Sunday, October 17, 2010

Go See Hear In L.A.: Oct. 18-24: from Mt. Desolation to Gold Motel

If you are headed to the sold out Mumford & Sons show (and you have to love it these roots rock UK band has become such an under-the-radar hit), get there earlier enough to see Mt. Desolation (, another British country rock band featuring guys from Keane. Their debut actually comes out on Tuesday.

The Canadian collective Broken Social Scene sets up shop at the Wiltern on Oct. 19 in support of their latest effort, Forgiveness Rock Record. Who will be playing at this show? You’re never totally sure already frontman Kevin Drew should be leading the Scene.

Ra Ra Riot ( will be creating a “quiet storm” (and I don’t mean the soft rock radio format) at the Music Box on the 20th. This upstate NY band crafts elegant chamber-style indie rock that’s a joy to listen to.

It’s Irish night at the Hotel Café Oct. 20 Yep Roc/Bella Union recording artists Bell X1 ( is doing an acoustic tour, which is a great way to hear their sweet/bittersweet hooky pop tunes. Sharing the bill is the introspective Irish singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow ( who is on his first American tour.

UCLALive offers a very special musical summit on Friday Oct. 22. when Taj Mahal and Vieux Farka Touré share the stage for a show that will undoubtedly be a unique exploration of the intertwined elements of American blues and African music.

Friday night finds the Ryan Montbleau Band ( at the Mint. Last month, the Boston-based band released Heavy On The Vine, which is heavy with fine and lively soulful folk-rock. Montbleau also penned “Something Beautiful” that is Trombone Shorty’s current hit single.

Texas honky tonker Wayne "The Train" Hancock rolls through Southern California again with shows at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Oct. 22 (with the Blasters) and Redondo Beach’s Brixton on Oct. 23.

Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor have reconstituted Azure Ray ( Their latest set of gentle, haunting music. Drawing Down The Moon, was released by Saddle Creek last month. They will be at the Troubador Oct. 22 along Tim Fite (, whose more abrasive music is a compelling combination of folk, rock and rap.

For jam band fans Oct. 22 means the return to town of the great live band, Widespread Panic, who will be putting on one of their customary epic shows at the Greek that night.

It’s tempting to say that Brooklyn’s The Defibulators ( play such lively music that they raise the dead. It is true that their music, which'll be on display at Molly Malone’s Sat. the 23rd, is spirited roots music that ties together the past and present.

L.A.’s own Juliette Commagere ( commemorates her solo album The Procession by opening for Air at the Shirne on the 23rd. The disc is filled with airy atmospheric but subtly textured music that makes for an enchanting listen.

NEeMA ( is an exotic, unusual name but she can create straightforward and enchanting melodic pop tunes. A Canadian of Middle Eastern decent, NEeMA has traveled around the globe and there is a worldly, philosophical side. Beautiful songs like “Escape” and “Elsa’s Lullaby” are about all you can ask for from a singer-songwriter. She has a show at the Hotel Café on Saturday.

The White Buffalo ( is man, not band nor beast. On his new EP, Prepare For Black & Blue, he plays his acoustic music with a fierce physicality that recalls a harder-edged Ray Lamontagne or an unplugged Eddie Vedder. He’ll be appearing at Hermosa Beach’s St. Rocke on Oct. 24.

I became instantly enamored with Gold Motel ( upon listening to their tunes. The Chicago pop-rockers, fronted by singer Greta Morgan, serve up a delightful sunny sound on the aptly named Summer House album that recalls Blondie in their prime. Hooky, energizing and hard to resist. They play the Echo Sunday Oct. 24 with Michael Runion and Family of the Year.

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