February ends on a brilliant note as Friday the 28th holds a trifecta of terrific shows. Lord Huron and Night Beds – whose respective debuts were among the top releases for the past two years – come to the Fonda Theater. McCabe’s also has a great double bill: the luminescent Eleni Mandell, who has another wonderful album Let’s Fly A Kite out now on Yep Roc, and Vikesh Kapoor, whose attention-grabbing debut The Ballad Of Willy Robbins is stocked with vivid songwriting. Rounding out the night’s trilogy of super shows is the Haden Triplets’ gig at the Bootleg. The sisters have a new, Ry Cooder-produced album of old American music. I saw them sing a couple songs last month and their music was simply lovely. While you ponder which one of these shows to go to, here is what else is happening this week (if it helps at all, Lord Huron and Night Beds are playing the Fonda on March 1 too).
Mon. Feb. 24
Top Show: Well, for anyone who was following indie rock in the ‘90s, the Cibo Matto show will be cause for celebration. Miho and Yuka have their first new CD in over a dozen years. They’ll undoubtedly be showcasing Hotel Valentine songs at their El Rey show.
Eclectic guitarist Ben Cassorla also has some new tunes to share and he’ll be at the Bootleg with Chris Bauers for a free show.
Tues. Feb. 25
Besides the Lucinda Williams Echoplex Show mentioned last week, the Kaiser Chiefs will rule at the El Rey in advance of their April 1st release Education, Education, Education & War.
Wed. Feb. 26
Top Show: Mark Mulcahy holds several layers of culthood fame. He led Miracle Legion in the ‘80s and did the music of the Adventures of Pete & Pete. He also has created a number of strong solo efforts. He’s playing the Echo with the Austin rock band Mother Falcon opening.
If you think Sharon Corr is from the Irish rock band the Corrs, you are absolutely right. Sharon has a solo thing and a show at the Mint. Also in the solo vein is the Melvins’ Buzz Osborne who will be doing his own thing during the Scion Rock Show at the Satellite. Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz hosts an intriguing “polycultural musical exploration” with a performance from the France-based World Kora Trio, featuring American electric cellist Eric Longsworth, Malian kora player Chérif Soumano, and French singer-percussionist Jean-Luc Di Fraya.
Thurs. Feb. 27
Top Show(s): Diane Cluck creates music that isn’t quite freak folk, not precisely the introspective singer/songwriter thing but something earthy and ethereal. The Virginia-based performer will play the Echo County Outpost (with Sondra Sun-Odeon) just days before Boneset, her 1st album in over 7 years, comes out. There’s a psychedelic element to Dr. Dog’s music but it is more in the Flaming Lips-twisted-Beach Boys-type-of-thing. The boys from Philly headline the Wiltern with Saint Rich opening.
Fellow Pennsylvanians the Moistboyz serve up the punk rock at Pappy & Harriet’s tonight and then land at the Satellite on the 28th. Also, tonight finds Lucinda Williams at the Canyon Club.
Fri. Feb. 28
Besides the Friday night shows mentioned earlier, you can catch former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford at the Mint, while the Broad Stage welcomes Mali music star Fatoumata Diawara.
Sat. March 1
Top Show: Ed Helms & The Bluegrass Situation presents recent L.A. transplant and longtime banjo wizard Noam Pikelny at the Largo with fellow Punch Brother Gabe Witcher and other special guests.
The week’s international flavor continues Saturday with a Ladysmith Black Mambazo show at Caltech while L.A.-born Latina songstress Perla Batalla plays the Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz. One particularly intriguing event is the The Paul Dresher Ensemble performance of the Schick Machine at UCLA. It’s a hard-to-describe musical/theatrical/art piece that is also family friendly. The Soft White Sixties light up the Viper Room with their bluesy garage rock. The Janks, The Active Set, the Shakers and Little Wild also will be playing. While Lucinda Williams’ weekend shows at McCabe’s are sold out, you can see gritty rock troubadour Dave Hause at the Echo set (along with Northcote), singer-songwriter John Zipper at the Thousand Oaks Library and rock ‘n’ roll pianoman Steven Roth at the Piano Bar, where he’ll have a Saturday night residency throughout March.
Sun. March 2
Top Show(s): Angel Olsen’s new album Burn Your Fire For No Witness is an intense affair that should get people knowing her better. She’ll be at the Echoplex on Sunday. Blues lovers will convene at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza to witness a show by James Cotton, Elvin Bishop and Paul Thorn (who might be the least known of the three but he is a wonderful roots rock troubadour).
Also out in the far west valley is an appearance by Bay Area Americana rocker Jackie Greene at the Canyon Club.