This toothless guy will not be fiddling.

Brace yourselves, Go Go’ers.  Winter is here…the SoCal version anyway.  It may not be blizzards and bluster outside but Ms. Go Go knows you’ll feel a pang as you swap cut-offs for cardigans.

Update to your 2012 “To Do” list?  Invent sexy fleece.

Below, three suggestions to help you turn winter woe-is-me into weekend wow-wow-wow.

You don’t have to tell anyone what you’re wearing under that trench coat.

She Says Ho,  You Say Down?

Go Go’ers, here’s your second best plan for exercising indoors and looking good doing it: tonight’s Roots Jubilee and Square Dance at the Echo.  Square dance “calling” (a.k.a. avoiding chaos on the dance floor by indicating upcoming moves)  is both an art and a science.

Kind of like that Kickapoo Juice you have brewing on the back porch.

Susan Michaels is one  of SoCal’s best “callers” and she and Triple Chicken Foot — think Old Time string band/fiddle and banjo, not mutant fowl — will keep you looking good while moving smoothly through Box the Gnat, Slip the Clutch, and Four Ladies Chain.

That last move — not to be confused with a Girls Behind Bars B-movie.

The Dustbowl Revival will rev you up with lose-yourself confabulations — kazoo and washboard may make appearances– while the Driftwood Singers deliver songs of love, loss, liquor and lust.

And if you Partner Trade off the square dance floor, you just might experience all four of the above.

(ROOTS JUBILEE AND SQUARE DANCESat, Jan 21, 5-9 pm; ALL AGES/$7 atdThe Echo, 1822 W Sunset Blvd, LA 90026; 213.413.8200; http://www.attheecho.com/2011/11/23/01-21-11-triple-chicken-foot-dustbowl-revival-echo/)

Model Mania at Dr. Sketchy's Marathon

So Many Models, So Much Time

You’ve been meaning to spiff up those sketch skills…but motivation?  Well, let’s just acknowledge that the demands on your time are many:  the Mojo-Rising-mini-golf tournament (Your windmill slice is legendary);  the crafted cocktail competition (The Downward Salty Dog — your specialty); the Oscar handicapping (Sir Elton has his standards, after all).

Here to provide more motivation than you’ll know what to do with: The Third Annual Dr. Sketchy’s Marathon.  Starting at 8:00 p.m. tonight and ending at 10 a.m. tomorrow so, just in time to make it to church — 26 hours of  inventively limber ladies (and one guy for um, gender equality) posing for you, your portfolio, and ongoing inspiration.

If you’re unfamiliar with Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, it’s a social club, with branches worldwide,  for professional, amateur, and non-artists, men and women, alt and mainstream.  (The only restriction?  No photography, so put away the cell phone, creeper.)

Bring your own art supplies to capture “underground models” — think burlesque beauties, cirque performers, and pin-up girls…not pasty Mole People —  who go beyond art school  poses for the daring, the delightful and the delicious.

After Dr. Sketchy’s Marathon, the answer to “Wanna come up and see my etchings”  will always be “yes”.

(3RD ANNUAL DR. SKETCHY’S MARATHON — Sat, Jan 21 @ 8pm to Sun, Jan 22 @ 10 am; 18+/$39 in advance via PayPal; $45 atd – Studio Servitu, 825 So Alameda, DTLA 90021; Parking free-$5; for more info on models, etc. go to http://www.drsketchy.com/branch/LosAngeles)

Hawaii 5-0

If you fell under the spell of traditional Hawaiian music in The Descendants, are yearning for warm, tropical breezes instead of brisk, winter winds,  or just thought George Clooney rocked those shorts,  the  Fifth Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Festival is your Sunday cup of poi.  Don’t think Don Ho, hula, and luaus (although the umbrella drinks remain awesome).  Slack key guitar comes from the byways and backyards of old Hawaii when King Kamehameha ruled and  cattle, not tourists, fueled the economy.

Presented by Kala Koa Entertainment, the festival features some of the  most prestigious names in slack key guitar, including: award-winning Cyril Pahinui, whose father Gabby was instrumental in popularizing slack key; Jeff Peterson, who’s contributed to two Grammy-winning records; and special guests such as performer/composer Ed Gerhard, who is proficient on  6-string, slide guitar, and Acoustic Hawaiian Lap Slide (Weissenborn).

It’s the cheapest ticket around to your mid-winter tropical vacation.

(THE FIFTH ANNUAL HAWAIIAN SLACK KEY FESTIVAL — Sun, Jan 22nd @ 2 pm; $35 – $55 — Redondo  Beach Performing Arts Center,  1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach, 90278, 562.556.4824; www.SlackKeyFest.com)

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Welcome to the party.

Food.  With the annual Eat-A-Thon coming up, it’s been on your mind.

But let’s concentrate on another sense this week, shall we, Go Go’ers?

Think of the following as food for your ears.

Girl-Happy Gents & Dustbowl Dandies

Who likes to party with girls?  Well, you, of course, and you’re in darn good company, too.

The Two Man Gentleman Band wrote a song about the subject — the oh-so-catchy and to-the-point I Like to Party With Girls – and the much-lauded, NYC-based duo will L.A.-debut their “hot, raucous retro-swing” as half of the Vaudeville Shindig bill at Molly Malone’s on Thursday, November 17th.

Hot ‘n raucous?  You’re hooked.

But just so you know, fellow Shindiggers The Dustbowl Revival, hometown purveyors of “gypsy swing…and homemade jug-band music”, have promised “handmade mix tapes of [their] favorite old-time tunes” to the first 15 in the door.

You like old time tunes with your girls.

And if you really like to party with girls, The Two Man Gentlemen Band is opening tonight for the Dollface Dames burlesque troupe at The Trip in Santa Monica.

Just to be clear, we’re talking scantily-dressed girls doing splits.  Basically, the dream SoCal debut.

(THE TWO MAN GENTLEMEN BAND, Wed, 11-16 @ 8 pm/$10/21+, The Trip, 2101 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, 90405, 310.396.9010)

(VAUDEVILLE SHINDIG — The Two Man Gentlemen Band & The Dustbowl Revival, Thurs, 11/17 @ 8 pm/$8/21+, Molly Malone’s Concert Hall, 575 S Fairfax, LA 90036, 323.935.1577)

Last Chance Sound & Skate Blast

If your slacker self couldn’t get it together to snag tix to the AFI Film Fest screenings, you’ll definitely want to get your pre-Turkey-Day dose of alt-culture at one of the last two screenings of Dragonslayer at the Downtown Independent.

This isn’t the Eighties fantasy Dragonslayer.  Tristan Patterson’s uber-sound-heavy (Best Coast, Bipolar Bear, the Germs) cinema verite portrait of skateboard legend Josh “Skreech” Sandoval — who finds love in the dystopian ‘burbs of Fullerton, CA — won Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at SXSW this year.

Think of it as the Hump Day, beer-‘n-tequila-shot start to your weekend.

(DRAGONSLAYER, Wed, 11/16, 4 pm & 6 pm; Thurs, 11/17, 3:30 pm & 5:30 pm/$10, Downtown Independent, 251 S Main St, 90012, 213.617.1033)

Honky tonk for Sunday supper

Sunday Lucky Sunday

You can try and stand still while listening to Lucky Tubb, great nephew of country music legend Ernest, but best wear your two-steppin’ shoes to be safe.

Lucky honed his honky tonk in bars, behind bars, and with outlaw biker gangs so this is the real, raw deal, son.

It’s an early show – 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on November 20th – so you can work up a hunger for your Sunday night supper.

Or whatever you do on a Sunday night…

(LUCKY TUBB, Sun, Nov 20 from 5 -9 pm/$8/All agesThe Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd, L.A., 90026, 213.413.8200)

Yee-ha!

Go Go’ers, if the cold and rain has settled in your very bones, you’ll need more than a couple of high-temp ray days to recover your git-up-and-go.  Luckily, Grand Ole Echo, L.A.’s premier, down home, jump-for-joy returns this Sunday to warm you up no matter what the weather (though it looks like sunny skies all weekend long!)

Queen of Americana Kim Grant kicks off the sixth season of  the Big City hoedown in style with honky tonkin’ headliner/L.A. native Sarah Gayle Meech who’s back in town from her new Nashville home.  Bluesy faves Far West jumpstart the evening at the free, all-ages Echo show;  self-monikered “outlaw folk rocker” Maxim Ludwig & the Santa Fe Seven drive it home til Sarah Gayle takes the stage.  Grant’s new booking partner Julie Richmond settles folk/rock/alt-country L.A. newcomer Kelly Pardekooper on the Back Porch along with longtime local boys the David Brothers who’ll ease you into the week ahead.

The sippin’ whiskey won’t hurt either.

Need to scratch that Americana itch before Sunday supper?   The following shows dish up heaping helpings of you-got-my-number and yeah-that’s-right.

Country on the coast.

The Mint’s not foolin’ around this April 1st.

Welcome the weekend in sophisto fashion on Friday with roots ‘n brass veterans Royal Crown Revue who helped usher in the Swing Revival movement way back in ’89.   These days, Jennifer Keith puts the sultry in chanteuse alongside Crown co-founder/vocalist  Eddie Nichols.  You may remember these swing kings from their long-time residency at the now-shuttered Derby.

Isn’t it time you renewed your acquaintance?

Whoopin’  it up on the Westside this Saturday, Marty Axelrod guest-hosts Ernest Troost’s Juke Joint Gang at the Talking Stick in Venice.    Songs of Shiloh,  the richly textured country narrative from Axelrod and  powerhouse vocalist Nicole Gordon, sets the standard for the evening.  Solo bard Shaun Cromwell references roots and ragtime with his fingerpicking and fine-tuned lyrics while Little Faith revs up the jump and jive, tent revival style, at the shank of the evening.

Bay City may never be the same.

Craving more country?  Check out the recently launched Southland Serenade, your online source of all things Americana in the City of Angels.  (http://southlandserenade.bandzoogle.com/fr_home.cfm)

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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Crack Ho, let's go

Go Go’ers, it feels like the world has been in Val-Day countdown  since January 2nd so let’s all take a little breather and in honor of the Grammys,  focus on music instead of love or lack thereof.

THE BEATLES’ COMPLETE FIRST AMERICAN CONCERT

Here’s your chance to forget Paul McCartney’s recent Saturday Night Live appearance and Ringo on Larry King Live.

Watch the blast force that was Beatlemania 47 years to the day of the moptops’ first U.S. concert at the Coliseum in Washington D.C.

Cinematheque is screening a pristine, first generation picture quality print of the original broadcast, which hasn’t been seen in its entirety since March 1964.  Relive it if you were there or check the reality if you just say you were.

Film also includes footage of Lesley Gore and the Beach Boys; Domenic Priore hosts a post-screening panel discussion. ( Friday, February 11th @ 7:30 pm at The Egyptian Theatre $11 www.americancinematheque.com/archive1999/2011/Egyptian/specialevent_FEB_ET_2011.htm

GRAMMY GO SEEK HUNT

Want to be the Trivia Whiz Kid at your upcoming Grammy bash?

Sign up for this music-centric scavenger hunt — you can join an existing team or bring up to five of your music geek friends — and poke around the Grammy Museum finding “trivia and treasure” for prizes, bragging rights, and an afternoon spent at one of the coolest museums in town.

No prior knowledge of music required!  (February 12 @ 2:00 pm; $29, which includes Grammy Museum admission; starting destination revealed after sign-up;  http://losangeles.going.com/event-880740;Out_of_the_Box_Events_Grammy_Go_Seek_Hunt)

CRACK WHORE GALORE

If  your inner rebel is feeling a bit twitchy, make a late night date with the “glamorous” Galores Abbey and Danny as they stumble through post-rehab reality with the help of sex, songs about sex, discussion of sex, an alleged for-sale sex tape, and really loud rock ‘n roll.

Pee-in-your-pants funny and good music to boot. (Ensemble Studio Theater – Los Angeles at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village; Thurs. & Sat., 10:30 p.m.; thru March 12, ensemblestudiotheatrela.org. (323) 644-1929.)


SUSAN JAMES’S RECORD RELEASE SHINDIG AT THE ECHO

Ms. Go Go is counting the days ’til the GRAND OLE ECHO  returns on April 3 but booker extraordinaire/Queen of Americana Kim Grant and her new partner Julie Richmond (a.k.a. Carolina Chickadee) are giving Angelenos a little taste of twang and sway next Tuesday.

In honor of singer Susan James’s release of her fourth album Highways, Ghosts, Hearts, and Home (Ryan Adams is a fan), there’ll be a GOE-worthy shindig with Old Californio, Tony Gilkyson and Kip Boardman, Anny Celsi, Double Naught Spy Car, Evie Sands, Cosmo Topper and The Quarter After.

James will be backed by Paul Lacques and Paul Marshall (both, I See Hawks in L.A.) and DJ Bonebrake on drums.  Grant and Richmond hint at some surprise guests as well.

$10 entry gets you one of James’s CDs; $5 without.  (Tuesday, February 15th;  doors @ 7:00 pm, show @ 7:30pm; $5 – $10; The Echo, 1822 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles 90026; http://www.kgmusicpress.com/home.cfm)

Staring into the heart of darkness.

A waning moon, a cold wind,  streaming clouds; Tuesday is the perfect night for Murder Ballads when the Echo and The New Los Angeles Folk Festival celebrate the Dark Side of Folk and the  imminent eve of the dead with bloody ballads,  beautiful victims, and the minstrels of murder who mourn them.

Among the celebrants of departed souls:

Central Valley’s banjo-picking son (and Fleet Foxes opener) Frank Fairfield plays “Unheard Ofs and Forgotten Abouts” from the 78 records that he collects and “mashes up one thing with another” to make powerful songs of loss and lament.

With Louisiana family legend and charlatan-revivalist-turned-preacher Vaud Comeaux as inspiration,  Vaud & the Villains bring the passion to the play and the wail to the woe-is-me.

Amanda Jo Williams (“channeling how aliens would tell us to be”) teams with Olentangy John (clawhammer banjo; lots of twang) and Horse Thieves (country meets vaudeville) for a supergroup by request.  It’s going to be a celebration of sadness, a carnival of  carnage.

And if the overwhelming evidence of love as a dark, dark thing has you all skittish, fortune-teller Madame Pamita can tell you if your lover’s  intentions are good or ill.

Then again, you’ve always been one to take a chance on  jealousy, passion, and a finely honed knife….

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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Pony up to the bar at the Grand Ole Echo.

Go Go’ers, sweat is not always a bad thing.  When the high, thin, hot Santa Ana winds are battering your windows, it’s a burden barely borne.  But sweating and swaying inside the Grand Ole Echo, which pops up this Sunday after a li’l hiatus, is the kind of baptism by fire that leaves you feeling worn-out but renewed and ready to face the week.  Come on over for the good of your soul.

As usual, the back-end-of-the-weekend bash is free and all ages so you can put on your cowboy kicks and swing with your littlest sweethearts to country charmers Old Californio, Anny Celsi and Nelson Bragg (think girl pop roots and revolving band mates like Probyn Gregory from Brian Wilson’s back-up stalwarts) , country/pop rockers Paperplanes and folk/country faves Smith and Wesson. The party starts and ends early too — 5:30 – 9:00 — so you can play on a school night and still feel virtuous.  (Not that the latter is a requirement for the evening, mind you.)

Here are the important things to know….  The bands are tuning up.  The bbq is marinating.  The bar is stocked. The back porch is waiting.

All that’s missing is you.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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Buzzard knows best....

Sure, there’s  a time for glitter tights and pink champagne, Go Go’ers, but sometimes  you haveta forego the frippery and strip it down to the bone.  So even though it’s only Tuesday, you’ll want to start the countdown to Saturday when the Grand Old Echo presents Roots Roadhouse.   At 20 bands for $15 bucks, you’re seeing each act for less than the price of a SnoBawl Slurpee and that is a sweet, sweet deal.

Grammy Award winner Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men, country singer/Merle Haggard contemporary Red Simpson from Bakersfield, and lived-the-blues man T Model Ford from Mississippi will show the young’uns how it’s done at the Echoplex’s blues, country, and roots extravaganza, which also features a comprehensive line-up of locals (I See Hawks in L.A., Chapin Sisters) and out-of-towners (Frontier Ruckus, Chatham County Line) on three stages.   Doors open at 3:00PM and the music starts at 4:00 so you can tear up the joint before taking a break for brew and ‘cue courtesy of gourmet food trucks Barbie’s Q and Q Zilla.  (Note: these are not the kind of trucks that Red Simpson sings about.)

Feeling lucky?  There’ll  be bingo on the patio; play to win tickets, CDs, gift certificates and t-shirts.  (‘Cause you can never have enough free t-shirts.)  Old Style Guitar Shop,  Stuck on Vintage and Le Modern Trinkets will be on hand if you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket. (And if you do, Ms. Go Go would SO love to get to know you….)

Roots Roadhouse: your summer Saturday night ticket to swamp, sweat and twang.

Ready?   U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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