Are You Too Late for the Trend?
28 Local Greats

(Long Beach) Wanna know what a hard-on sounds like? It's right here on the PaperPlanes' self-released EP, and it's called "Fever Blister," with its killer Velvets-purloined riff that the Strokes tried hard to nail down but never could and the fantastic, desperate plea from PaperPlanes singer Micah Panzich ("I've got a fever blister, baby!/It's causing me some shame!"), all coated in snazzy guitars and chaotic yowling that manages to neatly wrap up in just more than two minutes, like the best rock & roll always has. But hold up—there are still vast realms of unexplored greatness in the disc's 23 minutes. "Constant Frustration" is a snappy shuffle, with lines that may or may not allude to American occupations of foreign countries (PaperPlanes aren't political, at least not overtly). "Mexico" has terrifically poppy choruses that, in our secret fantasy world, we retreat to whenever the officemates have Fox News turned on; "Mexico" should be at least as mega as "Hey Ya" was. "Time Won't Build" has a jangly quality that feels like it was separated at birth from REM's Murmur (with lyrics based on "The Torturer" by South African-born Zulu poet Mazisi Kunene; PaperPlanes aren't just an incredible band—they're smart and literate, too), sad and plaintive yet gloriously so. And "Live How We Live" is their epic, a nearly nine-minute song littered with handclaps and scream-out-loud hooks—you might think of Big Star, but like everything else on here, they hammer it into a marvelous object of their own design. WHEN YOU CAN SEE THEM NEXT: at the Gypsy Lounge, 23600 Rockfield, Ste. 3A, Lake Forest, (949) 206-9990. June 25, 9:30 p.m. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: listen to their whole EP at HOW YOU CAN GET A HOLD OF THEM: (Rich Kane)

(Costa Mesa) Satisfaction have solemnly sworn to make the world safe for air-guitar solos, which really just means they're sick and tired of hack musicians who bury their lack of chops in volume and enthusiasm. They're tired of punk, in other words, though they'd never actually say it. But singer Michael Rosas has done blustery and pummeling before (in bands such as Head First, Inside Out and Smile, who were heavy as fuck in the beginning), and he's been running toward craft, dynamics, layers, studio effects and challenging arrangements ever since. Now finally free of the shackles of Smile—a successful local band, to be sure, but one with a defined sound—he's able to indulge in all the classic melodicism and prog-inspired soundscapes his creepy little heart desires. Rounded out by drummer James Fletcher, keyboard player Matthew Fletcher and bassist Aaron Wahlman, Satisfaction makes you realize just how much that loveable garage band down the street—the one with the kids who are so full of youth and energy, ready to make their mark on the world with their whole life stretching out before them—actually sucks. WHEN YOU CAN SEE THEM NEXT: with Far Out, LA Riots, Color Turning and Controlling the Famous at the Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 209, Hollywood, (323) 463-0204. Fri., 8 p.m. $7. All ages. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: four-song demo coming soon! HOW YOU CAN GET A HOLD OF THEM: (Alison M. Rosen)PART THE CLOUDS

(Costa Mesa) "I keep coming back to David Bowie, Komeda, Ray Wonder, Supergrass, Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Roxy Music, Jim O'Rourke, Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control," says Part the Clouds' Jason Medina. "And if there are any OC bands we should be playing with, we haven't met them yet." Not quite the unbearable lightness of being in a power-pop band, but Part the Clouds—together only since February—are still at the baby band stage. Well, call it the baby genius stage: Matt Adams (also appearing as the Blank Tapes), Medina and Matt McCluer trade guitars, basses and keyboards every song or two, with drummer Joel Williams watching the back-and-forth like a tennis match, and there isn't a dropped note between them. When Medina sings (a smooth baritone—who knew?!), it's bright guitar pop like the Embarrassment, the Last or Big Star's cheeriest moments; McCluer steps in and switches over to the sort of understated mood pieces that close Before and After Science, except with better drums: "When you put your arms around me," he murmurs, "I'm weaker than I used to be." About a failed love, he says, but it's written in a positive light, and that's the only about-a-girl song they have so far. "I write about people in my life that piss me off or that I'm envious of. I also write about people—like myself—that have a hard time setting and reaching their goals," adds Medina. "Motivational hymns, I guess!" WHEN YOU CAN SEE THEM NEXT: in Costa Mesa sometime soon. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: there's a fresh CDR sitting in someone's bedroom. HOW YOU CAN GET A HOLD OF THEM: (Chris Ziegler)
Photo by Tenaya Hills

(Long Beach) Nice guys, these BlowUpBlow guys, but if their songs sat down next to you on the Blue Line, you'd scooch over. "Lost All Control" is as queasy and threatening as the last-call bar floor under your feet; when Pere Ubu says it's just a joke, singer Paul Zansler answers back with "Final Mistake" and its red-eyed nostril-flare chorus: "I wanna laugh!" Those tinny guitars came from space or maybe the back end of a Keith Hudson LP; the rhythm section came from either Detroit, Cleveland, Berlin or just Rush ("[Drummer] Bob [Kurthy] is King Prog, and the rest of us are but humble rock & roll knaves," says bassist Dennis Owens, whom you may have spotted in the DJ booth at Good Foot one of these Fridays), and they definitely speak their own language. "Super Tonite"—coming soon as a club-friendly 12-inch, and a song Zansler says makes him piss from happiness—stops and starts at right angles so perfect they've got to be playing the drums with the headstock of bass. But they're not. They've just got "osmotic empathy," says guitarist Eric Dunn. And it helps that they practice in the dark. WHEN YOU CAN SEE THEM NEXT: with the New Fidelity and Makeshift Love Affair at Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St. (entrance in back), Long Beach, (562) 434-8292. Sun. Show starts at 9 p.m.; BlowUpBlow plays about 10:30 p.m. 21+. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: single ("Final Mistake" b/w "Promise") on Soft Machine out now or in a few days. HOW YOU CAN GET A HOLD OF THEM: Or Eric said you can call him personally if you can stay up all night every night without crank. But his phone number was illegible. Still, nice guy. (Chris Ziegler)PLAY PRETTY FOR BABY

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