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
Photo by Guy ArochTHURSDAY, AUG. 18
Suddenly people care about Innaway because they can get guest-list to the Brian Jonestown Massacre show at the Vanguard: "Oh, Jim, oh, Jim, remember when I saw you at Second Spin that time? And you told me not to buy that Coldplay record? Oh, man, that was so great!" Fame is fun: people suddenly present you with so many options!
PLUS: H.R.'s got his attitude at the Coach House and Agent Orange drone on at Galaxy.
Maxeen plays pop and pop is simple: "Please" is the Police too fast plus some Warped Tour bad ideas ("Guys, let's vintage up these vocals!" "Awesome, dude! Giggle giggle giggle! Oh, play an octave!"), and "Strangers" is the Police too fast plus some Warped Tour bad ideas, and "Delete Lola" is actually very correctly and proficiently the Police too fast, with the bad ideas dropped for a faithful Andy Summers guitar echo and Copeland drums, so: Maxeen, you got a good idea, but why don't you just cut the cheese and do it? Thank you for reminding us that the Police were good, if also kind of slow. At the Alley in Fullerton.
AND: Ten years ago, and how young we all were! The Weekly was just a couple of black-and-white photos of transsexual hookers stapled to a Vons bulletin board, Paul Frank was just a dude eating a banana and poking himself with a sewing needle in the back of an OCC calculus class, No Doubt were playing Cal Poly Pomona to one guy in a porkpie and Converses, and Bob Dornan was riding a falling nuclear bomb straight into Loretta Sanchez's campaign headquarters. And . . . Memphis was just a sticky bowl of hushpuppies and a Herbie Hancock record, but now they're a welcome beacon for brains in a puddly swamp of bros, bringing some of the best live music the county gets to Detroit and serving Bloody Marys the morning after at two local locations that you have certainly visited. Tonight, they celebrate with retro-whether-they-like-it-or-not rockers the Measles and Filmstar reunited for one sappy, invite-only show at the Lab-adjacent Memphis. Costa Mesa: Seriously, will it ever stop rockin'?!?
PLUS: Some humans from Drag the River set the woods on fire at the Gypsy Lounge; Fag Hags and The Indigents at the Brigg; Four Freshmen at the Balboa Bay Club: rich people—will they ever start rockin'?!?
"Longevity, baby!": De La Soul had ups—3 feet high—and downs—sued by the Turtles—and then the long climb back up, but they made it last year with The Grind Date, a super-sharp and right-up-to-date album (not one but TWO Xbox references!) that pretty much lands a long and wobbly somersault that started right after Buhloone Mindstate. The lyrics switch back between ha-ha to hmm-yeah to my-God-what-admirable-clarity-of-perception, and even the guests test out: only Sean Paul's "Shoomp" sags a little, but Ghostface goes nuts on "He Comes," MF Doom bounces through the middle of "Rock Co.Kane Flow," and Flavor Flav burns rubber all over "Come On Down": "De La Soul, you've done it again! Good rap music is now back on the map!" Aw, Flav—your enthusiasm is so contagious! Plus: Zion I and Crown City Rockers—who match Berklee-alum live musicianship (sort of a Roots/the Rebirth thing) with backing samples and guest MC Scarub (from Living Legends)—and plus-plus Blood of Abraham and grand verbalizer funkin' lesson Brother J of X-Clan, who will start his set as soon as protection by the red, the black and the green with a key can be confirmed by Queen MaryExposition Hall security, sisssssssssssssssssssssssies! Plus more: Battle of the Year breakdancing finals to cut 16 of America's best crews down to a winner to represent all 120 million of America's b-citizens at the world finals in Germany. Best hip-hop show on a boat in Long Beach since Slick Rick stayed just technically off U.S. soil last year.
PLUS: Black Mountain is opening for Coldplay because brains and ears are growing back: this will easily be the best band you see play an arena this year, if not ever (Pink Floyd?), and they are so good that both babies enjoying the inarticulatable pleasures of liking things exactly as they are AND parents who remember when it was all just called "rock & roll" will feel warm spots they forgot they had: Velvet Underground, Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Pink Floyd, isn't it so easy to love this band? At Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. Old people: this may be your last chance to see something cool. Two nights, too.
ALSO: OC hip-hop duo Emanon bestride the county from which they came at Root Down at Detroit; Mastodon and Black Sabbath do a Strokes/Lou Reed thing at Ozzfest at the Glen South of Hell-en Pavilion in Devore; Big Sandy can't do 60 no more at his birthday-billy bash at the Galaxy; Staind is shitd at the Grove.
AND: The Adolescents, back from the black hole at HOB.
Jucifer eat Black Keys and crap White Stripes: one little gal guitarist who sleeps in her Marshall cabinet at night, one hairy drummer who brings back fresh kills to their campfire each morning. Like 25 Suaves, this band plummeted through the two-piece trend because they were just too scary and heavy, but they stomp onward nonetheless, hunched up front in a tour bus entirely filled with guitar amplifiers. At Alex's.
ALSO: Chain Reaction swap meet: I'll trade you a Men At Work single and a Belinda Carlisle LP for one Dashboard Confessional hoodie and a Rufio promo CD because THEY ARE ALL THE SAME THING ANYWAY.
Bob Seger rules.
Call it the Great Rock & Roll Swindle, please, so people will remember how scary and smart the Sex Pistols were and keep reading. In February 2004 geriatro Mike Peters—you may remember him from his third-tier punkish rockoid band the Alarm about 1982, and you also may remember Billy Beer and Eastern Airlines, all of which shared massive success later—knocked out a poppy punk song called "45 RPM," then had a bunch of 18-year-olds lip-synch to the video and released it to the world as a poppy-punk song by 18-year-olds. So . . . it charted at #27, which it would never have done if the name "the Alarm" was attached to it because no one likes that band anymore. Which proved that, yes, the music industry is founded less on actual music than on panicked second-guessing to satisfy the worthless tastes of spoiled adolescents—the fake Alarm's influences included "the Pistols, the Clash, the Buzzcocks, Rancid, Less Than Jake and Good Charlotte," as well as eyeliner, hair gel and never reading lyrics sheets, and also never reading—and that no, no one wants to invest any money in a bunch of 44-year-olds who sound like Rancid and Good Charlotte. It's sad that legit musicians had to waste time on frat pranks, and it's sadder that "45 RPM" was such a cheeseball song regardless, and sadder even ever after that it charted anyway. Breaking news: no one's ever gone poor selling shit back to assholes. Here's the same lecture the frat would have got: with these kinds of pranks, no one looks good. Why can't you be more like De La Soul? Mike stands alone at the HOB.
ALSO: Poppy cheeseball? Don't mind if I Jamison Parker at Chain; Bad Dudes and Neon Lipstick and This Blush rock & roll all nite and Weimar Republic every day at the Blue Café.
Hip-hop Smashpop Collective takes over the Blue Café to confine you within an iron cage of funk; Stitches guitarist Johnny Witmer and TKO Records check-signer Mark take over Alex'sBar to confine you within a rusting cage of punk—Johnny has a bottomless pit stacked with the most serious vinyl ever, so don't do anything sudden.
THURSDAY AUG. 25
Backstreet Boys joke next week at Verizon Wireless, and just leave me alone until then, okay?
See Calendarlistings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.