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 Liz EcksteinTHURSDAY, OCT. 13
Save the wet and homeless at the Glass House hardcore Katrina benefit with Bleeding Through, Poison the Well, Eighteen Visions, Ignite and Cold War; save the disco backbeat with LCD Soundsystem and the Juan MacLean at the HOB; save little shops, china cups and virginity with Richard Swiftat Detroit; save some of that shit for me, bro (p-p-p-p-p-puffffffffffffff-f-f-f-f-f-f) with the Kottonmouth Kings at the Galaxy; save yourself and stay in for an early bedtime maybe too.
Cabaret-core Berlin brattiness with This Blush, who march out the keys/drums/eine kleine Marlene Dietrich vox (just like the Vanishing did for a while) to instant and excellent effect—you might worry that the drama-major potential in something as baroque as this could break the whole deal, but This Blush thumbtack the expressionist apex of the OC Neu Wave. Debbie Harry and Lydia Lunch must've been good friends in real life, right? At die Koo's.
PLUS: Reliefapalooza rolls on with the Days End (heavy shellac), the Horns (don't know), the Alleged Gunmen (dub from above), the Minus Fashion (Au Pairs play faster), Tijuana Knifefight (Alex's band!), Telomere Repair (two dudes wreck rock) and the FlukewormQuartet (used to be Lukewarm Quarter but ate bad pork?), plus DJs and art sale at Alex's for victims of evil sister-canes Katrina and Rita. Thunderclap bang for baby bucks—$5!
ALSO: Swingin' Utters have a riot of their own at the Galaxy; Aimee Mann exists in blonde at HOB.
Power 106 daytime beat junkie Mr. Choc roots down the 5 for the OC Root Down club and a live set with MC Trek Life (who—yes—is actually aware of the sci-fi TV connection and drops in plenty of appropriate soundbites on his Keep the Receipt mixtape. They say he sounds hungry on the mic: maybe on agitated "Mind Right," but Rhettmatic-produced "All Times" is a laid-back car cruise down one of those palm-tree surface streets. At Detroit.
AND: Dischord Records' Medications does that District of Columbia thing: chords in blocks for choruses and in splinters for verses, plus smarty lyrics and up-above musicianship—exceptional tightness (tip it out for drummer Andrew) and evident smartness get about 16 good ideas in every two-minute song. Their momentum moves me forward at the Glass House.
AND MY GOD: The Bacon Brothers get footloose at the Coach House and keep the stage nice and warm as Juliette and the Licks and the Gary Sinise Band poke around for parking outside. Meanwhile, Gang of Four considers soundtracking the Aquaman movie. Truly!
ALSO: Foreigner REOs the BTO Speedwagon at the HOB; Japan rockabilly divine wind (Battle of Ninjamanz!) vs. California rockabilly damned smog (Calavera!) at the Galaxy.
TAKE THIS PERSONALITY QUIZ: IF. . . You don't own a collared shirt. You have said the word "punk" out loud within the past 30 days. You have said the word "bro" out loud within the past 14. You have said the word "respect" within the past seven. You have a belly. You drink beers. You have Sex Pistols or Adicts CDs kicking around on the floor mats of your truck, which also has ample cup holders. THEN YOU ARE: going to see the Misfits at the Galaxy. IF . . . You have Bowie records on vinyl. You have Black Sabbath records on vinyl. You have Kiss records on vinyl. You bought them all at the swap meet. You like horror movies—but foreign horror movies. You owned Lords of Chaos but you lent it to a friend who hasn't given it back. You can tell a joke with a polysyllabic punch line. THEN YOU ARE: going to see Turbonegro at the HOB.
PLUS: Ska is dead, but please pay money for a viewing of the corpse at Chain Reaction with Buck O Nine, the Toasters, Mustard Plug, Go Jimmy Go, the Un-Fun Slide and the late great Skahorrhea and the Burning Sensations—just kidding on the last one; real band but they broke up a long time ago.
And don't things get better if you just leave them be: little Senior Recreation sounds lots bigger these days, with the push-button bleep-bloops turned very low under very deep Ride/My Bloody guitar wish-wash and careful back-and-forth effects pedaling. I want music like this here, and don't you too: "I Sleep Much Better" starts like Spacemen U2, but of course they take it in the right direction: higher and higher. There is someone in this band who needs to shake the last webs of '80s FM radio out of his head still, but six more months and one less chord change and six more effects pedals and Senior Recreation is going to be floating in space. But tonight they are just bumping like balloons into the ceiling at Detroit, one more chorus for the new Costa Mesa Symphony Arkestra.
ALSO: Never in my sickest dreams did I conceive that the Blood Brothers would pole-vault from a boring show at PCH and an antsy show at Koo's to becoming the brightest hole poked through super-famous heavy metal. Note to current fans: I melted the entire early vinyl discography of this band on my dashboard in Huntington Beach because back then it was all about the Death Wish Kids' 7" anyway. With Coheed and Cambria, a comic-book-turned-prog-metal band: Mars Volta with bigger pictures or Rush with smaller words, whatever keeps the kids indoors these days at the Grove, where James Brown plays too.