I was looking for a theme for this week and the best I could come up with is: too much of a good thing. There are multiple shows every night this week.
Free Energy residency at the Echo starts this Monday (btw, see if you can find their cover of Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby” somewhere). The Silverlake Lounge hosts a pay-what-you-want night featuring three locals (The Soft Sun, The Breakups and A Girl I Know) plus Colorado folkie Laurelin Kruse. Nettwerk Records’ Lily Kershaw will showcase songs from her Nettwerk Records debut Midnight In The Garden at the Hotel Café on the 16th (and return again on the 30). Speaking of hotels, the Morrison Hotel Gallery at the Sunset Marquis has a cool photo exhibit of John Cohen’s photography of Bob Dylan to coincide with the Another Self Portrait release. This exhibit is open daily through Sept. 22.
Butch Walker takes a break from all of his studio work to play some of his own songs at the Bootleg on Tuesday. The Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club visits Costa Mesa’s Orange County Performing Arts Center on the 17th and then heads to the Valley Performing Arts Center on the 18th. Also in for two shows this week is the Grouplove/Rubens double-bill, which will be at the Troubadour on the 17th and the Masonic Lodge on the 18th. Topping Tuesday’s lineup for me, however, is Laura Mvula. The cool UK singer really impresses on her debut Sing To The Moon and her El Rey show promises to be a scenester hotspot.
Patrolled By Radar will be Dustbowl Revival’s guest at this Wednesday’s Mint show. Dustbowl will also appear at McCabe’s on the 20th. Up in Agoura Hills, Soul Asylum will bring make some of your youthful memories at their Canyon Club show.
Thursday is a widely eclectic night concert-wise. Here are some options: The Cold War Kids and PAPA will rock the Wiltern, Kathleen Hanna brings her new band Julie Ruin to the Echoplex, Wynonna (as in Judd) and has a big show at Pepperdine’s Smothers Theatre, Midlake surfaces at Hollywood’s Masonic Temple, Lynda Kay serves up her retro charms at the Three Clubs, the Cinema Bar features a set from Rich McCulley & Anna Maria Rosales and members of the Silversun Pickups, Sea Wolf and other local rockers will perform at the Satellite in a benefit show for the foster children advocacy group CASA. Two other shows stand out, however. There will be something of a Nickel Creek reunion when Chris Thile (as well as Tom Brosseau) are Sara & Sean Watkins’ guests at Largo, while the Canadian outfit Stars will be at the El Rey (and Pomona’s Glass House on the 20th). They really have broken through with their majestic song, “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It.”
Friday night you can chill out at the Greek, enjoying of bill of Morcheeba, the Thievery Corporation and Shana Halligan. Halligan, formerly of the lovely pop outfit Bitter:Sweet, has a new solo EP worthy discovering. Nakia, who made a big impression on the first season of The Voice drops by the Hotel Café on Friday night. For my money, however, the show to see is Valerie June at the Bootleg Theater (or you can catch her Amoeba in-store on Thursday night). Her album Pushin Against A Stone has justifiably garnered a lot of attention.
You can enjoy a bit of the old on Saturday night as folk/blues legend Jim Kweskin pays a visit to McCabe’s on Saturday, Diana Krall brings her Glad Rag Doll tour to the Greek and Peter Hook, and his current band the Light revives early New Order and Joy Division music at the Fonda. More retro-wonderness can be experienced in the Honda Center’s theater when Blondie, the Psychedelic Furs, The Fixx, Berlin and Adam Ant present a New Wave hit parade. Also on this Flashback Jack FM concert are the Sugarhill Gang and Rick Springfield (there are two names I never expected to see on the same bill). The Santa Monica Pier hosts a rather hip lineup for its Beach Ball. This Soul Revue & Reggae festival’s lineup includes Aloe Blacc, Allan Stone, Black Uhuru’s Michael Rose with Sly & Robbie, the Skatalites, the legendary Maceo Parker and, my personal fave here, Lee Fields and the Expressions. The Hammer Museum has a recommendable event on Saturday afternoon. The documentary Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You, which is a tribute to the life and music of the late Kate McGarrigle, will be screened and afterwards her son Rufus Wainwright will perform.
Among the up-and-coming acts in L.A. on Saturday are arty Austinites The Octopus Project at the Echo and the Scottish expat Charlie Clark has a couple of local shows – Saturday at the Bootleg and Monday the 23rd at Santa Monica’s The Trip – to share some of the impressive tunes from his summertime EP, Feel Something.
There’s a global flavor to Sunday’s shows. Celtic guitar wizard John Doyle will be at McCabe’s. Mexican-born songstress Lila Downs has a show at the Greek, while the French electro-pop group M83 headlines at the Hollywood Bowl, with Norwegian singer Susanne Sundfør (she will also perform at Bardot on the 23rd and the Bootleg on the 25th). Neurotic Exotic is the name of the Moving Units’ new CD. The L.A. band will plays its dance-happy music at the Echo on the 22nd.
The best place to hear some rootsy, twangy music this weekend might be out at Pappy & Harriet’s. Mother Hips is hosting a little festival there Fri. and Sat., with Old Californio, Paul Chesne and Luther Russell among the participants. You’ll have plenty of time to get back to town to see the esteemed rock journalist Sylvie Simmons, who will talking about her new Leonard Cohen bio I’m Your Man at Barnes & Noble at the Grove.