Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Go See Hear In L.A.: Nov. 30-Dec. 5

It’s looks to be a rather subdued post-Thanksgiving week. More time to get over your holiday indulgences and make up for the short work week.
But there are several notable shows.
Ranking at the top show of the week is the Posies/Brendan Benson double bill at Club Nokia on Fri. Dec. 3. The Posies have long been one of the top melodic rock (don’t just pigeon-hole them as power pop) around. In you need convincing, Posies frontmen Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow served as Big Star sidemen before Alex Chilton’s untimely death. Benson now is known as a Jack White sidekick in the Raconteurs but he could my ear when he released One Mississippi back in ’96.
On Wednesday, the cool vocal group Sonos performs at the Hotel Café. They are known for their covers of indie rock tunes (like Bjork or Bon Iver) but they will showcasing the seasonal songs from their new December Songs CD.
The Hotel Café will also be the site for Julian Velard’s show on Sunday Dec. 6. The young NYC-based singer/songwriter will be at the piano there to play songs off of his quite tuneful debut, The Planeteer.
And just peeking into next week, I wanted to say that Jack White-head should be aware that the Greenhornes, who formed the rest of the Raconteurs with White and Benson, will be that the Troubadours. Their new disc Four Stars is a vibrant slice of garage rock.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Go See Hear In L.A.: Nov. 23-29 - The Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s one of the quieter weeks around town.

The big show to recommend is the Dawes/Moondoggies/Romany Rye concert at the El Rey on 11/26. Both Dawes and Moondoggies venture out through country rock into interesting territory. Dawes is working on a follow up to their strong debut North Hills, while Moondoggies have just released the wonderfully appealing Tidelands, which was an airy Neil Young vibe

Another good show along the Americana rock lines is Lucero and Drag The River at the Troubadour on Nov. 27. The gritty 1372 Overton Park was one of my favorite discs of 2009.

and of course there are the Weezer/Best Coast shows (Gibson Amphitheatre 11/27-11/28) with the intrigue of whether the young upstarts can hold their own with Rivers Cuomo.

It's probably too late in the game to mention that Dar Williams is closing her two night stand the Hotel Cafe on Monday night, so I will say that her new album, Many Great Companions contains some really great guests (Gary Louris, Patty Larkin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Sean & Sara Watkins.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Go See Hear In L.A.: Nov. 15-22 - A Miniature Tiger, A Pepper Rabbit and mre.

Yes, I am day late, and probably more than a dollar short
So it’ll be a skinny version this time around.
I have to mention first the Richard Thompson “Cabaret of Souls” show at UCLA’s Royce Hall on Friday. I did a Q&A with him for City’s Best (http://www.citysbest.com/los-angeles/news/2010/11/12/richard-thompson-a-cabaret-of-souls-and-a-tofu-scramble/) that was quite fun.
A couple terrific double bills to trumpet. The Freelance Whales and Miniature Tigers, two worth-the-buzz bands who have come through town regularly, return with a show at the Troubadour on the 18th.
Tift Merritt and Elizabeth & The Catapult make for a marvelous bill at the Troubadour the next night, Nov. 19th. Merritt had a great show there a few years that I had the pleasure to see.
John Doe and the Sadies ride into the Plaza Del Sol at CSUN on the 20th for a show that probably will feature sets separate and combined. Doe has made some fine recordings with the Sadies for Yep Roc.

Among the other notable shows
The Lonely Forest – Spaceland – Nov. 16
Olof Arnalds opening for Blonde Redhead at the Music Box Nov. 16-17
Pomegranates and Oh No Oh My – Bootleg – nov. 16
Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl’s The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger – Largo – Nov. 17
Pepper Rabbit – Echo – Nov. 18
Kings Go Forth – Mint – Nov. 18
Luisa Maita – Congo Room – Nov. 19
Wild Flag (Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, Rebecca Cole, and Janet Weiss) – Spaceland – Nov. 19
Tunng – Bootleg – Nov. 19
Bob Mould – Bootleg – Nov. 20
Dar Williams – Hotel Café – Nov. 21-22

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Go See Hear In L.A.: Nov. 8-14 - Sheepdogs, Mojo Monkeys, Or, The Whale

I’ve been really taken with the Canadian band the Sheepdogs, who have a wonderful Southern rock/UK pub rock thing going on. Loose, rockin', tuneful - all the things you can ask of a rootsy bar band. They come to the Cat Club on Tuesday, and they stand out as my "must-see" band of the week.

I did a Q&A with Over The Rhine (http://www.citysbest.com/los-angeles/news/2010/11/04/over-the-rhine-to-serenade-l-a-but-first-thai-food), they play the Troubadour on 11/12 in advance of their upcoming Joe Henry-produced disc.

On Monday, you can learn about the legendary Elektra Records from founder Jac Holzman and other guests at the Grammy Museum.

Besides the Sheepdogs on Tuesday, you can head back down to the Grammy Museum for an appearance by Jimmie Vaughan. Not much on the radar for Wednesday, but Thursday offers a trio of talented singer/songwriters around town: Erin McKeown at Largo, Kris Gruen at Molly Malone’s and Darren Hanlon at the Bootleg.

On Friday, the Bootleg hosts Teitur, while the Mother Hips have an acoustic show at McCabe’s and Dengue Fever will be performing the soundtrack for the silent film The Lost World at UCLA’s Royce Hall (which sounds like a particularly intriguing concept). And, of course, Over The Rhine at the Troub.

The Mojo Monkeys
have a record release show downtown at Syrup on Saturday. Andrew Belle shares his songs at the Hotel Café on Saturday while Or, The Whale surface at Spaceland. Best Coast will be enlivening the Troubadour both Saturday and Sunday, and the Echoplex gets Margot And The Nuclear So and So’s on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Megamind = Megafunny

While I generally concentrate on music, I had a chance to see the new Dreamworks/Paramount animated family film Megamind last weekend and wanted to report in on it. The movie was mega-clever, mega-fun and mega-entertaining.
The terrific team of comic actors (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and, don’t forget, David Cross) wonderfully handles all of funny things to do and say – which isn’t always the case on film or animated comedies. Brad Pitt also seems to be having a fun time with his heroic role.
It’s one of those animated films that offer plenty of laughs for young and old alike. Parents will be having just as much fun as their kids.