This week holds a couple of big Nashville country bills, some AOR rock icons (Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blue Oyster Cult), a Beatle, a Springsteen sideman and some real music biz characters (Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Rush), among other cool shows. But I wanted to know the passing of guitarist Dick Wagner, a name any fan of ’70s or ’80s rock ‘n’ roll will recognize for his work with folks like Alice Cooper and Lou Reed. Here’s a latter day performance of him doing “Sweet Jane” that has a massive opening guitar solo (5 minutes by my count).
Mon. Aug. 5
Sure, Nils Lofgren is known as the guitarist in Springsteen’s band who wasn’t in the Sopranos. Sure, Lofgren also played in Neil Young’s band before he was 20. But Lofgren put out some mighty fine music (“Cry Tough” immediately comes to mind) on his own and in his band Grin. To coincide with the release of the deluxe career retrospective Face The Music, Lofgren has a sold-out sit-down at the Grammy Museum.
The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club rumbles into the Observatory (this show cross references The Wild One with Rebel Without A Cause). Jarvis Cocker is slated to appear at the Cinespia screening of Pulp: The Film at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.
Tues. Aug. 6
Top Show(s). It’s one of the overstuffed weeknights of music. Peter Himmelman and New Orleans-based keyboardist Jon Cleary each have sets at the Mint. Austin singer/songwriter Philip Gibbs visits the Cinema Bar tonight and plays the Grand Ole Echo on 8/10. His new CD Box Canyon Blues is worth checking out for its collection of gritty, space music. Amos Lee and Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers make a fine pair at the Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa tonight and Riverside’s Fox Theater on 8/8.
The Section Quartet celebrates the music of Elliott Smith with some special guest in a Largo show benefitting Free Arts For Abused Children. Heavy metal warriors Deep Purple and Blue Oyster Cult team up for a colorful night of classic rock at the O.C. Fair’s Pacific Amphitheatre. Songstress Naama Kates takes time out from working on a new album to play the Silverlake Lounge. There’ll be a Deer Tick sighting at the Observatory tonight (and tomorrow at the Echoplex) while Arctic Monkeys romp it up at the Staples Center (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club will be their openers). Country rockers the Josh Abbott Band play the Troubadour.
Wed. Aug. 7
Top Show(s): HAIM, who has broke out in a big way over the past year, headline the Wiltern tonight and tomorrow. A true original, Billy Joe Shaver will share stories and songs at the Grammy Museum in celebration of his first studio album in 6 years – Long In The Tooth.
Nashville rockers Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah headline the Troubadour and local singer/songwriter Lena Fayre has a CD release show at the voila! Gallery
Thurs. Aug. 8
Top Show: Where else would Spoon celebrate a new album entitled They Want My Soul but at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery?
Cries of “Free Bird” will fill the O.C. Fair’s Pacific Amphitheatre for Southern Rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Truth & Salvage Co. has a date at the Hotel Café, while Gardens & Villa has a free show at Fig at 7th. Country music rules at the Greek with a bill of Jake Owen, Frankie Ballard and Leah Turner.
Sat. Aug. 9
Top Show: Jenny Lewis is getting a lot of attention, and deservedly so, for her new CD, The Voyager. She’s headlining at the Wiltern. Nashville rockers Those Darlins top the bill at the Echo.
Folk rockers The Wild Reeds will appear at the Troubadour. It’ll be ‘80s night at Pershing Square with a bill of the English Beat and Stan Ridgway. The Cold And Lovely, featuring Meghan Toohey of the Weepies and Nicole Fiorentino (Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Spinnerette) have a free show as part of Chinatown’s Summer Nights series.
Sun. Aug. 10
Top Show(s): Sir Paul McCartney plays Dodgers Stadium. No more needs to be said. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre has a big country bill featuring Miranda Lambert, Justin Moore, Thomas Rhett and others.
The Hot Club of Detroit will make merry during their free show at the Pasadena Levitt Pavilion. McCabe’s welcomes veteran singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer. Grant Langston, Jonny Kaplan and Philip Gibbs are among the Grand Ole Echo’s performers. Smallpools surfaces at the Petersen Auto Museum.
Mon. Aug. 11
Top Show: Bluesman Bobby Rush is 77 years strong. He’ll be at the Grammy Museum to talk about his life and play some music. He earned a Grammy nomination last year for Down In Louisiana.
Aussie band Panama (is there a band in Panama named Australia?) makes its L.A. debut at School Night at Bardot. Sara Bareilles and Hannah Georgas share the bill at the Greek.