Whether you’re looking to impress a date or treat yourself to a night out, this Valentine’s weekend is loaded with benefit shows, free gigs and comeback sets that are sure to have you feeling the love.
L.A.’s experiential event series returns in 2020 with a rare performance by synthesizer pioneer Malcolm Cecil. With a background in both physics and music, Cecil has helped shape the sound of pop music, lending his production and engineering talents to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Gil Scott-Heron, T. Rex and more. His upcoming performance features selections from 1971’s “Zero Time” and 1981’s “Radiance” amid immersive visual projections inside a historic church.
Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Tickets cost $35.
Newport Festivals Foundation benefit with Courtney Barnett and friends
After organizing a number of fundraising shows for fire relief in her native Australia, Barnett closes out her solo North American tour with a Valentine Day’s bash benefiting music education in local underserved communities. In partnership with the Newport Folk Festival, the indie rocker has enlisted the talents of genre compatriots Father John Misty, Sharon Van Etten, Waxahatchee, Bedouine and more for a can’t-miss evening for a cause.
Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway. Tickets start at $42.50.
Planned Parenthood benefit with Mac DeMarco, Cherry Glazerr and more
If one marquee fundraiser wasn’t enough, the annual Valentine’s Day Village of Love Benefit returns with a stacked lineup in support of Planned Parenthood L.A. The bill features Mac DeMarco, Cherry Glazerr, Weyes Blood, William Tyler, Rodrigo Amarante and many others, plus a prize raffle, DJs and special guests. Tickets are sold out but can be found on the secondary market.
Teragram Ballroom, 1234 W. 7th St. Tickets are sold out but can be found on the secondary market.
Clarke and the Himselfs
If you haven’t caught on to the galvanizing garage stylings of this local upstart, make a point of catching this free show at Monty Bar’s Velvet Tinmine party. Clarke is a one-woman force, helming guitar and drums to deliver an irresistible interplay of melody, riffs and rhythm that underscore her raw vocals and poignant lyrics. Come by early — and stay late — to catch DJ sets by mainstays Don Bolles and Noah Wallace.
Monty Bar, 1222 West 7th St.
The Dream Syndicate
L.A.’s neopsych luminaries the Dream Syndicate returned in 2012 after a 23-year hiatus, but the group has picked up where they left off, releasing two albums of mercurial, atmospheric Paisley Underground rock. Catch them in support of 2019’s “These Times” for an anticipated hometown set at the Echoplex.
The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd. Tickets cost $26.
Valentine’s Love Jam
If you’re looking for a fail-safe way to woo the object of your affection, this night of swoon-worthy R&B greats is sure to do the trick. Ginuwine, Tyrese, Joe, Dru Hill and Avant convene like a supergroup of seduction, doling out classic ’90s jams to finish off your Valentine’s weekend on a high note.
The Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd. Tickets start at $59.