By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Photo by Keith MayDerrick is lead wordsmith of the John Wilkes Kissing Booth > The Longpigs, Mobile Home. Here's an album from the best band in England right now, reminiscent of those Sinatra moments where you can hear the booze affect some of his phrasings.
> "Digging Your Scene" by the Blow Monkeys. This song turned me a quarter gay. It sends me back to the days when incredible bands like the Trash Can Sinatras, the Hoodoo Gurus and the Primitive Painters made me peg my pants so high and so tight that people thought I was riding my Rob Roskopp skate deck in spandex.
> Fingerprints Records in Long Beach. I've often walked into this store (which seems to hire only sultry lesbianesque dynamos) and asked the clerks something along the lines of "Give me an album that will remind me of the Church's 'Under the Milky Way'"—and they know! You can always find Mogwai and Grandaddy rarities, Godspeed You Black Emperor! EPs, and everything Modest Mousey.
> The Afghan Whigs at the El Rey Theatre in LA. You could see just about any band here and become a huge fan, because the sound is oh-so-very nice. And no one oozes charisma and sexuality like Greg Dulli, except for the late Walter Matthau.
> Mission UK at Linda's Doll Hut/Weezer at the Lava Lounge. Both of these shows made me scream, "Can you believe it?!? Holy padoly!!!" Even more amazing was the fact that two fistfights broke out at the Weezer show. It's not like they're Bel Biv Devoe or anything.
> Square/Jay Buchanan/At the Drive-In/The Lassie Foundation/Bikeride. Our favorite local sexpots. This isn't because we know them—we don't, but we wish we did. We'd hump them severely for making us heave with delight. These are actually some of the tightest, most inventive local bands we've seen.
> Linda's Doll Hut. Ten thousand gallons of spit flavor each microphone at Linda's. Linda herself makes you feel extremely loved, even though you're nothing.
> Club Rubber. This is the best place to bring a lowered truck and a butterfly knife. We break out our LOCO SENTIMENTALS HONDA TRUCK CLUB stickers and do our fair share of stankonia jeepin'.
> The bar at the Hotel Queen Mary. Insanely weird versions of cover songs by a husband-and-wife duo in an Art Deco lounge that's always empty. Take someone special there, get them tossed, and relive Das Boot.