October gets off to a quite busy start, with Saturday being particularly busy. There’s the Bluegrass Situation Festival, which has expanded to the Greek. The Word and Amy Helm at the Fonda, Mavis Staples in Cerritos and Randy Newman at the UCLA. Whichever one you chose, you’ll be a winner. Here are some other choices for the week ahead.
Tues. Sept. 29
Top Show: At Largo, Loudon Wainwright III will perform his autobiographical one-man show, Surviving Twin, which has been described as Part concert, part family slide-show and part dramatic reading. The Valley Performing Arts Center welcomes the lovely Linda Ronstadt in conversation with music producer Dan Guerrero. There will also be a performance of Jarocho music from Conjunto Hueyapan. Gary Numan begins his 3-night stand at the Teragram Ballroom. Tonight, he will be replicating his album Replicas. Tomorrow it will be The Pleasure Principle and he will wrap things up on Oct.1 by performing Telekon
Wed. Sept. 30
Top Show: Susanna Hoffs returns to Largo with a new set of talented friends, including Sara & Sean Watkins, Petra Haden and Jon Brion. The Bootleg also has a well-stocked bill: Jonathan Rice, Pearl Charles and Phoebe Bridges.
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Melody Gardot performs at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. The international star has a new CD, Currency of Man, which Verve/Decca put out in the States. Greg Holden, who scored with the song “Home,” visits the Hotel Café.
Thurs. Oct. 1
Top Show: Old school honky tonker Dale Watson plays the Echo with the fine SoCal country rock Leslie Stevens opening.
Jazz funk jamsters Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will living things up at the Echoplex. The LA-based trio Raw Fabrics showcase their raw rock ‘n’ roll at Santa Ana’s Constellation Room tonight and at the Troubadour on the 3rd, while Ultimate Painting puts on a colorful show at the Satellite. The off-kilter psychedelic outfit Jackson Boone has a gig at Gnarburger. The Icelandic/Swedish duo My Bubba performs their Scandinavian Americana at the Hotel Café. The Hollywood Bowl returns to the 80’s with Duran Duran and Chic with Mr. Nile Rodgers & Clean Bandit.
Fri. Oct. 2
Top Show(s): Folk legend Gordon Lightfoot headlines the Saban in Beverly Hills tonight and at the City National Grove of Anaheim on Monday the 5th. You can catch Soulful Americana troubadour Lara Lynn at the Troubadour while Jim White and Charlie Parr make for an eccentric Americana double bill at McCabe’s. White, by the way, is billed as Jim White vs. The Packway Handle Band.
The rising British band The New Mastersounds will fill the Teragram Ballroom with their brand of rock ‘n’ soul music. The local folk-ish trio The Battlefield performs at Hotel Café and it’s the Watkins Family Hour at Largo again, which always means a night of great acoustic-based music and maybe even some surprise guests (will Susanna Hoffs reciprocate the Watkins’ guesting at her Largo show?). Counting Crows, who have been on the upswing of late, brings it Somewhere Under Wonderland Tour to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater with Citizen Cope serving as the opening act.
Sat. Oct. 3
Top Show(s): The Greek hosts the big Bluegrass Situation concert, which features a powerhouse lineup of Dawes, Punch Brothers, The Lone Bellow, Gregory Alan Isakov, Della Mae, Jonny Fritz, Sam Outlaw, Spirit Family Reunion, The Dustbowl Revival and The Wild Reeds. Another great show of American music will be at the Fonda, where The Word, featuring Robert Randolph, John Medeski and the North Mississippi Allstars, and Amy Helm and the Handsome Strangers will perform; the same lineup performs at Anaheim’s House of Blues on Oct. 4. The Cerritos Center also has a great, if smaller, bill of Joan Osborne and Mavis Staples, while Royce Hall welcomes one of L.A.’s favorite sons Randy Newman.
The Nashville-via-South Africa group Civil Twilight share songs from their fine CD Story of an Immigrant at Santa Ana’s Constellation Room tonight and then play the Roxy on Tuesday Oct. 6. All-American rock ‘n’ rollers Hollis Brown visit the Hotel Café and Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor comes to town for a Bootleg gig.
Sun. Oct. 4
Joe Jackson will show why he is still the man during this two-night stand at the Downtown Palace Theatre. Local chanteuse Mia Doi Todd shares the McCabe’s stage with English folk singer Olivia Chaney. Sing along to “This Diamond Ring” when Gary Lewis and the Playboys play Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre. Did you know that Gary Lewis is Jerry Lewis’ son? Or that the Wrecking Crew played on that hit tune? Just wondering.
Mon. Oct. 5
Top Show(s): My brother Rob’s favorite Canadian band The Tragically Hip will perform their 1992 album Fully Completely (it went #1 in Canada), which has been reissued in 3 variations. The legendary Joe Ely brings a bit of Texas to Huntington Beach’s Don The Beachcomer in support of his terrific new disc Panhandle Rambler.
Things could get wild a the Whisky, which hosts HR of Bad Brains fame (or is it infamy?).