Go See Hear In L.A. Aug. 14-19 (the Joy Kills Sorrow/Divine Fits edition)

Are Tuesdays turning into the new Saturday nights? Probably not, but take a lot at some of the shows lined up for this Tuesday.

The new indie super-group Divine Fits (featuring Spoon’s Britt Daniel, New Bomb TurksSam Brown and Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner) play the Bootleg (and they’ll be returning on Aug. 28 at Hollywood Forever. And while on a cemetery theme, Dead Can Dance returns from a 16-year hiatus with a new CD and a show Tuesday at the Gibson. The Kills, meanwhile, wrap up their second night at the Mayan.

Tuesday the 14th also finds Louisiana roots rockers Honey Island Swamp Band shaking up the Mint with Robert Walter and Clarence Bucaro as guests (check out Bucaro’s recent – the fine Til A Spring Wind Blows Again). Over at the Echoplex, folks will dancing to Brooklyn world groove masters Antibalas, while wild country rock can be corralled at the Echo where Whitey Morgan & the 78’s will be playing. The Alabama Shakes, maybe the hottest roots rockers in the nation, deliver their soul rock dynamite to the Fonda on the 14th and then head to Pomona’s Fox Theatre on the 15th.

Too many choices? Wait, there’s more! You can also go to see critically acclaimed songstress Regina Spektor, who will be performing songs new and old at the Greek Theater. But which show do I recommend the most? None of these. My first choice would be to go the Hotel Café and see the Dunwells and Shel. The Dunwells are a great Americana band from Britain that is led by two brothers and two cousins. I saw them at the Hotel Café earlier this year and they were really impressive. Also on the bill is a young Colorado country band Shel composed of 4 sisters. Their self-titled debut came out last week.



If you survive Tuesday, you can plunge into Wednesday with a big Phish concert at the Long Beach Arena or enjoy the multi-talented Ruben Blades at the Hollywood Bowl. Sunset Strip Music Fest is taking place this week and its Wednesday night concert is one of their better ones (IMHO) as the Roxy hosts HoneyHoney and Bittersweet’s Shana Halligan as well as Monster Calling. This week’s Santa Monica Pier Thursday night free show offers the stirring sounds of Amadou & Mariam with Portland OR-based alt.Mariachi-flavored band Y La Bamba.

Amadou & Mariam

Rugged troubadour Sean Rowe comes to McCabe’s on Friday the 17th. X will mark its spot at the Roxy as part of SSMF on Friday while Hank III brings his country, punk and country-punk free-for-all to the House of Blues (on the Sunset Strip). Speaking of wild times, the Whiskey Sour Radio Hour will be turned on again by Ed Helms (and special friends) at Largo.

While that will be a special show, I have to reserve top honors on Friday night to the Be Good Tanyas’ reunion show at the Bootleg. Frazey Ford, Sam Parton and Trish Klein are back together singing their brand of old timey music in L.A. for the first time since ’08 (that’s 2008). Nettwerk recently released a retrospective on the group simply called A Collection. Willie Watson, one-time of Old Crow Medicine Show, opens the show.

Saturday night is rather mild in comparison with top gigs being local indie rockers Henry Clay People at the Bootleg and Pershing Square’s free show featuring Dead Rock West and Rev. Horton Heat.

Sunday heats up again with big offering of shows. Pony Boy, who I have praised in recent weeks, returns to town with a gig at the Virgil. The lovely acoustic-based music of Joy Kills Sorrow will fill the Bootleg (I saw their last appearance there and they were excellent). More fine Americana can get had at a particularly grand Grand Ole Echo, with Portland’s Drunken Prayer, Jeremiah & The Red Eyes and Dan Janisch sharing the stage. Swedish garage rockers The Royal Concept will reign at the Troubadour (their full length debut is due in October on Lava/Universal Republic).


Lee Fields

Saving the best (perhaps) for last, Lee Fields and the Expressions perform their gritty soul music in the Echo. Fields is one of the recent soul singers (like Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley) who have been rediscovered and still going strong. The group’s album Faithful Man, which came out earlier this year, is a must for anyone who loves pure, old school, soulful R&B.

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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