McCabe’s could be just the place to be this weekend as it presents two top British singer-songwriters: Graham Parker (Sat.) and John Wesley Harding (Sun.). And McCabe’s is a great place to hear these two who have a lot to say as well as play. I’ve seen some really memorable Harding shows there. After all these years, Graham Parker is still shooting out the sparks with sarcasm-dipped tunes. Harding has been concentrating on novels of late (give Charles Jessold Considered As A Murderer a read) is back with a new CD, The Sound of his Own Voice that boasts one of my absolute favorite tunes of the year – “There’s a Starbucks where a Starbucks Used To,” which is full of funny lines without getting slapsticky about it. He’ll be backed by the King Charles Trio which features Decemberists, Scott McCaughey and newly band-less Peter Buck.
Wednesday is an unusually busy Wednesday in L.A. Largo will be hosting Kina Grannis, Tuneyards (sorry for not getting all of the upper cases and lower cases correct) will be at the Music Box with Pat Jordache opening, while White Flag will be rocking the Troubadour Wednesday and Thursday. However, my top choice for Wednesday is Lydia Loveless, a young alt.country lass who injects plenty of rock ‘n’ roll moxie into her music as her splendid Bloodshot disc Indestructible Machine demonstrates. You can read what I wrote about her for the LA Weekly at http://www.voiceplaces.com/lydia-loveless-the-last-american-buffalo-olentangy-john-los-angeles-1529468-e/.
Thursday finds the Hotel Cafe hosting a record release show for local singer/songwriter Fay Wolf for her full length debut Spiders. Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty leads his Band Fantastic at the El Rey on Friday, while Scattered Trees will be shaking at the Roxy and singer-songwriter Willy Porter performs at McCabe’s.
Saturday offers a special show from bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs at UCLA’s Royce Hall with local country maestros Merle Jagger opening. Over the El Rey, the Fruit Bats will land for a show that also features the Parson Red Heads and El May.
I greatly recommend Kindlewood, who comes to town for two shows: Saturday at Burbank’s The Park Bar & Grill and the following Monday at the Trip in Santa Monica. The band, fronted by Kelci Smith (Fleet Foxes’ J. Tillman’s sister) has an enchanting bucolic sound that fills their charming debut Desiderium. If you are out Pomona way on Monday, then check out Lykke Li at the Fox Theater there as she showcases songs from her lauded Wounded Rhymes album.