Well, today is May 4. Sometimes celebrated as Star Wars Day or as Cinco de Mayo eve. However you are celebrating the day, I hope you have fun. And here are some recommendations for live music fun for today and into next week.
Top Show(s): John Doe will be at the Grammy Museum to celebrate a pair of project – he has a great new album (The Westerner) as well as a fascinating new book Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk.
I hesitated to include Todd Rundgren as a “top show” since I’m not sure what he’ll be doing at the Rose in Pasadena but I still have fond memories of his classic early ‘70s songs. This might not be my favorite Todd tune but it is a neat vintage video clip:
A fave local honky tonkers Dave Serby returns to the Cinema Bar with his band, the Latest Scam. Cult hero guitarist Kid Congo Powers, who has played in the Gun Club, the Cramps and the Bad Seeds brings his Pink Monkey Birds to the Echo. Bleached is a cool Cali pop-blasted punk band. They are out supporting their awesome new CD Welcome The Worms with a show at Santa Ana’s Constellation Room tonight and tomorrow night at the Teragram Ballroom; No Parents is their opener.
Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles swings through the Southland on her solo tour with a stop at the Thousand Oaks Civic Center, while Mayor Hawthorne serves up some soulful sounds at the Santa Ana’s Observatory.
Top Show: There’s just something so fun about Gin Wigmore. The New Zealand-born singer blends tough girl rock with some dance floor punch. She headlines the El Rey with Dorothy opening the show.
Jennifer Barwick creates experimental ethereal music. Her new work, Will, comes out on 5/6. She has a show at Highland Park’s Ebel Club with Mas Ysa as well as a sold out concert at the spectacular Velaslavasay Panorama. The female fronted band Lucius have a new CD out (Good Grief) that is more good than grief; they’ll deliver some pop-edged indie rock at the Fonda. Peter Bjorn and John are best known for their wonderful single “Young Folks.” The Swedish trio previews their forthcoming Breakin’ Point at the Echo. Anaheim’s House of Blues welcomes popular country rockers Eli Young Band.
Escondido (seek out their new album Walking With A Stranger) is part of the First Friday event at the Natural History Museum. Korey Dane and Paul Bergmann will also be performing and there will be a listening party for the upcoming Neil Young CD, Earth. Long Beach-based troubadour Mike Jacoby has a hometown show at Brix on the Shore to celebrate his fine new record Northeastsouthwest. The up-and-coming Twin City group Hippo Campus create quite appealing hooky rock music, both smooth and eclectic – a bit Vampire Weekend-y. They play the Echo with Riothorse Royale.
East Coast roots rockers Quiet Life lands at the Satellite; their latest Foggy was produced by Dr. Dog‘s Scott McMicken. Crystal Bowersox, who brought some twang to the Voice, has a show at McCabe’s and SoCal pop-rockers Rooney gear up for the release of their first new album (Washed Away) in a while with a show at the Teragram.
Top Show(s): McCabe’s hosts a pair of six-string wizards Albert Lee and Jerry Donahue. Their credits are too long to mention but they will put on a master class of guitar playing.
The mischievous Midwesterners Violent Femmes will be found at the Orpheum in DTLA tonight and at Santa Ana’s Observatory tomorrow night. The trio recently put out We Can Do Anything, their first album in 16 years!
One of L.A. best singer-songwriters Tom Freund has a full band show at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood tonight, with Laney Jones sharing the bill.
Lou Doillon may be from France (and she’s Jane Birkin’s daughter) but there’s an American quality to her folk/pop music. She’ll be performing at the Roxy tonight. Fairbanks will headline this week’s Grand Ole Echo.
Top Show: The Jurkiewicz sisters, better known as Lily & Madeleine, made music wiser than their years. Their new New West release Keep It Together blends together pop, rock and Americana into a wonderfully dreamy sound. They will be headlining the Troubadour tonight.
Keith Urban will have a sit down at the Grammy Museum to talk about his new CD Ripchord. The Hotel Café hosts a night filled with talented singer/songwriters: Cary Brothers, Jesse Thomas, Garrison Starr and Sam Fischer on the Second Stage and Jeff Foucault on the main stage. The Seattle-based guitar pop outfit Tangerine can be found at the Satellite tonight while Aussie rockers The Griswolds play the Fonda tonight with Magic Man and Santa Ana’s Observatory tomorrow night. Radical Face, who is out showcasing his Family Tree trilogy, has a show at the Teragram (although it is probably sold out by now).