Belly Up Tavern, Thursday, December 20, 8 p.m. 858-481-8140. $17.
Jackson Browne says they're one of his favorite bands, and he compares their vocal harmonies to Crosby, Stills, and Nash -- an appropriate choice, because David Crosby calls them "the best vocal group in the country." And did I mention that they're from Southern California and that they've been together since 1977?
Still, you'd be forgiven for never having heard of Venice -- at least, if you don't live in the Netherlands. Over there, the band (named for the Los Angeles County beach town where it was founded) is a big deal. Venice won the Dutch equivalent of a Grammy in 2003, and Venice does a lot of touring in Europe. (Things must get confusing when Venice plays in that other Venice.)
Back home, Kipp Lennon, Mark Lennon, Michael Lennon, andPat Lennon (Kipp and Pat are the younger brothers of the Lennon Sisters of The Lawrence Welk Show fame; brothers Mark and Michael are their cousins) keep busy doing session work. Members have recorded or toured with not only Browne and Crosby, but Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Sting, Stevie Nicks, Chris Isaak, and just about everyone else on classic rock radio -- oh, and Ozzy Osbourne, too. Kipp has sung on several episodes of The Simpsons over the years; according to Venice's website, it's him singing "Happy Birthday, Lisa" in that early episode where Homer meets a mentally ill white guy who thinks he's Michael Jackson.
Jackson comes up again in Venice's concerts, where the band sometimes throws in the Jackson Five's "ABC" with a medley of "Love the One You're With" by Steve Stills and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." Maybe those three songs seem to have something in common if you speak Dutch.
VENICE, Belly Up Tavern, Thursday, December 20, 8 p.m. 858-481-8140. $17.