October starts off with a busy Monday. Sweden’s The Royal Concept shares the bill at the Troubadour with Wolf Gang (not to be confused with Wolf Parade, Deer Wolf or Sea Wolf). Passenger also arrives from Europe to headline at the Wiltern. The El Rey hosts Voices United for the Separation of Church and State benefit, which features musicians like Mary Gauthier, Ellis Paul and Catie Curtis, and comedians such as Russell Brand and Sarah Silverman.
The Grammy Museum starts off a hot month of events with an appearance by A&M Records founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss. On the 3rd, the museum’s Icons of the Music Industry series with a conversation with former Warner Brothers exec. Joe Smith.
The shows keep on coming on Tuesday. The Shins with Washed Out come to the Gibson Amphitheatre. Cate Le Bon, whose beguiling sound has a raw, dark quality to it, returns to town for a show at the Bootleg. The rising roots rock band The Lumineers headline at the Fonda. Buke and Gase, who are a cool duo, who use homemade instruments to create a unique old world/new world sound, perform at the Echoplex.
The Troubadour offers a strong bill with the Jezebels and Yukon Blonde, two young bands that know how to create hooky rock. Yukon Blonde, in particular has caught my attention; there’s a catchiness to their energetic that reminds me of the melodic New Wave pop/rock of the Eighties that smartly combines guitar riffs, vocals harmonies, keyboard flourishes and a nice layer of production polish. The Spring Standards, who play the Hotel Café on the 2nd, has also impressed me with its New Wave-influenced sound, although theirs is more keyboard-centered.
Two big names with country roots have shows on the 2nd. The luminescent Emmylou Harris will light up UCLA’s Royce Hall with her Red Dirt Boys, while the redneck boys from Lynyrd Skynyrd (although I believe I read that they have agreed to take the Confederate flag off their logo) rock out at Club Nokia.
The Gibson Guitar-endorsed Camille Bloom swings through the area with a show on the 2nd at Laguna Beach’s Marine Room, on the 3rd at Ventura’s Wine Rack and on the 4th at Genghis Cohen on a Lady’s Night bill with Jill Cohen, Carrie Clark and Nicole Torres. Jenny Lewis plays Largo with some of her friends before opening for Conor Oberst at Pomona’s Fox Theater on the 3rd.
Elvis Costello has a sold out show at the Irvine Barclay Center on the 2nd and Nick Lowe plays the Troubadour on the 3rd with Eleni Mandell opening. I hope to have more on their shows, along with Robyn Hitchcock’s Friday McCabe’s appearance, Joe Jackson’s Oct. 6 concert and Lloyd Cole’s Oct. 7 gig in a separate piece.
Still, the 3rd has more to offer than the legendary Mr. Lowe. You can have a “bourbon, a shot and a beer” with rock ‘n’ roll warrior George Thorogood at the Anaheim House of Blues on the 3rd. The lovely Kimbra, now best known for singing on “Somebody I Used To Know,” headlines the Fonda. Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Kate Earl plays the Hotel Café before her debut disc Stronger comes out in November.
Wednesday also finds Father John Misty, Inara George and Becky Stark among the scheduled performers to be at the Bootleg Theater benefit, A Show For Mayla, which raise money for musician Aaron Embry’s young daughter who has been diagnosed with leukemia.
Little Green Cars arrives at the McCabe’s on the 4th, while Red Baraat brings its world jam music to the Mint that night. The Milk Carton Kids bring their fine harmonies to the Largo, while the great Dr. Dog rocks the Observatory in Santa Ana on the 4th and the Ford Theater the next night.
The Culture’s Collide Festival kicks off on the 4th and runs through the 7th. Of Montreal, Voxhaul Broadcast, Laettitia Sadler, Niki and the Dove, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the Wombats, and Blood Red Shoes are among the lineup of international acts scheduled to play.
The Black Keys begin their Southern California gigs on the 5th with the first of two nights at the Staples Center, followed by a show at the Honda Center on the 8th. And I think it’s great that they have grown into an arena act. Tegan and Sara will be the opener. The Wiltern hosts a terrific show featuring the rousing The Head and the Heart and Blitzen Trapper (along with Bryan John Appleby). The UK rock outfit The Maccabees take a break from opening for Florence and the Machine or the weeknd to headline at the El Rey.
The impressive young British singer/songwriter Ben Howard returns to town to headline the Fonda on the 6th. His debut Every Kingdom is one of those albums that draws you in with its quiet power. Another English act, Dry The River, brings its take on Americana to the Troubadour on the 6th along with Houndmouth. The fine local acoustic outfit Dustbowl Revival will play McCabe’s, while another L.A. country rocker Derek Thomas showcases his new project Skyline Drive and his new album, Topanga Ranch Motel, at the Malibu Inn.
The top Americana show of the night, however, is Patterson Hood’s gig at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery; the Drive-By Trucker has a solo outing, Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance, which he populates with great story songs done up in a slightly quieter way than DBT would do.
Ms. Rickie Lee Jones performs at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage on Saturday while Peter Gabriel takes the Hollywood Bowl’s big stage that night (go early to catch the ethereal Ane Brun). The following night, New Order rules the Greek Theater, with the local shoe-gazing group Run Run Run serving as their openers. If you are feeling the Sunday blues, then head out to the Canyon Club where Kenny Wayne Shepherd will be showing off his guitar virtuosity.