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TT, née Theresa Wayman, will be among the headliners at the free Echo Park Rising festival.EXPAND
TT, née Theresa Wayman, will be among the headliners at the free Echo Park Rising festival.
Delaram Pourabdi

The 12 Best Shows in L.A. This Week

Los Angeles is a hotbed of live music, and L.A. Weekly is here to help you navigate this embarrassment of riches. From a free neighborhood summer festival to the one-of-a-kind experience that is a Chromeo show, the sonic crush of Sleigh Bells and rock & roll legend Alice Cooper, here are the 12 local shows you should see this week!

fri 8/10

Sleigh Bells

THE OBSERVATORY

Sleigh Bells take a break from their current tour opening for Weezer and Pixies with their own headlining show tonight in Santa Ana. The Brooklyn duo have always found a strangely compelling beauty in the way singer Alexis Krauss' winsome melodies are crushed by the wall of noise cranked up by guitarist Derek Miller. "My past is littered with the bones of men who were fools enough to sleep on me/A missionary in a sea of mercenaries," Krauss chants against Miller's throttling backdrop of boxy riffs and fuzzed-out distortion on "Favorite Transgressions," from Sleigh Bells' recent EP Kid Kruschev. "I used to drink gasoline in the morning," Krauss brags on "Blue Trash Mattress Fire," but her melodramatic lyrics are amplified by Miller's remorselessly heavy accents, which segue from crushing chords into artier passages. —Falling James

Sleigh BellsEXPAND
Sleigh Bells
Sloan Laurits

Chromeo

PALLADIUM HOLLYWOOD

The Chromeo live show experience is not unlike attending a musical comedy. The pop/funk/electro duo of Dave 1 and P-Thugg go deep into character as soon as they hit the stage, and the entertainment factor is all the stronger for it. Directed by Dave 1's conductor skills and P-Thugg's talkboxed commands, the audience is as much a part of the performance as Chromeo itself. On Chromeo's latest album, Head Over Heels, the music matches the swagger as the two up the funk and soul level of their multigenre sound. The special guests featured on Head Over Heels: DRAM on the smooth "Must've Been," The-Dream on the sultry "Bedroom Calling pt. 2," French Montana on the R&B confection "Don't Sleep," plus a number of legendary session and touring musicians push Chromeo's already infectious factor along a few more notches. —Lily Moayeri

Quetzal

LEVITT PAVILION AT MACARTHUR PARK

At first glance, Quetzal might seem like a merely quaint group who ramble over folk, salsa, ranchera and world-music styles with an array of traditional Mexican instruments including jarana, bajo sexto and tarima. But if you listen closer, you realize that lead singer/percussionist Martha Gonzalez and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Quetzal Flores infuse their music with pointedly relevant lyrics that celebrate feminism and activist politics and tell the personal stories of immigrants caught between borders. The East L.A. collective have been stirring up trouble for more than two decades not through the force of rage and anger but by couching their soulful lyrics in a mesmerizing weave of idyllic sounds. On Quetzal's 2014 album, Quetzanimales, Gonzalez sang from the point of view of various animals to symbolize the commonality of not only different people but also all living beings. —Falling James

sat 8/11

Buddy Guy

THE ROSE

To say that Buddy Guy is a ferocious blues guitarist is merely a polite understatement. Yes, the Louisiana native has a famously piercing tone and a thrillingly dexterous approach as a guitarist, with the ability to deftly switch from aggressive intensity to soulfully introspective coolness. But the longtime Chicago-blues icon is more than just a talented technician. Guy is an underrated vocalist, but more than anything he's a masterful showman who can dazzle audiences with a warm, charismatic stage presence as he mixes storytelling, blues standards, his own originals and unexpected covers with a deceptively casual aplomb. Within the space of a few minutes, he can artfully mimic and celebrate the styles of such disparate guitarists as John Lee Hooker, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix before sending out fiery surges of his own inimitable licks. Also at the Canyon Agoura Hills on Friday, Aug. 10; and at the Canyon Santa Clarita on Sunday, Aug. 12. —Falling James

Ghoul

1720

The four creatures that together are known as Ghoul are quite proud of the air of mystery that surrounds them. More so than with similarly theatrical metal bands such as GWAR, Slipknot and Lordi, the identities of the four musicians are kinda kept under wraps. They wear horror-themed masks, and go by the monikers Cremator, Digestor, Dissector and the intriguing Fermentor. As is usually the case with these things, though, a little bit of digging reveals the truth: The Oakland death-thrash metal band is made up of members (or former members) of Morbid Angel, Wolves in the Throne Room, Exhumed, Impaled and more. But let's be honest — the idea that they're four monsters from Creepsylvania is far more fun. —Brett Callwood

sun 8/12

Alice Cooper, Ace Frehley

THE GREEK THEATRE

He's 56 years into an insanely impressive career, and to this very day nobody puts on a show like the great Alice Cooper. The guy just has this rock & roll thing nailed down at this point. Whether he's having his head cut off or simply waving his cane while strutting the stage, Coop's shows guarantee an intensely good time. Of course, he has a ridiculous number of amazing tunes to back it up; from the 1969 psychedelic debut Pretties for You through "Alice Cooper Band" classics like School's Out and Billion Dollar Babies, the introduction of Alice as a solo artist with Welcome to My Nightmare, right up to last year's excellent Paranormal, Alice can't ever do wrong. Original Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley opens the show, so expect fireworks there, too. —Brett Callwood

mon 8/13

The Kills

THE REGENT THEATER

It seems crazy that British-American garage-rock duo The Kills have been around for 18 years now, having formed in 2000, but that is indeed the case. Alison "VV" Mosshart (also of Jack White's The Dead Weather) and Jamie "Hotel" Hince have seen their project grow from cult indie darlings to genuine alt-rock premier leaguers, thanks to stellar albums such as their debut, the gloriously noisy 2003 Keep on Your Mean Side, through 2008's phenomenal Midnight Boom, up to 2016's critically appreciated Ash & Ice. Live, they've evolved from slightly awkward anti–rock stars to wonderful performers. That oh-so-cool, throwaway vibe is still there, but we totally know that they're having a blast. —Brett Callwood

Clairo

THE ROXY

Clairo — the current nom de shrug of singer Claire Cottrill — makes bedroom pop. A very "right now" kind of bedroom pop. That doesn't mean it's faddish or temporary. It's the kind of ephemeral moment-catching that happens with every young kid who wants to break out of the aforementioned bedroom, do something with their lives and throw off the chokeholds of apathy and meaninglessness. Art is one good way to do that. Music is another. Clairo's music is that of a girl who's barely there in a crowd or at a party. Her interior life, however, is rife and blessed with chasms and heights that few will ever experience alongside her. This is the music of a girl trying to figure her way out — and, as most kids find out, in the hardest of ways, the only way out is through. Also Tuesday, Aug. 14. —David Cotner

tue 8/14

Chief White Lightning

HARVARD & STONE

Living in Texas, Josh Logan seemed, from the outside at least, pretty settled. His band The Blind Pets earned a solid national reputation after approximately 20 U.S. tours, while his life in the small city of Dripping Springs, just west of Austin, was fairly slow-moving and stress-free. But there was something nagging at him. An itch that The Blind Pets just weren't scratching. So about five years ago, he started an all-new project — a hootin' and hollerin', bluesy Americana-based deal going by the name of Chief White Lightning. The self-titled debut album is a stunning piece of work, and Logan will pull out a lot of those raw, honest jams at Harvard & Stone during a residency that takes in every Tuesday in August. Get to at least one of them. —Brett Callwood

wed 8/15

Roxy Remake Remodel

THE BOOTLEG THEATER

Although singer Bryan Ferry mixes a lot of Roxy Music classics into his ongoing sets as a solo performer, the interpretations by his current backup band are merely a faint and polite echo of the madcap intensity of the early Roxy Music lineups, particularly the versions with saxophonist Andy Mackay, avant-garde iconoclast Brian Eno, lead guitarist Phil Manzanera and drummer Paul Thompson. Ferry reunited the band (crucially without the reclusive Eno), reportedly for the last time, in 2011, but tonight a group of local art-rock all-stars attempts to stir up the old magic with a tribute set. The participation of such heavy and savvy musicians as The Contortions' Adele Bertei, drummer Joe Berardi (The Fibonaccis, Lydia Lunch) and keyboardist Paul Roessler (Nina Hagen, Screamers) offers hope that this will be more than just another typically empty exercise in tribute-band nostalgia. —Falling James

Julien-K

WHISKY A GO-GO

Electronic/industrial rock band Julien-K is a project that features former Orgy men Amir Derakh (also formerly of hair metallers Rough Cutt), Ryan Shuck and Bobby Hewitt, so as one might expect, songs from the 2009 debut Death to Analog through to 2016's California Noir — Chapter Two: Nightlife in Neon are textured, perfectly cold and appropriately dark. A new album is due out this year, so that's worth looking forward to; hopefully they'll perform some new material at this Whisky show. They should be fully warmed up by this point, Julien-K have left the "Orgy spinoff band" label well behind them. Love Star, Stone Senate and Wily Savage also play. —Brett Callwood

Shannon ShawEXPAND
Shannon Shaw
Alysse Gafkjen

thu 8/16

Echo Park Rising

THE ECHO

Echo Park Rising is markedly different from most summer neighborhood festivals. Although there are a few outdoor stages, which this year are headlined by solo sets from garage-pop empress Shannon Shaw (Shannon and the Clams, Hunx and His Punx) and Warpaint's Theresa Wayman (performing as TT), most of the action happens indoors at a variety of small clothing shops, record stores, bars and restaurants spread out along a milelong stretch of Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. Echo Park Rising builds on the tradition of the early Sunset Junction festivals by celebrating the neighborhood's dizzying variety of original indie rock, punk, country, folk and Latin bands, along with comedy, spoken word and unofficial pop events. Even though the fest is getting bigger every year, all the shows are still free. Also Friday-Sunday, Aug. 17-19. —Falling James