For an artist whose career is just beginning its upward trajectory, singer-songwriter AM already has the whole myth-making thing down. He doesn’t like revealing exact dates about certain events in his life, and don’t even bother inquiring about his government name — he is not about to give it up. What we do know is that he was born in Tulsa, Okla., grew up a self-described “rock’n’roll kid,” was working in a music store and playing bar gigs with cover bands by the time he was 15, was influenced to become a songwriter by the likes of Bob Dylan, Beck and Jeff Tweedy, left New Orleans for Los Angeles and fell in with the Hotel Café scene, released his first album, Troubled Times, in 2006, and with its spare, mostly acoustic arrangements and simple-but-cryptic lyrics, caught a buzz in the L.A. neo-folk community, which carried over to his second album, last year’s Soul Variations. Oh, and one other thing: He is playing Zoey’s on May 30.
Pastilla L.A.’s Pastilla is on the verge of breaking wide in the Latin alternative scene. Formed way back in 1989, the band has undergone lineup changes in their almost 20 year history, but their knack for melody and power-pop flair has only improved, as their fan base has grown outside of SoCal’s fervent and tight-knit Spanish rock community and into Mexico, Puerto Rico and beyond. The band performs at the La Dolce Vita Lounge on May 30.
Rock Nation Tribute to Led Zeppelin Even with the real thing having reunited recently, there remain dozens, if not hundreds, of Led Zeppelin tribute acts across the globe. Some are forged out of hazy memories of actually having been there, man. Participants in Rock Nation’s tribute to the Almighty Zep, however, were barely a proverbial glint in their mother’s eye, or whatever that saying is. Rock Nation is a real life “School of Rock,” and on May 31, students from its Agoura branch present Led Zep in all their Valhalla-worshipping glory at the Ventura Theater.