From hard rocker Ty Segall and hair metallers Pretty Boy Floyd to the California Deathfest and rapper Shordie Shordie, here are 12 of the best music shows in Los Angeles this week.

fri 7/26

Ty Segall & Freedom Band, Warm Drag


Ty Segall has cranked out numerous hard rock, punk and psychedelic releases under his own name and with such projects as Fuzz and The CIA. What’s surprising about the guitar hero’s latest album, First Taste (Drag City), is that it was recorded without guitars. And yet it’s still aggressive and rocking, as Segall and his Freedom Band manage to make the combination of synthesizers and other keyboards, plus bass, drums, bouzouki and other instrumentation, sound sinister. There are laid-back moments, such as “The Arms” and “Ice Plant,” a trippy soundscape with a weave of a cappella voices, but overall First Taste is too energetic to be considered mellow. Segall opens his monthlong residency with performances of First Taste and his 2010 album, Melted. Openers Warm Drag are another group who manufacture sensual, darkly engrossing anti-rock without a single guitar. —Falling James

Pretty Boy Floyd 


Through unkind, cynical eyes, Pretty Boy Floyd might always be viewed as the also-rans of the Hollywood sleaze rock scene. Their debut album, Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz, wasn’t released until ’89, when the whole hair movement was in the process of winding down, and while the “Rock and Roll (Is Gonna Set the Night on Fire)” single remains a crowd favorite, they didn’t have any major hits. But here’s the thing — it takes more than a few chartbusters to create a valid scene. PBF have a few full lengthers jam-packed with quality, anthemic hard rock, and they continue to work their butts off. This show celebrates their 30th anniversary, and they sure deserve a party. Tennessee Werewolves, Southern Sinners, Civil Strife, Molly Vamp, CallBox, Red Vinyl Gypsies and Black Current also play. —Brett Callwood

sat 7/27

(Rick Rodney)

Pearl Charles


“Is there anyone left in this sea of a city, city by the sea?/It’s getting harder to hear you when you speak/Through the smoke and mirrors of the silver screen,” Pearl Charles wonders on the title track of her 2018 debut full-length album, Sleepless Dreamer. The local singer is an incisive chronicler of life and love in this strange city. She masks her sadness about the callousness of so many men with the effusive chords of the jangling pop tune “All the Boys,” which she contrasts with her unabashed romantic admiration amid the subdued and soulful keyboards of “Long Hair.” Without getting overtly political, Charles addresses the state of the union today, and how friends have turned numb to modern events, when she succinctly points out, “We’re all connected in the same way.” Morgan Delt, Vinyl Williams and The Sunsettes also perform. —Falling James

California Deathfest V


Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, with a “pre-fest” show on Friday, this promises to be one of the biggest and best California Deathfests yet. Saturday will see New York’s favorite gore-heavy death-grind band Mortician headline, backed by the equally tasteful Flint, Michigan, group Repulsion. Swedish band Grave headline Sunday, with Floridians Monstrosity (best known as the band formed by current Cannibal Corpse man George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher) second on the bill. Elsewhere, we get Revenge, Sadistic Intent, Evildead, Decrepit Birth, Pessimist, Hirax, Massacre, Morbid Saint, Mortuous and Cranial Engorgement, while Funebrarum, Devourment, PLF, BruceXCampbell and Fiend play on Friday. That’s a hell of a lot of death for one weekend, so the weak-hearted should avoid. —Brett Callwood

(Charlie Preacher)

Shordie Shordie 


Shordie Shordie exploded onto the rap scene with his slapper “Bitchuary.” While he hails from the streets of Baltimore, this upbeat bop has been heard in clubs and on radio airwaves up and down the West Coast. On the chorus, he spits “Bitch you a dog and your homegirl too!”, inspired by a real-life experience in Shordie’s life. Real name Raquan Hudson got his start in music in this group called Peso De Mafia, comprised of him, his brother and cousin. They went on to produce “Money Man,” which eventually became a viral hit. In 2018, he released his project titled Captain Hook, which highlights his ability to deliver fire choruses. Now, he unleashes the official remix to “Bitchuary” with Wiz Khalifa and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. —Shirley Ju

sun 7/28

Sarah Shook & the Disarmers


“Nothin’ on this jukebox ’cept the blues,” Sarah Shook laments on “Good as Gold,” from Years, the latest album by the Chapel Hill singer and her band The Disarmers. Shook’s jukebox might be filled with blues and sadness, but she and her group kick up their heels and stir up a lively brand of country and roots-rock. Despite being raised in a strict, religious family without much exposure to music, the vocalist has reinvented herself as an outspoken bisexual atheist who nonetheless loves to revel in the sounds of traditional country music. Of course, in Shook’s world tradition encompasses acceptance of the LGBTQ community as well as her own defiance in such songs as “New Ways to Fail,” in which she refuses to play the role of a submissive, obedient woman just to please a selfish man. —Falling James

Janet Gardner 


Since reforming in the mid ’90s, Vixen have played musical chairs with the members a little. That band now has Femme Fatale star Lorraine Lewis fronting it alongside classic lineup peeps Roxy Petrucci and Share Ross (with guitarist Jan Kuehnemund sadly no longer with us). Singer Janet Gardner left the band earlier this year to focus on her solo career and, with Lewis doing a great job with Vixen, that has proven to be an astute move. In 2017, while still with the band, she released her self-titled solo debut, and then this year put out Your Place in the Sun, which sees her working with her husband and guitarist Justin James. She’ll be playing her solo stuff alongside the Vixen hits at the Whisky — it should be a great show. —Brett Callwood

(John Gilhooley)



Featuring original members Ron Emory (guitar), Mike Roche (bass) and Jack Grisham (vocals), T.S.O.L. continue with their unique combination of savage intensity and fulsome power leavened with morbid humor, which stands out even more in an era when so much punk rock is now fangless. In a 2018 feature, Grisham told us that, “I would be a fucking excellent anarchist or storefront preacher. However, I don’t think any man should be in charge of any other man. The trouble is, you can’t really step away from ingrained values.” Grisham kinda gets his wish every night, preaching to his gathered and ever-loyal congregation. Egrets on Ergot, Slaughterhouse, Hamapple and JFA also play this early afternoon show. —Brett Callwood

mon 7/29

Mini Bear


Technology doesn’t scare Lauren Kop, the woman behind the local synth-pop project Mini Bear. Instead, she fully embraces it, using her abilities to create, record and produce romantic songs that are pumped up with layers of synthesizers. Rather than sounding cold and robotic, such tracks as “Technopoly Conversations” are brightened by her yearning, searching vocals, which are cast against a spinning web of new-wave textures and dance-pop rhythms. “I swipe the pictures on my screen… I feel like modern love is cruel,” she declares, confronting the collision of passion and technology head on with her 2018 single “Cyberlove.” The show is themed as a “Cyber Dream Fantasy” and features Polartropica on the last night of their residency, as well as Noice, a tight jazzy-experimental ensemble led by versatile Polartropica guitarist Alexander Noice. —Falling James

tue 7/30

Ninet Tayeb 


She’s based in Los Angeles now, though back in her hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel, Ninet Tayeb is a household name. Give her a listen and you’ll see that it’s no surprise — the singer, songwriter and actress is on her fifth full length album, and the new material is typically raw, heart-wrenching and rocking. She recorded her first two album in Hebrew, before making her English language debut in 2012 with Sympathetic Nervous System. Tayeb remains one of the most famous celebrities in Israel, and her attempts to crack America continue at an impressive rate. The Paper Parachute album was recorded here just over a year ago, and the followup is coming soon. “I want people to feel whatever they want to feel,” she says on her Facebook page. “I wanna be the channel to their deepest thoughts. I wanna make them feel alive.” Job done. —Brett Callwood

wed 7/31

Chaka Khan at Roots Jam; Credit: Lina Lecaro

Chaka Khan at Roots Jam; Credit: Lina Lecaro

Chaka Khan 


If ever there were a singer who most perfectly captures the interior lives of people, it’s Chaka Khan. “Rhythm” and “blues” are deceptively simple words but think about it: Everyone has their own individual rhythm, and everyone has their own definition of what it means to feel the blues. It’s easy to forget that these are concepts with their own power and grandeur — and yet Chaka Khan knows that these are concepts that still hold power within. Through her work with Rufus — most notably on the Breakin’ soundtrack with the beautifully poignant and knowing love song “Ain’t Nobody” — and as a solo artist, with songs like “Through the Fire,” which vibrates and burns with faith and belief in love itself, Chaka Khan understands the majesty and the deep beauty of your inner life. Just listen. You’ll see. Also: Michael McDonald. —David Cotner

thu 8/1

The B-52s


You know, we’re lucky that The B-52s are still touring. More than 40 years after the colorful, kinetic band first bounced their collective satellites into orbit around Athens, Georgia, they continue to dance this mess around with style and wit. Although The B-52s fit in perfectly amid the thrill rides and carny distractions of a county fair, they are far more than just an oldies group. While the group’s triumvirate of lead singers — Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson — belt out many of the old hits, they usually play a song or two from their brilliant 2008 album, Funplex. Nostalgia aside, there is something eternally bewitching about the haunting way Pierson and Wilson combine their otherworldly voices on such classics as “52 Girls,” and Schneider’s lyrics are as absurdly daft as ever. Also at Microsoft Theater, Sunday, August 4. —Falling James

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