Happy holidays Southern California music fans! December concert season is in full swing and stages across California will be aglow with diverse, magical sounds. From old-school influential artists such as Pere Ubu, Stevie Nicks, Pretenders and X to up-and-coming stars like Anderson .Paak, Body Language and The Japanese House — there’s a musical gift waiting to be unwrapped and discovered each night. There’s even some fantastic festivals that offer some serious bang for your buck if you’re ballin’ on a budget this holiday season, including Power of the Riff with Wolves in the Throne Room and Neurosis, Riot Grill Fest with Le Butcherettes, and How The Grouch Stole Christmas feat. Living Legends and more. Spread and enjoy some musical cheer this month!
December 1 — Lee Fields at The Expressions at El Rey Theatre
“I feel that every human being’s purpose is to do what their inner voice says to do,” says Lee Fields. “And my inner voice, my driving force, wants me to put out music and keeping making better records.” Modern soul crooners Lee Fields & The Expressions are staying true to that musical mission with their new album Special Night. Groove and move to songs like “Make The World” and title track “Special Night.” Opening act is vocalist and fellow Big Crown Records recording artist Lady Wray.
December 1 — Doyle Bramhall II at Teragram Ballroom
You know when rock legend Eric Clapton sings your musical praises you”re doing something right. That’s the case for longtime Clapton collaborator and immensely skilled guitarist/vocalist/composer Doyle Bramhall II. Bramhall is touring in support of his fourth solo studio album Rich Man which features a killer combination of his American blues rock background mixed with his global inspirations and discoveries from recent trips abroad. Supporting act is Future Stuff.
December 1 — Gary Clark Jr. at The Theatre at Ace Hotel
There’s something spine-tingling, earth shattering and truly moving about each and every virtuoso performance that guitarist/vocalist Gary Clark Jr. delivers. Catch his upcoming show at The Theatre at Ace Hotel to hear songs from his new album The Story of Sonny Boy Slim and we promise, you will leave the venue with a grin permanently pressed onto your face for at least the following 24 hours.
December 1 — James Vincent McMorrow at Wiltern
Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow is touring in support of his new album We Move, which taps into the heart of dealing with anxiety, mental fragility and personal vulnerability as well as change, movement and physical transition — highly relatable topics that everyone goes through at some point in their life. It’s no doubt that once McMorrow starts singing the waterworks will begin and listeners will be feeling all the feels. Allan Rayman supports.
December 3 — Mr. Little Jeans at Teragram Ballroom
L.A. via Norway singer-songwriter Mr. Little Jeans aka Monica Birkenes brings some serious sheen to her electro-pop sound. Hear vibrant, enchanting new tunes such as “Stitches,” “Fevers” and “Fool 4 U” off her new EP F E V E R S, the highly anticipated follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed smash Pocketknife. Moody synth-pop singer-songwriter TRACE opens.
December 3 — Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic at The Glass House
When we saw Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic perform earlier this year their fresh sets had us lit. Aesop Rock is now touring in support of his new personally reflective album The Impossible Kid and lucky Los Angeles hip-hop fans can expect an electrifying night of fierce rhymes and beats. DJ Zone keeps the party flowing and Stones Throw Recording artist and emcee Homeboy Sandman supports.
December 3 — Jay Som at The Echo
We recently witnessed the smooth vocals and infectious lo-fi pop slow jams of Bay Area native Jay Som aka Melina Duterte when she opened for Mitski. Jay Som is working on a proper debut album due out in 2017 but in the meantime Los Angeles fans can join her in celebrating the Polyvinyl Records re-issue of her intimate, bedroom recorded, wine fueled Bandcamp album Turn Into with a release show at The Echo this month. Los Angeles Police Department and Plush open.
December 4 — Body Language at The Echo
Brooklyn R&B/pop group Body Language know how to light up a room with an invigorating set which has audiences dancing until they drop. Their new album Mythos just came out via Om Records last month and they are gearing up for a trailblazing tour, so expect a packed house of sweaty, swinging bodies when they take over The Echo. SUMif and Mothlight open.
December 4 — Matmos at Bootleg Theater
Baltimore experimental electronic duo Matmos takes the concept of a concept album to a whole new level with Ultimate Care II, a record pieced together by sounds generated by a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine. Electronically manuevered and manipulated chugs, clanks, etc will come out sounding so fresh and so clean…washing machine music never sounded so good! Their live performance will also be accompanied by specialty made video and sharp opening sets by digital music man extraordinaire Jeff Carey and music-comedy-poetry-dance hybrid artist Bully Fae. Sheer curiosity and future storytelling rights alone should be enough to draw you in to this one-of-a-kind show.
December 5 — Ex-Sage Residency at Bootleg Theater
We recently featured desert rock duo Ex-Sage in a Hot Band Alert because we couldn’t shake their gritty yet harmoniously balanced sound and listen-on-repeat, foot-stompin’ tunes such as “Tripwire” and “Bad Seed Baby.” The dynamic duo is kicking off the first night of a three week, Monday nights in December residency at the top of this month and we are stoked. Joining them for the first night are supporting acts Twin Temple and Bones (UK).