Is Neal Weiss just one more reason to hate LA? Hell, yes. Dude takes his terrific li'l rock & roll band Weed Patch and slips it onto the bills of just about every decent (and not-so-decent) music club in Silver Lake, Hollywood, Los Feliz and Echo Park for the past two years, never once bothering to venture into our county to sanctify us with his songs of hope and heartache. (Weiss has even taken Weed Patch to San Diego—would it have killed him to pull off the 5 and play the Doll Hut or some other OC room on the drive back up?) But now he's finally broken down and landed a Detroit gig, so for once we can all be privy to the Patch without it costing us damn near three bucks per gallon to catch them on their home turf. The music is sort of a poppy alt.-country amalgam, suggesting a less inebriated Replacements or Drive-By Truckers, welded together by Weiss' voice, itself a kind of mash-up of Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy (especially on tunes such as "Dreaming My Days Away," "Crash Landing" and "Codeine," all off their splendiferous lone album, MaybetheBrakesWillFail).The band would fit perfectly on a dream triple-bill with such local like-minded kin as Walter Clevenger or the Horsepainters. This won't happen Tuesday, but that fantasy will be sufficient for us to clearly envision a follow-up show, which can't come soon enough. (RichKane)
WEED PATCH AT DETROIT BAR, 843 W. 19TH ST., COSTA MESA, (949) 642-0600. TUES., 9 P.M. $5. 21+.
SPARKLING, NOT SOMBER
The press release recently plucked from our mailbox for the Long Beach band Greater California says their album SomberWurlitzerwas recorded within the past year and has an "official release date" of April 5, 2005. This is odd because we could've sworn we saw it for sale at Fingerprints well more than a year ago and read some glowing reviews that described in flowing prose all of the subtle majesty we hear on this official release. But when it was recorded—or released—is a moot point. One spin of Somber Wurlitzer, and it's obvious that this has the timelessness of a songbird's tune. Greater California hover in a permanent twilight—not too dark, not too bright, slow, but never plodding. And yes, there is a Wurlitzer, though it's not strictly somber; it's often sparkling, with notes dancing down brown-leaved lanes of hollow-bodied instrumentation. This is the new quiet-cool—or maybe the year-and-a-half-old quiet-cool. (MichaelCoyle)
GREATER CALIFORNIA PLAY WITH VAVAK AND THE NEW FIDELITY AT J. KING NEPTUNE'S, 17115 PACIFIC COAST HWY., SUNSET BEACH, (562) 592-4878. SAT., 9 P.M. $3.