Go See Hear In L.A. Oct. 9-14 (The Panther Burns/Giant Giant Sand edition


Sorry for being a little behind. Had to deal with a big deadline but I wanted to talk about all the great shows this week, which is filled with appearances from legends, cult heroes, promising acts and other intriguing options.


The event that I will be heading out to see is the great soul singer Bettye LaVette, who will be talking about her new book, A Woman Like Me, with co-writer David Ritz at the LA Library on Wednesday the 10th. She will also be performing the following night at the Troubadour.

Dr. John and the Blind Boys of Alabama bring the sounds of the American South to the Valley Performing Arts Center on the 11th.

Punk goddess Patti Smith will cast her spell at the Wiltern on the 12th. Over the Largo that night, Lovin’ Spoonful frontman John Sebastian performs with guitarist Jimmy Vivino (Conan’s band leader). The pair also plays the Canyon club on the 11th.

This fall’s super couple – David Byrne and St. Vincent – plays the Greek Theater on the 13th.

Cult Figures

If you are looking at unique cult figures, look no further than Tav Falco, who will be bringing his latest version of the Panther Burns to the Satellite on the 9th. The Memphis-based avant rockabilly artist is like a real life David Lynch character, who must be seen to be believed. Corin Tucker, the former Sleater-Kinney frontwoman, brings her new band to the Echo to showcase their powerful new album, Kill My Blues.

Rufus Wainwright brings his wit, charm and classic tunes to the Grammy Museum on Wednesday. Did you have “Cruel Summer?” Well, Banarama might cure that as they perform Thursday night for the Noreen Fraser Foundation fundraiser at the Hard Rock. Personally, “Robert Niro’s Waiting” was my favorite song of theirs.

Howe Gelb brings his big new group, Giant Giant Sand to the Echo to showcase its recently released effort Tucson, which has been described as a country rock opera. Guitar whiz Steve Kimock jams with Bernie Worrell, Andy Hess and Wally Ingram at the Mint on the 12th.

Ronee Blakely portrayed the Loretta Lynn-like Barbara Jean in Robert Altman landmark film Nashville. While her own career hasn’t been as big as Barbara Jean’s fictional one, she has made several albums over the years (she was part of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue) although she doesn’t often perform live but she’ll be at McCabe’s on the 13th. At Royce Hall that night, string maestro Bill Frisell teams up with filmmaker Bill Morrison for a unique project that combines Frisell’s music and Morrison images about the Mississippi River Flood of 1927. Ben Vaughn joins veteran L.A. instrumentalist Double Naught Spy Car for the band’s Oct. 13 CD release show (their 3rd album Western Violence comes out Oct. 16).


This week ends with a great double bill at the McCabe’s: Shannon McNally and Amy LaVere, two talented Southern musicians. McNally’s a nifty guitarist while LaVere is accomplished on the stand-up bass and both create powerful music.

Up and Comers

Tuesday also features such rising stars the wonderfully feisty Lydia Loveless, who will light up the Hotel Café with her torchy country-rock. The fierce Nashville rockers JEFF the Brotherhood will rattle the Troubadour, while twisted jazzsters The Bad Plus play the Mint, UK soul singer Michael Kiwanuka with Nathaniel Rateliff and the impressive Foy Vance are at the John Anson Ford, and raucous country lasses Miss Willie Brown visit Anaheim’s Ranch Restaurant & Saloon.

A couple of cool new acts come to town on Wednesday. Bad Books, a collaboration between Kevin Devine and members of the Manchester Orchestra, deliver their quirky, fun pop at the Troubadour while the compelling European singer-songwriter Milow checks into the Hotel Café. Matt Bauer’s quietly intense songs catch my ear, and you can hear him at a free in-store on the 10th at Origami Vinyl.

Corb Lund, one of Canada’s top honky tonkers, returns to the Mint on the 11th. He put on an impressive show when I saw him play there a while back. Another twangy option is the Nashville duo Haley and Michael, which has a set at the Hotel Café on Thursday.

2:54, led by sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow, open for the XX at the Hollywood Palladium on the 12th. Field Report is the solo project from Justin Vernon collaborator Chris Porterfield. The Field Report debut disc is quiet yet strongly compelling. Field Report opens for Aimee Mann at the Wilshire Ebell on the 13th. Mann’s new one, Charmer, is another quality work from her and also a little more uptempo than some of her recent efforts. JT Nero of Chicago’s soul/rock band JT and the Clouds and Allison Russell from Po’ Girl have a new collaboration Birds of Chicago that is quite eclectic Americana and quite good. They’ll be at Santa Ana’s Constellation with Sean Hayes.

Also of Interest:

The Wallflowers, whose new album Glad All Over has the earmarks of a solid comeback effort. They’ll play the Fonda on the 9th. Daniel “Mr. ‘Had A Bad Day’ Powter has a record release show at the Viper Room for his new CD, Turn On The Lights.  The French music festival, Oohlala, brings Kitsune Maison to the El Rey on the 11th, M to the El Rey on the 12th and Nouvelle Vague to Club Nokia on the 14th.

The eclectic Iranian-born singer Sussan Deyhim takes the Orpheum stage on the 11th too.  The Irish band Bell X1 lands at the Hotel Café on the 12th.


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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