March madness is starting a few days early. The waning days of February are overstocked with shows so I will forego clever groupings and just proceed chronologically.
Tuesday the 26th finds the always-entertaining Grant-Lee Phillips hosting some of his pals at Largo. Grant-Lee has a new disc, Walking In The Green Corn, to share too. Veteran Texas country-rockers Reckless Kelly headlines at the Troubadour with Micky & The Motorcars (featuring some Reckless Kelly kin) and Sturgill Simpson opening up. The Hotel Café welcomes Anna Rose, a powerful young rock belter who also is the daughter of composer Alan Menken (please no Little Mermaid requests).
Topping Wednesday concert lineup is “An Evening With Van Dyke Parks” at the South Pasadena Library. This intimate performance by the legendary Parks will also feature scheduled guest appearances by Joe Henry and Inara George. Wally Moon, a new hot UK crooner, will light up the Bootleg. Heidi Happy is an impressive Swiss singer with an engaging pop sound; she has a gig at Room 5 while Los Globos offers a bill of Mia Maestro, Craig Wedren, Holly Miranda and Dave (TV on the Radio) Sitek. Last but not least, The New Standards (featuring John Munson (of Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare), Chan Poling (The Suburbs), and vibraphonist Steve Roehm) perform at Largo with Dan Wilson, Lucy Michelle, Kristin Mooney and John C. Reilly.
On Thursday you can groove to Galactic at the El Rey (Living Colour frontman Corey Glover has been singing with the New Orleans ensemble of late). Or you can get funky at Grand Park where Breakestra will play and Funky Sole DJs will spin tunes. It’s a toss-up whether the Satellite or the Echoplex has a stronger bill on Thursday. Califone and Dana Falconberry are at the former while Jukebox the Ghost, Matt Pond and The Lighthouse & The Whaler are at the latter venue. The Troubadour, meanwhile, has Gold Fields (a New Wave-y band that reminds me a bit of early Squeeze with more dance moves), A Silent Film and Royal Teeth.
March marches in with the vintage sounds of Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks at McCabe’s and the retro arena rockers (although their new album sounds a little less in the past) Free Energy. Singer-songwriter fans can catch Ari Heist at the Hotel Café and Brad Mackerson at Room 5. G. Love will serve up his Special Sauce at the House of Blues, while the endearing pop stylings of Ash Reiter can be heard at Pehrspace. Our friends at the Bluegrass Situation are presenting Brothers Comatose, the Ben Miller Band and other acts at the Mint.
Ryan Bingham, Rhett Miller or the Chapin Sisters – which would you chose? All three acts perform on Saturday night. Bingham at Anaheim’s House of Blues, Miller at Hermosa Beach’s Saint Rocke and the Chapins at McCabe’s. You could pick by location or by the fact that Miller will also be at Largo on the 6th.
The shows just keep coming on Sunday. UK troubadour Sean Rowe does the Rocke/Troub pairing only his shows are the 3rd and the 5th, respectively. The Troubadour on Sunday offers The Hush Sounds, whose songs have really impressed me. Things won’t be hushed at McCabe’s where Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band celebrate their new album White Swan with a lively night of bluegrassy mountain music. Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping and the Triple Goddess Gospel Singers deliver their unique show that can’t really be described.
Things only slow down a little on Monday with Harper Simon, Jenny O and The Living Sisters kicking off the week in grand fashion at the Satellite while Rusty Truck rolls into the Hotel Café. The band, fronted by noted photographer Mark Seliger and featuring Wallflower Rami Jaffee and Grant Lee Buffalo’s Joey Peters, will showcase tunes from their upcoming Kicker Town album.