We’re zooming through August with another big week of concerts.
The week starts off with a blast as the Ruby Friedman Orchestra (www.myspace.com/rubyfriedman) will be shaking up with Bootleg Theater on Monday night with their high-energy show.
Things turn a little quieter on Tuesday night with an excellent showcase at Room 5. The local duo Loch & Key (singer Leyla Akdogan and ex-American Music Club guitarist Sean Hoffman) will be kicking off a string of area shows, including a September Redwood Bar residency (www.myspace.com/lochandkey). Their disc Jupiter’s Guide To Submariners presents a quirky yet beguiling sound that combines a bit of Europe with California. Also populating Room 5 is the talented Boston group GrownUp Noise (www.myspace.com/thegrownupnoise) who craft sophisticated melodic indie rock that’s warm and inviting. “Grey Skies,” a soaring song about depression off their self-titled full length is a fine place to start with the band.
The Grammy Museum hosts an evening with John Mellencamp to celebrate his new offering, the T Bone Burnett-produced No Better Than This, which I reviewed for Country Standard Time. These intimate evenings always provide a great glimpse into a performer, and I have a feeling that Mellencamp won’t be shy up on stage.
Wednesday bring a great big bit of New Orleans to the Hollywood Bowl with an all-star lineup featuring Neville Brothers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
Star Anna & The Laughing Dogs (www.myspace.com/starannakrogstie) swing down from the State of Washington to show off their rugged, earthy rock ‘n’ roll. Their sophomore album The Only Thing That Matters shows that they are a band that matters, with feisty frontwoman Star Anna exhibits some real star quality.
Another impressive young band comes to town on Thursday when the Bay Area Gwyneth and Monko (www.myspace.com/gwynethmoreland ) come to Molly Malones. Their EP Good Old Horse contains a fine, old timey folk sound that doesn’t sound lost in time. You can also catch them at Santa Monica’s Dakota Lounge on the 20th and Altadena’s Coffee Gallery Backstage on the 23rd.
If you are looking to blues by the blue water, head to the Santa Monica Pier for a special Twilight concert with one-time Rolling Stone guitarist Mick Taylor headlining the evening’s show.
It’s a Wainwright night at the Greek on the 20th when Rufus and Martha put on a show, while over at Spaceland, Springfield Missouri’s own Ha Ha Tonka serve up their rugged Midwestern brand of rock ‘n’ roll. Crowded House will be filling Club Nokia that night with their catalog of pop gems, but come early to catch Lawrence Arabia. Their soon-to-be released Yep Roc debut is a truly impressive piece of melodic pop-rock. Coincidentally, the band’s leader James Milne has a side project BARB with Neil Finn’s musical son Liam.
Saturday the 21st holds a pair of terrific shows from which to choose: Celllist Ben Sollee (www.myspace.com/bensollee) brings his soulful Americana to the Bootleg, Texas singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe (www.myspace.com/sjaffe) swings through town again stopping at the Hotel Cafe to showcase her wonderful tunes off her smart and assured debut Suburban Nature, which stands as one of this year's better debuts.
The weekend wraps up in a particularly “crooked” way Sunday with the well-respected Darrell Scott (Robert Plant nabbed him for his new Americana project Band of Joy) will be performed songs from his new double disc A Crooked Road at the Waterfront in Marina Del Rey. Slightly inland at McCabes it will be an evening of eclectic acoustic music from Crooked Still (www.myspace.com/crookedstill), a talented Massachusetts-based outfit who have put several worth-discovering album on Signature Sounds including Some Strange Country, which came out earlier this year.