Just got back from seeing Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. Decent crowd for a Sunday night – about 2000 in attendance – including ?uestlove who was down in the main bar area, eating Rice Krispies treats.

This is the third time I’ve seen them perform in a little over a year (last two times were at the El Rey and Hollywood Bowl) and even though their stage show is fairly consistent, tonight was especially cool because they debuted at least three new songs from whenever their upcoming new album (not sure on when that’s dropping but one would assume later this year). Sharon also added “A Change Is Gonna Come” to her set list which I thought was awesome given 1) the obvious timing of it and 2) the fact that she pulls it off competently[1].

Speaking of which, I have to say that the single best song in her live repertoire is “Let Them Knock.” I don’t know why I never paid that much attention to it on the album itself, but in concert, the song is amazing. See/hear for yourself:

After this LA gig, she’s headed up to the Warfield in S.F., then Portland, Seattle and back home to New York for two shows at the Nokia in Manhattan. After that, it looks like they’re probably hunkering down to finish the album since they don’t have any more tour dates (aside festivals) listed.

By the way, I was just thinking about this tonight but for all the built-up drama of Amy vs. Sharon back in 2007, that all has more or less petered out to be nada given that Amy is now milkbox material while Sharon’s still out there, doing her thing, and paving a way that, in 2008, saw artists like Raphael Saadiq, Solange Knowles and several others following closely behind. Notch a few wins there for the Dap-Kings.

Before I forget – new Daptone’s 45 (on their Ever-Soul subsidiary) is available soon: Eddie and Ernie’s “Bullets Don’t Have Eyes.” I’ll blog about this eventually but you can sample it here in the meantime.

Also, while I have your attention. If you’re into hip-hop, in the LA area and are looking for something to do on a Monday night, come out to Claremont McKenna tonight for a panel discussion that includes my friend Jeff Chang and colleague Ebony Utley.

And while we’re on the topic of upcoming shows, if you’re not already up on the Timeless Series (which kicks off next weekend), don’t waste time, getting tickets. Mulatu! J-Dilla tribute! Verocai! Axelrod! All backed by orchestras! Holy sh–!

[1] I regret to inform that I was excited to see that Lorraine Ellison does the song on her Heart and Soul LP (which is where “Stay With Me debuted) but it’s a pretty terrible version – the arrangement is ill-fitting which forces Ellison to sound somewhat shrill in the process.