From the classic rock & roll of L.A. Guns and the drum & bass of the Nicky Blackmarket to the filthy lucre of Glen Matlock and the smoothly fierce sounds of Lion Babe, here are some of the most exciting goings-ons in the L.A. area this week.

fri 6/14

Oddisee & Good Compny, Sudan Archives


“I was born with small access to big dreams, to detached homes, and Lazy Boy couches were fit thrones that would sit kings/Lion statues on the fences larger than the castles they guarded,” Oddisee muses on “Built by Pictures,” from his 2017 album, The Iceberg. “I just looked at the pictures/Didn’t have a manual to build this, just assemble it from feeling.” The Maryland rapper assembles a lot of thought-provoking verses scratched up from feeling as the musical backing segues from straight-ahead rap into groovier funk workouts. Oddisee and his nimble band Good Compny are billed with Sudan Archives, the project of singer-violinist Brittney Parks, whose recent record, Sink, shape-shifts hip-hop into arty experimentation suffused imaginatively with layers of psychedelic vocals. —Falling James

L.A. Guns 


The saga of L.A. Guns and the on-again/off-again relationships between the members past and present wasn’t only threatening to become laughably ludicrous — it busted through that door with a shit-eating grin. For years now, there have been two versions of the band touring, throwing shade at each other in the process. In a spectacularly bizarre turn, guitarist Tracii Guns and vocalist Phil Lewis buried the hatchet and rejoined forces a couple of years ago, but drummer Steve Riley continued with his own version of the band. No matter — Lewis and Guns are L.A. Guns, and this year they returned with The Devil You Know album — a hard-hitting, relentless beast of a Hollywood rock & roll record. These two sets at the Whisky (also Saturday) will likely see them pull from that, as well as their impressive back catalog. —Brett Callwood

sat 6/15

(Courtesy of artist)

Xcellerated Presents Nicky Blackmarket, MC Fatman D, DJ Profile, Saxxon, Suv, Tribe Steppaz


Nicky Blackmarket is one of the key figures in the formation of drum & bass out of the genre’s rave-y breakbeat roots. The longstanding DJ, who gets his name from the defunct record store in the bustling Soho neighborhood of London, England, created a hub for the music before there was a name to put to it. For almost three decades, in the basement of Black Market Records, Nicky was a conduit to discovering new music and schooling the junglist massives. You may not be able to go down those famed steps and personally get handed a white label by Nicky, but as the respected DJ that he is, he continues to lead, both with his historic knowledge and the freshest tunes. He is joined by four other headliners, including one-time member of Roni Size’s Reprazent, DJ Suv, who brings his organic sounds into the mix. —Lily Moayeri

(Tina Korhonen)

Glen Matlock


Sid Vicious might have been a good stunt double and looked more the part of a surly punk rocker, but Glen Matlock did more of the musical heavy lifting as bassist of The Sex Pistols. After coming up with much of the Pistols’ music, he went on to write some good songs in Rich Kids, his power-pop band with Midge Ure. He’s continued with other variously engaging projects, including The Spectres, The Philistines and the local all-star group The International Swingers, and has had stints with Iggy Pop, The Damned and even The Faces. Matlock’s latest release, Good to Go, ranges from energetic pub rock and lightweight rockabilly affectations to credible power pop and competent blues rock that’s unfortunately marred by a profusion of lyrical clichés that keep the songs from ever really meaning it, man. —Falling James

sun 6/16

(Jasmine Safaeian)

Betty Who 


Rarely has an artist been so perfectly named. “Betty Who” is an appropriate moniker for the Australian synth-pop artist, not because she’s an anonymous figure in the modern, brutal pop world but because she seems to have been spending the first few years of her career discovering herself, working out what she wants her signature sound to be and, of course, growing up. Hence, her last EP was called Betty, Pt. 1 and her new album is called Betty, despite the fact that they’re preceded by two albums and two EPs for RCA Records. She’s an indie artist now, going it alone, and she’s at the beginning of a new chapter. Loote opens, and Betty Who also plays Saturday, June 15. —Brett Callwood

mon 6/17

(Louise Mason)

Sports Team 


Six-piece super-English indie rock band Sports Team are an interesting outfit. Led by Alex Rice, the 12-legged beast met at Cambridge University and it looks like they’ve held onto their rowing culture, based on the fashion choices. Regardless, the music is playful and witty — self-effacing and mildly caustic in that gloriously British way. They sing about what they know, with lyrics about (in their words), “English Summers, hosepipe bans, overgrown hedgerows and frayed tempers.” There’s a hint of Weezer about their knowing “wink-wink” nerd-out vibe, as well as the super-catchy, so-uncool-they’re-cool tunes, and that will stand them in good stead as they hit the U.S. —Brett Callwood

tue 6/18

(Berto Martinez)

Beach Bunny 


Chicago’s Beach Bunny is less a band and more the stage name of singer/songwriter Lili Trifilio. Sure, she’s flanked by Matt Henkels (guitar) and Jon Alvarado (drums), but Beach Bunny is her baby, a vehicle for her “sadgirl” alt-pop tunes. It’s a personal project too, as she writes about sexism in the music scene, her brother’s battle with cancer and general struggles. The songs are huge too — lo-fi indie gems that appear deceptively low-key at first before building and generally exploding into melodic awesomeness. Musical journal entries such as “Prom Queen” and “Boys” will shine at an intimate venue like El Cid. Ariel View also play. —Brett Callwood

Dead Meadow


Dead Meadow have always been a band that are as pulverizing as they are psychedelic, and on their latest album, The Nothing They Need, they continue to trip out, but they vary the dynamics with more mellow and hazily languid songs. There are still plenty of heavy stoner rockers with bluesy, boxy riffs such as “Nobody Home” and the wah-wah guitar frenzy of the six-minute-plus “Keep Your Head.” “I’m So Glad” is a driving, rootsy ride on the rails in which guitarist Jason Simon’s vocals are disguised nicely with fuzzy effects. “This Shaky Hand Is Not Mine” is another heavy song, but it stumbles along at stubbornly slow pace, with Simons’s sleepy, druggy vocals contrasted by his savage lunges up and down the guitar neck. —Falling James

wed 6/19

(Ralph Arvesen/Wikicommons)

Lion Babe 


Lion Babe are exactly what their name embodies — a smooth yet fierce blend of sounds that music-lovers can’t help but appreciate. Consisting of vocalist Jillian Hervey and instrumentalist/producer Lucas Goodman, the dynamic duo has brought their unique sound and energy onto stages all across the world. The two actually met at the end of college, but it was their curiosity and synergy in the studio that allowed them to conjoin into one. It was their breakout single “Treat Me Like Fire” that eventually gave birth to Lion Babe as a whole. Their goal is to promote uniqueness and change, something audiences can relate to and confide in. —Shirley Ju

The Heavy, Jesse Jo Stark


The Heavy pump up a big, brash and funky sound that can easily fill a room. At their best, the English band are a fearsome, party-starting, hard-rocking and bluesy machine. At their worst, these same qualities occasionally result in a bombastic beer-commercial bravado.  Lead singer Kelvin Swaby sparks some powerful incantations, like the soulfully smoldering “Burn Bright” and the driving “A Whole Lot of Love,” with a non-flashy grit. “Better as One” is a smartly funky and high-stepping exhortation, but unremarkable lyrics hold back tracks like “What Don’t Kill You.” Jesse Jo Stark should hold her own with such swaggering hard-rock songs as “Wish I Was Dead,” but the local chanteuse is also capable of manufacturing tons of steamy atmosphere and febrile mystery with darker and more morbid passages like “Rot Away.” —Falling James

thu 6/20

(Courtesy of Cancerslug)



Since 1999, Cancerslug has been the horror punk project of Alex Story, who has more recently been seen fronting Doyle of the Misfits’ solo band. That makes complete sense — Cancerslug are clearly disciples of the Misfits, right down to Story sharing vocal similarities with Danzig. Live, he did Misfits classics proud while fronting Doyle. But this night at the Whisky is all about his day gig, and if recent video “Sassy For Satan” is anything to go by, they haven’t been slouching around. Knowing and funny, while also crunching and heavy, it’s a killer song and proof that Story is an excellent singer, songwriter and performer in his own right. The Mother Vines, Mr. E and the Filthy Devils, Delphic Sibyl, Gypsy Priest and The Sobers also play. —Brett Callwood

Summer Cannibals


“I can see through you/I can see through them/Go play your false anthems of empowerment,” Jessica Boudreaux sneers on “False Anthem,” from Summer Cannibals’ upcoming album, Can’t Tell Me No. “Hate who they are/You say you hate what they do/but you love all the things/That they promise you.” She’s just as defiant on the album’s title track, repeating “Can’t tell me no” like it’s a mantra during the straight-ahead punk-rock choruses. But the song also switches into more mysteriously weird post-punk parts that take the song away from typical punk brattiness into something more pleasingly strange. These occasional shifts into indie pop, psychedelia and grunge also made for a similarly engaging combination on the Portland, Oregon, group’s 2016 record Full of It. —Falling James

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