LIVE MUSIC: Joni Mitchell tribute band, Social Club and Serious Guise
by Bart Mendoza
Published - 03/27/13 - 03:41 PM | 7608 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Robin Adler, Dave Blackburn and the Mutts will perform a tribute to Joni Mitchell on Saturday, April 6 at Dizzy’s.                                                                                           Courtesy photo
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Fans of bossa nova, jazz, soul and blues will want to hear Pan Am, which has a residency at Café-Bar Europa each Monday and Thursday in April. Based around the nylon-stringed acoustic guitar of Rodney Hubbard, the band includes saxophonist Shannon Bates, percussionist Kimo Shim and guitarist David Harris for what is a terrific soundtrack to an early evening out — engaging, but low key, varied and beautifully played. Though fronted by Hubbard, the other band members are not just backing musicians, with Bates’ lengthy solos and Harris’ tasteful guitar work among Pan Am’s highlights.

• Pan Am: Mondays and Thursdays in April at Café-Bar Europa, 873 St. 6 p.m. 21 and up.

Tribute bands are all the rage these days, but perhaps a more interesting option is artists honoring their chosen performer by playing a classic album all the way through. Such is the case with Joni Mitchell specialists Robin Adler and The Mutts, which performs at Dizzy’s on April 6. Featuring vocalist Robin Adler, guitarist Dave Blackburn and pianist Barnaby Finch, as well as Peggy Watson on backup vocals and guitar, Danny Campbell on percussion, plus Barry Cahill on backup vocals, saxophone and flute, the combo will perform Mitchell’s “For the Roses” album in its entirety, capping the performance with a few tunes from her first two albums. For fans of Mitchell, who rarely, if ever tours, this is the next-best thing to seeing a musical icon, but anyone who enjoys singer-songwriters will love every second of this show.

• A Tribute To Joni Mitchell: Saturday, April 6 at Dizzy’s, 4275 Mission Bay Drive. 8 p.m. $20.

The best modern pop-rock band in San Diego at the moment just might be Social Club, which appears at the 710 Beach Club on April 6. Comprised of frontman John Levan, keyboardist Thea Tochihara, bassist James Spratley and drummer Jeff Litzman, the band’s secret weapon is great songwriting. With shared vocals from Levan and Tochihara, the band has a slew of hook-filled, should-be hit singles like the R&B-tinged “Slow Motion.” In a perfect world, radio would be all over this combo. Social Club has a batch of good videos you can check out on YouTube. However, this is a group you should catch live for full effect.

• Social Club: Saturday, April 6 at the 710 Beach Club, 710 Garnet Ave. 9 p.m. 21 and up.

Classic rock is alive and well in the hands of Serious Guise, which performs at Tio Leo’s on April 6. The quartet has an impressive set list, with tunes from AC/DC to ZZ Top, but unlike most cover bands of this type, Serious Guise also includes more modern hits like songs from Kings of Leon, Fountains of Wayne and Creed. Nothing too challenging here, but if you’re looking for an excellent jukebox of rock ’n’ roll favorites ranging from the 1960s to today, Serious Guise is the perfect choice.

• Serious Guise: Saturday, April 6 at Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa St. 9 p.m. 21 and up. Cover TBD.

With a sound that incorporates punk, new wave, garage and rock ’n’ roll, The New Kinetics’ music just about bursts from the speakers. Appearing at The Griffin on April 9, the sheer manic energy of the group’s tunes is exhilarating, with songs like anthemic stop-start rocker “Riffle Raff,” as good as anything on the radio today. Live, The New Kinetics are known to include the occasional cover of artists ranging from T. Rex to Chuck Berry, but the band has built a solid following through its excellent originals.

• The New Kinetics: Tuesday, April 9 at The Griffin, 1310 Morena Blvd. 9 p.m. 21 and up.
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