Music, on stage, on the page, in movies, in museums and with magic – this week includes all of these permutations.
On Monday night, the wonderful rock journalist Sylvie Simmons (I’m a big admirer of her Americana column in Mojo Magazine) will talk about her book on Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man at Book Soup. The documentary Bob and the Monster about L.A. punk rock survivor Bob Forrest (of such cult bands as Thelonious Monster and Bicycle Thief) screens at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater on Wednesday. Which gives me a chance to link to this TM “hit.”
Wednesday also is the night that Largo hosts a night of music and magic with The 88’s and Rob Zabrecky. Before he focused on being a magician, Zabrecky led the great early ‘90s band Possum Dixon that was part of the first wave of Silverlake bands. If you can find their self-titled debut, grab it!
Thursday, the Grammy Museum opens its John Fogerty exhibit on Thursday and Fogerty himself will come “up around the bend” for an appearance that night at the museum’s Clive Davis Theater.
Now on to the stages. Several shows top this week’s concert roll and they seem mainly packed into Friday and Saturday night. Glenn Tilbrook and Joe Michelini will be at the Mint on Friday night. Tillbrook, of course, is/was the lead singer of Squeeze, one of my all-time fave bands. He is on his Happy Trails Tour, which features him playing solo and also with a couple of accompanists. Michelini, meanwhile, hails from the rootsy N.J. band River City Extension and is a talented singer-songwriter in his own right. On Saturday the 28th, the Valley Performing Arts Center welcomes Americana icons Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, who last week won the Americana Awards’ Album of the Year honors. Another Americana legend Butch Hancock will do a special matinee show at the Coffee Gallery Backstage on Saturday afternoon.
“Ho Hey” will be shouted loud and often at the Greek Theater when the Lumineers headline there Friday and Saturday night. The terrific Dr. Dog (whose new one Broom is coming out soon) is on the bill too. The Del-Lords make a rare local appearance Saturday night at McCabe’s. They put out several excellent albums in the mid-to-late ‘80s and reunited this year for Elvis Club, another bracing blast of gritty rock ‘n’ roll. Also on Saturday, The White Buffalo (aka Jake Smith) delivers some intense tunes at the El Rey (I have reviewed his new album Shadows, Greys, & Evil Ways for American Songwriter).
Okay, but this is only the beginning of this week’s music action. The alluring Norwegian songstress Susanne Sundfør performs at Bardot on Monday and the Bootleg on Wednesday. Ben Rector and Tyrone Wells team up for a soulful evening at the House of Blues on the 24th (and then the Anaheim HoB on the 27th). The Hotel Café also has a strong double-bill on the 24th when Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors and Shelby Earl perform.
The Dustbowl Revival rolls into the Mint again on Wednesday with Leftover Cuties and Sadie & T-Blued Devils joining them. The marquee at the Troubadour will be spelled “sold out” for the hot UK rock band London Grammar, while Wednesday also features the Scion Rock Show at the Satellite with Lecherous Gaze, Hot Lunch and LSD.
Islands will be showcasing its new album, Ski Mask at Santa Ana’s Constellation Room on the 25th and the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts on the 26th. Thursday also finds Mariah McManus at the Hotel Café and blue wunderkind Gary Clark Jr. at the Wiltern (he’ll also be at the Anaheim HoB on the 29th).
Friday’s concert options also include Beirut at the Fonda, the Unknown Mortal Orchestra at the Troubadour, Zola Jesus at Hollywood Forever’s Masonic Lodge, the upcoming N.Z. group Naked and The Famous at the Wiltern and those ‘90s jangle-popsters Gin Blossoms at the Saban in Beverly Hills.
Things are just as busy and eclectic on Saturday. Italian-born blues guitarist Andrea Balestra has a gig at the Piano Bar and German rock superstar Herbert Grönemeyer headlines the Fonda, with the talented Australian-born Jackie Bristow as an opener worth arriving early to see. The British “Americana” band The Good Intentions perform the Coffee Gallery Backstage with Dafni. Their new album Travelling Companion was done in L.A. and features such SoCal country-rock regulars as Rick Shea, Greg Leisz, Brantley Kearns and Dave Raven. The Hotel Café welcomes a trio of good singer-songwriters Coby Brown, Jonah Smith and Mason Summit. Saint Rich, a project featuring Delicate Steve bandmates Christian Peslak and Steve Marion, will be at the Echoplex with their debut Beyond the Drone (Merge Records) in tow.
The music keeps rolling all day long on Sunday. Sam Phillips (can I praise her Push Any Buttons CD again?) and the Section Quartet entertain at the Federal Bar’s Mimosa Brunch. AM & Shawn Lee are among the acts slated for the Abbot Kinney Festival. The great David Serby serves up tunes from his new album at the Grand Ole Echo, which also has the Groovy Rednecks, Son Ark and Greg Felden. That night, the Echoplex hosts two Portland groups, Menomena and Helio Sequence. The cool Sky Ferreira headlines the El Rey with The Garden. Blues rocker Beth Hart has a sold out show at the Mint and the Canadian bluegrass band The Bills performs at Ojai’s Matilija Auditorium. Last but far from least, Man Man comes to the Fonda. Their exhilarating new CD On Oni Pond is a wild ride that made me think of Frank Zappa, Soul Coughing and Flaming Lips.