I’m am going to a mega-version to wrap up March. My own version of March Madness.
Tuesday the 22nd is something of a Super Tuesday. The ethereal Julianna Barwick performs at the Bootleg with Esben and the Witch also on the bill. Barwick recently released a new disc, the Magic Place. If By Yes is a new collaboration between Petra Haden and Cibo Matto’s Yuka Honda. Nels Cline is supposedly sitting in for their show at Largo. Tuesday also has Damien Jurado and Viva Voce at the Satellite and I See Hawks with Richie Lawrence at the Coffee Gallery Backstage.
The Smoking Popes are back together again. They had that great song, “Need You Around” back in 1995 and now have a new effort, This Is Only A Test. They play Fullerton’s Slidebar on Tuesday and the Key Club on March 23.
The powerful Ponderosa performs at the Bootleg on Wednesday. Their terrific New West debut comes pack with strong Southern Rock. The Watkins Family holds court at Largo on Wednesday too, while Vanity Theft kicks off their Club Moscow residency on the 23rd. They’ll also be at that Hollywood club on March 30, April 6 and 13th.
The Hotel Café on the 24th might be offering the best night of music. Their lineup includes Abigail Washburn, Hoots & Hellmouth, Ha Ha Tonka and Ed Kowalcyzk. The wonderful Washburn will also be bringing her Chinese-influenced Appalachian music to McCabe’s on Friday night.
The Baltimore duo Wye Oak has a just released CD Civilian and a gig at the Echo on the 24th with the Callers also on the bill.
The Satellite hosts the haunting sounds of Sharon Van Etten on the 25.
The buzzed-about local rock band Grouplove (you’ll be able to find my Q&A with them on City’s Best L.A.) has a show on the 25th at the Troubadour. Former Troubadour regulars (although back in the Sixties) David Crosby and Graham Nash will be at the Long Beach Terrace Theater that night. Also on Friday night, longtime Largo regular Jon Brion will be back there for a show. Synth-pop superstars OMD are back too with shows at the Music Box on the 25th and 29th.
Aussie psych-tinged power pop band Grand Atlantic makes a Pacific Coast stop a Santa Monica’s Trip on the 25th and the Echo on the 26th, while more garage rock can be heard at the Center for the Arts when Thee Oh Sees play at that Echo Park site. MEN, featuring Le Tigre’s JD Samson, return to LA for a show at the Echoplex.
Dirk Hamilton is a singer/songwriter I remember from the late ‘70s when he had some interesting albums (like Meet Me At The Crux). I haven’t kept up with his music but you can at McCabes on the 26th. Roots rocker Riley Etheridge comes to the Hotel Café on the 27th. I really enjoyed his latest. Powder Keg. Meanwhile, the marvelous Robyn Hitchcock sets up shop at Largo March 29-31. He is a perennial favorite for his twisted, clever tunes.
Jam band faves Galactic will be at the Belly Up on the 30th and the El Rey on the 31st. The 31st also finds the John Jorgenson Quintet at the Cerritos Center. Sugar Hill puts out a really fine debut by Brian Wright on the 29th and he’ll be celebrating with the show at the Hotel Café on the 31st; however, the top show on the last night of March is the Baseball Project (Steve Wynn, Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Linda Pitmon). They’ll be delivering their baseball-based tunes at the Echo. You’ll be able to find my Q&A with them on City’s Best L.A. too.