Go See Hear In L.A. Aug. 19-23 (the Guided By Voices/Marley’s Ghost edition)

This is one of those weekends when the city is packed with music – concerts, club gigs festivals, free shows. You name it, you will probably find it this weekend. Here are some shows that registered on my radar.

Fri. 8/19

Top Show(s): The wonderful Roots On The Rails Revue (Dave Alvin, Mary Gauthier, Rick Shea and Christy McWilson) rolls into McCabe’s for a memorable night of acoustic music. The Teragram Ballroom welcomes Dayton’s darlings (okay, maybe they are better described as “indie rock royalty) Guided By Voices for a two-night stand while the Fonda comes alive with the fierce music of PJ Harvey. Ben Harper and the Criminals team with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl; it’ll be the band’s first time playing with a full orchestra so it should be an interesting night.

Over at the Ford, Vaud & The Villains will serve up a night of eclectic tunes. Karla Bonoff was part of the fabled SoCal singer/songwriter scene of the ‘80s; she has a free concert at Levitt Pasadena.  And by the way, The Rooks playing at the Mint aren’t the ‘90s power pop faves but a local band that name-checks Frank Ocean and Talking Heads in describing themselves.

Festival Break: The bill for Echo Park Rising, which runs the 19th-21st, includes Colleen Green The Weirdos, Bleached, Sara Petite, So Many Wizards, Chicano Batman and Batwings Catwings (if only they played back-to-back). Staying on the eastside, the Eagle Rock Music Festival (which is just on the 20th) presents Dengue Fever, Leftover Cuties, Low Leaf and Mostly Kosher, among others.

Sat. 8/20

Top Show(s): Todd Rundgren –  “a wizard, a true star”  (at least that was the title of his 1973 album) – has a free show at Pershing Square with Sofi Tukker opening.

Here’s  Todd on Midnight Special circa 1974

Americana mainstays Marley’s Ghost will appear at the Living Tradition in Anaheim tonight and Levitt’s Pasadena as part of their 30th anniversary tour (they also have a new album The Woodstock Sessions out!). The Hollywood Bowl will host something of a hoedown with Brandi Carlile and Old Crow Medicine Show.

One-time Wall of Voodoo frontman Stan Ridgway performs at McCabe’s and Jonathan Wilson will bring Omar Velasco, strings and other things to the Largo tonight. It’s Nashville night at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre with Jason Aldean: Six String Circus Tour, which also features Thomas Rhett, A Thousand Horses and Dee Jay Silver. Meanwhile, Coldplay calls the Rose Bowl home this weekend.

The Coffee Gallery Backstage has a solid bill with Carla Olson, Stephen Kalinich, John York and Paul Zollo. Local Americana singer/songwriter Lauren Adams has a record release show at Genghis Cohen for her latest, Somewhere Else, while Jessica Rotter has a hometown show at the Hotel Café. The Gypsy Kings rule at the Greek with Canadian guitarist Galen Weston as their opener. Roots guitar whiz James Intveld returns to the Arcadia Blues Club. Australian singer/songwriter Jarryd James and the Broods will be at Santa Ana’s Observatory tonight and L.A.’s Novo on the 23rd. AJJ and John Congleton play the Teragram tonight and Anaheim’s Chain Reaction tomorrow and ROSTAM, who has struck out on his own from Vampire Weekend, can be found at the Broad.

Sun. 8/21

Top Show: Don Heffington, who has probably drummed for every country rock band in L.A. (or so it seems), has a show at McCabe’s.

Among today’s free concerts are Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger on the Hermosa Beach Pier and the Rock ‘n’ Soul masters The Chambers Brothers at Levitt’s Pasadena, which also has an afternoon show by The New Ashgrove Players. Here’s is a short-ish version of the Chamber Brothers’ classic “Time Has Come Today” from the mid-80s.

It’s Ladies Night at the Greek with a double bill of Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge. Michael Nau and David Bazan are at Costa Mesa’s Wayfarer tonight and the Teragram tomorrow. Genre-blender Kadhja Bonet, whose Fat Possum debut arrives this fall, has a show at Saint Heron.

Mon. 8/22

Top Show(s): I am really digging the debut by The National Parks (and not just because of their cool album title). Enjoy the splendor of their rousing rootsy music at the Hotel Café. The Grammy Museum hosts “A WordTheatre Tribute To Langston Hughes: Stories, Poems, Jazz & The Blues,” which should be a memorable night there.

Nico Yaryan, who used to be Hanni El Khatib drummer, has a gig at the Bootleg.

Tues. 8/23

Heart, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Cheap Trick would be a monsters of rock bill if the year was 1981 but they still should make things interesting at, where else but, The Forum.


About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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