From Sunset Strip faves Faster Pussycat and Grateful Dead spin-off Dead & Company to Ohio indie rockers Guided By Voices and Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion, here are 12 of the best music shows in Los Angeles this week.

fri 12/27

Faster Pussycat (Ted Van Pelt/Wikicommons)

Faster Pussycat 


Faster Pussycat guitarist and frontman Taime Downe are part of the Sunset Strip furniture, and you can usually finding them buzzing around the Whisky somewhere in this space between Christmas and New Year. They’re a party band, and so they’re the perfect hosts for a night of festive cheer. These days, Downe has blended the classic FP sleaze with The Newlydeads–era industrial rock to great effect; they play old favorites such as “Bathroom Wall,” “Babylon” and monster ballad “House of Pain,” but the tunes have been given a bit of extra electro crunch. The last new album was 2006’s The Power & the Glory Hole, though there was a live album called Front Row for the Donkey Show which came out in 2009 and offers a fairly accurate representation of a Pussycat gig today. Hopefully we’ll get a new album soon. Jimmy Richardson, MotorBone, The Thrillseekers and Stormbreaker also play. —Brett Callwood

Dead & Company 


Essentially, the success of Dead & Company was always a foregone conclusion. Although it’s been only five years since their founding —with The Grateful Dead’s guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann throwing in their lot with bassist Oteil Burbridge (The Allman Brothers Band), keyboardist Jeff Chimenti (RatDog), and of course John Mayer — time and the persistence of the mythos have made them one of the most devotedly-followed bands of the 21st century.  Everyone wants to see The Dead.  Everyone wants to keep holding that magic wrapped in roses and skulls. Jerry Garcia said that, when Ron “Pigpen” McKernan died in 1973, that was “the end of the original Grateful Dead.” The skull is a husk. The spirit abides.  Nearby. What magic you choose to take away from that majestic manifestation is entirely up to you. Also Saturday. —David Cotner

sat 12/28

Roddy Ricch (Kaito)

Roddy Ricch 


When Roddy Ricch came out with “Die Young,” the world was not ready. Who was this kid who can hit them notes like he’s from Atlanta, but actually hails from Compton? Surprisingly enough, the West Coast recording artist made his first song barely two years ago. This year, he earned himself three Grammy nominations: “Racks In The Middle” for best rap song and best rap performance, and DJ Mustard’s “Ballin’” for best rap/sung performance. Riding on this success, Roddy unleashed his highly-anticipated debut studio album titled Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial. The significance in the title is a reference to his introverted self, with a straight face that audiences may take the wrong way. While the project is laced with bangers, “The Box” has recently been the most requested song in clubs up and down the coast. —Shirley Ju

sun 12/29

Enuff Znuff


For years, the go-to accusation thrown at Chicago’s Enuff Z’Nuff was that they sounded way too much like The Beatles. As if they were trying to ape them rather than enjoy a healthy amount of influence (for a modern reference, see Greta Van Fleet and the great Led Zeppelin debate). But, as is usually the case, it was all a load of reactionary hooey. Enuff Z’Nuff are and have always been a great power pop band, blessed with pop sensibilities that carried them far beyond the standard Sunset Strip hair sound. They dressed like Warrant but they were just different. Classic-era frontman Donnie Vie has been out of the band since 2013, with bassist Chip Z’nuff taking vocal duties for the 2018 album Diamond Boy. It’s not exactly the same but still worthy of the name. Death Valley Gypsies, Angeles, Prima Donna Rising, Temple Monarc, Decapitation of a New Day and Bound Within also play. —Brett Callwood

Bino Rideaux 


South Central native Bino Rideaux is best known for his collaborations with late rapper Nipsey Hussle and featuring on the songs “Clarity” with Dave East, even proceeding to do a whole tape together called No Pressure. Regardless, it’s Bino’s ability to both sing and rap that fans can’t help but gravitate toward. Most recently, Bino unleashed his Sorry 4 Tha Wait mixtape, featuring standout single “Bozo.” The rising independent recording artist will now be taking his talents to the main stage at The Roxy for his Bino Rideaux & Friends show, which is guaranteed to attract many special guests. This hometown show will be big for the city. —Shirley Ju



2019 was a busy year for Goleta skate punks Lagwagon. As well as releasing their ninth studio album Railer, they celebrated the 20th anniversary of arguably their best full-length record, Let’s Talk About Feelings. That blend of nostalgia and new saw them touring plenty during the year, and they’re ending it with this big show at the Regent. Let’s be honest, we pretty much know what we’re going to get from Joey Cape and his crew: a wild, raucous show with a seasonal party vibe and solid punk tunes galore. Lagwagon has been in this game for long enough — they know what they’re doing. And a couple of nights before New Year, what else are you going to do? —Brett Callwood

mon 12/30

Arturo Sandoval & LA Allstars 


What a difference 30 years makes: In 1990, on tour in Europe with Dizzy Gillespie, Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval defects. Cuba is not best pleased by this turn of events — but ever since then, Sandoval has thrilled audiences with his impassioned virtuoso performances on an instrument that, in its way, has changed the course of nations as surely as any war or any earthquake. Tonight’s live action with Arturo Sandoval and the L.A. All-Stars — the penultimate date of a four-day stand — is a New Year’s celebration that marks decades of Sandoval’s continuing joyous signature free expression. His is the kind of freedom that, like sound waves, expands ever-outward, touching everyone and changing them irrevocably just by hearing Sandoval’s artistry and endless yearning for the chance to just be, both as an artist and as an individual human being. Also Tuesday. —David Cotner

Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker 


While you might think that Camper Van Beethoven — they of the smash modern rock banger “Take the Skinheads Bowling” — exist in some chortlesome netherworld running beneath the ’80s alongside like-minded audio pranksters Hoodoo Gurus, They Might Be Giants and Violent Femmes, witness their stance on the plight of the musician in the modern computer world and suddenly they may as well be a Rock in Opposition band rivaling the poetry of Henry Cow. The band — bassist Victor Krummenacher, leading guitarist Greg Lisher, firebrand singer David Lowery, mighty skinbeater Chris Pedersen, violinist Jonathan Segel — has much to say about the price paid by artists who now are everywhere at once while outlets like Napster and Pandora monetize their blood, sweat and tears and issue those artists a check for the princely sum of $17. Be there or be oblong. Also: Cracker. —David Cotner

tue 12/31

Guided By Voices 


When you think back on the fact that it took Guns N’ Roses 15 years to record and release the Chinese Democracy album, it’s astonishing that Dayton, Ohio lo-fi indie rockers Guided By Voices put out three albums in 2019 alone. That’s the sort of work ethic that should not only force Axl to hang his head in shame, but most other musicians too. Even The Beatles generally went for two per year. The thing is, all three — Zeppelin Over China, Warp and Woof and Sweating the Plague — are pretty darn good. So this show at the Teragram is being billed as their “ultimate year end blow-out” as they aim to perform 100 songs. Again, hang your heads, everyone else. It’s going to be wonderful madness. —Brett Callwood

Megan Thee Stallion 


There is nobody killing the rap game like Megan Thee Stallion. The Houston native is best known for her ability to rap, twerk, drive the boat (pouring Hennessy into friends’ mouths), and of course, trademarking the term Hot Girl Summer. Earlier this year, Meg unleashed her critically-acclaimed debut mixtape titled Fever, home to standout singles “Simon Says” featuring Juicy J and “Cash Shit” featuring DaBaby. The latter has gone on to become of the most streamed songs in music as a whole this year. The fact that this is a show to ring in the new year… Megan will not let her hotties down. Time to turn up with Thee Stallion! —Shirley Ju 

wed 1/1

A Viennese New Year with Zubin 


Start 2020 out right — which is not terribly difficult to do because apart from the Rose Parade and your hangover, there isn’t much else happening today that’s quite so spectacular — with A Viennese New Year with Zubin. Newly-named conductor emeritus Zubin Mehta — the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1962-1978 — pulls out all the stops with a lively program of waltzes, polkas and works by Mozart (“The Marriage of Figaro Overture”; “Violin Concerto No. 3 in G”) and Strauss (“Voices of Spring”; “Thunder and Lightning Polka”). He is aided and abetted in these relentlessly upbeat numbers by violinist Julian Rachlin and soprano Chen Reiss, who weave a heady soundtrack on this first day of the year to accompany everything from wild-eyed New Year’s resolutions to the inspirational ambition to help you get through yet another Los Angeles winter. —David Cotner

thu 1/2

Rough Riot 


It would be stretching the definition awfully to refer to Rough Riot as a supergroup, but you can guarantee that tag will get thrown around. All right, let’s go with it. This supergroup features former members of hair metal bands Quiet Riot and Rough Cutt (hence the clever name). That’s singer Paul Shortino, who was in both bands, plus guitarist Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), bassist Sean McNabb (Quiet Riot, plus Dokken and Lynch Mob) and drummer Greg D’Angelo (neither, although he was in White Lion). So guess what the set consists of. Yup, songs by Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot, plus other bands on their collective resumes. So if you like Quiet Riot and Rough Cutt, you’ll probably like Rough Riot. It ain’t rocket science.  —Brett Callwood

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