Find out what Spain's done for Josh Rouse; take on LSD and the Search for God

When last we heard from Josh Rouse, he was delivering to us his break-up album, 2005's Nashville, which was lyrically steeped in the misery stemming from his recent divorce. Apparently Rouse is in a better place now, and not just emotionally -- last year the 33-year-old, Nebraska-born singer/songwriter hightailed it from Nashville (his home for a decade) to his new residence in beautiful Valencia, Spain, where he undoubtedly slides his toes into the sands of pristine beaches under the warm Mediterranean sun, strumming bright melodies on his guitar while tanned, dark-haired beauties in billowy, transparent white garments glide by. Sure beats a Tennessee winter, no? Anyhow, those good vibes -- plus the glow of a reported new romance -- are said to have seeped into his forthcoming album, Subtitulo (that's Spanish for "subtitle"), Rouse's seventh disc. He's already come a long way from the Freedy Johnston-isms of his 1998 debut, Dressed up Like Nebraska, having spent his past several releases transitioning from plaintive altcountry singer to suave, blue-eyed Philly soul boy. Find out if he's bringing some European flair to the party when Rouse's solo acoustic tour swings through the Swedish American Hall on Thursday, Jan. 26; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com for more info. -- Michael Alan Goldberg


The rest of the country thinks that San Francisco is a place where it's hard to find God. But what these people fail to realize is that there is something much more difficult to locate in this town: a quality hit of acid. None of this has escaped the attention of a young S.F. quintet known as LSD and the Search for God, a bunch of self-described psychedelic shoegazers who've swiped half of the title of William Braden's book The Private Sea for their name. During the past year they've been cutting their teeth with performances at places like Thee Parkside and Rickshaw Stop, and the latter spot is where they'll return on Thursday, Jan. 26. Though LSDATSFG's debut album has not yet been released, when it, um, drops, it'll be on a record label called Mind Expansion. Also on the night's bill is Santa Cruz folkies Whysp and L.A.'s instrumental experimentalists El Ten Eleven. Expect one trippy evening indeed; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com for more info. -- Tamara Palmer


L.A. guitarist Nels Cline moves in many musical worlds. Since the late '70s, he's experimented on the jazz fringe as a mainstay of SoCal's avant-garde community. In the past decade, he's teamed up with altroots darlings Wilco and the now-defunct Geraldine Fibbers, noisy rockers Thurston Moore and Mike Watt, and top Bay Area composer/improvisers like Rova Saxophone Quartet. Curiously, Cline's inspiration as an all-music explorer seems to derive from the legendary big-vision saxophonists John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. Thus, his playing is highly refined and unique: variously provocative, lyrical, bent, wildly rhythmic, and stunning. It's no surprise that his latest project -- which includes respected locals Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Devin Hoff (bass), and Scott Amendola (drums), as well as L.A.'s renowned Bobby Bradford (cornet) and NYC's irrepressible Andrea Parkins (electric accordion) -- tackles the compositions of celebrated pianist Andrew Hill, who came of age in the '60s with an equally distinctive sound, marrying the broad-brushstroke aesthetic of forward-jazz with the harmonic elegance of its classic antecedents. This is a challenge the guitarist understands. Check out "Nels Cline Plays the Music of Andrew Hill" on Monday, Jan. 30, at Yoshi's; call 510-238-9200 or go to www.yoshis.com for more info.-- Sam Prestianni

 
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