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, AUG. 11
The return of Brandon the Image Bulletin guy, reinforced into a full band: like Gary Numan back to Tubeway Army, from the caves to the moon to the caves. The old-school solo project Image Bulletin—Brandon trapped by three synthesizers and a raft of effects pedals, at certain instances more Moog than man—was a Costa Mesa sort-of version of the Normal, and after Ellen Griley casually name-dropped him during an MTV audition—"You've been CLUB'D!"—we all thought he was destined for the same sort of lonely stardom that keeps the guys in LCD Soundsystem up at night. Instead, he disappeared . . . till tonight's show at Detroit. From the darkness—a bleep!
ALSO: From the darkness—a bloop! with Kill Me Tomorrow and Dance Depantser Movement at Chain; fall in love with ex-Soundgarden Hater at Alex's; Cold War Kids chill out at Basement Lounge.
Came to me in the same dream where the Bravery recorded a dub 10": Gravy Train!!!! was going straight—wait, I mean square—and leaving the J.J. Blowfly porn-electro to the future generations, or to DJ Assault, whose "Ass 'n' Tits 'n' Tits 'n' Tits" was already out as a white-label. Lovergirls Chunx and Funx and loverboys Hunx and whatever Brontez's fake name is—Flunx? Spunx? He's done it all!—had steadies and wanted to ditch the sex songs and get real, which was the same thing that wrecked the Beatles, whose original Let It Be . . . Naked was released in bowdlerized G-rated form in 2003 with unfortunately cleaned-up versions of "Get Back (Up on My Ungh!)" and "Across the Universe (You Made Me Gay, Girl)." Luckily, this was just a dream, and Gravy Train!!!! still hide classical piano training behind chipmunk raps about hand jobs and boners, not unlike R. Kelly, who should really initiate a collaboration before one or the other of them ends up in psychiatric custody. At Koo's, with some frightening freaky fans: zits and tits, poppin' out all over.
ALSO: Dennis Owens' club Good Foot at funky Que Sera, as best as it can get. Wear the same hot pants you just wore to Gravy Train!!!!, yet for deeper reasons.
Mystery night at club L_ephunk: the smokescreen-slash-hints are that "special guest" is will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas—even though Black Eyed Peas are playing with the Dave Matthews Band up in San Francisco that night, and even though playing with the Dave Matthews Band at all is giving up every last shred of humanity except the one that cashes checks (though the reunited Meters will be face deep in that same cargo-shorted crotch in October). Anyway, that's a boring rumor, so let's pretend instead that a certain rapper who's working on the same label as scheduled performers DJ Exile and Blu—something-something Toastface something—is gonna parachute into Detroit from a black helicopter.
ALSO: Country singer Toby Keith is a dust-bowl troubadour decades out of his element, whose signature song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)"—an amplification of the sentiment that also made Keith write THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS on his battered acoustic guitar—lifted him to stardom as country fans searched for a voice that articulated their own conflicted feelings about the outsider experience in America. Populist Keith suddenly found himself something of a spokesperson, and to his credit, humbly shouldered the responsibility that comes with fame, pushing to keep the struggle of the American working class—like the Oklahoma oil drillers he once worked alongside—in the public's mind. After returning from a USO tour of Iraq in May, Keith called a press conference to explain his own considered views—as an artist, a thinker and an American—on the war in the Middle East: "Looks like everybody is declaring war against the forces of force. That's what you get for building up a big war machine. It scares your neighbors into jumping on you, and then of course they themselves have to use force, so you are against their force, and they're against yours. The millionaires has throwed their silk hats and our last set of drawers in the ring. The fuse is lit and the cannon is set, and somebody is in for a frailin'. I would like to see every single soldier on every single side, just take off your helmet, unbuckle your kit, lay down your rifle, and set down at the side of some shady lane, and say, 'Nope, I ain't a gonna kill nobody.' Plenty of rich folks wants to fight. Give them the guns." Then he married Renee Zellweger and wouldn't let her wear shorts outside the house. Oh, wait, that was Woody Guthrie. With Shooter Jennings at the Glen Hell On Earth Pavilion in Devore.
PLUS: The special guest is YOU at club Pépe Le Pue at Que Sera; Koufax finds true facts at Chain Reaction; Ugly Duckling coming up on that swan song at Blue Café; Club Rubber's Beach Ball inflates ass 'n' tits 'n' tits 'n' tits at the Galaxy; Sendaero shine at Bamboo Terrace.
ALSO: Fuck Toby Keith: "I've been trying to see him for six years. All it took is for me to go to Iraq and get shot at," a satisfied Lt. Raub Nash, of the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, told a reporter in Mosul in May. "In college, I was too poor to see him." Die for famous country singers' oil, sucker!