Don Friesen Have you ever had a time when everything just seemed to click in your life? Standup comic Don Friesen is living through one of those periods right now, thanks to the national release of Inexplicable, his first CD/DVD, and his first appearance on the hot nationally televised show Comics Unleashed, to go with prior appearances on NBC’s Martin Short Show, Later and Friday Night. Add in his recent debuts at powerhouse L.A.-area clubs the Laugh Factory and Ice House, and a gig last month opening for the Goo Goo Dolls in front of 8,000 people, and you’ve got one happy guy. Now, Friesen is taking his show to Ventura, making his headlining debut at Comedy Esquire on April 27 and 28. And as the only two-time winner of the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, he is sure to have audiences rolling with his manic Jim Carrey-style energy and hilarious tales of marriage and fatherhood.
Dead Rock West X meets Wilco? A dream combination for fans of roots-inspired, punk-spirited rock, and one that somehow congeals in Dead Rock West, a San Diego-based outfit with a John Doe-Exene Cervenka style vocal harmony duo up front and a band venting influences ranging from garage to power pop to folk and country backing it up. Formed in 2002, the band, made up of several touring and session vets, quickly became a local favorite, winning a San Diego Music Award and having two albums released in the U.S. and Spain. Their most recent release, Honey & Salt, features contributions from members of the Section Quartet and behind-the-boards work from Grammy winner Richard Dodd, who has worked with everyone from Steve Earle to George Harrison. Not bad company. Dead Rock West performs at Zoey’s on April 27.
The Tubes If your musical output is going to be overshadowed by your onstage theatricality, you might as well eclipse yourself in style. And the Tubes did “outrageous” with more style than just about anyone else in their ’70s heyday. Led by the incomparable Fee Waybill — possessor of perhaps the least rock’n’roll name in the entire idiom — the band is infamous for its gloriously ridiculous live shows, which prominently featured its brand of satirical performance art, including Waybill embodying a number of different characters (Dr. Strangekiss and Quay Lewd, anyone?). While their hits were limited to the radio staple “White Punks on Dope,” their status as one of the country’s enduring cult bands persists, even to this late date in the group’s career. Catch the insanity at the Canyon on April 27.