity amid funky rhythms. She marvels playfully about the contradictions of living in this city on the breezily engaging “L.A. (Looking Alive).” —Falling James

wed 10/2

Vampire Weekend 


It seems like Vampire Weekend have been around for forever, selling out huge venues for most of that time. And yet this year’s Father of the Bride, their fourth studio album, is their first for a major label (Columbia). It’s also the group’s first album since 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, so they really took their time over it. Apparently it was worth the extra effort too — the new album has been critically acclaimed pretty much across the board and it will be great to hear those new songs live at the historic Hollywood Bowl. Southern Saharan soul guitarists Tinariwen are also on the bill, as well as L.A.’s own Richard Pictures, so get there early. —Brett Callwood

thu 10/3

Mercury Rev, Beth Orton 


Ah now, this one looks interesting. Bobbie Gentry is an American singer/songwriter, and she was one of the first females to compose and produce her own music. 1968’s The Delta Sweete was her second album, a very personal piece of work about her life in the south. So it’s an off-the-wall move by Buffalo, New York band Mercury Rev to re-record the album as Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited, with a variety of female vocalists doing Gentry’s job. Brilliant English artist Beth Orton sang “Courtyard” on the album, and it is she that Mercury Rev are taking on the road with them to reproduce the album in a live setting. She’ll be wonderful. Marissa Nadler also plays. —Brett Callwood

Samantha Fish (Alyssa Gafkjen)

Samantha Fish


“Make up your mind/I can kill or be kind,” Samantha Fish declares on “Kill or Be Kind,” the title track of her latest album. While the Kansas City native can kill you softly with such relatively restrained and soulful pleas, she is more likely to crank things up on hard-rocking songs like “Bulletproof.” And her fiery vocals are made even more searing by her uncompromising guitar playing as she tears through such rollicking tracks as “Watch It Die.” Fish initially sets her foreboding vocals to a low R&B simmer before her guitar starts raining down incendiary sparks and her singing turns to a full-on, powerful blues wail. All her pyrotechnics serve an emotional purpose, though, as her intertwined guitar solos and vocal melodies are aimed straight at the heart. With bayou blues-soul man Marc Broussard. Also Friday, October 4. —Falling James

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