My apologies but I am dealing by deadlines buzzing around my brain so hopefully this won’t seem too rushed. But for those of you going out, here is what you can find in L.A. this week.
The glorious Parson Red Heads will be at the Detroit Bar on the 11th and the Bootleg on the 13th. The impressive Said The Whale is on the bill as is Desert Noises. The Radar Brothers appear at the Satellite (Radar – Satellite, seems like a perfect conceptual match) on the 12th, with Ola Podrida opening. The 88 celebrate their new CD, Fortune Teller, with a hometown show at the Troubadour on Wednesday. Aaron Embry opens. Americana fans should know that the Levon Helm documentary Ain’t In It For My Health screens at the Silent Movie theater at the 12th.
Josh Ritter’s Grammy Museum is sold out on Thursday night, but the Mint has a great bill featuring Shurman, Marc Ford, Rod Melancon and Mando Saenz, whose new album Studebaker is one of the best things out there now. Melissa Ferrick, who also has a new CD (the truth is) performs at the Hotel Café on the 13th. Emily Wells brings her orchestral folk music to the Echo, while another ethereal songstress, Beth Orton headlines the Troubadour on Thursday with the promising young UK singer/songwriter James Bay opening.
The terrific Ruthie Foster has a solo show at the McCabe’s on Friday night. Also worth checking out is Cecile Hortensia, an interesting singer-songwriter whose music reflects her native France as well as her current residence, Arizona.
Saturday stands out as a great night to experience music. The great Texas story-teller Robert Earl Keen headlines the El Rey. Blues guitar master Guitar Shorty returns to Harvelle’s in Long Beach, while Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill hosts a benefit for ailing bluesman Finis Tasby. They Might Be Giants will spin their twisted pop gems at Anaheim’s House of Blues. At the secret Silent Cinema location in the Hollywood Hills, Michael on Fire, Amilia K. Spicer and Jackie Bristow (who ranks in my “you should know her music” category) will take part in a songwriters-in-the-round show.
My top show for Saturday would be the Lady Lamb The Beekeeper/Torres show at the Bootleg. Lady Lamb (aka Aly Spaltro) creates beguiling music that forms more of a spider metaphor in my mind – quietly drawing in the listener before wrapping them up in noisy guitars blasts. Something like PJ Harvey, although quite different too. I’m less familiar with Torres, but the few tracks of hers also have a powerful blend of soft and hard elements.
Sunday finds two veterans playing on opposite sides of town. Junior Brown twangs his guit-steel at McCabe’s while Peter Case shares his ramshackle story-songs at the Echoplex, with Deep Ellum as his openers. There will be a rare sighting of The Bats, who were part of that great New Zealand indie rock scene of the ’80s and ’90s, at the Satellite on Sunday. Also on the 16th, Alice Smith (her terrific album She reveals her to be a dynamic soulful singer) has a free in-store show at Amoeba before her Monday show at the Troubadour.
And speaking of Monday the 17th, Rhett Miller will reign again at Largo, while John Grant come to the Echo to showcase his new album, Pale Green Ghosts. Sixties rocker Gary U.S. Bonds, who get some Springsteen-supported career revival, has a book signing of his memoir, That’s My Story, at Book Soup on Monday too.