Since the 1990s the sound has been having a renaissance, and whatever flavor you take your Calicountry — from the indie-rock inflected tones of Wilco, to the New Weird America sound of Devendra Banhart, to straight-up country — you can find it today in L.A. and its surrounding desert cities. Here’s a look at three of our favorites.
Molly Malones: 575 South Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; 323-935-1577
This old-school pub on Fairfax Ave. has been the place to find live local music for over 40 years. Featuring six nights of live music a week, the venue is the place to find unexpected special guests like Lucinda Williams or Jonny Lang — many of whom are immortalized in the portraits on the walls. Don’t be surprised if you see Celtic punk stars Flogging Molly — in the late ’90s and early ’00s the band boasted a weekly Monday-night residency at Molly Malones.
Palms Bar: 83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, California; 760-361-2810
This old-school Wild West dive bar (in the best sense of the term) in the middle of the desert, Palms Bar is home to live music and $3 burgers. The desert watering hole is located more than 10 miles from the nearest town — Twentynine Palms.
Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace: 53688 Pioneertown Pd., Pioneertown, California; 760-365-5956
The self-proclaimed home of the “Best Honky-Tonk West of the Mississippi”, Pappy and Harriet’s is the high desert bar and restaurant located on a former Wild West movie set. Stop by on Sunday nights to hear the Pappy’s Allstars house band.
image by Mr. Matt/Flickr