Sunday, November 8, 2009

This Week’s “Shows To See” - Nov. 9-14 Edition

L.A. has seen some very impressive double bills of late. I have written about last week’s Over The Rhine/Katie Herzig pairing. Before that, there was the Blind Pilot/Low Anthem show and Hoot and Hellmouth/William Elliott Whitmore gig.

This week again offers some recommended musical pairings. On Monday night, Chuck Prophet and Jason Isbell share the bill at the Echoplex. Prophet first made a name for himself in the Paisley Underground with Green on Red. While he has become an in-demand guitar slinger/songwriter/producer, Prophet also has put out a series of captivating solo discs this past decade that offer his own unique take on soulful roots rock. Isbell, meanwhile, earned his stripes in the Drive-By Truckers before venturing off on his own a few years back. With his own band, The 400 Unit, Isbell serves up his own inspired Americana rock that is dipped in Dixie without being smothered in the South.

On Wednesday the 11th, Via Tania (Chicago-based Australian expat Tania Bowers) brings her ethereal electro-pop to the Bootleg Theater (she's also plays the Bordello on Tuesday). There’s a bewitching quality to this often spare, typically haunting tunes from her album Moon Sweet Moon, with tracks like “the Beginning,” “How Come” and “Light Years.” Also on the bill is the local alt. a cappella ensemble, Sonos. This inventive vocal outfit modernizes the old fashion a cappella style by covering songs by acts like the Fleet Foxes, Radiohead and Rufus Wainwright. They will provide a lightness to balance out Via Tania’s darker musical hues.

Rufus’ dad Loudon appears at UCLA on Friday matched up with Richard Thompson. Billed as “Loud & Rich,” these two esteemed old folkies not only boast lengthy, and impressive musical resumes, but both men share a deep interest in the history of music. A few years back, Thompson released the disc 1000 Years of Popular Music, which covered tunes spanning 1068 AD to 2000 (the latter being Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again.”). Wainwright, meanwhile, has just released a tribute to country music pioneer, Charlie Poole, whose name isn’t as well known today as it should be. Whether they will be performing their own tunes or others’, it all should make for a night of expert songcraft, witty repartee and nimble guitar picking (particularly by Thompson).

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