Loading...

Rock Picks: Mark Eitzel, Wanda Jackson, Dan Deacon, Heartless Bastards 

Plus, Hecuba, James Pants, Angus & Julia Stone and others

Thursday, Apr 16 2009
Comments

FRIDAY, APRIL 17

 

COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL AT EMPIRE POLO FIELD

Related Stories

The 10th Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio commences today with evening sets by three of the late 20th century’s most iconic songwriters: Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney and Morrissey. Don’t care for older dudes talking about emotions and stuff? Franz Ferdinand, Black Keys and Silversun Pickups might make your nether regions tingle with rock. Think the guitar is overrated? Mike Patton and Rahzel will provide vocal beatbox insanity, Peanut Butter Wolf will break those kinds of beatz down, the Bug will explode said beats with reggaeton, dubstep and grime freak-outs. Too heady? Dance your fanny pack off to Felix da Housecat, Gui Boratto and Buraka Som Sistema. Tripping too hard? Quick, teleport across the unicorn grounds to Ghostland Observatory. Too scary? The Ting Tings do pop, will make you dance, calm you down. Still freaking out? The Hold Steady and the Airborne Toxic Event will look you straight in the damned eyes and tell what it means to be a man. Candy flipping? Girl Talk will mix all that crap together until it becomes one big-ass universal party. 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio. Also Sat.-Sun. (Randall Roberts)

 

RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT AT MCCABE’S

Veteran folksinger Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s new Anti-Records CD, A Stranger Here, could be more accurately titled (with apologies to Bette Midler) Songs for the New Depression, as it’s a collection of 1930s-era blues laments that suddenly seem relevant again. This might have been a quaint retro exercise a year ago, but songs like “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” and “New Stranger Blues” sound freshly chilling. And “Rising High Water Blues” serves to remind that disasters (natural or otherwise) never go out of style. Perhaps most impressive is the funereal stomp “Soul of a Man,” where producer Joe Henry adorns Elliott’s craggy philosophizing with evocative slips of acoustic slide guitar and welling violin. Such relatively folksy numbers as “Richland Women Blues” recall the New York troubadour’s early-’60s heyday, when he was the literal link between his pals Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. Yes, he’s been around the block a few times — the Folksmen thought they were being clever when they poked fun at him in 2003’s A Mighty Wind, but Ramblin’ Jack parodies go back to at least the mid-’60s, when the BBC’s Kenneth Williams first made an art of it. Elliott gets the last laugh, though, when he somberly intones the austere ballad “Grinnin’ in Your Face.” Scary stuff. Also Sat. (Falling James)

 

Also playing Friday:

JOHN PRINE, JOSH RITTER at the Wilshire Theatre; BRITNEY SPEARS, PUSSYCAT DOLLS at the Staples Center; KEVIN RUDOLF at House of Blues; CAVE SINGERS, POCAHAUNTED, THE FINCHES at Spaceland; BUCKCHERRY at Club Nokia; BITCHES, FOOT VILLAGE at the Smell; HAWKWIND TRIBUTE WITH ED MUNDELL’S ULTRA MEGA GALACTIC, BACKBITER, THE HIGH SAINTS, OTHERS at the Knitting Factory; KYLESA, MADE OUT OF BABIES, INTRONAUT, BLACK ELK at the Echoplex.

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 18

MARK EITZEL AT LARGO AT THE CORONET

 

It’s a romantic notion, seeing singer-songwriter Mark Eitzel on the same stage that has premiered a Bertolt Brecht play, in the same room that debuted Kenneth Anger’s transformative experimental film Fireworks, beneath the office where Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote some of the classic American songs of the 20th century. Eitzel’s work both with his longtime band, American Music Club, and as a solo artist with a sturdy baritone and sturdier songs draws on emotions and stories as universal and lasting as the ghosts of the Coronet Theatre. His best songs, among them “Jesus’ Hands,” “Johnny Mathis’ Feet” and “I Know That’s Not Really You,” attack themes of redemption, worship and transformation, but it’s an effortless stealth examination unhindered by pretension or obviousness. For this show, the singer, whose first instrument is guitar, will accompany himself on piano. Note: This is an early show, and begins at 9 p.m. (Randall Roberts)

 

B.B. KING AT THE CANYON

There are kings, and then there’s B.B. King. The Mississippi-born blues man, who got his start in Memphis in 1948 as a singer/DJ known as the Beale Street Blues Boy, still sounds great at the age of 83 — almost five years after his “final” farewell tour of Europe (which was followed by yet another final visit in 2006). Of course, royal status wasn’t conferred on him merely for longevity. His ringing, pinging guitar solos are among the most distinctive in rock and blues, with a piercing sting that’s simultaneously spiky and velvety. King’s burnished vocals are similarly raw and smooth as he croons and howls his way through 2008’s One Kind Favor, a well-chosen set of covers by Lonnie Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy and John Lee Hooker. Remakes of Howlin’ Wolf’s “How Many More Years” and T-Bone Walker’s “I Get So Weary” really swing, thanks to an all-star band that includes pianist Dr. John, drummer Jim Keltner, trumpeter/arranger Darrell Leonard and saxist Ernie Fields Jr., among others. The rhythm section is sinuous and funky on the Blind Lemon Jefferson classic “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” which has a more amiably jaunty and unhurried feel than previous, doom-ridden versions. Death and heartbreak are always lurking at the bottom of the blues, but King staves them off here with a lot of soul. (Falling James)

Related Content

Now Trending

  • The Black Castle’s Mysterious Proprietor

    The worst part about running a metal venue out of your home is the mess. The proprietor of South Central club the Black Castle regularly puts on shows for hundreds of raging metalheads. He also lives in the facilities, which are housed in a former custom-car shop. Additionally, he’s a...
    2
  • The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week

    Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Monday, August 18 Smoke Season ECHOPLEX Gabrielle Wortman is best known as the voice of the electronic combo TEMP3ST, but when she’s paired with Honor Society keyboardist Jason Rosen in side project Smoke Season, she reveals newfound elements of folk...
  • Check Out This Biggie Smalls Butane Torch

    In the past few years, a lot of serious potheads have switched from smoking marijuana to vaping concentrates like wax, which require the kind of heat that only can come from a butane torch. Unlike regular lighters, butane torches are fairly large and awkward. So a company called Errlybird is...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets