June starts off with an unusually high number of acts from Down Under coming up to L.A. This early summer Australian invasion includes Gordi on June 1, Matt Corby on June 4, Emma Swift on June 5, Missy Higgins on June 6 and Henry Wagons on June 7. Coincidence?
Top Show(s): Sean & Sara Watkins take a break from playing at Largo and will be at the Hi Hat with Dominique Arciero. Mr. Paul Simon, one of the best living songwriters, has a fine new album, Stranger To Stranger, and a show at the Hollywood Bowl.
Here is Simon performing his new tune “Wristband” on A Prairie Home Companion:
The intriguing, slightly ethereal electro pop songstress Gordi just put out her first EP, Clever Disguise; the Australian plays her L.A. gig at the Echo. The Hollywood Palladium will heat up with the furious sounds of Le Butcherettes, with At The Drive In opening.
Top Show(s): The Honky Tonk Hacienda, at El Cid, has a cool bill featuring Bob Woodruff and Heather Myles along with the Ryman Rails. The Great States have an interesting atmospheric sound that feels drawn from the sun-baked desert of their home state New Mexico. They’re doing a free show at Lucky Stripe tonight in support of their debut disc Gatsby.
Nick Waterhouse brings his soulful music to the Terragram with the Boogaloo Assassins and Ural Thomas & The Pain also on the bill. Orchestral pop man Kevin Morby, who released Singing Saw in April, plays Santa Ana’s Constellation Room tonight and the Bootleg tomorrow. Jonny Lang will display his blues guitar prowess at the Rose in Pasadena. NYC’s synth popster Verite is touring behind her new EP Living; she’ll be performing at the Echo. Singer/songwriter/actress Emily Kinney has a sit-down at the Grammy Museum. Bob Schneider is big in Texas, which is a good thing in this case. The eclectic Lone Star troubadour returns to play Largo tonight.
Top Show(s): Max Gomez is a young singer/songwriter who put out a strong debut a few years back on New West. He’ll be at the Hotel Café tonight (could he have a new album coming?). Junior Brown, Guit-steel master and truck song lover, brings his distinctive sound to McCabe’s.
Soul singer Freda Payne, of “Band of Gold” fame, will be at the Catalina Bar and Grill tonight and tomorrow night, while Nikka Costa brings her string section back to Largo.
Top Show(s): Veteran troubadour Happy Traum presents his multi-media show Coming Of Age In The Folk Revival at McCabe’s. Popular country rockers Zac Brown Band hit the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater tonight and the Forum on the 5th; Drake White & The Big Fire open both nights. Archers of Loaf/Crooked Fingers frontman Eric Bachmann has done his first solo album. He’ll be showcase his self-titled CD’s raw, personal yet quite rocking music at the Bootleg.
The pioneering UK funk outfit Cymande are touring the US for the first time in 40 years to support their reunion CD A Simple Act of Faith; they’ll be at the Fonda tonight. Broncho rides back to L.A. to headline the Terragram with Billy Changer and Winter also on the bill. The quirky NY duo Sofi Tucker has a free show at One Colorado and rising Aussie singer Matt Corby performs at the Wiltern. The Queen Mary hosts the Shipkicker Country Music Festival, with Easton Corbin, Clare Dunn, Mo Pitney, Dylan Scott, the Scotty Mac Band, Honey County and Daniel Bonte & The Bona Fide.
Top Show: The inimitable Robyn Hitchcock holds court at Largo with Emma Swift, a young Americana singer from Australia (and no relation to Taylor).
Here is Robyn doing “So You Think You’re In Love” on Letterman back in 1991.
Speedy Ortiz, the Good Life and Tancred team up for an exciting night at the Echoplex. The Jess Abbott-led Tancred caught my ear with the fizzy, fierce tune “Sell My Head,” from their latest Out of The Garden.
June’s Aussie invasion continues tonight as singer/songwriter Missy Higgins performs at the Terragram.
Top Show(s): And tonight’s featured Australian act is Henry Wagons, a colorful performer who I once described as a mixture of Nick Cave’s growling menace with Elvis Presley’s gold lamé swagger and then add in Lee Hazlewood’s twisted melodramas and a bit of Johnny Cash’s hangover blues.” He plays the Bootleg with the terrific local twangy songstress Leslie Stevens. Elizabeth Cook’s long-awaited album Exodus of Venus is days away and to celebrate she’ll be at the Hotel Café.
Corrine Bailey Rae will do a free show at Amoeba in honor of her new CD The Heart Speaks In Whispers. The award-winning singer/songwriter Rachael Sage recently released her latest, Choreographic, which not surprisingly has a dance theme. Chelsea Wolfe has partnered with A Dead Forest for two nights of lush, hypnotic music at the Terragram.