L.A. previews December 20-26: Holy Grail, L.A. Guns, Josh Nelson-Lorca Hart, Joe Baiza art, Ornette cover band, the true meaning of xmas.


Fri. Dec. 20 -- Pasadena White Wizzard spinoff Holy Grail qualifies as a major champion of today's melodic heavy rock. With Sirion, Vlad the Impaler, Desecrate, Broken Saviour. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 7pm; $15; www.whiskyagogo.com; (310) 652-4202.

Sat. Dec. 21 -- L.A. Guns, dude -- the version led by singer Phil Lewis (rather than guitar guy Tracii Guns) doing "Electric Gypsy" and all that noisy hair metal circa 1990. With Member, 210toLowell, Luv Rokkit-T, Siren, Scarlet Vice. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 6pm; $20; www.whiskyagogo.com; (310) 652-4202.

Sat. Dec. 21 -- I like the way our local jazz guys keep reconfiguring. This time it’s on the more traditional side with pianist Josh Nelson, drummer Lorca Hart (son o' Billy) and singer Kenny Washington. At the Blue Whale on the third level of Weller Court Plaza, south of East First Street between South Los Angeles Street and South San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo 90012; 9pm-midnight; $15; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.

Sat. Dec. 21 -- Joltin' guitarist Joe Baiza concludes the run of his art exhibit with greetings and music. At Cornelius Projects, 1417 Pacific Ave., San Pedro 90731; 6pm.

Sat.-Sun. Dec. 21-22 -- LATE ADD. More Baiza-related events. On SATURDAY, Dean Abramovich's birthday occasions an amazing postpunk lineup (from 4:30pm to 12:30am, in this order): Third Grade Teacher, Surprise Reunion Experience, Rough Church, Carnage Asada, Mike Watt & the Secondmen, Nostradumass, HellBat, Saccharine Trust, Atomic Sherpas. SUNDAY it's the Ornette Coleman cover band O (Baiza, Jeremy Keller, Brian Christopherson and Rich West, 9:30pm), Grex (8pm) and Steuart Liebig-Breeze Smith (7pm). Both at Café Nela, 1906 Cypress Ave., L.A. 90065.

Wed. Dec. 25 -- Clubs are closed citywide to ponder Greg Burk's birthday.

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Read Don Heckman’s jazz picks here and MoshKing's metal listings here. Read John Payne's plutonic Bluefat.com here.