From the old-school thrash of Sacred Reich and the horrorcore rap of Esham to the rapid-fire delivery of JID and Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene, here are some of the most exciting goings on in the L.A. area this week …

fri 5/31

Sacred Reich 


Phoenix thrash metal pioneers Sacred Reich have been battling away since '85, but for a hiatus between 2000 and 2006. From the very start, the aim for frontman Phil Rind was to create socially conscious, politically motivated lyrics, and he did exactly that with albums such as Ignorance and The American Way. All too often, metal is viewed as the stomping ground of the suburban republican white kids, but Sacred Reich crushed that stereotype with pro-Obama messages and, more recently, by publicly calling Trump an embarrassment. There's a new album on the way this year, appropriately titled The Awakening. Meanwhile, drummer Dave McClain, who left in '95 to join Machine Head, is back in the ranks. Good times. —Brett Callwood

Claudia Lennear & the New Ash Grove Players


Claudia Lennear is a powerhouse of a vocalist, and in the past she has launched her fiery singing with such performers as Ike & Tina Turner, Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, Delaney & Bonnie, Taj Mahal, George Harrison and Elton John, among others. David Bowie paid homage to her in his song “Lady Grinning Soul,” and Lennear was also the inspiration for The Rolling Stones' “Brown Sugar” and Russell's “A Song for You.” For years, she's been performing with her local band, The New Ash Grove Players, and she is equally at home belting out bluesy versions of “Stagger Lee” and funky tunes like “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky.” Lennear was spotlighted in the 2013 documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. —Falling James

sat 6/1

Blackboard Jungle; Credit: Marty Temme

Blackboard Jungle; Credit: Marty Temme

Blackboard Jungle 


It's become an annual event at this point. Blackboard Jungle were hardly one of the main players on the Sunset Strip rock & roll scene of the '80s, but they did develop a cult following, tour with Faster Pussycat, and appear on the much loved Hollywood Rocks box set. They get together once a year to celebrate their past, and the Viper sells out every time. This year, they've expanded the festivities, with Jetboy performing the night before. That's a lot of '80s rock to love, and they always put together a great bill of friends/bands too. Swingin' Thing, Leather Duchess, All Is Useless and special guests to be announced play with Jetboy on Friday, while Fizzy Bangers, Stars From Mars, Old Man Crawford and special guests TBA play with Blackboard Jungle on Saturday. —Brett Callwood

Tijuana No!


Overlooked by most white rock audiences during their heyday, Tijuana No! were one of the great punk bands of the 1990s, blending the social activism of The Clash with the hardcore subversion of The Dead Kennedys and the frantic ska rhythms of The Specials, and mixed further with rap, psychedelia, reggae and traditional Latin music. The Mexican band were unique in that they featured three distinctively charismatic lead singers — the clownish punk provocateur Luis Güereña, the more pop-minded Ceci Bastida and stalwart percussionist/flutist Teca García. Tijuana No! have never been quite the same after Güereña died in 2004, although García continues to perform with slashing guitarist Jorge Jiménez, agile drummer Alejandro Zúñiga and ace bassist Jorge Velázquez. Bastida has backed Julieta Venegas and found success as a solo artist, and she makes a rare return at this free show. —Falling James

sun 6/2



Detroit rapper Esham is one of the pioneers of the sub-genre known as horrorcore — pushing the violence in the lyrics to the max, often controversial extremes. For better or worse, he had a huge impact on fellow Detroit artists Eminem and the Insane Clown Posse, and in fact he was signed to ICP's Psychopathic Records for a while. Three decades into his career, he put out his 20th album (by our count) last year — Dead of Winter — and it's typically subversive. Live, he'll grab you by the throat (metaphorically, of course), and shake you till you smile. Despite frequent accusations of satanism, it's all just fun and games, so soak it up. —Brett Callwood

mon 6/3

Hans-Joachim Roedelius 


“Going back to nature” used to be a fairly popular motivating factor in the creation of art in the 20th century. It suggested a kind of primitive, truer focus, increasingly erased in an era of mechanization and impatience. And yet returning to that selfsame nature also implied that there were a greater understanding of human nature yet to be unearthed and perceived through immersion in art and creation. One of the most evolved masters of this 20th-century aspect of enlightenment is electronic music maestro Hans-Joachim Roedelius. Embodying a body of work that is at once pastoral and forward-thinking, Roedelius forges ahead into his 85th year as an artist with an inexhaustible discernment that continually unveils itself by appreciating time. Also tonight: Ippei Matsui & Aki Tsuyuko, Xambuca, DJ Carlos Niño. —David Cotner

Emma Ruth Rundle; Credit: Amélie Jouchoux

Emma Ruth Rundle; Credit: Amélie Jouchoux

Mono, Emma Ruth Rundle 


Mono open a Pandora's box of strange sounds on their latest album, Nowhere Now Here. The ambient opening track, “God Bless,” quickly segues into the harder passages of “After You Comes the Flood.” What follows is indeed a veritable flood of monumental, metallic, mostly instrumental riffage intercut with gentler vocal interludes such as “Breathe,” which serves as a momentary sonic oasis before the thunder returns again. The dualities of noise and beauty, and quietude and loud volume, wax and wane throughout the record. The 11-minute title track encapsulates the album's contrasts, as its languid intro eventually shifts into a heavy storm of guitars, which begin to swirl dizzily as the Tokyo quartet build to a shoegaze climax. Emma Ruth Rundle sets the mood with her own convulsive variations of sound and fury from her recent album, On Dark Horses. —Falling James

Andrew Bird 


Andrew Bird belies the seemingly sarcastic title of his new record, My Finest Work Yet, with a set of contemplative songs that take a look at the current political and emotional climate via “themes of current-day dichotomies and how to identify a moral compass amidst divisive times.” On the album-opening “Sisyphus,” the local songwriter declares, “I'd rather fail like a mortal than flail like a god/I'm a lightning rod/History forgets the moderates for those who sit recalcitrant and taciturn.” The musical settings range from the jazzy, space-cabaret piano idyll “Bloodless” and the aching ballad “Cracking Codes” to the full-band dramatics of “Olympians” and the elegant string-laden chamber pop of “Archipelago.” Amid the Biblical floods of “Proxy War,” Bird muses about love: “She don't have to get over him, with all their words preserved for evermore.” —Falling James

tue 6/4

JID; Credit: Ramon Alvarez-Smikle

JID; Credit: Ramon Alvarez-Smikle



JID is one of the hardest spitters of our generation — no cap. The East Atlanta native blew up as a new name on J. Cole's Dreamville roster, but it's his rapid-fire raps over hard-hitting production that audiences can't help but gravitate toward. For real rap fans, he's here to deliver bars and storytelling in his meaningful lyrics. Last year, JID unleashed his second studio album DiCaprio 2, with features from 6LACK, A$AP Ferg, BJ The Chicago Kid, Ella Mai, J. Cole, Joey Badass and Method Man. The project as a whole stands as a testament to society today, covering topics from mental health to substance abuse to loyalty to women's empowerment. This will be an epic evening for the state of hip-hop. —Shirley Ju

wed 6/5

Broken Social Scene 


Broken Social Scene are a Canadian supergroup of sorts led by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning and featuring a rotating cast of stellar members including Leslie Feist, Metric's Emily Haines and James Shaw, Tortoise's John McIntire, Stars' Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell, The Weakerthans' Jason Tait, and two dozen other musicians. In Broken Social Scene's case, the whole is not always greater than the sum of its individual parts, but there are nonetheless some engrossing moments on the band's most recent album, Hug of Thunder. Such hazy reveries as “Sola Luna” lead into intermittently engaging, fuzzy alt-rock tunes like “Halfway Home” and the poppy “Protest Song.” The title track is a sweetly ethereal electro-pop chanson. Arrive early for the intriguing and enchanting indie pop of former Cherry Glazerr keyboardist Sasami. —Falling James

thu 6/6

John Corabi; Credit: Ja Fryta/Wikicommons

John Corabi; Credit: Ja Fryta/Wikicommons

John Corabi 


In the wake of the Netflix movie The Dirt, there's a lot of interest in all things Mötley Crüe again. Whether that translates to some love for John Corabi, who fronted the band for one self-titled album in the mid '90s following Vince Neil's departure, remains to be seen. Corabi does appear in the movie (portrayed by an actor) for a brief moment, though he doesn't say anything. But here's the thing — Corabi is an extremely talented singer, guitarist and songwriter. His work with The Scream and Union is exceptional, and that one Crüe album is criminally underrated. More recently, he has been fronting rock & roll supergroup The Dead Daisies, and his solo shows are superb. Corabi is far more than Mötley Crüe's forgotten man, and everyone should remember that. —Brett Callwood

Sebadoh; Credit: Justin Pizzoferrato

Sebadoh; Credit: Justin Pizzoferrato



You have to hand it to Lou Barlow. As a founding member of both Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr., not to mention The Folk Implosion, Barlow played a huge role in pioneering the lo-fi, fuzzy alt-rock style that was so big in the '90s and beyond. For many years, Barlow has balanced Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh in particular, and to his enormous credit neither of them ever felt like a side project. He has just dropped the ninth Sebadoh studio album, Act Surprised, as well as the “Celebrate the Void” single. Thirty-three years into a career that has seen them influence so many, there's plenty to celebrate. Flower also play. —Brett Callwood

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