Listen to the recently released Hot Burritos! (A&M), an excellent two-CD Flying Burrito Brothers anthology, and you can basically hear what these embroidered-cowboy-shirt-wearing Angelenos are shooting for on their eponymously titled Sub Pop debut. Vets of indie-rock footnotes like Further and Strictly Ballroom who toured behind Kurt Heasley as the Lilys for a spell, they also borrow the ragged harmonies of early Grateful Dead on the truckin’ “Sister Rose,” while guitarist Chris Gunst’s frail singing voice and pretty melodies like the one from “Silver Morning After” bring to mind Arthur-era Kinks–but Gram Parsons is obviously the top god in their pantheon. Though they’re never quite as good as any of their idols, they’ve definitely mastered that nice sun-soaked cosmic-buckaroo sound, anchored by Dave Scher’s fluid, mind-expanding pedal steel and Aaron Sperske’s surprisingly propulsive and buoyant drumming. The Essex Green, a pleasant, Zombies-ish chapter of the Elephant 6 collective, open. Wednesday, 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508. Beachwood Sparks also performs Wednesday at 3 PM at Reckless Records, 3157 N. Broadway; 773-404-5080. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Autumn deWilde.