Go See Hear in L.A. April 16-22 (the Madness edition)

This week starts off with a couple of vintage Brit acts that came out of the second wave of punk rock in the late ‘70s. On Monday, Madness will bring their ska/pop to Club Nokia. They had a number of lively tunes back in the day (remember “Our House”?) and have recently returned with their first album in a decade, The Liberty of Norton Folgate.

 Elvis Costello, who probably has made 20 albums in the last decade, brings his Spinning Songbook concert back to the Wiltern on Tuesday night. Coincidentally, a CD version of the show has just been put out. I saw the show last year and it was a great time.

Another Brit vet, Thomas Dolby, will be Largo on Tuesday as part of his Time Capsule Tour. Dolby is bringing his own “time capsule” (a road trailer equipped with a video recording studio) to each gig so that folks can record messages for the future. He’ll be playing tunes from the past and the present (his new disc is A Map of the Floating City).

On Thursday night, the reunited Pulp brings its version of Brit Pop to Pomona’s Fox Theater. Pulp is known for their particularly literate tunes, like the wonderful “Common People.”

A concert that probably earns show of the week honors is the Bettye LaVette’s UCLAlive appearance at Royce Hall with Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew opening. The soulful LaVette is a wonderful singer and unique song interpreter who thankfully has been rediscovered in recent years. Cleary is a British-born, New Orleans-based pianist with a huge love for his adopted hometown. Give a listen to his new Occapella, which is a delightful salute to Allen Toussaint.


This week also offers a particularly strong selection of singer/songwriter types. I want to especially note the show by Matt Keating at the Hotel Café on the 18th. Keating came on my radar in the ‘90s with a string of compelling efforts. He has a terrific new disc Wrong Way Home that is good in all the right ways. I hope to write more on it later but check out “Just About Now,” which is a real winner.

Here’s a live clip I found on youtube.

Also on the 18th, Dar Williams will be at the Largo. I always think of the short-lived L.A. radio station KSCA when I mention artists like Williams. The weekend brings a trio of talented singer-songwriters to McCabe’s. Starting with Michelle Shocked on Friday, followed by Grant Lee Phillips on Saturday and Eric Anderson on Sunday.

Several buzz bands will be swinging through town as well. KCRW favorite Miike Snow heats up the El Rey on the 17th. Goyte, the Belgian-Australian pop rocker who broke big with “Somebody I Used To Know,” comes to the Nokia Theatre on 19th. Also on the 19th, the all-female super-group Wild Flag will perform at the El Rey.

Other shows on the radar include the local indie pop/rock band the New Limb Tuesday at the Satellite. The eclectic, beyond-bluegrass band the Infamous Stringdusters has a show at Hermosa Beach’s Saint Rocke on Wednesday the 18th. That night, Coco Morier plays her dance-y pop at the Bootleg.

The Echoplex will the site of the seriously ethereal electro-pop on Thursday with the School of the 7 Bells headlines a show that also features Exitmusic. Devon Church and Aleksa Palladino formed this group (whose debut Passage comes out in May on Secretly Canadian) and I have impressed with the music I’ve heard – dark, haunting and alluring, and it will be interesting how they translate this to a live setting.

Sean Kuti & Egypt 80 will turn Royce Hall into a Friday night dance party with their spirited Afrobeat sounds that his father popularized, while up-and-coming pop/folk performer Joe Taylor has a Genghis Cohen set on Saturday night.

About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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