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From Swiss rock band Annie Taylor and Brooklyn rapper Young MA to Jewish cowboy Kinky Friedman and Boston punks the Street Dogs, here are 12 of the best shows in L.A. this week…

fri 3/13

Young M.A 

THE BELASCO

Brooklyn rapper Katorah Marrero, better known as Young M.A (deliberately stylized with a period after the M but not after the A), first broke into the public’s attention with the 2016 song “Ooouuu,” produced by U-Dub of NY Bangers. The likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard ranked it among their best songs that year, and it was later sampled by Eminem on the song “The Ringer.” It wasn’t until September of last year, however, that she finally dropped her debut full-lengther — Herstory in the Making. That was 10 years to the month after her brother Kenneth Ramos was murdered, and she said in a press release for the album that he continues to motivate her. It’s an awesome piece of work, and it’ll be great to hear it live. Also at the Observatory on March 15.—Brett Callwood

sat 3/13

Burgerama 

ECHOPLEX

What an intensely amazing lineup of garage and punk rock put together by Burger Records, Spaceland and The Echo. Bandaged, lo-fi Bay-area rockers The Mummies headline (side note — they also play at Alex’s Bar on, appropriately enough, Friday the 13th), while San Fran garage veterans The Flamin’ Groovies join them at the top end of the bill. Sticking in the Bay, SF glam-punks Apache are playing their “last show ever!” (according to the poster), and we’re also getting treated to sets from recently reformed local glitter heroes the Hollywood Stars. The lower end of the lineup is no less exciting, with Cosmonauts, The Memories, Pearl & the Oysters, The Sloths, Hammered Satin, The Flytraps, The Dates and Tenement Rats among the talent. Superb! —Brett Callwood

Polartropica's Ihui Cherise Wu; Credit: Olivia Hemaratanatorn

Polartropica’s Ihui Cherise Wu (Olivia Hemaratanatorn)

Love Is Gay Fest

BOOTLEG THEATER

Pop charmers Lucy & La Mer’s annual Love Is Gay Fest doubles as a celebration for the release of Polartropica’s full-length album, Dreams Come True. Ihui Cherise Wu spins glittery clouds of cotton candy on synthesizer, over which she coos radiant pop melodies fleshed out with deft assurance by her ace band, which includes the dazzling guitar whiz Alexander Noice. But such pretty passages as “Wild Lyfe” — which is anointed with guest star Jett Kwong’s delicate, feathery lines on the Chinese string instrument guzheng — are contrasted by yearning lyrics about animals trapped in captivity to entertain voyeuristic humans. “How could they be so cruel?/I can’t even digest,” Wu wonders on “Solidarity,” another seemingly airy dance-pop track with heavy lyrics. “Gotta stick together/Never know who could be next.” The fest is stacked further with WASI, Guppy, Rat Fancy, and Chanel & the Circus. —Falling James

Yves Tumor (Jordan Hemingway)

Yves Tumor 

THE OBSERVATORY

You’d think “Bowie” is about the coolest name a musician can have, but Miami-born, Turin-based electronic artist Sean Bowie prefers to go by the moniker Yves Tumor. Four studio albums into a still-blossoming career, Tumor certainly is an enigma. Raised in conservative Knoxville, Tennessee, Tumor started making music in his mid-teens as an escape from the horrifically conservative surroundings. He self-released his first album, When Man Fails You, in 2015 and then Serpent Music the following year. Tumor then signed with British dance label Warp Record and put out the Safe in the Hands of Love album in 2018. This year, we’re expecting the Heaven to a Tortured Mind album, and more Throbbing Gristle-meets-contemporary electronica goodness. —Brett Callwood

sun 3/15

Screaming Females

BOOTLEG THEATER

“My instincts are extinct,” singer-guitarist Marissa Paternoster confesses on “Soft Domination,” from Screaming Females’ 2018 album, All at Once. “Tell me you’ll take me out of this place.” Such tracks as “Black Moon” and “I’ll Make You Sorry” rumble with a punk energy and drive, but the New Jersey trio fill their songs with unpredictable twists and turns underneath Paternoster’s defiant lyrics. “Now we all dream alone,” she rails amid the surging chords of “Black Moon.” Screaming Females switch gears on “Dirt,” with its glassy indie-rock riffs unfurling with hints of prog flourishes, and “Agnes Martin,” which thunders with metallic riffage. Paternoster’s modern take on punk rock should make an interesting combination with punk iconoclast’s Alice Bag’s ever-diversifying solo material and sociopolitical provocations and Generación Suicida’s relentlessly frantic, fast and manically tuneful broadsides. —Falling James

Kinky Friedman 

ZEBULON

Self-styled Jewish cowboy Kinky Friedman has always been a one-off. “I won’t use the internet,” he told this writer in 2017. “I don’t know what’s holding me back. Everybody else is doing it. But people are a bunch of humorless, constipated prigs, and they don’t like anybody to joke about the internet or anything else. So fuck ’em. Fuck ’em and feed ’em Froot Loops.” The singer/songwriter/satirist put out his most recent album, Circus of Life in 2018, so expect some of that at Zebulon. Meanwhile, his former Texas Jewboys bandmate (and longtime L.A. Weekly writer) Michael Simmons is also on the bill, a man that Creem Magazine once called “the father of country-punk.” Singer/songwriter Phil Cody also plays, so get there early. —Brett Callwood

mon 3/16

Street Dogs 

ALEX’S BAR

Mike McColgan of Boston punks the Street Dogs was the original singer with fellow Boston punks the Dropkick Murphys and, while there is little in the way of kilts and bagpipes here, the vibe is very much the same. Street punk played by flat cap-adorned street dudes who look like they’d just as happily fight ya as entertain ya. Brothers in arms, fisticuffs as the ready, OI OI OI! That sort of thing. But testosterone aside, the Street Dogs’ tunes are undeniably huge. 2018’s Stand for Something or Die for Nothing (a title that perfectly illustrates what we were just saying) is their most recent album, it’s their sixth, and it’s a hair-raising, anthemic doozie. Hardship Anchors and Sharp Shock also play. —Brett Callwood

tue 3/17

Drugdealer 

ZEBULON

Drugdealer is the latest project from L.A.-based singer/songwriter Michael Collins. Previously known for his psychedelic lo-fi aliases Run DMT and Salvia Plath, Drugdealer is a more collaborative effort wherein Collins and friends mine the gold sounds of AM pop, soft rock and Laurel Canyon. Drugdealer’s latest release, the warm and wistful Raw Honey, features guest vocals from the likes of Weyes Blood and Ariel Pink, and was one of the more underrated indie pop/rock albums of 2019. The Drugdealer show at the Bootleg Theater last August — with Collins performing as an eight-piece band — was fantastic as well. —Matt Miner

wed 3/18

Stars From Mars 

WHISKY A GO GO

Everybody knows about the Sunset Strip in the ‘80s — the rock & roll scene that gave the world Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Ratt, Warrant, etc, etc. There were, of course, countless bands that were trying to break as big as the aforementioned groups, and many that barely scratched the surface. Sometimes, that’s because they weren’t very good, other times it was just bad luck or the fact that there’s really no justice in the music industry. Formed in the late ‘80s, Stars From Mars certainly had the look, and they developed a cult following that kinda still hangs about today. Their song “We Got Tonight” featured on the frankly amazing 2010 box set Hollywood Rocks, reminding the world that they existed, and they were a ton of fun. Ruby Carrera Band, Mr. Kicks and Mortis the Devil’s Reject also play. —Brett Callwood

thu 3/19

Grace Potter

EL REY THEATRE

Grace Potter is a madly talented musician who can pump up thick sheets of gospel-infused chords on Hammond B-3 organ or play driving guitar with her Flying V and top it all off with her powerful, soulful vocals. The Vermont native first came to attention fronting Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, whose folksy style of classic rock and blues was thoroughly retro but nonetheless often satisfying. Potter attempted to expand her sound with elements of electronica and indie rock on the Nocturnals’ final album, The Lion the Beast the Beat, a trend that continued on her only intermittently engaging 2015 solo album, Midnight. But she returns to a more compelling R&B/blues style on her latest record, Daylight, which was produced by her husband Eric Valentine and gives the singer more of a chance to belt everything out freely. —Falling James

Jett Kwong

BOOTLEG THEATER

Jett Kwong has mastered the guzheng, a stringed, zither-like Chinese instrument, but her music is anything but quaint and traditional. Such intriguing songs as “Morpheus,” from the Los Angeles singer’s 2016 EP, Stark Night, are steeped in shadows and unfold like pretty but poisonous flowers. “Away” is a sensual pop ballad that is brightened by electronic instrumentation and Kwong’s contemplative, dream-laden vocal delivery. Other tracks range from the gently lulling sensuality of “Changes” and “Tokyo Bath” to the aptly titled “Beauty Song,” in which her artful plucking on guzheng is couched in a tranquil and engrossing string arrangement. “Cream” is even sweeter as ethereal harmonies swirl around Kwong’s languidly enchanting vocals. She celebrates the release of a new EP at tonight’s show on a bill with Beck Pete. —Falling James

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