From dream-pop band the Vivian Girls and white-clad hard rockers Angel to political punks Bad Religion and trip-hoppers Morcheeba, here are 12 of the best music shows in Los Angeles this week.

fri 10/4

Vivian Girls (Neil Kryszak)

Vivian Girls


After Vivian Girls broke up in 2014, members of the Brooklyn trio went their separate ways for a spell, joining other groups and engaging in various solo and side projects. Singer-guitarist Cassie Ramone recorded two solo albums and worked with Kevin Morby as The Babies, while Ali Koester played drums with Upset and Best Coast, and bassist Katy Goodman demonstrated her gift for writing catchy indie-pop songs in her guise as La Sera. On Vivian Girls’ new comeback album, Memory, the three musicians reveal that their collective powers are still fully intact and have even broadened in their impact. As ever, Ramone’s sheets of jangling, droning guitar provide a fuzzed-out backdrop for her hazy vocals, which intertwine with Goodman’s melodic bass lines and harmonies on such punky tracks as “Sludge” and “Lonely Girl.” —Falling James



After years of solo shows and occasionally guesting with each other, Punky Meadows and Frank DiMino officially reformed Angel last year and the band has been touring hard ever since. Back in their mid-’70s to mid-’80s glory years, they were hated by critics and ridiculed by Frank Zappa who poked fun at Meadows’ apparently girly looks on the song “Punky’s Whips.” But then, old Frank poked fun at The Beatles so Angel are in good company. The facts are, having been discovered by Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, Angel signed to Casablanca back in the day, and released a string of great hard rock albums crammed with killer hard rock tracks. We’re delighted they’re back. The Hard Way, Angeles, Stonebreed, Shock Frenzy, Prima Donna Rising and Witch also play. —Brett Callwood

Stiff Little Fingers, The Avengers


While some British punk bands blustered and bellowed showily in attempting to adopt a radical image, there was never anything inauthentic about Stiff Little Fingers. The fiery group were formed in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1977 in the midst of the Troubles, and singer-guitarist Jake Burns found plenty of lyrical inspiration just outside his front door in the violent streets of his divided hometown. Such explosive tracks as “Tin Soldiers” and “Suspect Device” still sound powerful today, although Burns and bassist Ali McMordie are the only remaining members of the band’s early lineup. They’re well matched with The Avengers, the confrontational San Francisco band who combine proto–riot grrrl Penelope Houston’s yearning, searing vocals with Greg Ingraham’s relentless guitar on riotous original anthems “We Are the One” and “The American in Me” and a savage evisceration of The Stones’ “Paint It Black.” —Falling James

sat 10/5

Interpol, Morrissey 


Vision and devotion collide when Interpol opens for Morrissey and many great and singular pop songs emanate into the great beyond that is nostalgia. Nostalgia in its rawest form, aching and yearning and possibly unfulfilled. As such, Morrissey will play assorted hits from his preposterously unlikely career, as well as some of the covers he’s recorded on this year’s California Son LP. Songs like Jobriath’s “Morning Starship” rub elbows with “Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets” by Dionne Warwick in characteristically head-spinning turns courtesy of Morrissey’s prodigious ear for good songwriting. Interpol remains Interpol, as evidenced on this year’s A Fine Mess EP, a record comprised of tracks they left off of last year’s Marauder LP. And the fans remain the fans, because when music hits you, you actually do feel a pain — something that only music and nostalgia can succor. —David Cotner

Suicidal Tendencies at the Palladium

Suicidal Tendencies (Hannah Verbeuren)

SoCal Hoedown 


What a bill! Early fall in the fresh open air of the Port of Los Angeles will see us treated to a punk and rockabilly bill of mostly locals that is unrelentingly brilliant from the 11 a.m. kick-off time to the very end. At the top end of the bill, the heavyweights include crossover hardcore crew Suicidal Tendencies plus the Dead Kennedys (still minus Jello, but by all accounts kicking ass live). Then we get SoCal punk favorites the Dickies, DI and Agent Orange, as well as Danish psychobilly vets Nekromantix, Chicago’s Dwarves, Australia’s The Living End and Michigan’s Koffin Kats. And it goes on. Shattered Faith are still rocking, as is Tim Polecat of British rockabilly band The Polecats. That’s a mouth-watering lineup spread over three stages, so get there early. —Brett Callwood

sun 10/6

Band of Skulls


“I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love,” singer-guitarist Russell Marsden exults on Band of Skulls’ fifth album, Love Is All You Love, before he drops a telling punch line: “That’s my trouble.” Marsden and bassist Emma Richardson take on mighty themes of love and war, although the musical impact varies widely on the new record. Such straightforward, riff-twisting hard-rock tracks as “Carnivorous” and “Not the Kind of Nothing I Know” rest uneasily alongside poppy and less-compelling numbers like “Cool Your Battles,” the glitzy dance number “Gold” and the electronica-laced “Thanks a Lot.” The musical experimentation does yield some occasional rewards on low-key songs like “Sound of You.” Band of Skulls are billed at the Mayan with Demob Happy. —Falling James

mon 10/7

The Band Camino (Jimmy Fontaine)

The Band Camino 


It’s been a big year for Memphis, Tennessee rockers The Band Camino, who signed with Elektra Records in May of this year (yeah, bands still sign with majors) and put out the tryhard EP after a couple of independent releases. They performed at Lollapalooza, after which named them a “breakout act,” they’ve been called “rock’s next big thing” by Billboard, and now they’re playing two sold-out shows at the El Rey Theatre. They’re working hard and the “Honest” single and “Daphne Blue” video are worth checking out if you’re a fan of alt-rock with giant hooks. Similarly-minded Toronto rockers Valley also play, for those lucky enough to get in. —Brett Callwood

tue 10/8

Bad Religion (Alice Baxley)

Bad Religion 


With the world burning around us, it’s left to Greta Thunberg and Bad Religion to say everything that needs to be said. Bad Religion celebrate their 40th year of existence next year, and yet there are no punk bands capable of molding songs out of current events in quite as effective a manner. That said, this year’s fantastic Age of Unreason album is their first in six years and, therefore, the first they’ve put out under the current administration. It’s a much-needed jolt, a shot to the arm, a call to arms. Songs such as “Chaos From Within,” “Do the Paranoid Style,” “End of History,” “What Tomorrow Brings/The Kids are Alt-Right” and the title track offer accurate commentaries of 2019 current affairs, and there is no better band to document that shit. Also, Wednesday, October 9. The Lawrence Arms and Emily Davis & the Murder Police also play on Tuesday, while The Lawrence Arms and Greg Antista & the Lonely Streets also play on Wednesday. —Brett Calllwood

wed 10/9

Immolation (Courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records)



Two generations of high-end death metal powerhouses join forces for an evening of bludgeoning. New Yorkers Immolation just celebrated 30 years of death metal annihilation, their 1991 debut Dawn of Possession still standing strong as an iconic display of sheer metallic brutality, and their later work such as 2017’s Atonement still being a master’s level education in the genre. Denver’s Blood Incantation is a newer force in the extreme metal scene, but have already endeared themselves to the most demanding fans of the genre thanks to their 2016 debut full-length Starspawn. Their take on the genre — soon to be bolstered by their upcoming album, Hidden History of the Human Race — is more quirky and more science-fiction influenced, but the raw energy that propels the best death metal still drives them as well. —Jason Roche

Too Many Zooz


There are too many zoos — places where sentient, intelligent animals languish in concrete prisons for the cheap amusement of tourists and other insensitive voyeur-dullards — on this planet, but there are too few bands like Too Many Zooz. The trio’s combination of jazz, funk, house and dance music is so compulsive and peculiar that they’ve invented their own genre that they call brass house. Drummer David “King of Sludge” Parks, baritone saxophonist Leo Pellegrino and trumpeter Matt “Doe” Muirhead got their start playing impromptu sets in subway stations in New York, and their mixture of jazz and funk is anything but clinical and academic as they perform with a manic, nonstop energy. Too Many Zooz leave the world of traditional jazz far behind them as they remake such unexpected tunes as Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” —Falling James

thu 10/10



It’s easy to be caught out by British electronic group Morcheeba, who have a sound that’s as fresh as a daisy but have actually been around since 1995. Their Who Can You Trust? debut in ’96 took the Brit festivals by storm in those mid-‘90s years, as did the Big Calm follow up in ’98. The band’s effective blend of trip-hop, soul, folk and indie-rock pulled in fans of the likes of Massive Attack, Beth Orton and Madchester bands like Oasis and The Stone Roses, so they had many bases covered. They’ve never really gone away, and last year’s Blaze Away is their ninth studio album. It’ll be great to see them stateside. —Brett Callwood

Lana Del Rey (Chuck Grant)

Lana Del Rey


Pop divas don’t come any more provocative and unusual than Lana Del Rey. If the title of the New York City native’s latest album — Norman Fucking Rockwell! — didn’t already make it clear, the moody chanteuse has far greater things on her mind than behaving like a predictable, obedient pop star. Her grand, expressive singing unfurls ruefully on the enigmatic, role-reversing love song “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Venice Bitch,” which, despite its title, is a gently intoxicating psychedelic folk-pop reverie that expands like an engrossing nine-minute dream. “Give me Hallmark/One dream, one life, one lover/Paint me happy and blue, Norman Rockwell,” Del Rey coos reverentially before disclosing, “You’re beautiful, and I’m insane.” Throughout the record, she drops allusions to Sylvia Plath, Long Beach, Kanye West, David Bowie and The Beach Boys, tying it all together with her glimmering, aching phrasing. —Falling James

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