The year 2013 may be Monterey’s best for music because it keeps on getting better.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
As memories of the Pop Fest begin to fade, notable rockers like Patti Smith, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Flaming Lips have been helping Monterey County reclaim credibility as a worthy tour stop for big acts. Though the Weekly already compiled a list of upcoming music events in January, the list keeps on expanding (get the full rundown at www.mcweekly.com/music). While Beach House and Grizzly Bear at the Henry Miller Memorial Library have already sold out, there’s a lot more magnetic music where that rockin’ hails from:
California Honeydrops and the Dani Paige Band at the Golden State Theatre (Feb. 7): In place of the postponed Dr. John show, the California Honeydrops appearance will mean delicious, New Orleans seasoning that helps Mardi Gras spread west. The Oakland outfit’s fiery mix of funk, R&B and jazz is bred for dancing, so flashing for beads isn’t out of the question. Beloved locals The Dani Paige Band will warm up the dance floor with sultry and heart-on-the-sleeve blues.
Dead Meadow and Strangers Family Band at the Golden State Theatre (Feb. 16): It’s hard to fathom that the heavy, desert, stoner rock oozing out of Dead Meadow comes from only three people. Like peyote bleeding streams of electric blue, the D.C. band trafficks in hallucinogenic riffs that echo peers like Sleep, but Dead Meadow’s jams are also wrapped in melodies that follow more traditional song structures. Surf psych-rock openers Strangers Family Band reverberate with a more down-tempo version of 13th Floor Elevators good enough to make Roky Erickson grin.
Yes at the Golden State Theatre (March 10): The seminal prog rockers are used to performing stadiums filled with turtleneck – and sports coat-wearing yuppies, which is why seeing them in such an intimate setting is so special. Adding to the allure: The English group will perform two of its classic albums in their entirety: The Yes Album and Close to the Edge.
Jeff Bridges & The Abiders at Sunset Center (April 3): The Oscar-winning actor, forever known in some circles as “The Dude,” is more than just a versatile thespian and a philanthropist: He’s a talented country rock musician. In addition to originals, Bridges brings to life what have become timeless compositions he performed as nice guy-alcoholic Bad Blake in his Academy Award-winning role in Crazy Heart.
Band of Horses at the Golden State Theatre (April 15): Along with Fleet Foxes, Seattle is home to another successful group of beardos that specialize in mesmerizing harmonies. All those that missed out on BOH’s sold out Henry Miller Library show a couple years back have a second opportunity to catch them. This time, they’ll be showcasing 2012’s Mirage Rock, which blends a touch of grunge with retro country rock.
Lou Reed at the Golden State Theatre (April 17): Poet, iconic rocker and Velvet Underground founder Lou Reed could be credited with influencing thousands of bands. Hell, entire rock movements, including noise and garage rock, can be attributed to the bug-eyed Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. And lyrically, it doesn’t get much better: “When the smack begins to flow, then I really don’t care anymore/ About all the Jim-Jims in this town, and everybody putting everybody else down/ And all the politicians makin’ crazy sounds/ And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds.”
Bat For Lashes at Henry Miller Memorial Library (April 19): 2012 was a good year for multi-instrumentalist Brit Natasha Khan. The singer-songwriter’s The Haunted Man pretty much made every “best of” list in the hipster media circuit.
Medeski, Martin & Wood at Sunset Center (April 25): Keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood are three of the most talented musicians out there. For more than 20 years the trio has been taking everything they know about jazz and kicking, tossing and rearranging it until birthing an indefinable genre on a higher and funkier plateau.
Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers at Henry Miller Memorial Library (May 9): Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers’ Van sessions is some of the best music material YouTube enjoys. Check out the band’s ragamuffin covers of everything from Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That” to Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.” Did I mention all the performances happen in a van driven by Bluhm?
Hipnic V at Fernwood (May 10-12): (((folkYEAH!))) and The Mother Hips’ fifth installment of the three-day, spring gathering in Big Sur gets better every year as if it were some high-priced Santa Lucia pinot. The line-up includes Jackie Greene, Cass McCombs Band, Sonny & the Sunsets, Neal Casal, Farmer Dave’s Hot Nuts Band, Brothers Comatose, Range of Light Wilderness and many more.
Greg Brown at the Golden State Theatre (May 19): One way you know if you are a good songwriter: Folks like Willie Nelson and Mary Chapin Carpenter perform your songs. After nearly 30 years performing and more than 20 albums, Grammy nominated musician Greg Brown – husband of folk singer Iris DeMent – released his masterpiece Further In in 1996. The definitive work showcases the singer-songwriter’s ability to capture the essence of human nature using simple and beautiful prose.
Visit the Weekly’s music blog for more: www.mcweekly.com/music.