From the last days of thrash titans Slayer and Austrian improviser Radu Malfatti to the helium voiced King Diamond and R&B star K. Michelle, here are 12 of the best music shows in Los Angeles this week.

fri 11/29


Slayer (Hannah Verbeuren)



In the history of music, there has never been a sonic force quite as powerful as the awe-inspiring crush of pulverizing noise stirred up by Slayer. The band came out of Huntington Park in 1981 during an era when the worlds of punk and metal were strictly separate, but they were one of the first groups to recognize the convulsive possibilities of a metallic attack played at hardcore tempos. Over the past decade, Slayer have gone through some heavy changes — in particular, the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013 — and the group have announced that they will stop performing live after their Final Campaign Tour, which concludes with two hometown shows at the Forum. The band just released The Repentless Killogy, a throttling live album in the wake of Slayer’s 2015 studio album, Repentless. These final shows are stacked with sets from Primus, Ministry, and Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals. Also Saturday, November 30. —Falling James

(Courtesy Radu Malfatti)

Radu Malfatti 


If there were ever a point at which the paths of Bruce Willis and the avant-garde might intersect, it’s at tonight’s live action by legendary Austrian improviser and bass harmonicist Radu Malfatti. Malfatti has two nights scheduled — co-presented by Black Editions, Last Visible Dog and The Unwrinkled Ear — both nights, naturally, existing as entirely different propositions. Night the first: Malfatti on solo bass harmonica, along with tenor sax soloist Patrick Shiroishi performing Malfatti’s composition “benkyou.” Night the second: Malfatti improvising as a trio with Laura Steenberge and Ang Wilson, and the premiere of Erika Bell “gyrations: cool, red, grey.” All under the watchful eye of the man who drank coffee with Luigi Nono, broke the free improv mold with Derek Bailey and Peter Kowald, and, in the great spirit of the avant-garde, admits that he “read a lot; forgot everything.” —David Cotner

sat 11/30

Bea Miller (Charlotte Rutherford)

Bea Miller 


Signed to Hollywood Records, New Jersey native Bea Miller is more than just a singer-songwriter, she’s a role model for all females aspiring to make it in the music industry. With 1.6 million followers on Instagram alone, the “That Bitch” recording artist is known for her maturity and creating empowering anthems unapologetically. Her lyrics stem from real-life experiences that audiences can’t help but relate to. Earlier this year, she enlisted 6lack for a light-hearted semi-romantic ballad titled “it’s not u it’s me.” This release follows her collaborative effort with Snakehips on “Never Gonna Like You.” That record touches on all the insecurities and flaws we have as human beings. This show at The Fonda will have the crowd singing word for word! —Shirley Ju

Meat Puppets; Credit: Joseph Cultice

Meat Puppets (Joseph Cultice)

Meat Puppets 


“Many a mind has pondered … trying to find the code/Prying at the lock to break into wonderland,” Curt Kirkwood murmurs on “The Great Awakening,” a hazy fantasy from Meat Puppets’ latest album, Dusty Notes. Befitting its title, the record is a rustic travelogue through such country-rock ditties as the banjo-laced “Nine Pins” and “Sea of Heartbreak.” Traces of the Arizona group’s punk and psychedelic roots crop up on occasionally heavier passages, such as “Vampyr’s Winged Fantasy” and the trippy harpsichord interlude “Unfrozen Memory,” but the album is generally a laidback affair. Curt Kirkwood and his bassist-brother Cris have reunited with Meat Puppets’ original drummer, Derrick Bostrom, and the current lineup also includes Curt’s son Elmo Kirkwood on guitar and keyboardist Ron Stabinsky. If you can’t make the trek out to the High Desert, Meat Puppets are scheduled to tour with Mudhoney in 2020. —Falling James

sun 12/1

King Diamond (Jimmy Hubbard)

King Diamond 


Helium-voiced Dane King Diamond has been best known as the frontman of  heavy metal outfit Mercyful Fate since 1981, but the heavily made-up singer and black metal pioneer has also had a very successful solo career. His debut, Fatal Portrait, came out in ’86, but it was Abigail in ’87 and then “Them” the following year that really saw his rise as a solo artist. The latter in particular is a bonafide metal classic, with its high horror concept, super infectious tunes and genuinely unsettling tone. The Institute, scheduled for release via Metal Blade next year, will be his 13th solo studio album, and he rarely lets the quality drop. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats and Idlehands also play. —Brett Callwood

mon 12/2

Pixies (Travis Shinn)



Back in September, Boston alt-rockers the Pixies released their seventh full-length studio album, Beneath the Eyrie, the third since the 2000s reunion and since bassist Paz Lenchantin joined the ranks replacing Kim Deal. “There’s this idea or notion of the gothic,” Black Francis told us then. “More from a literary point of view. Edgar Allan Poe, spooky, Ichabod Crane — some sort of what I would call gothic. It’s all to do with a custom guitar I treated myself to as a birthday present a few years ago. It incorporated the first adult tooth I ever had removed. I saved the tooth and I bleached it out so it looked good. I gave it to the guy and asked for a black, four-string guitar with the tooth in it.” So go to the Troubadour to hear Pixies tunes new and old, possibly performed on a tooth-guitar. Also Tuesday, December 3. Kristin Hersh opens. —Brett Callwood

Shannon Lay (Denee Segall)

Shannon Lay 


When she’s not playing in the local punk-indie supergroup Feels, Shannon Lay switches gears completely when she performs solo. On her recent Sub Pop album, August, the singer spins airy folk reveries with little more accompaniment than her guitar, although there is a fuller-band backing on such indie-pop songs as “Nowhere” and “Something on Your Mind.” Lay’s subdued vocals are adorned with a string section on the title track, but other songs, such as “Shuffling Stoned,” are more stripped-down acoustic ballads. Another ballad, “Sea Came to Shore,” is anointed with intimate harmonies. Even though her music is mellow, she has an affinity with hard-rocker Ty Segall (who will perform solo on December 16 as part of Lay’s December residency at Zebulon) and has recently been touring with Segall’s bandmate Mikal Cronin. —Falling James

tue 12/3

K. Michelle 


Memphis R&B singer/songwriter K. Michelle has been steadily rising since she signed with Jive Records in 2009 and put out the “Fakin’ It” single which featured one Missy Elliott. The singles kept coming, though an appearance on the VH1 show Love & Hip-Hop: Atlantain 2012 really saw her stock climb. She signed a major label deal with Atlantic  soon afterwards, and released the Rebellious Soul debut album in 2013. Since then, she’s put out three more albums, the most recent being 2017’s autobiographical Kimberly: The People I Used to Know, though a fifth, All Monsters Are Human, is due soon. Hopefully we’ll hear some of that at the Mayan. —Brett Callwood

wed 12/4

Anna Calvi 


Anna Calvi describes her latest album, Hunter, as “so personal it’s like sweat from my body.” The new record has a bit of a Nick Cave connection with production from Nick Launay (who’s produced music by Cave and Grinderman) and bass parts by The Bad Seeds’ Martyn Casey. In a Facebook post, Calvi goes on to explain that “I’m happy to be what I am, a bizarre mixture of lion and lamb, of extrovert and introvert, of vulnerability and strength.” These dualities and apparent contradictions run through Hunter as a theme on such tracks as “Don’t Beat the Girl Out of My Boy” and “As a Man,” in which the English singer pushes past the barriers of gender roles. Calvi’s stirring vocals range from the breathy dramatics of “Indies or Paradise” and the intimate phrasing of “Away” to the operatic, ethereal power of the shimmering interlude “Eden.” Note: Calvi’s show at the Echo has been postponed until Thursday, April 9, 2020. —Falling James

thu 12/5

Cherie Currie & Brie Darling 


Cherie Currie and Brie Darling are two bad asses who broke down all manner of boundaries when they were only teenagers — Darling with the early ’70s rock band Fanny and Currie with mid- to-late-’70s punks The Runaways. Fast forward 40 years, and they’re working together. The duo have put out their debut album The Motivator (named after the T-Rex song which is covered on the record) and, following a low-key performance at the Grammy Museum at the beginning of August, they’re now on a full tour that hits the Whisky this week. Expect plenty of Runaways and Fanny classics alongside tunes from the new album. —Brett Callwood

Angel Olsen (Cameron McCool)

Angel Olsen 


“I’ve been watching all of my past repeating … a million moments landing on your smile, buried alive, I could have died to stay there,” Angel Olsen intones reverently on the title track of her new album, All Mirrors. The album is suffused with themes of romantic love, and the Asheville, North Carolina, singer wraps her dreamy vocals at times within the weave of a lush string section. Such gauzy songs as “Impasse” and “Too Easy” bump up against harder and more enigmatic tunes like “New Love Cassette” and “What It Is.” A swirl of electronics twists around Olsen on “Summer,” before she downshifts into the starkly moving, late-night cabaret idyll “Endgame.” On her highly anticipated current tour, she’s scattering a few of her early favorites into a set stacked with songs from All Mirrors. Recent shows have been closing with “True Blue,” Olsen’s collaboration with Mark Ronson. Also Friday, December 6. —Falling James

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