Dom Kennedy
Dom Kennedy
Other People's Money

The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend

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Friday, November 29

Dom Kennedy


During the past couple years, Dom Kennedy has redefined what it means to be an independent hip-hop artist. The Leimert Park native turned down offers from several major labels, including Interscope Records, earlier this year. The decision has proven prudent. His second studio album, Get Home Safely, which featured appearances by artists including TY$ and Nipsey Hussle, has been a success. Released Oct. 15, it debuted at No. 29 on the Billboard Top 200, selling more than 10,000 copies in its first week and garnering generally positive reviews. After years of climbing the ranks of the underground, Kennedy is moving gradually into the psyche of the mainstream, but don't expect the 29-year-old to let success go to his head. That wouldn't be his style. --Daniel Kohn

See also: Dom Kennedy: Reluctant Businessman

Julianna Barwick


A one-woman choir of angels -- dark ones, some of them -- vocalist-composer Julianna Barwick intones wordlessly, conjuring emotional terrains that have no precise linguistic descriptors, or perhaps better go unspoken. On her new album, Nepenthe, (Dead Oceans), she regales, coos and implores in expansive moodscapes recorded in wintry Reykjavík, Iceland, with Sigur Rós/Jónsi producer Alex Somers. The duo is joined by local Icelandic musicians, including the string ensemble Amiina and a chorus of teenage girls. Like a ray of light streaking through a milky pane of glass, the chilling warmth of Barwick's cathartic vocal excursions plumbs the depths of her soul as she reaches for the heavens. Eagle Rock's Church on York should prove a resonant space for her search. --John Payne

Saturday, November 30

The Garden


The Garden's recent Burger album, Life and Times of a Paperclip, is Minutemen brevity, Pop Group rhythm and I'll even say Big Black hostility, though that just might have been more in the live set I saw. On one random Los Angeles night, the twin Shears brothers (one on bass and vocals, the other on drums) were attacking their instruments with unexpected vigor and venom, stalking like wild animals through the crowd and finally stepping away from their instruments to try and climb the back wall. This is ferocious and feral stuff, the natural successor to punk-means-no-rules bands like Middle Class. Yes, they're runway models, but they're minimalist maniacs first and foremost, and they'll cram more ideas and energy into a 10-minute set or 16-minute album than plenty of bands manage to find across their whole career. --Chris Ziegler

Nightmares on Wax


The chameleonlike Mr. George Evelyn, aka Nightmares on Wax, is the godfather of, well, what exactly? The man's eclectic, say that. Since the '90s, Evelyn has been cranking an especially suave brand of widescreen funkybutt-tripsoul-dance-dementia on albums like the crucial Smokers Delight, Carboot Soul and In a Space Outta Sound. Nightmares on Wax is electronic label Warp's longest-serving artist, and he's just released his seventh studio album, Feelin' Good, a choice little tapestry of deep-down acidic house, boomy Balearic swang and eternally trip-hoppy dives down the infinite groove. Evelyn brings his live combo for their first full U.S. tour since 2008, and my my, this is a very heavy band, which includes vocalists Ricky Ranking & Mozez (Zero 7), percussion from Shovell (M People) and superdrummer Grant Kershaw. --John Payne

Sunday, December 1

The Earwigs


The Earwigs released only a couple of songs on two obscure compilations after their brief 1978-81 heyday, but they were one of the great lost bands of the early punk era. Despite being championed by 100 Flowers and The Last, the four Aviation High students were largely unknown even in the South Bay scene, forming their own subset of uniquely manic Redondo Beach art-pop geeks, which included interrelated groups like Hector & the Clockwatchers, S Squad, The Winkies and one of the first punk parodists, Social Youth. At a time when most of the suburban punks were brawling to see who could be the fastest and loudest, The Earwigs were nerdist absurdists, mixing singer Dan Willard's new-wave synth lines with Kevin Kerns' funky guitar on "A Martyr Is Made" and calling up a surreal, Orwellian dread on "Stop the Clock" via Dale Turkle's martial drum rolls and Brainspoon bassist Tom Underhill's ominous cycles. Performing live this afternoon for only the second time in the past 32 years, they'll have David Nolte (The Last, Dave Davies) filling in for Kerns, who died in 2002. --Falling James

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