June, June – you’ve come so soon. Although with it comes the waves of amphitheater shows.
Top Show(s): There’s not much I need to say about Robert Plant who is bringing his Sensational Space Shifters to the Greek. But I can urge you to get there early to catch JD McPherson, a new school honk tonker whose new album Let The Good Times Roll is a real barn-burner. Ron Sexsmith is one of those too-unsung expert songsmiths. He’ll be singing at Largo. Dawes will showcase their wonderful new album All Your Favorite Bands at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Masonic Lodge.
Songboy Blues, a band from Mali, makes their L.A. debut at the Roxy. They have a quite cool sound featuring with some hot guitar playing. John McEuen, one of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founders, returns with his trio to the Coffee Gallery Backstage. Singer/songwriter Ryley Walker, who has a really interesting sound that has a bluesy/folky/Sixties vibe, will be at the Echo tonight and Long Beach’s Carpenter House tomorrow. Songstress Emily Wells has a gig at the Mint and eclectic Canadian indie rockers Mother Mother perform at the Troubadour. Mr. Pat Boone will be making an appearance at the Grammy Museum.
Top Show(s): The Mountain Goats have an awesome new CD Beat The Champ that is stocked with wrestling-related songs. They have a headlining show at the Mayan Theatre. The august Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is where you’ll find Sufjan Stevens, whose touring behind Carrie & Lowell. Cold Speck will be opening.
Local country rockers Dead Rock West have a return engagement at the Hotel Café.
Bluegrass wizards Noam Pikleny and Stuart Duncan will be picking some strings at Largo. Wise and witty troubadour Peter Himmelman returns to the Mint. Christopher Owens, formerly of Girls (the band, not the TV show) comes to the Echo with his new CD A New Testament. Patrick Watson also has a new disc, Love Songs For Robots. He’ll play his quiet, haunting tunes at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Masonic Lodge. Villagers will play there too tonight and at the Echo on 6/5. Rousing rockers King Washington will hold court at the Hotel Café while the London Souls swing back through SoCal with shows at Fullerton’s Slidebar tonight and Ventura’s Discovery tomorrow.
Top Show(s): The Standells “want to tell you a story.” The legendary band that created the garage rock nugget “Dirty Water” have released their first album in 45 years. They’ll be making a rare (obviously) local appearance at the Satellite. Tattletale Saints put out one of my favorite albums last year, How Red Is The Blood. They’ll be at the Coffee Gallery Backstage with Catherine Spence.
Sean Rowe shares his rough-hewn tunes at the Hotel Café. The Rentals will set up shop at the El Rey, while the Wiltern welcomes Of Mice And Men, Crown The Empire & Volumes.
It’s worth heading to Room 5 where the terrific singer/songwriter Claire Holley celebrates her new disc, In The Middle. No Doobie Brothers jokes. I saw them a couple summers back at the Greek and rocked it pretty well. They return to the Greek with special guest, former Eagles guitarist Don Felder. Veteran folk singer Maura Kennedy has a solo (afternoon) show at the Coffee Gallery Backstage. Bluesy alt. rockers July Talk comes to the Echo while Nick Waterhouse and How To Dress Well are among the many performers participating in Make Music Pasadena.
The German/Nigerian singer Nneka creates an inviting laidback groove on her new album, My Fairy Tales; she’ll be performing at the Troubadour. By the way, the Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding) show at McCabe’s has been postponed
Eclectic art-rocker Steve Fishman will be at the Whiskey A Go Go to showcase his new CD, which features guest shots from Blondie’s Clem Burke and The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell. Sam Prekop, from The Sea & Cake, shares instrumental pieces from his new solo outing The Republic at the Hotel Café.