Songwriters rule this week and the king’s throne of shows sits Paul Kelly. The singer-songwriter is a legend in Australian but only a cult figure here. He has put together an A-Z CD retrospective and has two shows at the Hotel Café Sept. 14-15, where he’ll undoubtedly go alphabetically through his treasure trove of tunes.
Slaid Cleaves, who now calls Austin his home, stops by McCabe’s on Friday night. He’s another great yet underrated singer-songwriter and he too has put together a retrospective, the 2-disc Sorrow & Smoke: Live At the Horseshoe Lounge. Saturday night, McCabe’s hosts a dynamic duo of singer-songwriters Mary Gauthier and Lori McKenna.
Saturday also is the night when a pair of younger singer-songwriters Holcombe Waller and Mia Doi Todd perform at the Satellite. While Todd’s earlier work hadn’t really grabbed me, I am much taken with her Cosmic Ocean Ship.
Another up and comer Nick Jaina has a gig at the Central on 9/13. That night, the fine local country-rock outfit Paladino has a show at the Villains Tavern.
A couple of vets show up on the 14th (besides Paul Kelly that is). The fun twin bill of Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven perform at the Satellite, with Cracker doing Kerosene Hat and Camper playing Key Lime Pie. Meanwhile, Peter Hook and his new band, the Light, will do Joy Division’s Closer and then Unknown Pleasure on the 16th (at the Music Box and the El Rey, respectively, with an Amoeba appearance scheduled for the 15th). Moby is scheduled to play with them. One more veteran, Eddie Spaghetti, of the Supersuckers, will be doing his country thang at the Redwood on the 16th.
Among the notable younger acts performing this week is Lex Land, the ex-SoCal chanteuse who plays the Echo on the 15th. Star Ana has shows at Long Beach’s Alex’s Bar (on the 16th) and Molly Malone’s (on the 17th), while Surfer Blood has a pair of shows too – at the Echoplex on the 16th and the Getty on the 17th.
The alluring Laura Marling has a pair of shows too (do I sense a trend?) performing at the Masonic Temple on the 18th and at the Troubadour on the 20th. Opening both shows is another talented English songstress, who goes by the name Alessi’s Ark.
Also, big news this weekend is the opening of the new James Brown exhibit at the Grammy Museum. Will it be the hardest working exhibit in show business?
Looking into next week (beyond the Marling show on Tuesday the 20th), there are several good music options on Monday. Dave Alvin will be appearing at the Grammy Museum (although he probably won’t be doing all James Brown songs). NPR darling Bon Iver has a date at the Shrine, while the El Rey welcomes Dar Williams and Joan Osborne. Makes me think about the days of KSCA.