This week is highlighted by the local appearances of several living legends.
Booker T. sounds the alarm at the El Rey on the 25th to celebrate his new album, Sound The Alarm, which Stax (appropriately enough) is out. Mavis Staples also has a fine new album, One True Vine, her second collaboration with Jeff Tweedy. She performs at the Fonda on the 26th. Robert Plant brings his Sensational Shape Shifters to the Shrine Auditorium on Wednesday night too. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are his opening act. Maria Muldaur has a pair of shows at McCabe’s on the 28th. If you are only familiar with her from “Midnight At The Oasis,” then you are missing out on a lot of great roots music. And if you are willing to hit the highway, Wanda Jackson will be at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown on June 29.
If you’re a fan of female singer-songwriters, then you will have dilemma Tuesday night as Rachael Yamagata will be at the Troubadour and Patty Griffin performs at the Wiltern. I’d vote for Griffin, and not just because Max Gomez is opening for her.
Two longtime L.A. regulars have in-town shows this week – Jon Brion has one of his guest-studded Largo show on the 28th while Grant Lee Phillips plays McCabe’s on Saturday. Everclear, who had a big ‘90s hit with “Santa Monica” is part of a Nineties nostalgia night at the Wiltern on Friday topping a bill that also include Live, Filter and Sponge (one hit wonders?, one name wonders?)
The Shilohs, a really cool Vancouver group, visits the Bootleg on the 26th. That night, the Beachwood Sparks’ Brent Rademaker has invited his “California Friends” to join him at the Satellite. Friday night Milo Greene will enliven the Hollywood Forever’s Masonic Lodge with a show. AM & Shawn Lee has a pair of local appearances – a free gig on Thursday at the Hammer and a “regular” show Friday night at the Echo.
Other shows of interest include the Sydney Wayser/Harper Blynn Bootleg bill on the 25th, “Mexican blues-garage primitivists” The Copper Gamins at the Echo on the 26th, the local psych-rockers Allah-Las have a free show at Fig at 7th on Friday night and the Brooklyn punk duo Japanther at the American Legion Hall on the 30th.
And if you are fan of music documentaries, there are a number of fine ones out or coming to L.A. 20 Feet From Stardom, about background singers should still be on screens. And opening this Friday is A Band Called Death, about an obscure African-American punk band (named Death) in the ’70 as well as Downloaded, a documentary about the music download revolution which features musicians Beastie Boys’ Mike D, Noel Gallagher and Henry Rollins plus executives like Don Ienner and Chris Blackwell.