From enduring new-wavers Bow Wow Wow and rap collab DJ Quik + The Dogg Pound to LGBTQ country star Lavender Country and NYHC icons Madball, here are 12 of the best shows in L.A. this week…

fri 2/21

Annabella Lwin 


With their Burundi-style rhythms, Bow Wow Wow were a memorable band in the ’80s, blending new wave and punk energy with poppy melodies on such catchy tunes as “Do You Wanna Hold Me?,” “Sexy Eiffel Tower” and the hit remake of The Strangeloves’ “I Want Candy.” But the most distinctive and charismatic part of the English group has always been Annabella Lwin, the precociously talented, ebullient lead vocalist who started singing with Bow Wow Wow when she was just 13 years old. In recent years, a dodgy, inauthentic version of the band led by a former bassist using the Bow Wow Wow name plays gigs with an inferior, impostor vocalist in place of Lwin. Undeterred, the real Ms. Lwin continues to perform under her own name. Ain’t nothing like the real thing.—Falling James

DJ Quik, Tha Dogg Pound 


Rapper, songwriter, DJ and producer David Marvin Blake, a.k.a. DJ Quik, is a multitalented chap, and he’s not one to sit on his hands. His DJ name reflects his ability to produce records swiftly. Meanwhile, the Compton artist has released a string of excellent albums of his own, although the most recent under his own name is 2014’s The Midnight Life. He’s about due, if his name is anything to go by. He’s joined in Santa Ana by Long Beach duo Tha Dogg Pound, a group key to Death Row Records’ early success. They too haven’t released a full-length album in a while (2010’s 100 Ways, we believe), so expect some oldie but goodies on Friday. —Brett Callwood

sat 2/22



For several years, Feels have been one of L.A.’s most intriguing bands. Formerly known as Raw Geronimo in a nod to singer-guitarist Laena Geronimo, Feels alternate punk-rock intensity with unexpectedly lush and dreamy pop idylls. The group’s 2019 album, Post Earth, juxtaposes such frenetic and freaky punk blasts as “Car” and “Deconstructed” with gentler, more restrained interludes like “W.F.L.” When Feels combine both dualities in the same song, such as “Awful Need” and the shadowy exploration “Sour,” they take simple indie rock into stranger and more compelling places. Guitarist Shannon Lay recently left the band to pursue her thriving career as a solo folkie, but the new version of Feels returns the focus to Geronimo, the madly talented singer who likely inherited much of her spirit from her late father, Alan Myers, Devo’s most inventive drummer. —Falling James



Technically, this gig is being billed as “Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate” due to the fact that the helium-voiced frontman is the only one left from the glory days of the early ’90s, which produced such Sunset Strip classic albums as Blackout in the Red Room and Wasted in America. But fear not — Pearl does a stellar job of recreating those heady days, and the Whisky is an appropriate venue within which to wax nostalgic. In truth, Love/Hate were all too often overlooked in favor of some of the prettier rock & roll bands in Hollywood, despite them having better tunes than most. The fact that Pearl later sang for Ratt, L.A. Guns, Steven Adler and Quiet Riot (he’s still a member of the latter) shows how valued he is by other musicians. Tennessee Werewolves, Black Star Sinners and Whiskey Dogz also play. —Brett Callwood

2.22: Vegan Hip-Hop Music Festival


“Come create history as we build the first plant-based hip-hop experience the world has ever seen,” say the festival’s organizers on the Observatory’s website, and we believe them. But it makes sense in this climate that those two worlds would collide, and it makes for a potentially fascinating event. Local sibling duo Grey, who just dropped their “Body Count” track, play — as does Atlanta MC Donny Arcade, plus Crewz, 4biddenknowledge, Stephen the Martyr, Renegade and DJ Mike Sincere. That’s a chunk of talented artists who are prepared to represent for a cause that they believe in. There will also be vegan vendors, and the event is all-ages. Even if you’re not vegan, the food and music will be good. —Brett Callwood

sun 2/23

Zig Zags (Dave Black)

Zig Zags, The Well 


Hermosa Beach record label RidingEasy Records has established itself as a haven for loud stoner-metal riffs since its 2013 formation. This line-up at Permanent Records’ Roadhouse location on Cypress Avenue showcases the diversities that can still exist within that genre umbrella. L.A.’s Zig Zags are a furious mix of skate-punk and thrash riffs cribbed from the early days of Slayer and Metallica, all of it wrapped in a ball of loose garage-rock energy. Their 2019 record — They’ll Never Take Us Alive — saw the trio place an extra emphasis on the mosh-worthy moments. Austin’s The Well provide a fuzzier gallop with the psychedelic doom that is present on 2019’s Death and Consolation. Vocal interplay between guitarist Ian Graham and bassist Lisa Alley adds an extra aura of hypnosis to the proceedings. —Jason Roche

Mamalarky (Sara Cath)



“Your eyes changed my life, now they’re gone,” Livvy Bennett reveals on “Fury,” a new single by her band Mamalarky. “You’re the only one I let dom.” As she continues with a short series of cryptic lyrics (“The Hilton and Bill Clinton, they make up lies and apologize”), the band crank out an aptly furious crush of fuzzy stop-and-start chords and Michael Hunter’s swirling keyboards. Bennett used to play bass with Cherry Glazerr, and Hunter has toured with White Denim, but they’re up to even stranger pursuits with Mamalarky, who started in Austin, Texas, before relocating to Los Angeles. From their 2017 debut single, “Loose Leaf,” which pairs Hunter’s groovy garage-rock keyboards with Bennett’s delirious harmonies, to the jazzy pop-psychedelic explorations on their 2018 EP, Fundamental Thrive Hive, Mamalarky are full of sonic surprises.  —Falling James

mon 2/24

Herman Dune, Maesa 


Herman Dune is a project by David Ivar, a French-Swedish musician based in San Pedro. “I live the life of a raconteur,” he drawls amid the slide-guitar smears of “Life on the Run,” a 2019 single. “It doesn’t matter that I am poor/I’m a king man.” “Wicked Love” is a laidback folk ballad in which Ivar croons about going to California, where “I walked the walk of shame.” Saluting his new hometown on “Love Cat Blues,” he sings, “I’ll meet you at the tar pits or on the astral plane.” Maesa Pullman conjures a more grandly entrancing reverie on her moody-blue new single, “Death of the Machine,” in which the local singer torches the glassy stillness with her yearning, arcing vocals. “I don’t need a new shoe size to be free to go between this body and infinity,” she intones. —Falling James

tue 2/25

AViVA (Matais Coulter)



AViVA is an interesting artist. The L.A.-based Australia native also writes young adult novels, and she has a sound that features elements of post-industrial and radio-friendly metal. She has a tendency to play with upper and lower case formats while missing out vowels. So her songs have names like “BRN,” “GRRRL” and “DROWN.” One suspects that it’s a relevant and significant artistic statement about being heard, and that makes her sense because her music, including recent single “PSYCHO,” is raw and intense, and demands the listener’s full attention. New York “future grunge” duo 8 Graves join AViVA for this super-cool double bill. —Brett Callwood

wed 2/26

Hélène Grimaud


Just one week after a Yuja Wang performance, another star pianist plays a solo recital amid the acoustical splendor of Disney Hall. French pianist Hélène Grimaud unravels selections from her 2018 album, Memory. The nuanced stylist will cast a spell of enchantment with evocative and overtly melodic passages by such classic French composers as Claude Debussy and Erik Satie and the Polish-French mainstay Frédéric Chopin. Satie’s Gnossiennes, for example, are short, sublime trances that are elevated to an even more rarefied, spectrally beautiful poignancy by Grimaud’s touch. Among other things, the pianist has written several books, including Wild Harmonies, a memoir about how her efforts raising wolves at her Wolf Conversation Center in New York not only saved their lives but gave her own life meaning and purpose. —Falling James

thu 2/27

(Courtesy of Lavender Country)

Lavender Country 


When people talk about “outlaw country” music, they generally don’t think of Patrick Haggerty’s band Lavender Country — but much like Charley Pride and Vic Chesnutt, Lavender Country represents the outermost fringes of the art form known as country music. Formed in 1972 and releasing their seminal self-titled 1973 album —  courtesy of the Gay Community Social Services of Seattle —  they wore their identity proudly on their sleeves with songs like “Come Out Singin’”, “Back in the Closet Again” and “Cryin’ These Cocksucking Tears.” Haggerty tonight carries the torch aloft to illuminate a whole new generation of country fans. When you take the concept of country music at its most basic, out there in America there are bound to be gay people and people of color and people who are paralyzed —  what’s stopping them from singing their songs? Also tonight: Sam Buck. —David Cotner



New York hardcore has always been an entirely different animal to the hardcore punk music that emerged from other cities. It’s practically a different genre — the likes of Agnostic Front and Sick of it All have very little in common with D.C. bands such as Minor Threat or certainly SoCal bands like Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. Madball are very much of the NYHC school, starting life as an Agnostic Front side project. There’s no Roger Miret or Vinnie Stigma in the ranks these days, but Miret’s brother Freddy Cricien still fronts the band. They put out their ninth studio album, For the Cause, in 2018 and, as one might expect, it’s brutally hard and to-the-point. Their L.A. return is welcome. Death Before Dishonor also play. —Brett Callwood

LA Weekly