It’s hard to believe that the first month of 2011 has come and gone. February is starting off on an eclectic note.
There are hip young acts like Baths (Amoeba in-store Feb. 1), School of Seven Bells (Conga Room, Feb. 1) and Tennis (the Echo, 2/4) arriving in town as well as reunited hipsters (of the cocktail nation variety) Love Jones (Largo, Feb. 2). The 2nd also is the night when Amoeba hosts JD Samson’s new project Men.
The terrific, somewhat underappreciated Australian rock band, the Church puts on a mega-show at the El Rey on 2/2 in which they plan to play a trifecta of albums (Untitled #23, Priest=Aura and Starfish).
Thursday the 3rd offers an opportunity to see Bobby Long, whose impressive ATO debut, A Winter’s Tale, comes out on the 1st. On this disc, Long shows that he is long on talent, with his literate tunes and his rich voice.
Thursday also is the night that Shadow Shadow Shade start its month-long residency at the Satellite. Their always inventive debut disc was one of my favorite rock albums of 2010.
Friday holds a handful of good concert-going choices. Popular local singer-songwriter Tom Freund checks into the Hotel Café. Another local favorite Kristian Hoffman has a big, guest-studded show at the Steve Allen Theater.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals bring their rootsy tunes to the El Rey and cool Icelandic chamber popster Ólafur Arnalds will be playing the Echoplex.
Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses show at the El Rey tops Saturday night’s shows. Bingham, who grabbed last year’s Oscar for Song of the Year, is one of the best young Americana songwriters. Another good young singer/songwriter Tony Lucca will be playing the Hotel Café.
Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III bring their impressive catalog on songs to the newly opened Valley Performing Arts Center. Over at Harvelle’s, blues master Guitar Shorty will be showing why he’s been such influential guitarist.
Another notable show on the 5th is the Autumn Defense’s appearance at the Troubadour. The Autumn Defense is the side project for Wilco mates John Stirratt and Patrick Sansone. Their recently released Yep Roc disc Once Around comes stocked with low-key but sophisticated music.
Last but not least, the intriguing, unpredictable Cat Power closes out the first week of February with a show at the Music Box.