Go See Hear In L.A. Feb. 13-16 (the Wild Honey/Wild Reeds edition)

It is rather a strange weekend. With the Grammys happening, there are probably more parties than shows but given that, here are some concerts that caught my attention.

Sat. 2/13

I already mentioned the fabulous Wild Honey benefit concert that is taking place at the Alex Theater. There will be a huge lineup of cool musicians playing mid-60s to mid-70s Beach Boys music.

If you are out in the Claremont area, Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys will be playing lively tunes from the ‘20s and ‘30s at the Folk Music Center. Or if the We Five have been on your mind, then head to the Coffee Gallery Backstage where We Five co-founder Jerry Burgan will be performing with his wife who was a We Five singer Debbie Burgan and their long-time bassist Tholow Chan

Sun. 2/14



Steve Wynn

Top Show(s): Steve Wynn, a favorite son from his days fronting the dynamic Dream Syndicate, returns to town with his wife, the talented drummer Linda Pitmon, REM’s Mike Mills and longtime multi-instrumentalist tour mate Robert Lloyd for what promises to be a highly memorable show at McCabe’s. Two terrific local Americana groups, The Wild Reeds and Tall Tales and the Silver Lining have a show at the Echo.


The Wild Reeds

Folk icon Judy Collins will grace the stage at the Rose in Pasadena.

Mon. 2/15

Top Show: Norway-born singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche will share some of his emotionally rich music at Largo.

The Coffee Gallery Backstage continues its retro weekend with a show featuring 80-something and genuine ‘50s rock ‘n’ roller Jimmy Angel and longtime honky-tonker Cody Bryant.

Tues. 2/16

LA-born, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Emmett Skyy will have a set at the Hotel Café tonight. The Coffee Gallery Backstage hosts two veteran troubabdours Bob Cheevers and Brad Colerick. Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon celebrates his first solo effort with a show at the Troubadour tonight and he’ll be at Santa Ana’s Observatory tomorrow night.

Posted in Best in L.A. Shows, Music,, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembrance: Dan Hicks

I only found out today that Dan Hicks passed away on Feb. 6 at the age of 76.


When I think of Dan Hicks, one phrase comes to mind: “how can I miss you, when you won’t go away.” The title of one of his novelty “semi-hits” of the early ’70s. I remember seeing Hicks and his Hot Licks, a weird but cool assemblage of thrift-store Americana, hippie Western Swing and a dash of hot jazz, on various TV shows back then. It was around the time when Bette Midler and the Manhattan Transfer broke through too with their ’40s-inspired music, but Hicks was different. His band had a fun, unpolished quality that made you think that they had just set up to play.

That’s little doubt that I saw these Flip Wilson Show performance when they did it.

I didn’t keep a close track of his career. I have one or two of his more recent CDs. I should keep an eye out for one of those early Hot Licks albums. But he will also be in my head, because of that phrase, and the fun-loving band that stuck it in my memory.

So I can’t end this without the song itself:




Posted in Music, RIP | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Times For Monkees Fans & More

Recently I wrote about Rhino’s Monkees reissue campaign in honor of the band’s 50th anniversary. More news now on the Monkees front. Mike, Micky and Pete have recorded their first new album in 20 years. Good Times! reached the inspired choice of Fountains of Wayne‘s Adam Schlesinger and features songs written for the band by folks like Weezer’s River Cuomo, XTC‘s Andy Partridge, Death Cab for Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard and Rogue Wave‘s Zach Rogue. The songlist contains a tune by each Nesmith and Tork as well as several songs that the band started back in the ’60s but only completed now. One number “Love To Love” was written by Neil Diamond that has a Davy Jones vocal and the title track is a Nilsson song that also includes him on the vocal track. Micky and Pete will also be taking their show on the road for a 50th anniversary tour later this year.


50 is a magic number for the pioneering garage rock band The Sonics. Last year, the group put out their first studio album in nearly 50 years and this April they will release the live album Live at Easy Street. The Sonics will be touring too, first with Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters in March and then they will be part of the Little Steven’s Underground Garage tour with The Woggles and Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, which sounds like a wild fun night of raw rock ‘n’ roll.

It’s not a surprising that ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons is into hot rods (remember their videos) so it isn’t surprising that he will have a show about cars. On Feb. 28, the Discovery Channel will air Rockin’ Roadsters. We’ll have to see if this show has legs.


It seems like if you see the name Dave Cobb as the producer on an album, then you will want to check it out. In May, the Cobb-produced Mary Chapin Carpenter album The Things That We Are Made Of will come out on Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers. It will interesting to hear how this collaboration sounds.

Another veteran country songstress Terri Hendrix plans to have a very busy 2016. Hendrix has just released Love You Strong, which is the first of four albums (and one book) that she has scheduled to put out this year.

Those Americana icons, the Jayhawks, will have a new CD coming out April 29 via Thirty Tigers. Jayhawks frontman Gary Louris co-produced Paging Mr. Proust with Tucker Martine and Peter Buck. I heard them play a couple of these songs in concert and I’m eager to hear how they sound on disc.

One last semi-random note – that rock ‘n’ roll troubadour Willie Nile will deliver his new album, World War Willie on April 1. Besides some of his straight-shooting originals, Nile also does a version of “Sweet Jane,” in honor of Lou Reed.







Posted in Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Go See Hear In L.A. Feb. 9-12 (the Supersuckers/Super Furry Animals edition)

So this will be a quickie because I have other work demands to tame. and hopefully I can return to do the weekend shows.

Tues. 2/9

Top Show(s): The sounds of New Orleans will resonate at the Echoplex as Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster will be serving up their GoGo Juice. There will also be a Mardi Gras vibe at UCLA’s Royce Hall with a double bill featuring Henry Butler, Steven Bernstein & the Hot 9, plus the hot world music ensemble Red Baraat.

The Family Crest and Jukebox The Ghost will make for an eclectic evening at the Regent. Andrew Bird has a new album on the way; see if you previews some of those tracks at the Teragram Ballroom. Sean McVerry shares his dramatic music at the Bardot.

Benefit Festival sidebar: On 2/9 & 2/10, a Fleetwood Mac fest will take place at the Fonda Theater. There will be an all-star lineup of musicians (Joanna Newsom, Doyle Bramhall II, Jamestown Revival, Karen Elson, Butch Walker, to name a few) are scheduled to perform at this benefit for Sweet Relief.

Another great benefit takes place on Saturday night when the Wild Honey Foundation stages a concert that spotlights the Beach Boys music of the 1967-77 era. Among its slated performers are Al Jardine, Micky Dolenz, Susan Cowsill, Debbi Peterson, Steve Wynn, The Muffs, Syd Straw, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Anna Waronker, Rachel Haden, oh the list goes on and on. This show will raise money for the Autism Think Tank and The Children’s Music Fund.

Wed. 2/10

Top Show(s): A couple of L.A.’s finest have shows in town tonight. The lovely Eleni Mandell will make for a fun night at the Bootleg, while Tom Freund can be enjoyed at the Hotel Cafe’s Big Lounge Room. Also at the Hotel Cafe is the Americana outfit Roosevelt Dime.

Guster has a pair of shows at the Teragram. Tonight they will their 1999 album Lost And Gone Forever and tomorrow they will do 2003’s Keep It Together, and, don’t worry, they’ll play other songs too. If you are going to the Albert Hammond Jr. show at the Roxy, get there early enough to catch Nico Yaryan, an intriguing new (to me) singer. Cinefamily screens a film Boardinghouse that was created by the eccentric husband and wife duo Johnima and Kalassu Wintergate (aka Lightstorm).

Thurs. 2/11

Top Show: The Supersuckers, Charlie Overbey and The Yawpers, a rip-roaring trio from Denver, will create rootsy, rockin’ ruckus at the Viper Room tonight and Long Beach’s Alex’s Bar tomorrow night, where the Bourbon Saints join the bill.

The psych-rocking UK band Super Furry Animals come to the Roxy on their first UUS tour in 6 years while vet. indie rock Built To Spill will rattle the walls at the Echo.

Fri. 2/12

Top Show(s): The Echoplex has a great lineup of American bands: The Record Company, The Americans and The Dustbowl Revival. Nigel Hall has a great soul album (Ladies & Gentlemen…Nigel Hall) coming out and you can see him live at Club Nokia with Lettuce and Beats Antique.

Peter Bradley Adams, who was once half of the local folk/pop duo eastmountainsouth, returns to town for a McCabe’s show. The legendary Aaron Neville starts his two-night stand at the Broad Stage. Largo hosts Nikki Costa and Strings tonight while Harvard & Stone welcomes local alt-country rockers Nocona. I would have included The Robert Glasper Experiment shows at the Mint tonight through Sunday, but I’m sure they are sold out by now.


Posted in Best in L.A. Shows, Music, | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Go See Here In L.A. Feb. 3-6 (the Jonny Two Bags/Blinddog Smokin’ edition)

This is a quick, perhaps abbreviated run-down of the week’s shows, but don’t let that stop you.

Wed. 2/3


Stephen Kellogg

Top Show(s): Two music legends (country or otherwise) Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard share the bill at the Saban Theater. Stephen Kellogg really grabbed my attention with his excellent new album South, West, North, East. It’s not often that a 20-track song cycle captures and holds your attention. Check him out at the Hotel Café. Tommy Keene, a big cult figure in the power pop world, plays the Satellite; last year he released Laugh In The Dark.

Ryan Montbleau brings his soulful bluesy music to the Mint while Marlon Williams plays the Bootleg.

Thurs. 2/4


Charlie Faye

Top Show(s): The wonderful Charlie Faye and her Fayettes do their sublime ‘60s-flavored soul-pop thing at the Sayers Club (Mr. Pete Thomas will be part of her band). Diego “El Twanguero” Garcia, who has been called a Latin-Twang pioneer and a “fire-breathing guitar hero,” starts his El Cid/Honktonk Hacienda residency tonight and will return on 4/13, 4/18 and 4/25. Roots rock survivors Jonny Two Bags, Scott Biram and Jesse Dayton will raise a ruckus at the Troubadour with the Loved Ones also on the bill.

Benji Hughes performs his curiously twisted pop tunes at the Bootleg; his latest Songs in the Key of Animals is his Merge debut. Grateful Dead interpreter David Gans has a show at the Coffee Gallery Backstage.

Fri. 2/5

Noted guitar/singer/songwriter Ellis Paul returns to the McCabe’s stage.

Sat. 2/6


Happy Traum & Jim Kweskin

Top Show: The Grammy-nominated funk outfit Blinddog Smokin’ serve up some smokin’ roots music at the Mint. Two folk/blues legends Jim Kweskin and Happy Traum will be playing at the Coffee Gallery Backstage while McCabe’s hosts its second acclaimed guitarist of the weekend, Laurence Juber, tonight.

Sun. 2/7

Top Show: Phil Lee is a rascally roots rocker from Nashville. His 2000 album Mighty King Of Love made me a fan with its colorful, clever tunes. He’ll be sharing his latest offering Some Gotta Love at the Coffee Gallery Backstage.

Posted in Best in L.A. Shows, Music,, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

January Desk Clearing: Joe Ely, The Feelies, Jefferson Airplane And The Cars

Some random or semi-random items that have collected on my computer of late.

ZZ Top fans can help make a documentary about the fabled boogie blues rock trio. Filmmakers Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn are working on a ZZ Top movie and are reaching out to fans to get archival material for possible use. If you think you might have something of interest for them, send an email to zzfans@bangerfilms.com with a description of your ZZ Top footage, audio and/or photos.

We lost another rock legend this past week with the passing of Paul Kantner. Kantner was one of the architects of the San Francisco psychedelic rock sound as a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane. I found this great video of them on American Bandstand in 1967. I wonder if that was an episode that I watched them. I probably didn’t because I think I would remember this.


When I recently noted the passing of that ribald rapper Blowfly, I mentioned that he had finished what would be his last album. Now there is an official release for 77 Rusty Trombones. It will come out on Feb. 19 on Saustex Records – and it is adult-only material.

Coming Out in March is a book about the late Kent Finlay, who ran the legendary Texas music venue Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. Besides this biography, entitled Dreamer, there will be a tribute album featuring James McMurtry, Jon Dee Graham, Steve Poltz, Slaid Cleaves, Terri Hendrix and other Texas singer/songwriters all doing tunes that Finlay wrote.



Joe Ely

Speaking of Texas greats, Mr. Joe Ely will be inducted into Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association Hall of Fame on Feb. 21 (long overdue if you ask me). Also being inducted will be JD Souther, who spent a good deal of time growing up in Texas before heading out to Southern California. There will also be tributes to the acclaimed songwriter Will Jennings and the one and only Roy Orbison.

Speaking of Roy Orbison, there is a cool new video of a new “old” song of his. “One of the Lonely One” is a classic Orbison track that is only now coming out 40-some years after it was recorded. It’s the title track of a previously unreleased Orbison album that was recorded in 1969 but only now seeing the light of day. The video stars the fabled burlesque queen Tempest Storm.


Blues titan John Mayall is back with a new album. Due out Feb. 26 on Forty Below Records, his Find A Way to Care mixes originals in with covers, including Percy Mayfield’s “The River’s Invitation,” Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “I Feel So Bad,” Charles Brown’s “Drifting Blues” and Muddy Waters’ “Long Distance Call.”



Professor Longhair

You can experience the music of the legendary Professor Longhair on a new archival release coming out on April 12 from Orleans Records. It’s a never before released live album that captures the New Orleans music pioneer performing at the University of Chicago Folk Festival in 1976.

Also on the horizon is a live DVD of a slightly newer vintage. Live From The House Of Soul features some impassioned old school soul served up by Charles Bradley and the Menaham Street Band. This DVD, the first title of Daptone Records’ new video series, has a Feb. 12 release date, and Bradley’s new CD Changes arrives April 1.


Jeff Healey

Jeff Healey was a much-acclaimed guitarist who sadly died all too young in 2008 at the age of 41 due to sarcoma cancer. An album of never before heard material of his will come out on March 25. Heal My Soul, which was done under the supervision of his estate, features restored recordings that showcase his gifts as a musician.

Bob Woodruff was an up-and-coming twang troubadour in New York City during the ‘90s who has been pretty much off the radar for too long of a time. He has a terrific new album The Year We Tried To Kill Pain coming out on Feb. 26 – it’s his first album of new material since 1997.

Another ‘90s cult figure Jack Logan has a new offering coming out. Is This Some Kind of Joke? is a 13-set of songs that were based on tracks originally recorded in the 1990’s that Logan re-discovered and then turned into full songs. The Georgia-based musician first surfaced on the national scene when Twin/Tone released his critically heralded double disc debut Bulk in 1994. Joke will be available on vinyl and digital download on Feb. 5; you’d think he’d release on April 1, wouldn’t you?


The Feelies

One of my favorite bands from the ‘80s, the Feelies will see the reissue of albums 3 and 4, Only Life and Time For A Witness, respectively. Bar/None will release both on March 11 and each will come with a download card that offers access to bonus material. For Record Store Day, release Bar None/Coyote Records will co-release the Feelies Uncovered, which will contain four previously commercially unreleased cover tunes: “Seven Days” (Bob Dylan), “Take It As It Comes” (The Doors), “Dancing Barefoot” (Patti Smith), and “Bar Stool Blues” (Neil Young).

Rhino has a pair of new Cars coming out this spring. Cars, as in the band, of course. On March 11, there’s the boxset The Elektra Years 1978-1987, featuring the band’s six Elektra albums – all remastered – from their prime time. Arriving on May 6 will be Moving In Stereo: The Best of the Cars, a compact single disc “best of” containing all of the band’s big hits along with rare, single mix of “I’m Not The One,” a live version of “Everything You Say” and a new mix of “Sad Song” by producer Philippe Zdar. I remember when their debut came out and kids at school asked me if they were “punk rock.”


Posted in Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Go See Hear In L.A. Jan. 28-31 (the Dr. Dog/Kitten edition)

Somehow January has come to an end. And I still have so many January things left to do…Well, if you planning to go out, here are some suggestions for you.

Thur. 1/28

Jenny Lewis starts her 3-night stand (I think they are all sold out) at The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian. She’ll be celebrating the10th anniversary of Rabbit Fur Coat (man, does time fly). The Watson Twins and M. Ward will be joining her.


Jenny Lewis

The intriguing songstress Audrey Karrasch can be found at Dirty Laundry while the New Wave-ish Soft Moon plays the Regent. The acclaimed acoustic duo Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin perform in concert at Pepperdine’s Smothers’ Theatre.

Fri. 1/29

Top Show(s): It’ll be a hot night at the Wiltern where The Devil Makes Three whips up some raucous roots music.


The Devil Makes Three

The always cool Dr. Dog will appear at Santa Ana’s Observatory with the impressive young band Hop Along. The Haden Triplets headline a benefit for Temple Israel of Hollywood at the Echo. The veteran bluesman John Hammond will lay down some tunes at McCabe’s.

The GIRLSCHOOL Festival takes place this weekend at the Bootleg. This 100% female festival will feature panel discussions as well as performances by The Bulls, Nina + Louise of Veruca Salt, Allison Weiss and Dead Sara.

It’s old home night at Largo with the return of Jon Brion and his pals.

Sat. 1/30

Top Show(s): McCabe’s hosts another fine guitarist tonight and Sunday as Jorma Kaukonen (of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame) will be playing.


Jorma Kaukonen

Chloe Chaidez is a local girl who picked for big things since she was 15 (way back in 2010) and her new band Kitten might just launch her. Check out her performance at the Fonda.

Mike Watt and the Missingmen can be found at Long Beach’s Alex’s Bar. The Bird Dogs present an Everly Brothers experience at San Pedro’s Grand Annex. Julia Holter brings her ethereal music to the Teregram Ballroom.

Sun. 1/31

Top Show: Los Lobos and Ballet Folklórico Mexicano partner up again for a concert at the Valley Performing Arts Center.


Posted in Best in L.A. Shows, Music, | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment