Monday, December 30, 2019 / 7:30–11 p.m. / Teragram Ballroom
When self-dubbed “psychedelic world surf” band Camper Van Beethoven broke up after a successful run through the 1980s, David Lowery formed Cracker, finding hits in “Teen Angst” and “Low.” Over the last 10 years or so, Lowery struck a balance with both bands, splitting duties, touring and even hosting an annual desert music festival at Pappy & Harriet’s featuring Cracker and the reunited Camper on the same bill for a two-and-a-half-hour show. Spokane, Washington band Buffalo Jones opens the show with rock ’n’ roll Americana.
We scoured the city and came up with nine excellent events to ring in the new decade. Our favorites include performances by Swamp Dogg, TR/ST, Tony Humphries, DâM-Funk, Poolside, Geneva Jacuzzi, Dumpstaphunk and more; getting dressed up like it’s the 1920s; and singing karaoke all night on a vintage theater stage. Check out our picks for some of the best New Year’s Eve parties around town.
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 / 10:50 a.m. to 3 p.m. / Japanese Village Plaza
The 22nd annual Japanese New Year’s Oshogatsu Festival takes over Little Tokyo’s Weller Court Shopping Center and Japanese Village Plaza with art and entertainment celebrating a fresh new start. Eat some delicious Japanese treats while enjoying martial arts performances, taiko drums, mochi stomping, a kimono contest and lion dances. Make a kite, learn origami and partake in the sake breaking ceremony in which the lid of a sake barrel is smashed open wooden mallet and everyone gets a drink. We’ll toast to that.
Thursday, January 2, 2020 / 8–11 p.m. / UCB Franklin
Everyone’s making resolutions right about now. This storytelling event digs into what makes a person decide “I’ve got to change.” Heather Sundell of the UCB improv team Green Light, GO! hosts this evening of anecdotes and resolutions featuring Gabi Conti, who once went on 30 dates in three days for Cosmopolitan Magazine, creator of the “Asian AF” variety show Will Choi and Eater L.A.’s senior editor, Farley Elliott.
Friday, January 3, 2020 / 8 p.m. to midnight / Troubadour
311’s SA Martinez and Ryan Siegel from Exes Of Evil formed Los Stellarians in Ojai while bonding over vintage ’70s soul. Their first record, “Cholo Soul,” came out in 2014, consisting of classic covers inspired by Martinez’ record collection. They followed it with “The Mas Chingon,” an album of originals, that same year. On their recently released third album, “Rucaz n Rolaz,” the band went in a grittier direction, honing in on lowrider Latino culture and harder funk. L.A. 10-piece tropifunk band The Jungle Fire and hard rockers Strata open the show.
Saturday, January 4, 2020 / 5–8 p.m. / Los Angeles Center of Photography
The opening exhibit at the L.A. Center of Photography’s new Mid-City home features 15 Southern California fine art photographers sharing work created over the last year under the mentorship of Aline Smithson. “The Personal Project” explores the human experience: family, relationships, aging, creativity, the importance of place and new perspectives on the California landscape. The artists exhibiting work are Andy House, Beth Dubber, Carissa Dorson, Elisa Haber, Ellen Friedlander, Hilary White, Julia Bennett, Kristina Shires, Krysia Lukkason, Mara Zaslove, Michael Hacker, Michelle Elkins, Sharon Johnson-Tennant, Wayne Swanson and Yulia Tregub Morris.
Sunday, January 5, 2020 / 8–11 p.m. / Gold-Diggers
Folky, alt-rock band Avi Buffalo had a fast start out the gate, signing with Sub Pop when the members were finishing high school. As a full band, the group toured two successful albums across the world before going their separate ways. Songwriter Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg reinvented Avi Buffalo as a solo project; just him, his guitar and some sincere plucked feelings. Joining him for an intimate evening is multi-instrumentalist Eamon Fogarty, who released a new album, “Blue Values,” in 2019.