From unique Detroit rapper Danny Brown and Russian surf-rockers Messer Chups to arty songbird Kristeen Young and shock rockers Lizzy Borden, here are 12 of the best music shows in Los Angeles this week.

fri 10/25

Danny Brown 


Danny Brown has one of the most distinctive voices in hip-hop and, when he’s in full flow, is seriously impressive. The Detroiter might be best known to the mainstream as the guy who raps the theme to Fresh off the Boat, but he’s been making waves since his 2010 full length debut The Hybrid. That record forced him into the ears of hip-hop heads nationwide but it was his third album, 2013’s Old, where he really hit his stride. Receiving mass critical acclaim, the likes of Purity Ring and A$AP Rocky guested on what was arguably that year’s best hip-hop release. His latest, U Know What I’m Sayin?, dropped earlier this month and it’s typically brilliant. This L.A. set should be stellar. —Brett Callwood

Messer Chups; Credit: Oleg Guitaracula

Messer Chups (Oleg Guitaracula)

Messer Chups


Messer Chups are not just any surf-garage-trash-roots-horror rock trio from Russia. On the Saint Petersburg band’s latest album, The Adventures of Zombierella and Guitaracula, there are all the requisite retro-surf elements — reverb-drenched guitar shivers, side-winding bass lines, and fast drum rolls revving up and spinning around like motorcycles in the Globe of Death. Leader Guitaracula and bassist Zombierella instill a campy mood of B-movie horror on such mostly instrumental tracks as “Chupacabra vs. Batman,” “Insomnia of the Mummies” and “Dracula Hates Photoshoots.” Guitaracula tears it up rockabilly style on “Cheap Holidays on the Moon,” but Messer Chups are also affecting when they occasionally slow things down, such as the dreamy surf idyll “Surf de L’amour.” They’re even more enchanting on the unexpectedly poignant and languidly noir-ish sections of their recent “Twin Peaks Twist” single. Also at Alex’s Bar, Saturday, October 26. —Falling James

sat 10/26

Animal Requiem


The kids — goats, dogs, kitties, birds and other darling creatures — are alright in composer-pianist Rachel Fuller’s Animal Requiem, a work that is a tribute to all the pets and beloved animal companions who have died, as well a form of empathetic musical closure for their human champions. Inspired by the deaths of six of Fuller’s aging dogs over the course of five years, the piece will be delivered at Royce Hall by tenor Bruce Sledge and  soprano Caroline McKenzie and narrated by Jane Lynch, and features such performers as Tonality, The Hollywood Studio Orchestra, and Fuller’s husband, Who guitarist Pete Townshend. The program also includes renditions of Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” and Camille Saint-Saëns’ whimsical evocations of denizens of the animal kingdom, The Carnival of the Animals. —Falling James

Credit: Timothy Norris

Social Distortion (Timothy Norris)

Social Distortion


O.C. punks vets Social D are celebrating their 40th anniversary with this party in Irvine, and why the hell shouldn’t they? Even considering the wealth of punk talent that has emerged from the otherwise conservative confines of Orange County, few bands have been as influential for so long, worldwide, as Mike Ness’ crew. They might not be as forthcoming with the new material anymore — they’ve released two albums in the past two decades — but what they do put out is always superb. At this gig they’ll be joined by Joan Jett, The Distillers, The Kills, Frank Turner, Eagles of Death Metal, Black Lips, Plague Vendor, Bully, and Mannequin Pussy, highlighting the fact that this is indeed a full-on anniversary party, and attendees should arrive ready to dance and sing. —Brett Callwood

Peelander Z 


The official story is that this band came from Planet Peelander to spread smiles onto everyone’s faces. Arguably more realistically, but way less fun, is the theory that Peelander-Z came from Japan, via New York, and based themselves in Austin. Regardless, all of them are named after colors. The leader is Yellow (aka Kengo Hioki), an excitable dude who swears he’s an alien and to be fair kinda looks like one with his oddball beard-to-side-mohawk mane. The band is completed by Pink, Purple, Green and Black. Blue and Red were previously in the band but left. It’s all a clusterfuck of punk rock rainbow fun, but don’t sweat it. Just show up and enjoy it. Teenage Werewolves, Max Cady, and The Dookies also play. —Brett Callwood

sun 10/27

Lucy Dacus


“I’ll be your historian, and you’ll be mine/And I’ll fill pages of scribbled ink, hoping the words carry meaning,” Lucy Dacus promises on “Historians,” from her similarly titled second album, Historian. The Richmond, Virginia, native charts her personal history with thoughtful lyrics and lilting melodies. Songs range from the intimate confessional “Night Shift” and the gentle ballad “Yours & Mine” to relatively rocking tracks such as “Addictions” and the uptempo pop tune “Next of Kin.” The seven-minute “Pillar of Truth” evolves from starkly austere folk into shuffling chords and a surging burst of passion. Even as Dacus touches on loss and themes of racism and injustice, she eventually finds hope in our shared modern histories. —Falling James

mon 10/28

Kristeen Young; Credit: Courtesy of the artist

Kristeen Young (Courtesy of the artist)

Kristeen Young


Whether she’s backed by a full band or performing solo, Kristeen Young unlocks a puzzle box of dense, intricate sounds and surreal, allusive lyrics. On her latest album, The Subset, the singer-keyboardist-producer crafts a disparate range of moods and textures, from the glittery dance-pop of “Pretty Twogether” and the funky “Distraction Breakdown” to much stranger landscapes, such as the enigmatic new-music chimes of “Marine Dad” and the undulating twists and turns of “Less Than.” Some tracks, such as “St. Even,” are overtly beautiful, as Young unfurls her pliable, soaring vocals dreamily. She swims around in a febrile sea of magic on “Everyday Subtraction,” which unfolds like a spacey flower and is intercut with arty, Kate Bush–style vocals, whereas “In 3rd Grade We Learn Division” is a darker and more compulsive post-punk passage driven by Young’s insistent keyboards. Plus, the raw-throated hard-rock/grunge defiance of Spare Parts for Broken Hearts. —Falling James

tue 10/29

Nellie McKay


In Ethan Coen’s recent theater piece A Play Is a Poem, the five mostly lighthearted one-act plays were linked by short songs written and performed by the madly talented Nellie McKay. In fact, the NYC singer-pianist’s charming interludes were the best thing about the otherwise unremarkable plays. Alternating on piano, vibraphone and ukulele, McKay purred with a jazzy aplomb, her delicately pretty melodies arcing gently across the Mark Taper Forum’s round room. And yet, just when you might be tempted to write her off as witty but retro sentimentalist, she’d slip in a sharply cutting line about Donald Trump, George Bush and people who eat meat. McKay’s most recent album, Sister Orchid, finds her putting her distinctive spin on a set of jazz and pop standards, but her sophisticated original songs fit alongside seamlessly with her classic inspirations. On Friday, October 25, the vocalist releases Bagatelles, a new companion EP to Sister Orchid. —Falling James

wed 10/30

Skizzy (Goldenvoice)



Hailing from New York, singer-songwriter Skizzy Mars is best known for his unique sultry vocals within a pop/R&B soundscape — touching on all things life has to offer. And those things aren’t always positive. Skizzy’s vulnerability and honesty in his own journey with addictions, fears and expectations is what fans love most, a layer of realness and authenticity that is much appreciated. This year, Skizzy unleashed his full-length debut titled Free Skizzy Mars, a 13-track project that showcases his perspective and wisdom on the state of hip-hop. He says, “I’m free from caring about what everybody thinks of me all the time. I’ve detached myself from results and focused on the process. I just want to deliver the best music possible.” —Shirley Ju

Credit: Photo courtesy of The Adicts

The Adicts (Courtesy of the artist)

The Adicts 


A couple of years ago, British punks The Adicts signed to Nuclear Blast, a label normally associated with extreme metal. On paper, it’s an odd relationship, but it appears to be working. The And It Was So! album they released in 2017 is fantastic, and they’re out on tour again. It’s always fun to see them and their Clockwork Orange “droog” get-up, especially singer Monkey — one of the more flamboyant frontmen that the genre has offered up with his Joker face. If anyone can offer Joaquin Phoenix a run for his money in the gritty clown stakes, it’s Monkey. Live, The Adicts always deliver, so don’t miss this one. —Brett Callwood

thu 10/31

Oh Sees 


As leader of the San Francisco-founded, L.A.-based garage-punk/neo-psych band Oh Sees, John Dwyer has amassed a sizable and mostly consistent catalog, releasing 19 LPs since 2006. The past year or so bore witness to singer/guitarist Dwyer at the height of his mind-bending powers, with the appearance of two of Oh Sees’ best albums, Smote Reverser and Face Stabber. These latest records draw heavily from prog rock and experimental electronic music, and they benefit in no small part from contributions by keyboardist Tomas Dolas. Oh Sees’ show at the Teragram last Halloween was absolutely electric, and we expect this year’s set to be another thrill ride. —Matt Miner

Lizzy Borden (Jack Lue)

Lizzy Borden 


Like Marilyn Manson, or old school Alice Cooper, Lizzy Borden is the name of both the band and the frontman. The band formed in 1983 and balanced on that line between heavy metal and glam rock, with a horror edge that fans of those aforementioned artists would enjoy. Last year saw the release of My Midnight Things, Lizzy Borden’s first new album in 11 years since 2007’s Appointment With Death. It’s great that the band is still active, while in the live environment they still give their everything. It’s easy to turn up your nose at bands like Borden, but they’re all about fun and this one is taking place on Halloween — who better to enjoy that holiday with? Crash, Kore Rozzik, Vile A Sin, and The Road Vikings also play. —Brett Callwood

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