After a relaxing Labor Day Monday, the week gets off to a tremendous start. This week there isn't a "show of the week" but a "night of the week" and the night is Tuesday.
The Philly retro rockers Free Energy (www.myspace.com/freeenergymusic) will be lighting things up Tuesday night at the Viper Room. Their Stuck On Nothing is a wonderful blast of ‘70s-style big riff rock ‘n’ roll.
The Mynabirds (www.myspace.com/themynabirds), meanwhile, will be arriving at Spaceland. Laura Burhenn and her new band put out one of my favorite albums of the year, What We Lose In The Fire We Gain in The Flood, a gorgeous dose of Memphis country soul with a dash of indie rock.
Hotel Café plays host to Luke Doucet (www.myspace.com/lukedoucet), who comes to showcase his highly anticipated new album, Steel City Traweler. If you are not familiar with the talented Canadian, then check out Broken (And Other Rogue States), his fantastic 2005 disc.
As if those aren’t enough choices, then you can head to the Greek Theatre for the first night of the David Gray/Ray Lamontagne/Tift Merritt 2-night stand there. This wonderful feast of classy singer-songwriters offers a selection of soulfulness: Merritt’s Southern style, Lamontagne’s rustic New England variety and Gray’s English folk version. It's hard to pick just one but any one of them are worth getting out to see.
On Thursday, Loch & Key (www.myspace.com/lochandkey) starts their Redwood residency. The LA-based group, which will also be there 9/23 and 9/30, blend an European artiness with a laidback Southern Cal pop vibe. I saw them a couple weeks ago at Room 5, and, despite some rough live edges, they are definitely worth checking out.
Also, on the 9th, the Gibson Amphitheatre welcomes two popular country artists who aren’t the typical hat acts. Jack Ingram spend many years in the Texas music scene mining a Steve Earle-like sound. A few years back he signed with Toby Keith’s Big Machine label and garnered more popularity. Headliner Gary Allan is a Calfiornia-bred honky tonker whose brings an outlaw sense of real-ness to the Nashville mainstream.
The English art-pop ensemble The Clientele returns to L.A. for a show at the Echoplex. They have put out a series of dark and interesting discs on Merge, including this year’s Minotaur.
Those lovely singing sisters, The Watson Twins (www.myspace.com/thewatsontwins) have another local show; this time it’s Friday at the Bootleg. Earlier this year, they released their second effort for Vanguard, Talking To You, Talking To Me.
The legendary songwriter Jesse Winchester comes to McCabe’s on Saturday. His songs became hits for folks like Jimmy Buffett and Emmylou Harris and he spent many years in Canada resisting the draft. Last year, he released Love Filling Station (his first release in over a decade) and appeared on Elvis Costello’s Spectacle show.
Welcome Home Walker (www.myspace.com/welcomehomewalker) is a side project of Colin Jarrell from the NW glam rock-y group The Nice Boys. WHW’s retro sound is based more in the garage. Seek out their tune, “Suds,” a glorious slice of dumb fun rock. They come to the Redwood on 9/11.
Neil Finn, who recently came through town fronting his long-time band, Crowded House, comes back for a pair of lower-key shows at Largo on Sat.-Sun.