May is here. Stagecoach is done and summer’s a-comin’. This week is another hot week for music going.
It’s hard to pick one top concert; however, for sheer size of the bill, the Songs of Patsy Cline show at Disney Hall must rank as probably the best concert. The Living Singers will serve as hostesses while their guest list include John Doe, Zooey Deschanel, Shirley Manson, John C. Reilly and Charlie Wadhams.
The week also signals the welcome return of several former L.A. music mainstays. Sid Griffin, who founded the country-rock pioneering band the Long Ryders, has a couple of shows in town with his fine and twangy new outfit, the Coal Porters. They’ll be the Cinema Bar on May 2 and Taix on May 4.
One-time local honky tonk fave Mike Stinson, who headed to Houston a few years back, is back with a Bootleg gig on May 6.
Guitarist/producer Gurf Morlix lived in L.A. back in the ‘80s before he headed to Texas. He’s got a show at McCabe’s on May 6th tied into his new album, Blaze Foley’s 113th Wet Dream, a tribute to the infamous Austin songwriter Blaze Foley. There will also be a screening of the new Foley documentary Duct Tape Messiah. Morlix has a show the next night at Claremont’s Folk Music Center.
Grant Lee Buffalo has reformed ever so temporarily for a pair of shows at Largo (their only American appearances) May 5-6. This is the band’s first shows together after a dozen years.
Another spotlight show this week is the continued triumphant return of Leon Russell, who will be at the El Rey on the 3rd. Besides his touted duo disc with Elton John, check out his older stuff. There’s a terrific new Best Of out on EMI.
Notable too is the show by Charles Bradley at the Echo on 5/4. Another Daptone Records discovery, Bradley is a 60-something soul singer with a powerful voice – a real old school cat.
Also on the must-see list for this week is the appearance by Carrie Rodriguez and Pieta Brown at McCabe’s on 5/8. Here’s a chance to see two wonderful singer-songwriters sharing the bill.
If you are looking for more shows to see, consider these options:
Monday night, the Austin outfit Cowboy and Indian will be at the Satellite Lounge. The trio has a cool rootsy sound going for them.
Tuesday, TV on the Radio plays the Music Box, with Glasser opening.
Wednesday night offers the option of Cass McCombs at the Troubadour (he’s just released a new disc, Wit’s End) and a Rhett Miller/Robert Francis bill at the Autry,
If you are going to see Chris Cornell at the John Anson Ford on 5/4 or 5, please go earlier to check out the dark blues of William Elliott Whitmore, an always interesting singer who sounds far older than his years.
On Friday, the airy techno-pop band Acrylics play the El Rey (and Costa Mesa’s Detroit Club on the 7th)
Saturday, the Fleet Foxes come to the Palladium, Yep Roc recording artist Darren Hanlon will be at Lot 1 Café, William Fitzsimmons comes to the Hotel Cafe and the Anaheim House of Blues hosts a triple bill of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Portugal the Man and Telekinesis. The Troubadour has a terrific pairing of duos: the Submarines and Pepper Rabbit. There are a pair of benefits too: the 88 have an all-ages show at the Echo to benefit the Matt Cwiertny Memorial Foundation, while Richard Thompson’s McCabe’s gig is a fundraiser for the Otsuchi Relief Fund.
And if you still have some energy on Sunday (and not going to the Rodriguez/Brown McCabe’s show) then be aware that Brandi Carlile will be performing at the Anaheim House of Blues.