By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
THURSDAY, JUNE 16
White light, warm jets: everyone loves the PaperPlanesand their fuzzball rocker "Fever Blister!" Great song; a Modern Lovers sort of New York Dolls sort of rip-off of the Velvet Underground, and just as funny, too: "I got a fever blister, baby!/It's causin' me some shame!" I mean, I don't wanna freak you out, but these guys could be the next Willowz, if their moms are as supportive. With one-woman guitar storm ChaseFrank(who does the White Stripes even better by ditching the drums AND the dude!) and the jazz-ish jams of the LukewarmQuartetat BJ'sCafeBistroat 7th and Redondo in Long Beach.
ALSO: Jazz as digestive aid with the ToddOliverQuartetat MemphisSantaAna.PLUS: R.I.P. Frederick Fulton, the Chet Atkins of Minto, New Brunswick.
FRIDAY, JUNE 17
Midwest dork-rock almost died after Screeching Weasel, but here it is in Long Beach at QueSera,with Chicago band M.O.T.O.as the latest length of a snail trail that goes back through the Zero Boys ("Stoned to Death for Sexual Offenses") all the way to the Gizmos ("Muff-Divin'") or Dow Jones and the Industrials ("Can't Stand the Midwest!"). The spirit is still Cheap Trick, but the flesh is only the Ramones, so M.O.T.O. roll along with a fat bottom end and no guitar solos and smart lyrics faking dumb: "Who cares about the starving people that you see in the street each day? I wanna dance-dance-dance-dance to the radio!" This is the band everyone wants when they turn thirty and won't give away their leather jacket, but they always fuck it up and turn it into an embarrassing cartoon: How many people with bald spots and Converses have started a song with the words "I wanna . . ." since 1977 and still escaped punishment? Rock & roll like this should just be a cartoon, period: dumb jokes, no big words and goofballs with funny names in stripe-y T-shirts but also—the important part—some actual personality and an ability to laugh at themselves. M.O.T.O., you are the Real Kids without a good guitar player, and you make the cave-rockers of yesterday proud. With HarborTownSaints,PatToddandtheRankoutsiders(ex-Lazy Cowgirls) and the GuiltyHearts.
ALSO: TheBangleswalk that way at HOB;Boombastic dancehall sorta-star Shaggyat the Grove;JohnDoeis too far away from us tonight to write about yet but he does have a promising new solo album to play at the Pressin Pomona; and Japanoise rock from Bleach03—MeltBanana vox over Sabbath chunks—and more at très cosmopolitan HogueBarmichaels!
PLUS: Heartbreaker ShanaLevy(Let's Go Sailing) and ArabyHarrison(Jejune, And/Ors) plus more (Chase Frank!)at a benefit for the Whittier Women's/Children's Crisis Center at SolArtein Santa Ana. If you see only one show with women playing sad songs on acoustic guitars, then ... wow, wait, punchline overload. Shana's great, though. The shy girls wanna be her and the shy guys wanna MySpace her.
AND: RoccoDeLucareleases his CD tonight at GypsyLoungebut we'll pick him up later . . .
SATURDAY, JUNE 18
We once had the nicest German intern, as idealistic and clear-eyed as ein volk could hope for, and like many young Germans, he loved hip-hop: der Diamond Ds, mein Main Sources, auf Alkaholiks, and of course Long Beach's UglyDuckling,who he considered as famous as De La Soul. But then he interviewed them and was severely depressed to learn that Ugly Duckling, like many rappers from Long Beach except for Warren G. Debs, were not socialists. "Why should the government give unemployed people an apartment and some money to stay alive?" MC Andy Cooper asked him. "It just makes the people unproductive! They should get out and find a job." His job, he added, was being a rapper, which is a fucking excellent job. At always-excellent club RootDownat Detroit.
ALSO: Teenage mod combo the Intelligistaat SolArtein Santa Ana; ska from left-behind-the-trenders the Slackersat ChainReaction;no gods and no masters will be admitted to the Galaxyto see Deicide.
PLUS:Gospel from ShirleyCaesarfor Juneteenth at 11 a.m. (!) at MartinLutherKingJr.Park(1950 Lemon) in Long Beach. Says Mahalia Jackson via a moving and powerful body of work that will last forever: "I can't go to church and shout out on Sunday/Then go out and get drunk and raise san on Monday," so that means no midnight happy hour at the RedRoomtomorrow for you.
SUNDAY, JUNE 19
Brutal yet delicate dude-core from the dudes in Saosin,who just got signed to Capitol so America's teenage males can mosh the (inner) pain away. Ritalin is the heroin for this generation; that's gotta be the reason for the damaged chemistry behind all these hectic start-stop mall-metal songs about alienation and depression, right? These castrati Iron Maiden guitars, the drum set that's just double bass and crash cymbals, the smooth-voiced pair of dudes who sing things like "I have your voice on tape in a southern accent screaming at me!" and make a lot of low-key religious references too: that all means, "I feel crazy, so up my dosage." Of course, that was the Stooges, too, but they didn't need to ask their parents for a prescription. At HOB.
ALSO: Today is Father'sDay,scum—you know who you are. All dads like JamesBrown;Studio One reggae notables AltonEllisand SugarMinottplus more at the QueenMaryEventsPark.
MONDAY, JUNE 20
TimKinsellais famous—like 1990s famous. Through his guilty hands (in Cap'n Jazz and then Joan of Arc) flowed the guitar pop/noise that would melt and warp via nth-generation misunderstanders into the mutated casualty rock of, like, Bright Eyes or Phantom Planet or something, I dunno, whatever rich professional sad people are around right now. Anyway, the horror of what modern life did to his well-intentioned self-expression made Kinsella go a little crazy, and now he tours with noisier/poppier band MakeBelieve(lemme fuck you up with: "It's like Jandek replacing Joey Santiago in the Pixies!") and interviews journalists before they can interview him; at ChainReactionif you want to see a real grown musician doing something heartfelt and weird and therefore kind of cool.
ALSO: MerleHaggardat the CrazyHorse!First of two nights!
TUESDAY, JUNE 21
Supposedly out today: Ol'DirtyBastard'sfatal ASonUniquealbum, packed with guest spots by Ol' Dirty Bastard recording session survivors like Ghostface, Beanie Sigel and Missy Elliot, all of whom were currently non-overdosed at press time. The Wu-Tang Clan had reunited for a farewell-Big-Baby-Jesus track, unfortunately not finished quickly enough to be attached to this album, but there's still some sad times to be had in Missy's song, like with (as reported by MTV) a chorus that goes: "Dirt Dog, Dirt Dog, he's our man/If he can't do it, no one can." In related news: all Eskimos, submarines, armies, navies, air forces, marines, women, babies, munchkins and schoolteachers plan a respectful shout out to the memory of Ol' Dirty at sunset today.
PLUS: Have you heard the new WhiteStripesyet? The British non-NME press says, "This sounds like a rushed and unfinished collection of demos that could have been something very good given more time." And the American press says, "Of course it's good! Brilliant! Perfect! Oh, Jack, you've done it again! Oh, yes, Jack, it's . . . oh, Jack . . . oh YES! TELL ME I'M BAD, JACK! . . . OH!"
ALSO OUT TODAY: Blue Cheer blues with PearlsandBrass(on Doppelganger) and driftwood and seaweed on the LostLegendsofSurfGuitarcomp on Sundazed; Jim Washburn, please review this.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22
Dobro-toting star baby RoccoDeLucausually plays his Appalachian hill-person music for the hard-bitten dudes that relax at the Gypsy Lounge after getting off shift from the coal mines around Lake Forest, but then Kiefer Sutherland—who has started a record label perfect for Juliette and the Licks—signed him and now he wields clout enough to open for Lifehouse(the Christian, uh, Matchbox 20, and thus Jesus wept) at HOB.
THURSDAY, JUNE 23
"Ow! Jack! Ouch! Ouch! Ow!"