If gray skies and the ever-stressful news cycle have got you overwhelmed and under-inspired, the week in L.A. live music brings with it a slate of outspoken voices and artistic grit to help ease and exorcise your angst.
Adopt the Arts benefit gala featuring Moby
Get in on the glam of award season sans the cringe-inducing banter and commercial breaks. Shepard Fairey, Jane Lynch, Matt Sorum and more will convene at the Wiltern to honor the pioneering work and legacy of L.A.’s own electronic maestro Moby. The gala, hosted by “The Big Bang Theory’s” Mayim Bialik, will feature performances from Kate Nash, the Crystal Method and Moby himself, along with a live auction of artwork and signed instruments from the likes of Fairey, Danny Clinch, Brandon Boyd and Camille Rose Garcia. The best part? The night’s mission is all about raising funds in support of preserving arts programming in U.S. public elementary schools. Tickets start at $62. VIP after-party to follow at the Line Hotel. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire, 7 p.m. Thursday.
Holter represents the best of L.A.’s exciting experimental scene, conjuring expansive compositions that stir and surprise amidst complex arrangements and striking vocals. Her latest release, “Aviary,” received near-universal acclaim among 2018 critics polls, distilling the existential free fall and cacophony of our political and cultural climate into a single, cathartic work. If you’re looking for a spiritual palate cleanser from today’s political climate, don’t miss this intimate show at Highland Park’s Lodge Room. Tickets cost $20. Lodge Room, 104 North Avenue 56, 8 p.m. Saturday.
Metric and Zoé
Amidst the flood of great music that was 2018, you might’ve missed Metric’s best album in years, “Art of Doubt.” The Toronto group has spent its recent history dipping its toes in pop and other fare but make a welcome return to the big riffs and rock grit that established Emily Haines and Co. as indie mainstays in the first place. The Justin Meldal-Johnsen-produced record showcases the band as fresh in their convictions as ever, tackling anxiety and political strife with their signature rebellious ardor. Still not sold? Metric will be sharing the bill with Mexican psych-rock greats Zoé, with whom they’ve teamed up for a one-two punch of a 2019 tour. If you weren’t able to catch them at Wednesday’s Palladium gig — or even if you were — the trek to Anaheim’s House of Blues is well worth it to catch this double bill. Tickets start at $56. House of Blues Anaheim, 400 W. Disney Way, 7 p.m. Saturday.
If you want to get a sense of what pop music means in 2019, look no further than L.A.’s born-and-raised Empress Of. The work of the singer-songwriter-producer born Lorely Rodriguez slides across genres from alt-R&B, to electro house, to soul-pop, tackling love, loneliness, and identity with equal parts infectious rhythms and delightfully weird musical turns. The result is a formidable pop gamut greater than the sum of its parts. Tickets cost $20. El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire, 9 p.m. Saturday.