FYF Fest, Julien Baker, BROODS among Best Shows this Week

fyf fest

This week is extremely deep with good shows in Los Angeles thanks in no small part to FYF Fest and its FYF After Dark series. If you can only go to one show this week, make it Julien Baker‘s show at the El Rey on Thursday night. She’ll hit you right in all of the feels and for $19.00, you get two awesome opening acts in Phoebe Bridgers and Julia Jacklin. But make sure to check out our entire weekly show list — it features BROODS, Xylo, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip and the week ends with FYF Fest.

MONDAY, AUGUST 22

David Bazan, Teragram Ballroom, $20.00, show at 8 PM
I first saw former Pedro the Lion leader David Bazan as an opener for Death Cab for Cutie frontman Benjamin Gibbard at the Fillmore in SF in 2007. I wasn’t supremely knowledgeable of his material back then but walked away impressed after seeing his solo acoustic set. His cover of Radiohead’s “Let Down” was stellar and his cover of “Hallelujah” is as close to on par with Jeff Buckley’s version of the Leonard Cohen classic as you’ll get. His latest solo effort Blanco was well-received critically and he’ll probably play a lot from the 2016 record.

Xylo, School Night at Bardot, FREE WITH RSVP, 8 PM
The free-with-RSVP series School Night has been huge on hosting acts right as they’re about to break big and pop duo Xylo is no exception. The brother-sister combo have shown themselves to have keen pop sensibilities early on. Just listen to “Fool’s Paradise” for proof. If you’re a fan of BROODS or Oh Wonder, this indie pop group is right up your alley. Their careers are taking off and this might be one of your last opportunities to see them in such an intimate space — so make sure you get there early.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 23

BROODS with Jarryd James, The Novo, $27.50, show at 8 PM
Speaking of brother-sister indie pop duos, BROODS is in town this week with a headline set at DTLA’s The Novo (formerly Club Nokia). I interviewed them for Grimy Goods back when they were set to release their first full-length album, Evergreen while headlining at the El Rey. They were a joy to speak to and came across much more mature than their age would suggest. Now with their second album Conscious in tow, they’ve graduated to a much bigger venue. The album is fantastic and I’m excited to see more of the material played live after getting a sneak peek at a Capitol Records showcase.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24

Blood Orange, Theatre at the Ace Hotel, $33.50 to $38.50, doors at 8 PM
We may have lost Prince this year but we probably have the heir apparent to his throne in Dev Hynes. I was a little late to this bandwagon when I saw him perform at FYF Fest in 2014. It was one of my favorite sets of the weekend. His latest record Freetown Sound will certainly be atop many people’s year-end best-of lists and you can expect him to play heavily from that album. It might be the most socially-important albums of the past few years. This Wednesday FYF After Dark show was added when the Aug. 25 one sold out so quickly. If you miss Blood Orange when you have three chances to see him in a given week, you’re blowing it, kid.

Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, Hotel Cafe, $24.00, show at 7:30
A few days before Hot Chip reconvenes on stage at FYF Fest, head honcho Alexis Taylor has a solo set. He’ll be playing from his awesome second full-length solo record Piano. The album features Taylor in a more stripped-down role. It’s up there with Tobias Jesso Jr.’s Goon as one of the better piano-driven records of the past few years.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 25

Julien Baker with Phoebe Bridgers and Julia Jacklin, El Rey, $19.00 doors at 8 PM
If there’s any show worth getting over to in time for all the openers, it’s this FYF After Dark gig. I saw Julien Baker earlier this year at SXSW and Shaky Knees festivals. They were two of the better sets I’ve seen all year. At SXSW, I saw Baker perform in a beautiful church and she kept the crowd in stunned silence. At Shaky Knees, she wore a shirt that said “Sad songs make me feel better.” She also broke up the monotony of her sad tunes with some hilarious banter.

Phoebe Bridgers just recently released her debut 7″ via Ryan Adams’ Pax-Am Records and is quickly gaining notoriety as a live performer. Julia Jacklin just dropped her debut single “Pool Party” a few months ago. If you’re a fan of Angel Olsen, Jacklin is right up your alley. You can find me at the front of the crowd for this show, for sure.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26

Sheer Mag, Echoplex, $12.00, show at 8 PM
Sheer Mag had an early set at Coachella this year and treated it like they were playing after sundown. Their energy, particularly that of singer Tina Halladay, is infectious. If you dig Thin Lizzy and other ’70s era rock bands, you’ll love their sound. The Echoplex is a perfect place to see them. It promises to be a sweaty mess of a crowd, ripe for a Friday night out.

Peter, Bjorn & John, The Roxy, $20.00, show at 9 PM
It’s been five years since their last album, 2011’s Gimme Some, and we’re finally getting some new music. Breakin’ Point came out in June and they just released a new video for “Dominos,” it’s worth a watch. This might be the tastiest PB&J you’ll have all year. Catch them at a cozy venue as part of FYF After Dark, just before they play FYF Fest.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27

FYF Fest featuring Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala, Air, Hot Chip and others, Expo Park, two-day VIP and Sunday GA still available
Saturday’s FYF Fest lineup is so strong that single-day tickets are sold out. Tame Impala leading into Kendrick Lamar might be the best one-two main-stage punch at any festival this year. Aside from those two is a whole slate of excellent acts. French act Air will perform their second American show in awhile following an intriguing Outside Lands set. Grimes returns to FYF Fest after an impressive showing two years ago. Moby will appear with a DJ set. Vince Staples has been at nearly every festival this year and FYF Fest is no exception.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 28

FYF Fest featuring LCD Soundsystem, Grace Jones, Anohni, Beach House and others, Expo Park, two-day VIP and Sunday GA still available
LCD Soundsystem are making the rounds as a festival headliner this year and top FYF Fest on Sunday. Grace Jones and Anohni are also performing. Blood Orange will look to steal the show the same way he did two years ago at FYF. One highlight for me personally is Saves the Day performing their album Stay What You Are in full — it might be my favorite pop-punk album ever. Don’t miss Julien Baker’s set, which will probably be early and is definitely worth shaking off Saturday’s hangover to catch.

Photo courtesy of Jake Cunningham