We haven’t done our Best Los Angeles Shows of the Month in quite some time. In all honesty, it’s a lot of fucking work — and since having a baby my life and time has changed drastically. Managing Grimy Goods while managing a successful spin-off brand (Grimy Diapers) is time-consuming AF, not to mention raising a human. But I love creating this monthly feature. I love the process of listening to hundreds of new and old bands, to see what excites me. I love giving the spotlight to underground / lesser known acts, while still shouting some incredible artists that are very well known. I just straight up love making this list, so Ima commit to bringing it back. I’m closing 2018 with the return of Grimy Goods’ Best LA Shows of the Month and I will open 2019 with it.
Below are my selections for the Best Los Angeles Shows of December 2018. Please excuse the 5-day delay, it’s a feat that I even got this page published.
Stream music from the artists featured on our Best Shows of the Month
December 6 — Rituals of Mine at Resident
Dark electronic duo Rituals of Mine is fresh off a tour with Garbage and they have immediately hit the pavement since settling back in. They are in the middle of writing a sophomore LP to follow up their acclaimed debut, Devoted, and they have no plans to stop performing. New dates in San Francisco and their hometown of LA have recently been announced, in addition to their appearance at Treefort coming next March. Their new song is a cherry on top of the news, though it will fill you up as if it were the full sundae.
December 6 — Lauren Ruth Ward at El Rey Theatre
With a voice as powerful as Joplin, and a stage presence as captivating as Jagger, LA’s Lauren Ruth Ward has had quite the year. She’s kissing a fabulous 2018 goodbye with a hometown show at the El Rey! And she has the headline spot! Lauren Ruth Ward is a force of nature that will not be contained crowned with a rainbow. She’s a Delilah that can cut anyone down to size as she casts the spell of a Siren. With music that is infectious, her live show is even more so. Get ready for a damn good time.
December 7 — Jean-Michel Blais at the Lodge Room
Montreal-based Jean-Michel Blais is bringing his piano splendor to the Lodge Room in Highland Park. Give your ears and soul a special treat with the lulling compositions of Jean-Michel Blais. His unique style is powerful and described as “post-classical piano with strands of electronic detail.” It’s fancy conservatory skills meets experimental pop skillz.
December 8 — The Wild Reeds at Bootleg Theater
If you’re looking for a good time, you need to catch The Wild Reeds live! The local Angelenos can shred while still delivering those warm three-part harmonies we all know and love. With their stunning vocals, guitar prowess and infectious live show — there is never a dull moment when catching these badass women live. Do yourself a favor and swing on over tot he Bootleg on Dec. 8.
December 8 — SUUNS at Lodge Room
Get lost in the sexy electronic rhythms of SUUNS. Suspenseful and full of toe-tapping beats, the Montreal quartet released their new album Felt this past March via Secretly Canadian. SUUNS’ music is sexy and just straight up dope. If you love dark, lazy vocals and experimental beats and soundscapes, you need to get on SUUNS.
December 8 — Bomba Estéreo at The Novo
If you are seeking a dose of feel good, high energy music — Colombia’s Bomba Estéreo are what you need! The incredible duo deliver bombastic Latin rhythms full of positive energy and good vibes. The charm and tropical elegance of vocalist Liliana Saumet is absolutely captivating from start-to-finish. You can’t go wrong with the happiness derived from a live Bomba Estéreo show.
December 9 — Slow Caves at The Hi Hat
If your ears have an affinity for pop sensibilities mixed with jangly guitars and surf-y synth vibes, then Colorado-based Slow Caves are coming to the Hi Hat on Sunday, December 9th for their headlining show with Mammoth Indigo and Moth Wings. Embarking on a West Coast tour this December, Slow Caves also have show dates in La Jolla, Ventura and more nearby cities.
December 9 — Emma Ruth Rundle at The Echo
We are obsessed with the dark, sultry moods coming from Emma Ruth Rundle. The LA artist who also resided in Louisville, KY just released her third full-length album On Dark Horses, this past September via Sargent House and now she is touring in support of the brooding beauty. With Rundle’s signature breathy vocals, the new album is magical live and will give you all those ethereal feels.
December 10 — Savoir Adore at Moroccan Lounge
Brooklyn duo Savoir Adore, the brainchild of Paul Hammer and Laura Zettler, has released the first part of what will be a two-part album entitled Full Bloom. FIlled to the brim with dreamy rock and slick synth textures, the six songs on the release dip in and out of heady sonics and intimately sparse soundscapes. The delightfully anthemic “When the Summer Ends” is a sure favorite with its pulsating percussiveness and dance-ready movements; while the slow-burning “Black and Blue” wraps itself warmly around Zettler’s vocals and glittering synth-work. There’s plenty of beauty to be found in the huge range of First Bloom that really underscores Savoir Adore’s newfound comfort in their own skin.
December 10 — Katzù Oso at The Echo
LA-based Katzù Oso, the stage name of Paul Hernandez, is coming in hot with his first headline gig at non other than The Echo. The young Latinx solo artist released his debut mixtape Pastel this past July via Counter Culture / Cosmica Records. Made in the comfort of his Montebello home, Oso’s lush soundscapes are a sweet “pastel” (or maybe un pan dulce) of all things synth pop wrapped in a vibrant blanket of Spanglish lyrics and dreamy vibes. Inspire by his home of East Los Angeles, and artists like HOMESHAKE, Tame Impala and more — you won’t want to miss out on this show!
December 11 — Tor Miller at Moroccan Lounge
On December 11th, Los Angelenos have the pleasure of hearing the latest from Americana-inspired singer-songwriter Tor Miller, who will be joined by Dresage and Graham Norwood, at the Moroccan Lounge. With his latest release Surviving the Suburbs, Miller has left his seaside hometown and journeyed through the energetic cities of the U.S. as he continues on the last leg of his U.S. tour. Tor Miller incorporates the raw organics of recording and songwriting–with uninhibited vocals and instruments without electronic influence.
December 11 — Valley Maker at Resident
Austin Crane, aka Seattle’s Valley Maker, is currently on tour, with a stop in LA planned for December 11th. He is on the road supporting his recent LP, Rhododenron, a floral release in more ways than one. Images of flowers and growth appear throughout the album, which itself is named after a genus of woody plants that often feature a bright pink blossom. As he sings in the opener, Crane tries to “always see the world in bloom,” even if what grows is nothing more than a weed.
December 13 — Maria Taylor at Moroccan Lounge
Singer/songwriter Maria Taylor is prepping for a pseudo-homecoming this December when she returns to Los Angeles, the city where she lived for a time before returning back to her original home of Birmingham, Alabama. Once one-half of Azure Ray alongside Orenda Fink, Taylor’s solo career has resulted in six studio albums with the latest In the Next Life being released back in 2016. Joining Maria Taylor will be her other half (of Azure Ray), Orenda Fink! Together they will play some of Orenda’s solo songs, some of Maria’s and a few Azure Ray songs! Supporting Maria Taylor will be Brad Armstrong.
December 13 & 14 — Earthless at The Satellite
It’s the end of the year as we know it … San Diego shredders, Earthless have announced a set of end-of-the-year shows including two intimate dates at The Satellite in Silver Lake. Earthless will perform at The Satellite on Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14. Joining Earthless at The Satellite will be Volcano. You best believe this is gonna be a heavy show full of insane rips and thrashing drums.
December 14 — Roosevelt at Teragram Ballroom
It wasn’t too long that we caught Roosevelt’s Los Angeles debut at The Echo. The German electronic producer took Los Angeles by storm with a sold-out performance. With delicious synth pop full of 80s flavor, and disco flair, Roosevelt enamours fans with succulent beats and smooth vocals. It’s impossible not to groove along to Roosevelt’s tantalizing dish of sweet sounds. Do not miss Roosevelt at Teragram! Two gigs in one night!
December 14 — Middle Kids at Echoplex
After selling out the Lodge Room back in June, Australian trio Middle Kids are back with a headline show at the Echoplex on December 14th. Their debut album Lost Friends was released back in May, and it’s indie-rock with heart at its finest— melodies that stick with you long after a song is over, and nostalgia-ladden lyrics that run the full gamut of human emotions. Lead single “Edge of Town” has amassed over 19 million streams since its release.
December 14 — Conner Youngblood at Moroccan Lounge
A multi-instrumentalist armed with an entrancing, soul-scraping set of vocals, Conner Youngblood navigates all the vaporous realms of alt-R&B and soul with a hefty emotionality. Celebrating the release of his sophomore attempt Cheyenne this past summer, Conner Youngblood operates between the elegant cracks of atmospheric buzz and droning instrumentals that dot his songs. Amidst the whirl of brass, flutes, harps, and other breaths of eerie sound, Youngblood offers up the warm vibrations of his vocal cords as part of the airy melodies found on Cheyenne.
December 15 — SadGirl at The Roxy
Eerie surf-punk tendencies and 50s-60s rock textures are just a couple things that sum up the sounds of SadGirl. This local band likes to lay on the nostalgia thick and as blissful as their glowing guitars and harmonizations sound through a laptop speaker or earbud, they sound even better live. Get ready to swoon.
December 15 — Helena Deland at The Echo
Montréal-based artist Helena Deland makes her Los Angeles debut with a co-headline show at the The Echo on December 15th. Her latest release, From The Series of Songs “Altogether Unaccompanied” Vol III & IV (Luminelle Recordings), is a menagerie of songs that are as poetic as they are mesmerizing. Self-described as “sincere pop,” Deland’s songs feel like vignettes constructed from memories, each with its own unique sound and style. Her voice transcends genres, ranging from ethereal to broody and everything in between.
December 15 — Marie Davidson at Echoplex
Marie Davidson is making her way to Los Angeles with a headline concert date at the Echoplex. All you 90s club kids won’t want to miss this one! Taking you back to the distorted-disco-esque sounds of the 90s, Marie Davidson’s tracks are bold and her lyrics give no fucks. They’re a swift slap to your pucker. A slap you just right enjoy. Marie Davidson’s new album Working Class Woman is out now via Ninja Tune. We are absolutely obsessed with her fierce jam “Work It.” It holds back nothing and drips of confidence.
December 17 — Haerts at Moroccan Lounge
For a gut punch of empathy, check out the latest album from German duo HAERTS. The band has origins in Munich, but came to prominence in New York, where they are currently based. Their sophomore record came out earlier this year, and given its themes, New Compassion is an appropriate title. HAERTS rely on a dynamic energy in power pop anthems that make for great solo karaoke. Acoustic instrumentation is rare but not absent from New Compassion, while drums dictate the mood.
December 18 — The Soft Moon at The Regent
So many things can be said about The Soft Moon’s music. It’s bold, it’s risqué, it’s dark and it’s badass AF. Luis Vasquez, the eclectic mind behind The Soft Moon, bares all in his latest work Criminal. The dark beauty of sounds is a product of a violent childhood growing up in the loneliness of the 80s Mojave Desert (trust, it was not the same Coachella-fied desert you all love today). Through his latest and riveting work, Vasquez goes to war with himself. The album is a sort of confession, a coming to terms, if you will. It’s The Soft Moon’s most personal release to date and something you truly need to feel live.
December 19 — Thom Yorke at Orpheum Theatre
Thom Yorke, the Raidohead mastermind is touring in support of Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. Thom and Nigel Godrich and visual artist Tarik Barri will perform songs spanning his solo works The Eraser and Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes and Atoms For Peace’s Amok. Support will come from special guest Oliver Coates. Obviously, this is gonna be a great show.
December 20 — Lola Kirke at The Resident
Lola Kirke is won us over this past July when we featured her in a Hot Artist Alert. The talented singer / guitarist, who’s also an actress (Gone Girl, Mistress America, Mozart in the Jungle) has such a delicious voice and we just can’t get enough of it. Her debut album Heart Head West was released on August 10 via Downtown Records and it’s where you’ll find twangarific guitar licks in songs like “Supoosed To” or lovely, warms ballads such as “Monster.” There’s variety in Kirke’s range and tone, and that’s one of the many things we love so much about her music.
December 20 — Sam Valdez at Bootleg Theater
Performing at the The Killphonic Holiday Party (which is FREE!), Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Sam Valdez will bring her beautiful compositions to the live stage for all to enjoy. Valdez just released her debut EP, Mirage, this pasty July and it’s truly a sonic gem. Inspired by Sufjan Stevens, The War On Drugs and the words of Sylvia Plath — Sam Valdez’s music is striking.
December 21 — Magic Sword at the Echo
The elusive Magic Sword are making an appearance at The Echo for an entrancing night of futuristic sythwave. Who is Magic Sword? We aren’t exactly sure, but legend has it: “The Dark One has once again been freed from his ethereal prison and the mantle of warden falls to The Keeper of the Magic Sword … The Keeper, wears a mask to protect the identity of those he loves. Along with his minion, he produces retro-futuristic electronic music on stages across the world in an ongoing attempt to keep the Dark One at bay. The Keeper is known for wielding a sword of light during live performances, encouraging fans to bring their own magic sword to aide in the everlasting battle.”
December 23 — CULTS at The Echo
It’s not every night you get to see a band like CULTS at an intimate space such as The Echo! The duo sold out their first night at The Echo, but their Dec. 23 gig is still up for tickets! For a band that honed the controlled use of minimalist melodies on its first two albums, which often just consisted of a few choice instrumentals and guitar lines by Brian Oblivion and the high-pitched crooning of Madeline Follin, the new track
is an eye-catching move away from what’s become the classic Cults sound.
December 27 — DeathByRomy at Moroccan Lounge
Rising goth pop star DeathByRomy revealed her debut full-length record, Monsters, this past September and it is fierce. The local artist exhibits a wide range of sounds on the album; it begins with Lana Del Rey-like ballads and moves into melodic pop tunes where the bass is turned up to eleven. She will be celebrating the release at the Very Scary Christmas show planned at the Moroccan Lounge in late December, where she will be supported by The AquaDolls, MACK, and Tony Velour.
December 27 — Erykah Badu at The Novo
This soul goddess needs no introduction. I mean, it’s ERYKAH BADU.
December 28 — Poolside at Teragram Ballroom
Have you ever listened to Poolside’s dreamy cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”? Gawd damn, it makes my heart melt instantly in the grooviest of ways. If there’s one thing to be said about Poolside, is that these boys are groovealicous. Tropical disco for days, it’s impossible not to dance at a Poolside show.