Go See Here In L.A. Aug. 3-10 (the Cowboy Mouth/Pony Boy edition)

It’s one of those weeks where I feel like there should be more shows on my radar, but this is what I have so have at it. (update: okay, so I did overlook some that have now been slipped in. Hopefully I won’t have to do it again.)

Mon. 8/3

Top Show: Leon Bridges has gotten a lot of good words said about him – and justifiably so. He has a great, classic soul sound with a nice rock kick to it. He’ll be appearing at the Grammy Museum, which (sadly if you don’t have a ticket) is sold out already.

Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges

And as I mentioned last week – The Bulls, a new “dreamgazer” band from the Duke Spirit’s Marc Sallis and Anna Bulbrook (The Airborne Toxic Event/Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), begin their Monday night August residency tonight at the Satellite.

Wed. 8/5

Top Show(s): Those singing Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg bring their First Aid Kit to the Cathedral at Immanuel Presbyterian Church to perform their sweet harmony and folk-rock tunes. Opening for them is Canadian singer/songwriter Andy Shauf. Wilco comes to the Greek in the aftermath of their surprise release of Star Wars, which is a free album actually worth having.

Adrien Reju showcase the folk-poppy songs from her upcoming album Strange Love and The Secret Language at the Hotel Café. The Hotel Café will also play host to L.A.-bred singer/songwriter Eddie Berman (who has worked with Laura Marling, just as a reference point) Wednesday nights (starting tonight) through September.

 Thurs. 8/6

Top Show(s): Speaking of Laura Marling, she’s playing the Palace Theatre tonight. She recently put out a “Director’s Cut” version of her latest CD, Short Movie, which was greatly inspired by her time living in Southern California. Alynda Segarra and her band Hurray for the Riff Raff brings their rootsy tunes to the Skirball (and if you haven’t gone to their Bill Graham exhibit, make a point of seeing it).


Hurray For The Riff Raff

Hurray For The Riff Raff

Tonight’s Santa Monica Pier concert features Matt & Kim, James Bay, Saint Motel, and Wolf Alice. Tame Impala celebrates their new CD, Currents, at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery tonight and tomorrow night. Unknown Mortal Orchestra performs at the Roxy, while Django Django appears tonight at the Mayan Theatre and tomorrow at Santa Ana’s Observatory.

Fri. 8/7

Top Show: Last Saturday night, the Jayhawks played a mighty fine show in Pershing Square. Tonight, Mark Olson, who co-founded the band but now is on his own, has a solo show at McCabe’s.

Sky Ferreira checks into the Ace Hotel for a concert. Grand Performances downtown welcomes a night of indie Latin music with Gaby Moreno and Jorge Dexter. You can show some love for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin when the band plays the Satellite.

Sat. Aug. 8

Top Show: I don’t think there are tickets left but Dwight Yoakam and X are performing by the Annenberg Center for Photography in Century City.

Saturday boasts several good free shows: Mia Doi Todd at One Colorado in Pasadena, Meshell Ndegeocello at Marina Del Rey’s Chace Park and Gary and the Playboys play Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion. Sharon Van Etten will performing her haunting music at the The Theatre at the Ace Hotel.Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band and the Orpheum Theatre make for a retro pairing.

Sun. Aug. 9

Top Show: Louisiana roots rockers Cowboy Mouth return to Southern California with a free concert at the Hermosa Beach Pier with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers

Mon. Aug. 10

Top Show: Nashville’s Pony Boy (aka Marchelle Brandanini) rides into the Satellite in advance of her debut Blue Gold. She has a cool slow twang sound that is worth checking out. The Grammy Museum plays host to Icelandic chamber pop/rockers Of Monsters And Men, who released Beneath The Skin earlier this summer.

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Must See Video Viewing: Kalle Mattson’s “Avalanche”

I don’t know really anything about Kalle Mattson, who is a Polaris Music Prize-nominated Canadian musician. But what I do know is that he love rock ‘n’ roll. Or at least rock ‘n’ roll album covers. “Avalanche,” which is quite good on its own, is the title track from his forthcoming EP, due Aug. 21 on HOME Music Co.

But back to the video – it’s an ingenious tribute to album covers in which he “re-creates” 35 famous covers. Well, “famous” is a relative term but I am sure you will be able to identify a good number of them. I won’t reveal what my score was.

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Watch & Listen: Jason Isbell and Springtime Carnivore

So Jason Isbell is hotter than…. hell, you fill in the blank. I can’t compete with Isbell’s masterful way with turning a phrase.. His fantastic new album Something More Than Free debuted in the #6 slot on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Rock, Folk and Country charts. For those wondering what he would do to follow up the excellent Southeastern, he has laid any doubts to rest.

Right now, NPR has a stream of his incendiary Newport Folk Festival set.


Shifting gears, I’m really digging the video for Springtime Carnivore’s “Other Side of the Boundary.” It’s a cleverly created stream of photos to accompany the alluringly melancholic tune.

Check it out here:

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Go See Hear In L.A. July 28 – Aug. 3 (the Jayhawks/I See Hawks in L.A. edition)

July rolls into August with a full week of music. It is particularly strong on the free show front, which is never a bad thing. JD McPherson plays the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday, while Hot Club of Cowtown will be at the Culver City City Hall front lawn. Shelby Lynne and the Jayhawks perform at Pershing Square on Saturday night with Vlad and the Villains and Rocky Dawuni also having free concerts around town. I’m sure I’m missing more but here you go…

Tues. 7/28

Top Show(s): The Nashville-based duo Escondido will perform at the Echo. I loved their debut, The Ghost of Escondido. John Mellencamp, who has been making some interesting, personal music in the past few years, headlines the Microsoft (formerly Nokia) Theater. Pearl Charles’ music that harkens back to an era before she was born. You can check out her retro-flavored rock at her instore at Silverlake’s Old Style Guitar Shop, where she’ll be celebrating her new EP.

Pearl Charles

Pearl Charles

Andrew Bird lands again at Largo for an intimate concert. Folk-popsters Good Old War have a new album, Broken Into Better Shape that they’ll be showcasing at the Roxy. Chris StaplesAmerican Soft came out last week and he’ll be performing his eclectic tunes at the Satellite tonight. SoCar singer/songwriter Tyler Boone comes to SoCal to share some tunes at Genghis Cohen. Jim Adkins (the Jimmy in Jimmy Eat World) had done a solo album and a solo show at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Masonic Lodge.

Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, a documentary about the pioneering punk band, The Damned, begins its series of SoCal screenings tonight at the Laemmle NoHo 7. Tomorrow, it screens at the Laemmle’s Royal and then at Laemmle’s Pasadena Playhouse on the 30. After that it will have showing at the Frida in Santa Ana and Long Beach’s Art Theatre. Director Wes Orshoski (whose name also might be familiar to you from his rock mag writing) and Damned drummer Andrew “Pinch” Pinching will appear at some screenings. Check http://damneddoc.com for details.

Wed. 7/30

Top Show(s): I was going to put JD McPherson’s Santa Monica Pier show as one of the top show’s for tomorrow but the young old-school honky tonker actually plays first at Santa Ana’s Observatory. Go early to the Pier show to catch country songstress Sara Gayle Meech.

Some of the area’s top alt.country guys – Rich McCulley, Grant Langston, Jimmer Podrasky and Brian Whelan have a show “in the round” at Cinema Bar. The Hotel Café hosts a Bluegrass Situation Presents appearance from the Massachusetts ensemble Darlingside. Pop punk outfit All Time Low, whose music is on my daughter’s playlist (just a fact, nothing more). The Merge Records duo Wye Oak rocks Hollywood Forever Cemetery tonight and will play Club Bahia tomorrow night.

JD McPherson

JD McPherson

Thurs. 7/30

Top Show: The Hot Club of Cowtown has a free show on the Culver City City Hall lawn tonight and an indoor show at Boulevard Music tomorrow night.

The husband/wife duo Johnnyswim performs for free in McArthur Park while the talented vocalist Moses Sumney sings at the Echo (not a free show).

Fri. 7/31

Top Show: McCabe’s welcomes the Dustbowl Revival, who has a fine new CD, With A Lampshade On. They will have a show at the Skirball on Sunday.

Lydia Lunch, a vet of NYC’s No Wave scene of the ‘80s, has a concert at the Teragram Ballroom and Brick + Mortar play the Satellite. There will be a screening of the classic rock doc, The Last Waltz, at the Skirball.

Sat. 8/1

Top Show: In a week of fine free shows, it is hard to beat the bill at Pershing Square where Shelby Lynne and the Jayhawks will be performing. U.K. expat. singer/songwriter Bobby Long, who has an impressive new album Ode To Thinking coming out soon, plays McCabe’s.

Rick Shea and I See Hawks In L.A. will make it a twangy night at Boulevard Music. Vlad and the Villains have a free concert at Pasadena’s Levitt’s Pavilion while Ghanian music star Rocky Dawuni plays his lively Afro-Roots music in downtown L.A.’s Grand Performances. Keaton Simons performs his bluesy tunes at the Hotel Café.

Jean Ritchie

Jean Ritchie

Sun. 8/2

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin performs at the Microsoft Theater (remember it used to be Nokia). McCabe’s hosts a tribute to the late Jean Ritchie, a true American folk legend, with a screening of the Hearts of the Dulcimer documentary and performances from Susie Glaze, Joellen Lapidus and other musicians.

Mon. 8/3

The Bulls, a new “dreamgazer” band from the Duke Spirit’s Marc Sallis and Anna Bulbrook (The Airborne Toxic Event/Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) begin their Monday night August residency at the Satellite.

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Go See Here In L.A July 21-27 (The Phish/Ducktails Edition)

There are several waves of nostalgia waves up on Southern California, from Soul Asylum to Phish, Blondie to Bruce Cockburn, Spin Doctors to Violent Femmes and I’ve even gotten to Billy Joe Shaver yet. Go out and enjoy.

Tues. 7/21

The Satellite hosts a tribute to the great album by Squeeze, East Side Story. Soul Asylum and the Meat Puppets complete their House of Blues tour (they play the Sunset Strip on 7/20) with a show in Anaheim. More nostalgia will be felt at the Greek Theatre where the bill is Barenaked Ladies, Violent Femmes and Colin Hay, whose last album Next Year’s People is quite good actually.

Wed. 7/22

Top Show(s): If you haven’t seen Billy Joe Shaver, make a trip to San Juan Capistrano and catch his show at the Coach House. Uncle Lucius, a twangy rock outfit that has been a favorite in Austin, comes to the Mint in support of their just released The Light.

Uncle Lucius

Uncle Lucius

The Grammy Museum honors Mavis Staples and the late Phil Ochs with the first-ever Woody Guthrie Prize, which is awarded to artists who have had a positive effect on social change. And returning to the nostalgia theme – the Spin Doctors play a free show at the Grove.

Thurs. 7/23

The Grammy Museum spotlights the “session player,” with an evening featuring such lauded session musicians as Tony “Cisco” Marsico, Darren “Dewey” Falcone, Gary Mallaber and Pete Anderson.

Juliette Lewis’ band Juliette and the Licks headline the El Rey with Sweethead opening. The popular Midwestern band Red Wanting Blue does an acoustic set at the Hotel Café.

Fri. 7/24

L.A. Live will be throwing a free country party, the Round-up featuring music, dancing, food and other country-related activities. Philly singer/songwriter (and Linda Perry protégé) Hemming has a record release gig at the Hotel Café. Ducktails (aka Matt Mondanile) also has a new album (St. Catherine) and a show at the Getty.  Stooges Brass Band do not play horn-based version of Stooges songs (as far as I know) but are a high energy brass band from New Orleans. They have a free show at MacArthur Park. A screening of Hard Core Devo will be held at the Regent Theater.

Stooges Brass Band

Stooges Brass Band

Sat. 7/25

Steve Barton, from the band Translator, plays Molly Malone’s with Martin Etzioni and Willie Aaron. Jam fans can ease down from their Grateful Dead high by seeing Phish at the Forum. Rickie Lee Jones returns to L.A. for a free show at Pershing Square while veteran troubadour Bruce Cockburn performs for free at MacArthur Park.

Sun. 7/26

Top Show(s): The Echo hosts the Agastock benefit, featuring performances by former Angelenos Randy Weeks, Ramsey Midwood and Mike Stinson along with the Groovy Rednecks, Tony Gilkyson and Waynesboro (with Kip Boardman and Danny McGough). The Skirball has an intriguing panel discussion on Bill Graham and the rise of FM radio with Ben Fong-Torres, Bonnie Simmons and Raechel Donahue slated to be panelists.

There will be “more than feeling” of nostalgia (oh, there’s that word again) at the Forum, which hosts Boston tonight. Or you can head to the Greek where Blondie and Melissa Etheridge share the stage. Not as unexpected as the Elvis Costello/Steely Dan bill but still. The singer/songwriter Noah Guthrie, who appeared on the show Glee (for what that’s worth) performs at the Hotel Café.

Mon. 7/27

The Kills have a pair of small shows in SoCal – tonight at the El Rey and tomorrow at Pomona’s Glass House.


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What’s Old Is New: Dr. John, The Faces & Texas Tornadoes

I wanted to share some music news that crossed my radar that you might not have heard yet.

The Faces stand as a band that epitomizes rock ‘n’ roll. They had the songs, they had the swagger, they had the Ooh La La. Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan were only together for five years but they did a lot during those years. On Aug. 28, Rhino will offer up You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything, a boxset of the legendary band’s four studio albums. Not only is each album bulked up with bonus tracks of previously unreleased material, there’s an extra fifth disc packed with rarities. Here’s a video (with not great audio) of my fave Faces tune…

Dr. John’s Atco/Atlantic singles spanning the years 1968-1974 have been gathered together by Omnivore Recordings. The 22-track compilation, due out Sept. 18, presents a colorful portrait of Mac Rebennack’s musical transformation into Dr. John, The Night Tripper. And yes, his signature hit “Right Place, Wrong Time” is part of this set.



Real Gone Music has another fine collection of archival releases coming in September. The jewel might be A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada – a 2-CD, 39-track set that holds the prime cuts by the Texas Tornadoes. If you aren’t familiar with that name, the group was comprised of Flaco Jimenez, Doug Sahm, Freedy Fender and Augie Meyers. Here’s a vintage video:

The label also has put together Jimenez’s complete Arista Recordings, which amounts to his self-titled 1994 effort (featuring guests like Raul Malo and Radney Foster) and 1996’s Buena Suerte Señorita. Real Gone also has collected Wilson Pickett’s 4 RCA records done between 1964-72 into a 2-CD set, which also has 4 tracks never before on CD.

Lovers of Southern country soul should be aware of two October releases. On October 16, Big Legal Mess Records will put out The Life And Music of Denny Lile. This CD/DVD spotlights a lost figure in the ‘70s Southern music scene. Denny Lile’s little-heard 1972 Hear The Bang album has been equated to Neil Young’s Harvest. Find out more over at our friends at Blurt – http://bit.ly/1eK4EgV

Donnie Fritts has a new CD coming out in October. Maybe best known for the tune “Breakfast in Bed,” Fritts will deliver Oh My Goodness on Oct. 9. The disc, co-produced by the Civil Wars’ John Paul White and the Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner, features John Prine, Brittany Howard, Jason Isbell, Spooner Oldham and Amanda Shires among its guest contributors. There’s also a Fritts documentary in the works.

Here’s a tease:

The documentary Another Glorious Decade examines Van Morrison’s life and work from the late ‘70s through the late ‘80s. A Period of Transition, the title of his 1978 album, could be the subtitle here, as Morrison spent these years exploring spirituality and music. Due Sept. 18, it includes rare archive, live and studio footage as well as new interviews with many Morrison associates and collaborators.

There’s a pledgemusic.com campaign happening for another documentary, Born In Chicago, which examines Chicago’s extraordinary blues music scene. The film contains performances and interviews with folks like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Jack White, B.B. King, Buddy Guy and the list of luminaries goes on and on. Get more details at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/bic

Now I don’t know much at all about Raging Fire, a popular Nashville rock band during the 1980’s. They never broke through beyond their regional success but they had a sound that made me think of a cross between Jason & The Scorchers and early Lone Justice. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album, A Family Thing, they are making their whole catalog available on digital platforms while putting out a compilation on CD too. The Nashville Scene put up a track on their site: http://bit.ly/1Tqt12I

And we are sending out our good thoughts to Billy Zoom. X’s guitarist is in a battle with bladder cancer. A GoFundMe drive has been set up to help raise money for this fight. You can get the details at: http://www.gofundme.com/yx66a4


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Go See Here In L.A. July 14-20 (The Blonde On Blonde On Blonde edition)

The week’s subject heading isn’t a direct reference to Bob Dylan but to On Blonde the coincidence that Yukon Blonde, whose new album is named, and Jill Sobule & Tammy Faye Starlite, whose tour is named Blonde On Blonde On Blonde, are all in town this week.

Tues. 7/14

Top Show: Jenn Grant might not be a big name in America but she is, as they say, big in Canada – and with good reason. Her latest release Compostela is an intimate showcase of atmospheric folky songs. She’ll undoubtedly play a tune or two from it at Room 5.

Jenn Grant

Jenn Grant

Wed. 7/15

Top Show: Last week saw Creedence Clearwater Revisited visited the Southland, and tonight CCR’s main man John Fogerty comes to the Hollywood Bowl with his 1969 tour which spotlights tunes from the 3 albums CCR released that year (he actually has recently filed suit against his former bandmates but that is a story for another time).

The modern blues master Keb’ Mo headlines the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills. The Bluegrass Situation presents the Montreal-based singer/songwriter Leif Vollebekk at the Hotel Café. At the Grammy Museum, former Police guitarist Andy Summers presents his documentary, Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police. Lazar Lloyd, an American bluesman in Israel, has a show at Yorba Linda’s Main Street Restaurant.

Thurs. 7/16

Top Show(s): In advance of their CD debut release, the Watkins Family Hour performs at their home stage, Largo. The Deslondes, a terrific young group from New Orleans will play their soulful, rootsy tunes at Roxy. New West has recently released the band’s self-titled debut. Lincoln Durham, a fine Americana tunesmith, has a gig at the Hotel Café, where Dead Rock West will have a set as well.

The Deslondes

The Deslondes


L7, the L.A.-born grungy girl band of the late ‘80s-early ‘90s, have reunited and have a pair of concerts at the Fonda, tonight and tomorrow. The psychedelica synthy pop band Yukon Blonde celebrates their new CD On Blonde with a show at the Satellite.

Fri. 7/17

Top Show: Folk legend Judy Collins plays for free in MacArthur Park. It should be an entertaining evening at McCabe’s as Jill Sobule and Tammy Faye Starlite (performing as Marianne Faithful) bring their Blonde On Blonde On Blonde tour there. The talented Aussie singer/songwriter Ben Lee (remember when he was a teen wunderkin) has a new CD (Love Is The Great Rebellion) and a concert at the Troubadour.

Sat. 7/18

Top Show: The Greek hosts a dang great evening of twang as American music legend Willie Nelson will be perform as will Alison Krauss & Union Station (who, it goes without saying, are pretty great as well). Texas troubadour Ronnie Fauss, who put out the awesome Built To Break last year, has a free show at the Farmer’s Market Ranch Party and out at the Palmdale Amphitheatre will be the reliably dynamic Los Lobos.

Ronnie Fauss

Ronnie Fauss

Things will be more laidback at the Hollywood Bowl as Amos Lee and David Gray share a bill. Pony Farm, a weird lo-fi rock group from Brooklyn, has a show at Lot 1.

Sun. 7/19

‘90s nostalgia reigns at the Greek Theatre with the arrival of the Under The Sun tour, featuring Sugar Ray, Uncle Kracker, Better Than Ezra and Eve 6.

Mon. 7/20

Top Show: The Hotel Café welcomes The Band of Heathens, a potent Americana ensemble from Texas.

Metric plays the Honda Center in Anaheim tonight and the Forum on the 24th.

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