PEDAL STEEL HEARTACHE: We're suckers for anything played on the pedal steel guitar; doesn't it just sound like the music of the 10 outside of Blythe? Robert Francis rocks the instrument, and some from-the-soul lyrics, too, at The Echo. Monday, January 12, 8:30PM. Free! 1822 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. 213-413-8200.
WHAT THIS YEAR NEEDS: MORE ROPE TRICKS... It's official. We're lacking in the saddle-up gumption that a cowboy/girl requires. Will Ryan and the Cactus Country Cowboys can remedy that. How? Tricks with lassos, of course. And other tall-tale-ish tomfoolery... Monday, January 12. $10. Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. 323-666-4268
HOT VAL'S EXPLODING UNDEAD LIONS SHOW: Comedy gig names run the gamut. There's good, there's weird, and then there's Hot Val's, which is in its own class. It's Garage Comedy night, the cover is friendly (helloooo, $1), and the laughs? We can all use them at the start of the week. Monday, January 12. El Cid, 4212 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. 323-668-0318