Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

DAVID BRIDIE While Australian music in the 1980s might be best known for contributions by the likes of Crowded House, INXS, The Church and Midnight Oil, it was the musical undercurrent of the time that was the most innovative and seductive. And nowhere was that more evident than in the work of Not Drowning Waving. The collective’s ambient fusion of contemporary and world music not only spawned critical acclaim the world over, but confirmed founder David Bridie as one of Australia’s brightest musical talents. Bridie’s subsequent contributions to My Friend the Chocolate Cake, motion picture soundtracks and three solo albums, confirm that his dexterity runs as deep as his aptitude. With a new album, Succumb,  now out, and a U.S. tour, Bridie is rendering his eclectic talents to a very rare solo performance in Los Angeles.

Sunday, May 3. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 855-0350, www.largo-la.com.

Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED After the likes of ill-proportioned Stonehenge props, amps that go to 11, and “Smell the Glove,” it only seemed like a matter of time before everyone’s favorite fictional rock band Spinal Tap would send up the MTV Unplugged phenomenon: those myriad attempts of mainstream rock acts to become “viable artists” in the public eye by trading bloated bombast for acoustic intimacy. That’s exactly the road traveled down this time by the Tap’s own David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls (or in this case, their real-life alter egos, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer) with their “Unwigged & Unplugged” tour. Sans drummer — they’ve all died in freakish ways — the acoustic setting gives the trio a chance to play some folk selections, too, from “A Mighty Wind” (you know, their other music mockumentary). But the real draw? Stripped-down versions of “Sex Farm Woman” and “Big Bottom.” Sunday, April 26. The Wiltern Theatre, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 380-5005, www.unwigged.com.

Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

DEREK TRUCKS BAND Declared one of the new breed of guitar gods by Rolling Stone Magazine, Derek Trucks is also one of the youngest players ranked among the best ever. As the little brother of longtime Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks, he was allowed rare access to legendary slide player Duane Allman. This privileged tutorial, combined with an innate understanding of music, quickly elevated Trucks to prodigy status, allowing him to sit in with his brother’s band as well as other high-profile players, like Buddy Guy, when he was only 12 years old. Trucks,who is now married to blues queen Susan Tedeschi, tours religiously with the Derek Trucks Band, which he founded at the age of 15. For tight-loose R&B, it doesn’t get more pro than this.  Thursday, April 16. The Wiltern Theatre, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 380-5005, www.derektrucks.com.

Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

STEEL PANTHER The longest running heavy metal show on the Sunset Strip is both serious and farcical. Poking fun while paying tribute to ’80s glam metal, Steel Panther is worth seeing for their hair alone. In between their raucous sets of original cock rock, they wax comedic with improvised bits about sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll and the excesses of the good ole days. Their Monday night residency at the Key Club is reaching mythic status as shiny gods from metal lore have been known to make cameos there.  Get ‘em while they’re hot.  Monday, April 13 at the Key Club. 9039 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 274-5800, www.myspace.com/steelpantherkicksass.

Worth the Drive

Worth the Drive

Proving once again that for every Sean Lennon, Jakob Dylan or Dweezil Zappa, that genius runs in the family of the musically gifted, Jonathan McEuen is one of those artists who shares, and maybe even surpasses the talents of his famous dad. Progeny of virtuosic Nitty Gritty Dirt Band banjo plucker John McEuen and brother of Ventura County music scene stalwart Nathan, guitarist Jonathan can let ‘er rip on the twangy, barrelhouse rockabilly of Hanna-McEuen (featuring cousin Jaime Hanna) as deftly as the quiet country balladry indicative of his acoustic solo efforts. It’s a nice commercial and artistic balance that’s landed the younger McEuen appearances on the Tonight Show and at the Grand Ole Opry. He calls Ojai home, but appears this weekend in Santa Barbara with special guest Dan Wheetman.

Sunday, April 5, 8 p.m., SOhO, 1221 State St., #205, Santa Barbara. 962-7776. www.jonathanmceuen.com.

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