Go See Hear In L.A. May 5-12 (The Old 97’s/Black Prairie edition

Even if your world seems to be falling apart, there are some things you can count on – like great shows filling a week with cool music. And I apologize if there are some

Mon. May 5

Top Show: Todd Snider is one of the best storytellers around. So it’s no surprise that he has written a boon, I Never Met A Story I Didn’t Like. You can be delighted by his tales (musical or just plain spoken) at Largo.

England’s These New Puritans share their cinematic rock sound at the Roxy. The Valley Below will be surfacing at the Echo on Mondays this month. Their new EP Man Girl comes out May 6. tUnE-yArDs has a new hit with quirky “Water Fountain” and she’ll undoubtedly will liven up the night at Hollywoood Forever. Jazz rock fusionists The Bad Plus start their 2-night stay at the Mint.

Tues. May 6

Top Show: Ian McLagan is a living piece of rock history. The talented keyboard king was a member of the Small Faces and the Faces as well as spending a lot of time with the Rolling Stones. McLagan, who has long made his home in Austin, will be appearing at the Grammy Museum.

Ray Lamontagne and the Belle Brigade both have new CD’s, which they will undoubtedly be sharing at Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church – but you have to be a CitiCard member to attend this benefit show. Foy Vance and Needtobreathe, meanwhile, share the bill at the Wiltern.

Wed. May 7

Top Show: Black Prairie is an adventurous, eclectic band from the great Northwest. Their latest Fortune is probably their hardest sounding disc to day.

Ingrid Michaelson headlines the Wiltern but get there early to catch the wonderful duo Sugar & the Hi Lows. Largo will present two masters of acoustic music – banjo wizard Noam Pikelny and fiddle master Stuart Duncan. More fine playing can be heard at the Palladium where Rodrigo y Gabriela will perform. Francis Cone has drawn comparisons to Cat Power and Neko Case – that’s some nice company – you can check out this Brooklyn band at the Hotel Café. Noise popsters The Pain of Being Pure of Heart (an emo band name if I ever heard of one) headlines the Troubadour with U.K.’s Fear of Men also on the bill. ‘80s psych-rockers Loop are doing their first US tour in nearly 25 years – they’ll be rocking the Church on York.

Thurs. May 8

The music of William Onyeabor will be performed by the likes of David Byrne, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney, Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke and others at the Greek. Willa Mamet (3 guesses on who her name is. What, you only needed one guess?) plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage along with The Ghosts of the American Road.

Fri. May 9

Top Show(s). Friday is a concert overload. The Old 97’s show no sign of slowing down with their rollicking, and rocking, new disc Most Messed Up. Nikki Lane, a terrific young Americana singer, will be their opener. Mother’s Day comes a little early to McCabe’s, which hosts the excellent mother-daughter pairing of Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche. Jonny Two-Bags has been playing with Social Distortion for years. His solo debut is a great slice of gritty blue-collar roots rock. Salvation Town makes me think of the Del-Lords raised in not-so-sunny Southern California.

Country singer Maggie Rose comes to the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, Roger Cline brings his Peacemakers to the Canyon Club and We Are Scientists experiments with sounds at the Troubadour.

Sat. May 10

Top Show: Two longtime alt. singer/songwriters Grant Lee Phillips and Howe Gelb make for a formidable bill at McCabe’s.

The lovely, and versatile, singer Cassandra Wilson headlines at the Fonda. You can’t overlook the Morrissey/Tom Jones/Kristeen Young concert at the LA Sports Arena. Brian Jonestown Massacre will shake things up at the Wiltern. South African superstar Johnny Clegg appears at Thousand Oaks’ Kavli Theater.

Sun. May 11

The terrific Ted Russell Kamp headlines the Grand Ole Echo – now starting at 3 pm – with Kyle Neal and James Byous also on the bill. You can enjoy some skilled troubadours – Tom Freund, Dave Brogan and Garrin Benfield – at Venice’s Del Monte Speakeasy, while L.A.-based singer/songwriter Melanie Devaney plays the Fox & Hounds in Studio City tonight and Pasadena’s Old Towne Pub on Monday the 12th. Her new CD Single Subject Notebook is filled with some impressive Americana music and definitely worth seeking out.

About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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