I’m back after missing last week due to Mitzvah Mania. Hopefully, I have had some significant shows for this week slip past me, but even if that is the case it is a full week of good concerts.
Top Show(s): Local “outlaw” country dude Sam Outlaw will be at the Troubadour. Ry Cooder produced his debut, which is a wonderful selection of SoCal honky tonk. Another good young L.A. country artist Gold Star (aka Marlon Rabenreither) continues his Harvard & Stone residency in advance of his debut Dark Days.
Kopecky (who used to be called the Kopecky Family Band) will showcase (what used to be called) Modern Rock tunes from their new album, Drug For The Modern Age, at the Echo and they’ll be Hermosa Beach’s Sainte Rocke on May 31. The local duo Two Sheds mine a slow menacing style of music. They’ll have a CD release gig at the Satellite along with a free Origami Vinyl in-store on 5/29.
Top Show(s): Mr. Will Butler has stepped away from the Arcade Fire to do a solo album, Policy. He’ll be playing at the Troubadour with Jo Firestone opening. Bonnie Raitt, Leon Russell & Ivan Neville are among performers scheduled to appear at the Sweet Relief benefit for keyboardist/producer Marty Grebb.
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds bring their raucous, soulful rock ‘n’ roll to the Hotel Café. Spirit Club, the new group featuring Nathan Williams (Wavves), Joel Williams (Sweet Valley) and Andrew Caddick (Jeans Wilder), celebrate their debut – which suggests SoCal version of Shoegazing – at the Echo. And that little Irish band, U2, commences its run of shows at the Forum.
Top Show(s): Josh Rouse is one of their criminally overlooked singer/songwriter. Maybe because he writes with subtlety. Maybe it’s his typically laidback melodies. Whatever it is, he should be more appreciated. He’ll undoubtedly be playing tunes from his fine new Yep Roc release, The Embers of Time, at his Troubadour show. Another great singer/songwriter showcase takes place at the Mint where up-and-comer Esme Patterson and dark-hued troubadour William Elliot Whitmore perform.
Goodnight, Texas’s sound has been aptly described as “garage Americana.” They’ll be having a spirited old time at the Echoplex with those quirky indie rockers Pearl and the Beard and the Pigpen Theatre Company also on the bill. Hotel Café plays host to Massachusetts-based singer/songwriter Heather Maloney, who has a fine new CD, Making Me Break, worth checking out. The Regent hosts a screening of the new documentary Who Is Gil Scott-Heron, about the influential musician. Filmmakers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard will do a Q&A after the screening. The Satellite, meanwhile, will be taken over by Taken By Trees.
Top Show: Chad & Jeremy were part of the Mersey Beat acts that followed the Beatles. The duo, whose biggest hit was probably “A Summer Song,” have a special gig at McCabe’s.
Local rockers Leftover Cuties will be “The Spark & The Fire” (their CD’s title) to the Crest Theater, while Smallpools will gather at the El Rey.
Top Show(s): Punk pioneers Wire make a rare L.A. appearance at the Echoplex and those iconoclast rockers Spoon headlines at the Wiltern with Sweet Spirit opening. The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Dustbowl Revival, Frank Fairfield and Tom Freund are among the performers at the Claremont Folk Festival. Even further east is the Lost Highway Festival at San Bernardino’s San Manuel Amphitheatre. While Toby Keith is the “big name,” the lineup also includes Reverend Horton Heat, Lucero, Lindi Ortega and Eli Young Band – plus Social Distortion!
Yes, the return of Twin Peaks to TV seems to be a go again, but tonight finds the return of the band Twin Peaks to L.A. The impressive Chicago garage rockers will be making some noise at Jewel’s Catch One. A pair of Australian acts will be in town tonight: Xavier Rudd brings a big band with him for his show at the El Rey while singer/songwriter Darren Hanlon has a two-night stand at the Roxy to share his new album Where Did You Come From? The eclectic roots band Rising Appalachia plays the Mint. Chinese psych. rockers Chui Wan have a show tonight at Café Nela and at the Grand Star Jazz Club on the 5/31.
The one-off New Orleans super group JAWG (featuring Joe Cabral, Alex McMurray, Wally Ingram and Glenn Hartman) plays McCabe’s
Much buzzed about blues-rockers London Soul (from NYC, not London) will be having a blast at the Mint. Portland’s surf/garage rockers Guantanamo Baywatch rolls into the Echo.