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From the inspiring and eclectic goings on at Femfest to the old-school punk ditties of The Stranglers and The Undertones, there's tons going on in the L.A. region this week …

fri 5/24

Sloppy Seconds

ALEX'S BAR
Indianapolis punks Sloppy Seconds have, quite shockingly, been around since 1985. That's 34 years of Ramones–influenced trash punk with lyrical subjects bouncing between horror movies, dumb TV, booze, comic books and porno. They've caught some shit in the past due to some undeniably dubious and insensitive lyrics, but then trying to get these chaps to be sensitive might be the ultimate exercise in futility. It's been 11 years since 2008's Endless Bummer album, and one would hope that there's more to come soon. After all, that was a snotty beast and it came 10 years after the previous effort, 1998's More Trouble Than They're Worth. Most likely, we'll get tracks from those and much more in Long Beach. Sidekick and Ten Foot Pole also play. —Brett Callwood

sat 5/25

Femfest 2019

PROGRAMME SKATE & SOUND
Ever think you'd find a transformative moment in a skate park in Fullerton? If not, then clearly you're not clued in to the nature of transformative moments. If so, then you owe it to yourself to apparate over to this year's edition of Fem Fest — a growing movement to foster, inspire and motivate a community of creative fem artists, sculptors, photographers, authors, producers and, of course, musicians. What you'll hear: the Epitaph-signed punk stylings of New York combo Thick; the emotional and bracingly dynamic rock & roll of Fullerton locals poor timing; the positive pop-punk of Forever Emerald; crystalline alternative Los Angeles duo It's Butter; and the ongoing mystery of perennial enigmas Iridescent. What you'll see: art of many varieties by everyone from field photographer Rosie Borrego to outsider artist Inah Mangahas to the multifacted promise of artist Emma Raney. —David Cotner

Loren Connors; Credit: Peter Gannushkin

Loren Connors; Credit: Peter Gannushkin

Loren Connors
ZEBULON
Like many guitarists, Loren Connors plays the blues, but he does it in a way that is experimental and unpredictable rather than slavishly traditional or nostalgic. The native of New Haven, Connecticut, describes his music as “avant blues,” and the extended musical passages on such albums as The Departing of a Dream, Vol. VI, and Angels That Fall unfold as eerily glowing new-music soundscapes. In the past, Connors has collaborated with John Fahey, Suzanne Langille, Alan Licht, Keiji Haino, Cat Power, Jim O'Rourke, and Kim Gordon and other members of Sonic Youth. At Zebulon, in his first local appearance in more than 20 years, the guitarist performs solo and also as a duo with L.A. guitarist Clint Heidorn. The night begins with the U.S. premiere of Gestures, director Vincent Guilbert's documentary about Connors. —Falling James

sun 5/26

Penelope Houston of the Avengers; Credit: Brett Callwood

Penelope Houston of the Avengers; Credit: Brett Callwood

The Avengers, The Dils
ECHOPLEX
What a bill this is. Penelope Houston's Avengers were only together for two years ('77-'79) back in the day, but since 2004 they've been reunited and absolutely killing it in the live environment. It's worth remembering that they never put out a studio album — just two EPs and, later, a few collections. But that material is some of the best of the era. The Dils split and reformed a few times down the years, but it looked like their time was up when Tony Kinman tragically died a year ago. You can't keep a good Dil down though; his brother Chip Kinman has assembled a strong band of young bucks, and they're doing the classic material justice. Fellow old school Cali-punks The Alley Cats open a show that is essentially a celebration of the life of recently deceased original Avengers bassist Jimmy Wilsey. —Brett Callwood

Phil Ranelin; Credit: Courtesy of the artist

Phil Ranelin; Credit: Courtesy of the artist

Phil Ranelin & Tribe Renaissance
ZEBULON
It's hard to quickly summarize the wide-ranging musical career of Phil Ranelin, but the new three-album set on Wide Hive Records, Phil Ranelin Collected 2003-2019, is a good place to start. The Indianapolis native has been based in Los Angeles since the late 1970s, and over the course of his career the straight-ahead trombonist-composer has worked with such musicians as trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Freddie Redd, vocalist Sarah Vaughan, saxophonist Art Pepper, vocalist Ella Fitzgerald and trumpeter Gerald Wilson. His music slips in and out of funk, jazz and more experimental passages on such classic releases as Vibes From the Tribe, Inspiration and Reminiscence. Ranelin celebrates the new anthology and his 80th birthday with the support of his nine-piece band, Tribe Renaissance, which features Don Littleton, Michael Sessions and Derf Reklaw. —Falling James

mon 5/27

Supersuckers
THE WAYFARER
There are few more invigorating live experiences than a Supersuckers show. Eddie Spaghetti formed the band as The Black Supersuckers in Tucson, Arizona, back in 1988, although it was only one year later that they relocated to Seattle and shortened the name. Since then they've released a strong of awesome rock & roll records with a mildly rockabilly, cow-punk tilt, the highlight being '99's The Evil Powers of Rock 'N' Roll, although last year's Suck It is also a beast. Spaghetti is an incredible frontman, and the Supersuckers' live show never fails to hit the spot. Riotous Dallas rockers Speedealer (previously known as REO Speedealer) and Alright Spider also play. Also, Saturday, May 25 at The Echo. —Brett Callwood

tue 5/28

The Specials; Credit: Paul Williams/The Specials

The Specials; Credit: Paul Williams/The Specials


The Specials
HOUSE OF BLUES ANAHEIM
It seems somehow poetic that one of the great British ska pioneers, The Specials, is playing in Orange County, arguably the home of contemporary ska-punk. The Coventry band will forever be best remembered for late '70s/ early '80s albums such as The Specials and More Specials, as well as the international hit single “Ghost Town,” but this year's Encore is well worth a listen. It's the band's first album of new material since 1998's Guilty 'Til Proved Innocent! (they released two cover albums in the meantime). Key members Terry Hall, Horace Panter and Lynval Golding are back in the fold, and all looks rosy in Specials Land. —Brett Callwood

The Hives, Refused, Bleached
FOX THEATER POMONA
“I was under the rubble, but I'm back again/Did you miss me, baby?,” Howlin' Pelle Almqvist wonder on The Hives' new single, “I'm Alive.” “I climb back up from the bottom of the stairs/They're dancing on my grave, but I'm not in there.” The song is midtempo and more serious than some of the Swedish band's earlier garage-rock anthems, but it represents another triumphant rise from the grave by ever-demonstrative and rambunctious Hives. They're co-billed with their countrymen Refused, a harder and heavier group who mix hardcore and metal on their sludgy 2015 Epitaph Records release, Freedom. The bill is brightened by locals Bleached, who are emerging from a relatively long absence with such new musical variations as “Shitty Ballet,” an acoustic-driven reverie, and the funky disco/new-wave dance-pop of “Hard to Kill,” from their upcoming new album, Don't You Think You've Had Enough? —Falling James

wed 5/29

DaBaby
THE NOVO
Born in Cleveland, Ohio but raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, rising MC DaBaby blew up with the Baby on Baby! project's standout single “Suge,” which is currently taking over airwaves, clubs and functions all across the world. While the beginning stages of his career involved him rocking an adult diaper around town, his hundreds of millions of streams across all platforms speaks for itself. Most recently, he shut down Rolling Loud, throwing bags of marijuana into the crowd (later revealed to be fake). Regardless, his energy is nothing short of turnt. —Shirley Ju

The Stranglers; Credit: David Boni

The Stranglers; Credit: David Boni


The Stranglers
THE REGENT THEATER
You can look at the current version of The Stranglers in two different ways. On the one hand, the British band have been touring and recording since 1990 without Hugh Cornwell, the group's original guitarist and surly, misanthropically romantic lead singer, and they've never had quite the same impact, apart from some scattered chart success in Britain, without their main voice. On the other hand, The Stranglers haven't performed locally in years, so this concert at the Regent offers a very rare chance to be dazzled again by the intricate, Doors-y flurries of notes from keyboardist Dave Greenfield and the wiry, muscular, hard-edged bass lines of Jean-Jacques Burnel, who also sang some of The Stranglers' early classics. Unfortunately, due to health problems, founding drummer Jet Black no longer tours with the band. Veteran second-wave Italian hardcore survivors Rappresaglia open. —Falling James

Lucy Rose
THE HOTEL CAFE
“Conversation don't come easy, but I've got a lot to say,” Lucy Rose declares aptly enough on “Conversation,” the first track on her latest album, No Words Left. Even as both the song's lyrics and album's title imply difficulties in communication, the British singer-guitarist eloquently expresses herself in a series of folk songs rendered carefully with acoustic guitar and her gentle vocals. “Nobody Comes Round Here” is a spacious and moving piano ballad imbued with Rose's comforting, intimate singing. But she's not above asking for comfort for herself after she becomes insecure when she overhears through her bedroom wall another woman playing guitar, on the album-closing ballad “Song After Song”: “Song after song after song, all about me and my misery … Tell me I'll be alright and I'll be just fine.” —Falling James

thu 5/30

The Undertones
THE OBSERVATORY
Yeah, Feargal Sharkey hasn't fronted The Undertones since 1983, but the rest of the lineup has stayed intact since 1976. That means all of the musicians that recorded classic pop-punk anthems “Jimmy Jimmy,” “It's Going to Happen,” and one of the most perfect songs ever recorded by any artist of any genre, “Teenage Kicks.” Singer Paul McLoone joined the Northern Irish band in 1999, so he's been in there for 20 years at this point — surely long enough to lose the “new boy” tag. Plus, the two albums he's recorded with the band — 2003's Get What You Need and 2007's Dig Yourself Deep — are genuinely excellent slices of work. Teenage dreams are hard to beat, but they gave it a go. —Brett Callwood