Shannon Lay was a member of local rock ’n’ roll band Feels, so it came as something of a surprise when she revealed her solo project consisting of soft folk-pop, gentle, intimate acoustic music that feels like it’s being whispered in your ear as it floats off specks of dust carried by some warm breeze. Her most recent album, “August,” came out this summer on Sub Pop. She’s playing three Monday nights in December at Zebulon. Joining the bill tonight is Earth Girl Helen Brown, offering a full set of Joni Mitchell covers just for funsies.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 / 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. / Harvard & Stone
L.A.-based Hayley Johnson once described the sound of her musical alter-ego, The Little Miss, as Johnny Cash meets Florence + the Machine. With some formative whistling skills and backing from her band, adorably referred to as the Cactus Kissers, Johnson delivers a nostalgic page from the Americana songbook. She’s doing it every Tuesday this month at Harvard & Stone with a selection of other rootsy local bands. Tonight, the lineup features Abby Littman and Herbert Bail.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 / 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. / Teragram Ballroom
Eric D. Johnson may call Los Angeles home nowadays, but in reflecting on the past, the indie singer-songwriter didn’t always feel like he had a sense of place and belonging. That’s one of the subjects informing “Gold Past Life,” his latest and seventh album as Fruit Bats, which came out this summer via Merge Records. Johnson calls it “existential make-out music,” songs for worrying about life’s frustrations and the state of the world while cuddling someone you love. Kacey Johansing opens the show with some nourishing heartbreak songs.
Thursday, December 12, 2019 / 7–10 p.m. / 1926 E. 7th Place
In an attempt to define their unique rock opera, the creative group Woolf and the Wondershow explain that “Cages” is “‘Phantom of the Opera’ hijacked by Coachella at Paris Fashion Week.” The story is set in the dystopian world of Anhedonia, where emotions are forbidden and everyone’s hearts are locked behind bars. When the main character, Woolf, falls in love, he embarks on a surreal journey to master his emotions and write a symphony powerful enough to set all hearts free. Beyond the storyline, the production utilizes groundbreaking technology and state-of-the-art visuals to push the theatrical experience beyond its limits.
Friday, December 13, 2019 / 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. / Lodge Room
The husband and wife duo behind Kolars formed the group in the wake of their former band, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister. In this pared-down version, singer Rob Kolar takes lead on guitar while Lauren Brown tap dances and simultaneously plays the drums. Their sound can be summed up as a glam-a-billy, a toe-tapping amalgam of rock styles with a lot of swagger and sequins. While they play a few favorites from the HMBSMS days, the band has a new album in the works to follow-up 2017’s eponymous debut. The Soft White 60’s and Bloody Death Skull (fronted by yours truly) also share the stage tonight.
Saturday, December 14, 2019 / 8–11:30 p.m. / The Regent Theater
A Chicano band from East L.A., Las Cafeteras formed in 2005 after meeting at Eastside Cafe, the Los Angeles Mexican-American cultural center where they were taking classes. As children of immigrants, the six-piece are as passionate about activism as they are about keeping traditional music alive and thriving while giving it a modern twist. They sing in both Spanish and English, incorporating Son Jarocho instruments and zapateado dancing into a magnetic performance of originals and Spanglish pop covers that are bound to get the audience dancing along.
Sunday, December 15, 2019 / 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. / Los Angeles Convention Center
L.A. loves thrifting. Give us all the vintage clothes and all the mid-century furniture and knick-knacks. So the idea of a thrifting event big enough to fill the Convention Center gets us very excited. In addition to the more than 100 vendors from all over the country flying in with their best loot, ThriftCon also features several installations celebrating vintage and retro culture, as well as a clothing drive benefitting Union Rescue Mission and Shelter Partnership. Bring five or more clothing items to donate and receive a free shopping bag.