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The Hillbilly Moon ExplosionEXPAND
The Hillbilly Moon Explosion
Pino Gomes

12 Best Music Shows This Week in L.A.

Los Angeles is a hotbed of live music, and L.A. Weekly is here to help navigate this embarrassment of riches. From The Hillbilly Moon Explosion to the mysterious Masked Intruder to Bowie Jane and Kaytranada, here are the 12 best music shows in L.A. this week!

fri 4/12

Flipper 

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THE REGENT THEATER

While the lineup has shifted radically in recent years, the MO for San Fran punks Flipper has remained the same — create off-the-wall, manic and challenging punk rock while putting on a killer live show. The last studio album, and the band's fourth, came in 2009 in the shape of Love, which featured Nirvana's Krist Novoselic on bass. Novoselic has been gone from the ranks for a decade, with the badass Rachel Thoele replacing him. That said, Jesus Lizard man David Yow has been fronting Flipper since 2015. That's a match made in heaven — the art-rock stylings of Yow meshing brilliantly with Flipper's classic punk insanity. No Parents, Mike Watt & the Secondmen and Qui also play. Flipper then play Alex's Bar on Saturday, April 13, with Toys That Kill, Melted and Cat Scan. —Brett Callwood

The Hillbilly Moon Explosion

YOST THEATER

The Hillbilly Moon Explosion aren't doing anything new, but they sure do it with a lot of style and sass. The Swiss rockabilly band are fronted by Emanuela Hutter, who purrs swing, garage rock and torch ballads with a beguiling charisma. On the group's latest album, The Sparky Sessions, Hutter's winsome, melodic vocals are contrasted by the gruff, Lemmy-like delivery of guest star Mark "Sparky" Phillips from Demented Are Go. The odd couple's duets range from the groovy garage-soul of "Broken Love" and the punky "Obsession" to the breezy country swing of "My Love for Evermore" and an alternately lilting and surly version of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." Hutter's singing shines like a bluesy beacon through the fuzzy guitar shivers of "Black Ghost," one of the record's heavier tracks. With The Delta Bombers and The Hurricanes. —Falling James

Masked IntruderEXPAND
Masked Intruder
Bambi Guthrie

sat 4/13

Masked Intruder, Bombpops 

THE HI-HAT

The fun is in the mystery with Masked Intruder. Like a punk-rock budget GWAR, the band have a backstory and they wear masks. All we really know about them is that they're from Madison, Wisconsin, and they play music that pulls from the early years of pop-punk. Each member wears a different colored mask, and Intruder Blue and Intruder Green claim to have formed the band while in jail. Make of that what you will, but their third album, appropriately titled III, is released this year. Meanwhile, San Diego punks The Bombpops are riding high following the release of EP Dear Beer last year, as their stock continues to rise. Should make for a quality double bill. —Brett Callwood

Eric B. & Rakim
Eric B. & Rakim
Courtesy of the artist

Eric B. & Rakim 

THE NOVO

"I was a fiend before I became a teen/I melted microphones instead of cones of ice cream," Rakim declared, comparing his passion for joining words together to an addiction, on the single "Microphone Fiend," from 1988 album Follow the Leader. "Music-orientated so when hip-hop was originated/Fitted like pieces of puzzles, complicated." The rapper's savvy, assured wordplay has always fitted in seamlessly with the samples and beats crafted by DJ Eric B., so it was a big deal when the influential duo from New York finally reunited in 2016 after breaking up in 1993. Stand back and marvel when Eric B. sets the pace as Rakim unravels a density of words into coolly jazzy declamations. "I hold the microphone like a grudge," Rakim announced on "I Ain't No Joke," from the duo's 1987 debut, Paid in Full. —Falling James

sun 4/14

The Interrupters 

THE OBSERVATORY

For a while there, it looked like ska-punk had gone stale. The likes of No Doubt, Save Ferris and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones had had their day, and anything that did emerge seemed utterly derivative and devoid of the sort of energy required to really make this music bounce. Then came Los Angeles' The Interrupters, and we could breathe a collective sigh of relief. Fronted by Aimee Allen (aka Aimee Interrupter), who's backed by the Bivona brothers, Kevin, Justin and Jesse, the band formed in 2011 and last year's Fight the Good Fight album was their third. They've just kept getting better, and the future looks bright both for the band and the genre. Masked Intruder and Rat Boy also play. —Brett Callwood

Michael Schenker FestEXPAND
Michael Schenker Fest
Courtesy Nuclear Blast

mon 4/15

Michael Schenker Fest 

WHISKY A GO GO

German guitarist Michael Schenker has always been a bit of a cocky bastard, but it's arguably that over-inflated ego that makes the man who and what he is. A three-day festival dedicated to him at the Whisky would be in keeping with what he feels he deserves (although he'd probably say it should be at the Forum). Schenker has always said that the Scorpions and UFO, both of whom he was a member of in the '70s, would not be where they are today without his impact and influence. But, in fact, Michael Schenker Fest is the name of his current solo project, not an actual festival. Former members of the Michael Schenker Group (MSG) are involved, so fans of the old wacko can rejoice. Also April 16 and 17. —Brett Callwood

IceageEXPAND
Iceage
Steve Gullick

Iceage

THE ROXY

The best moments on Iceage's 2018 album, Beyondless, evoke the promise of The Saints' Prehistoric Sounds era. Both groups start from a punk-rock base with surly, world-weary vocals that are contrasted at times by a faux-ebullient horn section. Against a noisy hazy of angry guitars crowned by triumphant horns, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt snarls ruefully about a sirenlike muse while guest star Sky Ferreira attempts to soothe him with her backing vocals. The Danish band's heavy passages are contrasted by more reflective tunes, such as the acoustic-driven "Plead the Fifth" and the icy soundscape "Showtime." English group Shame bring big guitars and big rock ambitions on last year's Songs of Praise, which encompasses majestic, soaring alt-rock anthems ("Friction"), Wire-y outbursts of artiness ("Lampoon") and post-punk tension ("Concrete"), and sullenly restrained longing ("Angie"). —Falling James

Bowie JaneEXPAND
Bowie Jane
Jonny Marlow

tue 4/16

Bowie Jane

DIRTY LAUNDRY

With a name like Bowie, one would imagine that a career in music was inevitable for Australian-born L.A. resident Bowie Jane. However, she wandered into a career in criminal law before really throwing herself into her dirty house DJing. Her DJ style is drawn from house and tech-house influences, and in a recent interview she told us that she "grew up obsessed with dirty house beats and haven't looked back. I'm a high-energy performer ... visually I'm always moving and I love to rev up the crowd." Dirty Laundry should provide the perfect setting to see this awesome, still blossoming DJ. —Brett Callwood

Shana Cleveland
Shana Cleveland
Eleanor Petry

Shana Cleveland

HOTEL FIGUEROA

Shana Cleveland is best known as leader of hazy fantasists La Luz, who blend '60s garage-pop with surf-rock adornments. On her new solo recording, Night of the Worm Moon, the singer-guitarist ventures further into the mystic with a series of gently psychedelic folk ballads. The album's press release cites such inspirations as Sun Ra and Octavia Butler and lists Cleveland's interstellar themes about UFOs, alternate dimensions and other "cosmic concerns." While the laid-back folk-pop settings rarely approach the sonic adventurousness of Sun Ra's kinetic creativity, "The Fireball" and "In Another Realm" exude their own quietly lulling poignancy. At times, Cleveland instills similarly low-key passages "I'll Never Know" and "A New Song" with hints of inexplicable mystery drifting in the starry ether. —Falling James

wed 4/17

Charlotte Gainsbourg 

EL REY THEATRE

Charlotte Gainsbourg exudes inherent cool. The multifaceted Gainsbourg brims with talent in the studio and on the screen. There is a unique space she occupies that is unassuming and natural, but so personal it's like she is speaking directly to her audience. While Gainsbourg is not the most musically prolific, when she releases material, it makes a mark. Take 2, released at the end of last year, is a five-song EP featuring three new unforgettable songs and two live versions, including a refined cover of Kanye's "Runaway." Most recently Gainsbourg has offered a limited-edition book, Rest, a companion to her 2017 album of the same name. Rest lays bare the working process in the creation of the album with a stunning collection of photographs, drawings, hand-written notes and lyrics. In between Coachella appearances, Los Angeles is treated to an intimate performance. —Lily Moayeri

thu 4/18

Kaytranada 

THE NOVO

While "DJ-producer" might be the best label for Kaytranada, this man goes way beyond with his musical talents. Hailing from Montreal but repping his Haitian roots, real name Louis Kevin Celestin blew up over the last year with his distinctive EDM style with hip-hop, R&B and pop accents. When "Leave Me Alone" (featuring Shay Lia) was released, music lovers flocked to this desirable record and vibe. Fast-forward to 2019, Kaytranada is prepping something very special for his forthcoming album and show in Los Angeles. —Shirley Ju

HoneychainEXPAND
Honeychain
Mike Van Gorder

The Letter Openers, Honeychain

THE VIPER ROOM

In the early 2000s, The Letter Openers were one of Los Angeles' most promising bands, slugging out hard-rocking riffs paired with smart, sarcastic lyrics and anti-pop choruses that were nonetheless rousingly anthemic. Singer-guitarist Mac Dunlop's self-lacerating lyrics positioned him as a legitimate counterpart to Alex Chilton and Paul Westerberg. "I don't wanna be a god, I don't wanna be a geek, I don't wanna walk around like any old freak," he sang above the surging riffs of "Peppermint." Then, just as quickly as they came out of nowhere, The Letter Openers disappeared without explanation, which makes this unexpected comeback a precious opportunity to rediscover this underrated group. They should be a good match with headliners Honeychain, as singer-guitarist Hillary Burton (The Pandoras) confides endearing power-pop songs like "Great Big World," whose tuneful hooks are powered with a punk drive. —Falling James

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