This week rolls out a bit slowly. Consider it a Thanksgiving Weekend hangover.
It is really only on Wednesday when a couple shows appear on my radar. Over at the Mint, Lawence Arabia (aka New Zealander James Milne) will perform his trad-but-not-trad soft pop/rock music, while Rah Rah (not to be confused with Ra Ra Riot) plays at the Bootleg. This Saskatchewan ensemble serves up an eclectic sound in the tradition of other Canadian collective like Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire.
Thursday also features another Canadian act – Whitehorse at the Hotel Cafe. This duo is composed of the husband/wife pair: Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. I have enjoyed Doucet’s prior efforts and this collaboration makes for beguiling avant-rootsy music that makes me curious to hear them live. Kate Earl, who has an impressive new album, also is playing there that night. The other hot show for Thursday finds Charles Bradley and Menahan Street Band at Royce Hall. Bradley is among those recently rediscovered R&B singers whose music holds an honest, hard-earned gritty soulfulness. MSB comes for the Brooklyn Dap-Kings scene and these guys know how to find a groove and ride it. Also worth noting is that Alice Cooper has a show at the Orpheum Theatre. While no longer rock’s shock king, old Alice is always good for an entertaining show.
There are several choices for where to head on Friday night. Eccentric percussionist Mike Dillon brings his band to the Mint. Kasey Anderson brings his raucous roots-rock to the Hotel Café where the radiant Star Anna plays some of her heartachin’ twangy tunes. Veteran Florida rocker Jerry Riopelle has a show at McCabe’s while Walk Off The Earth heads to the Troubadour.
December starts off with a strong selection of shows. The Punch Brothers, fronted by newly named MacArthur Genius Grant winner Chris Thile, come to the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on the 1st. Opening for them is the fabulous folk-pop duo The Milk Carton Kids, who have just signed with Anti . World Party’s Karl Wallinger makes a rare local appearance at the Troubadour, which should be a real treat of a show. The stylish chanteuse Sylvie Lewis has a set at the Hotel Cafe on Saturday night. Her latest, It’s All True, is a lovely blend of European and American music.
The Mint hosts a night of artful, introspective music on Saturday night, when Gabriel Kahane performs (accompanied by Rob Moose from Bon Iver) along with Elizabeth & The Catapult, while the alluring Trixie Whitley (vocalist for Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub) brings her powerhouse voice to the Satellite. Meanwhile, Chicago Soul Legends, including Thee Midniters, Little Willie G, Malo, Tierra, Big Jay McNeely, will gather for a show at the Gibson Amphitheatre.
Sunday’s highlight show is Jim Lauderdale at McCabe’s. Mr. Americana has two collaborations: a bluegrass effort with Robert Hunter) and a country/rock album done with old pal Buddy Miller. Lauderdale returns to LA in about 10 days for a screening of his documentary at the Grammy Museum.