The LookOut Nocturnal Missions


By Tomm Carroll

He’s from New Jersey. He don’t expect much. If the world were to end today, he’d adjust. He’s John Gorka, the Garden State’s funny folksinger, whose songs are both humorous and heartfelt. And he’s in town this weekend, performing at McCabe’s Guitar Shop for a pair of shows (8:00 and 10:00 p.m) Saturday. Sharing the bill is special guest Carrie Newcomer, a folk-thrush whose talent and material belie her surname.

Seductively trippy and hopped-up sounds will overtake Arcadia Friday night as the Santa Monica Pier-based club hosts a Trip Hop Party featuring Oven Fresh and special guest Gershwin (neither George nor Ira). On Saturday, Arcadia goes retro-glam, with an appearance by Gene Loves Jezebel, featuring Michael Aston. Cool Music Monday at the club features cabaret-jazz singer Judith Owens (also known as Mrs. Harry Shearer) sharing the bill with Mercedes and Sean Smith.

It’s an indigo-shaded week in Santa Monica as blues abounds -- mostly at Harvelle’s, the city’s own Home of the Blues. Friday finds Len Rainey and the Midnight Players rockin’ out, while Saturday sees the return of the 11-piece R&B review Blowin’ Smoke and the Fabulous Smokettes to their regular weekend slot. And on Tuesday, The Majestics demonstrate their rhythm and blues dexterity. Also, on a rare Sunday show at McCabe’s, acoustic blues-belting guitarist Kelly Joe Phelps lets loose for a pair of performances at 7:00 and 9:30 p.m.

And let’s not neglect the greenish blues of Irish funkmeister The Reverend Carl Roberts and his New Breed Orchestra, who play their first gig at Temple Bar (since it changed its name from St. Stephen’s Green) Friday night. Also on the bill is Dirk and Housebrew (a band, not a beer). The green theme continues on Saturday, when Temple Bar welcomes celt-rockers Flogging Molly along with Demand Moore.

While were on the o’subject, O’Brien’s Pub on Main Street welcomes Brian Shido, known as "The Schizophrenic Entertainer" (on a double bill with himself?) on Saturday, and Paul O’Toole and the Stand on Sunday night. And that’s not all -- Rusty’s on the pier presents the Irish folk stylings of Luck Money on Friday, with sets also from the funky Johnnycake and the rocky Blue Room.

Versatile violinist Lili Haydn (who’s played with everyone from the Young Dubliners to the late Pakistani qwalli singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) has her own gig scheduled Friday night at 14 Below. Joining her on the bill at the underground club will be Cool Water Canyon, ISOM County and Derek Horton. On Saturday, 14 Below exercises some Common Sense in a reggae show that also features Undermind. And speaking of that infectious Jamaican sound, don’t forget that Mongoose, with DJ Ron Miller, headline the West End every Wednesday night.

Band Name of the Week: The Rockinghams (their second citation; but there were no better names this week), who do their double-murder act (rhythm and blues) at Rusty’s on Saturday, with some help from accomplices The Ravens and Everyman.





7:30 AND 9:30 P.M.

A leader of the "great folk music scare" (as Martin Mull once put it) in the early 1960s, singer-songwriter Tom Rush was the first to record the songs of a then-unknown Joni Mitchell, and his recording of "The Circle Game" remains the definitive version. But that’s not what makes him a legend in the genre.

With his distinctive guitar style, wry humor and expressive voice, coupled with his in-concert storytelling, melancholy ballads and gritty blues, Rush has remained a viable and reliable artist over the past three decades, influencing everyone from Emmylou Harris and James Taylor to Garth Brooks (but don’t hold the latter against him.).

Touring in support of a new anthology of his magical music, The Very Best of Tom Rush: No Regrets (Columbia/Legacy) -- which also includes the new Rush-written "River Song," featuring guest vocals from Shawn Colvin and Marc Cohn -- Tom Rush stops by McCabe’s for a pair of shows tonight. It should be amazing. There will be no regrets -- except by those folks who miss these performances.

Lookout Logo footer image
Copyright 1999-2008 All Rights Reserved.
Footer Email icon