Friday night stands as the concert battleground this week. One stage – the Troubadour, to be precise – will be John K. Samson. The Weakerthans’ frontman released his solo debut full length (Provincial) on Anti- earlier this year and it contains one of my favorite songs of the year, “When I Write My Master’s Thesis” along with many other stimulating tunes.
On another stage – Royce Hall – will be the Carolina Chocolate Drops. This NC-based band has done some truly memorable work with creating lively old timey-inspired music. Their new Buddy Miller-produced disc Leaving Eden is highly recommended. Opening for CCD will be the David Wax Museum, who also is well worth investigating.
If those aren’t two difficult choices, April 6 also features the rootsy UK band Kitty, Daisy and Lewis at the El Rey, Jerry Joseph & The Jackmorons at the Mint, Rubblebucket at the Bootleg and the compelling rugged folk music of McDougall who is on the Echo County Outpost’s bill with Triple Chicken Foot.
Saturday is almost as good. Richard Buckner brings his wonderfully rumbled tunes to McCabe’s. The Troubadour features the terrific UK band Dry the River (I got hooked on them listening to their NPR profile) and the Bowerbirds, who craft some really exquisite acoustic-based music on their new one Dead Oceans. The exciting, eclectic artist Anaïs Mitchell returns to town with a show at the Broad Stage’s Edye Theater to share music from her grand new album Young Man. Also performing Saturday will be Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Hollywood Palladium.
Not every night this week has such depth of shows but there is something good to see each night.
Tuesday night features a stellar show at the Echoplex headlined by the fiery Heartless Bastards (who have a new album Arrow) and with the up-and-comer Brian Lopez also playing.
Wednesday finds Melody Walker at the Wine and Song in S. Pasadena. The Bay Area Americana songstress also will be at the Farmer’s Market Ranch Party on Saturday night. She’ll be showcasing songs from her fine new album, Gold Rush Goddess. Also on the 4th the Barr Brothers brings their rootsy rock to the Hotel Café.
There are several intriguing young acts playing around town on Friday. The sister act, the Pierces, will be playing their beguiling music at the Troubadour. They have a new album, You & I, out. The Canadian alt-country group, The Wooden Sky has really impressed me with the songs off their new Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon A Sun – it’s spare but substantial, earthy and ethereal. The Viper Room, meanwhile, hosts Super Water Sympathy, who recently put out their debut Vesper Belle.
The week closes out with an appearance by Skinny Lister at the El Rey on Sunday. This young British band is one that I have praising in the past few months. There’s a bit of the Pogues in their spirited old world/new world tunes. Their debut Forge and Flagon comes out in June. They could very easily be this year’s Mumford & Sons.