This week offers nostalgia acts in all types of musical shapes. Starting with Bobby Rush and Bettye LaVette on Monday and wrapping up with the Counting Crows and Toad The Wet Sprocket on Sunday. In between, you can see ZZ Top and Jeff Beck, Smashmouth & Sugar Ray and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
Speaking of music from yesteryear, I see the film Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday. Besides it being a total blast of comic book action fun, the movie had a wonderfully evocative soundtrack of ’70s songs. One particular highlight was the Raspberries‘ “Go All The Way,” which particularly transported me back to my Cleveland youth. There are a couple of vintage clips on YouTube of the band performing this song but I picked this one from Don Kirscher’s Rock Concert
Mon. Aug. 11
Top Show(s): Two master performers are in town tonight. Bluesman Bobby Rush has a sitdown at the Grammy Museum while R&B queen Bettye LaVette will shake things up at the Viper Room.
Tues. Aug. 12
Mustered Courage brings their Australian style Americana to the Hotel Café. They recently inked a deal with Travianna Records. Hannah Georgas also has a Hotel Café set tonight. ‘80s nostalgia reigns at the Greek when the Under The Sun tour brings Smashmouth, Sugar Ray, Blues Traveler and Uncle Kracker to town.
Wed. Aug. 13
Top Show: “Get Up On” to the Hollywood Bowl, which hosts a James Brown Celebration featuring JB Alumni Band, Aloe Backc, D’Angelo, Bettye LaVette, Angelique Kidjo among the performers.
The Greek, meanwhile, will be a guitar lover’s heaven with the twin bill of ZZ Top and Jeff Beck. Things will be a little quieter at the Bootleg where Harper Simon performs.
Thurs. Aug. 14
Top Show(s): UK songstress Imelda May puts an interesting jazzabilly twist to her music. She’ll celebrate her recently released CD Tribal (Verve Records) at the El Rey. Louise Goffin (the daughter of Gerry Goffin and Carole King) put out a terrific album earlier this summer, Songs From The Mine, which she will undoubtedly be showcasing at her Viper Room appearance.
La Santa Cecilia and Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkestra will keep things lively on the Santa Monica Pier and more Latin sounds can been heard at the Skirvall where Flaco Jimenez and Max Baca team up for a special show. Foxygen will rock the Fonda with Gary Wilson tonight and Santa Ana’s Observatory on the 15th.
Fri. Aug. 15
Top Show(s) Whether or not there will be a culture class when infamous Texas outlaw troubadour Billy Joe Shaver plays laidback Huntington Beach’s Don the Beachcomer, it is worth seeing Billy Joe for any reason (and he’ll play the Satellite on the 16th). Legendary garage rockers The Sonics will blast off at the Roxy, while indie rock icons Superchunk has a show at Eagle Rock’s Center for the Arts.
The twangy duo Goodnight, Texas shares their new album, Uncle John Farquhar at the Mint. Willie’s kid Lukas Nelson brings his band, The Promise of the Real to the Troubadour. Grouplove, Portugal, The Man and Tokyo Police Club share the Greek’s stage. The local rockers Fool’s Gold has a free show at FIGat7th, Bay Area roots band Blame Sally are at the Pasadena Levitt Pavilion, while Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate have a freebie gig at Grand Performances in downtown L.A.
Sat. Aug. 16
Top Show: The Bootleg welcomes Quiet Life, whose wonderfully ramshackled EP Housebroken Man features Shovels & Rope’s Cary Ann Hearst.
In The Valley Below previews their impressive debut The Belt at the Village. Singer/Songwriter Sam Morrow shares songs from his debut Ephemeral at Room 5. The Helio Sequence and Liam Finn have a Roxy show. Relive the ‘90s Ska revival when the Mighty Mighty Bosstones play the Fonda, while Smokey Robinson headlines at the Greek. The Americans serve up their American music at McCabe’s. On the free show circuit: Miner and Eagle Rock Gospel Singers play L.A.’s Grand Performances and Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca come to Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion (and LACMA on Aug. 22).
Sun. Aug. 17
The week of summertime nostalgia tours continues with Counting Crows headlining the Greek with Toad The Wet Sprocket. It’s a show that would be sponsored by KSCA, if this were 1995.
Mon. Aug. 18
Reckless Kelly rolls into town to serve up some Texas-style rock at the El Rey.