Playboy Jazz Festival -- See Sunday
Playboy Jazz Festival -- See Sunday
Credit: Timothy Norris

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

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

Friday, June 14



One of Los Angeles' choicest homegrown musical sensations, boy-girl adventure team LoveyDove have created an unusually irresistible blend of artful expression, psychedelic atmospherics, deft craftsmanship and flat-out mushy romance. Sunny harmonics, midrange tempos and a childlike sense of wonder are all standard-issue ordnance in the LoveyDove armory, but it's the depth of involvement that band leaders Dan West and Azalia Snail consistently display that elevates the group to an altitude far more communicative and appealing than almost all of their indie-schmindie peers. Theirs is a deliciously chewy sound, loaded with dynamics, color and articulate lyrics that are both acutely chosen and shrewdly applied. Not hipster bohemian drone and definitely not for dummies. --Jonny Whiteside

Anthony Wilson and the Curators


Jazz musicians are supremely talented, representing the highest caliber of musicianship, but a lofty IQ often doesn't correlate with being the coolest kid in class. Most rock musicians, meanwhile, will never volunteer their jazz experience, even though the best ones all have it. Attempts by jazzers to play rock usually suck, but in this case, jazz-guitar hero Anthony Wilson manages to pull it off, first by including in his band keyboardists Larry Goldings (James Taylor) and Josh Nelson (Natalie Cole, Emmy Rossum) and savvy and suave trumpeter Philip Dizack. Last but not least is drummer Barbara Gruska of The Belle Brigade, an inspired choice who absolutely kicks this band into another genre. Too fly for jazz, too smart for rock, too boss for words. --Gary Fukushima

Casey Veggies


Business-savvy teen rapper Casey Veggies founded successful apparel and lifestyle brand Peas and Carrots International while a freshman in high school. A founding member of eclectic Los Angeles-based rap posse Odd Future, Casey's 2010 mixtape, Sleeping in Class (digitally distributed by the legendary Delicious Vinyl label), achieved critical acclaim. The millennial emcee is managed by Jay Z's Roc Nation, and is set to embark on a national eight-city summer tour in July. His latest, highly anticipated mixtape, Life Changes, was released in January and features appearances by Dom Kennedy and BJ the Chicago Kid, among others. --Jacqueline Michael Whatley

See also: Casey Veggies: Our Interview With the 19-Year-Old Phenom

Saturday, June 15

The Bats, Rough Church


There's just something about the guitar sound that certain New Zealand bands get. It's a sound that doesn't bluster with the usual heavy-metal volume or punk-rock distortion. Instead, it has a subtler, more shimmering style, a refined sort of jangle that's simultaneously sunny and melancholic. Although The Bats actually formed in Christchurch, they're often lumped in with such groups as The Clean, Straitjacket Fits, The Verlaines, The Chills and Tall Dwarfs, who were loosely part of New Zealand's early-'80s Dunedin sound. As with many of those bands, The Bats stir together lo-fi drums and production and laid-back vocal crooning with sublimely ringing guitars to create gems like "Simpletons," a video from their 2011 album, Free All the Monsters. Against a backdrop of the wreckage of stately buildings from the major earthquake in Christchurch that year, singer Robert Scott sounds like he's almost through with humanity before being rescued by Kaye Woodward's spectral strumming and glowing harmonies. Led by former Ferdinand mastermind Greg Franco, Rough Church is a similarly brainy band who might as well be Kiwis, having toured and recorded in New Zealand almost as much as they have in their L.A. hometown. --Falling James



Welsh DJ Sasha may be a household name for teenagers, but with more than two decades of recording and performing under his belt, the buzz doesn't stop at the youth market. With influences ranging from Motown to '80s-era Top 40, Sasha is relatable, eclectic and ever-fresh, drawing tracks from a massive array of records collected throughout the past 25 years. Sasha is considered the first DJ superstar, was voted among the Top 10 DJs in DJ Magazine numerous times and was nominated for a Grammy for his remix of Felix da Housecat's "Watching Cars Go By." Live, Sasha delicately arranges tracks on the spot, priding himself on an ability to connect with the dance floor while striking a party-fueling balance between new and vintage material. Renowned for innovation, Sasha's sets are emotionally charged and indelible. Need even more incentive? This stop at Exchange L.A. is Sasha's sole West Coast show this summer. Get there. --Britt Witt

Sunday, June 16

Playboy Jazz Festival


The 35th annual Playboy Jazz Festival features a new host, with George Lopez taking over from Bill Cosby, and another stellar lineup of jazz and more over Father's Day weekend. This year's Saturday bill includes Naturally 7 with Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Angelique Kidjo, Robert Glasper and Gregory Porter, with India.Arie, Sheila E., Trombone Shorty, Patti Austin and Taj Mahal onstage Sunday. Set at one of the finest outdoor music venues in the world, this two-day party is one of L.A.'s longest-running musical traditions, and one of its best. The PBJF comes directly from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's long-running love of jazz; let's hope it continues for many years to come. Also Saturday, June 15. --Tom Meek

See also: Hugh Hefner On the Connection Between Jazz and Sex

Indian Jewelry


The most mind-controlling band I ever saw was Indian Jewelry. During a set at the Echo four or five or six years ago, they found some top-secret dial on the back of their synthesizer and slowly started turning up the insanity, pounding away at the same unrelenting riff until a roomful of people was twitching and frothing at the mouth. So you could say I've got high hopes for this appearance at Part Time Punks' anniversary show. These weapons-grade Texan psychedelicists match truly primitive electronics, rhythms like Konono N°1, bleeps and wooshes from some kind of Soviet radar system, etc., to unending slo-mo distorto guitar that fills the room like boiling oil and ghost vocals from the other side. Like all Indian Jewelry releases, new album Peel It demands your total commitment. So hear ... and obey. --Chris Ziegler

Don't forget to check our constantly-updated Los Angeles Concert Calendar

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