August begins with two exciting appearances at the Grammy Museum. The local band Belle Brigade, who have had an explosive year, will be there Monday as part of the museum’s Homegrown series, while the superb singer-songwriter John Hiatt will showcase his terrific new album Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymms (I reviewed it for Country Standard Time) on Tuesday. He will also perform at the Troubadour on Thursday night.
Several other veteran performers will be coming to town this week as well. Marcia Ball, who’s one red-hot piano players, will be playing at Hollywood and Highland on the 2nd and in Agoura Hills at the Canyon Club on the 4th. On Friday and Saturday, McCabe’s welcomes a rare appearance from the legendary David Bromberg, who has a great new disc out Use Me.
And if you are looking for a one-stop shopping for classic acts, then get to the Greek on Thursday night for Hippiefest, which features Dave Mason, Gary Wright, Grand Funk frontman Mark Farner, Rick Derringer and Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals. They might not be all hippie acts, but they are certainly blasts from the past. A different type of blast from the past will be had at the Grove of Anaheim when Devo performs there on Aug. 5.
Meanwhile, modern day hippies will be trekking out to Altadena’s Zorthian Ranch on Saturday for the 2nd annual New LA Folk Fest, whose lineup includes Dustbowl Revival, Emily Lacy, Ferraby Lionheart, Frank Fairfield, Ruthann Friedman, Very Be Careful, Cowboy and Indian and more.
Blues fan might want to visit Big Bear Lake on Saturday. The Blues for the Zoo benefit show boasts a lineup that includes Maria Muldaur and the Chicago Blues Shootout (featuring blues virtuosos Lurrie Bell, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Larry McCray).
A number of good young acts have gigs in town this week. One particular recommended show is Charlie Faye’s set at the Hotel Café on Aug. 3. She has a wonderful new disc out Travels with Charlie, which she recorded in to different cities across the U.S. including L.A.
Another interesting songstress, Mela Lee brings her band Magnolia Memoir plays the Troubadour on 8/5. They have new EP out at the end of the month entitled The Perfect Crime. On the 6th, the local duo High Planes lands at the Bootleg with the Mint will be filled on the 7th with the gypsy-like stylings of the Portland-based band All The Apparatus. They have just released a self-titled disc that is worth checking out.
One of the best “big” shows this week is Lykke Li with Best Coast and Fool’s Gold at the Greek, which is on Aug. 5. Weezer hits at the Pacific Amphitheater on the 4th;.On August 3rd, Coldplay will do a show at the UCLA Tennis Courts, benefiting the Grammy Museum, while down by the Grammy Museum that night Matisyahu brings his unique reggae grooves to Club Nokia, with Tea Leaf Green opening.
Other shows this week that are worth a peak include the Austin electro-pop band Speak at the Troubadour on the Tuesday. That night the indie rock group Rabbit! hops into the Hotel Café for a show that benefits the The Harmony Project.
On Wednesday night, the Hotel Café welcomes the local singer/songwriter Beth Thornley (with a full band, while over at the Satellite, you’ll find Scattered Trees and Alternative Routes, and on Saturday night Danny B. Harvey returns to L.A. with a gig at the Three Clubs.