By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Photo by Justin Francis,
Saline ProjectTHURSDAY, OCT. 27
Stereolab meets Suicide? Of course not, but a band never goes wrong when it kicks out everyone but the drum machine (Syd Barrett: we could have rebuilt you). New Broadcast is more lo-res ("Minimal," says the Home Office) than old Broadcast, which means it's more Young Marble Giants than ever: "Tender Buttons," how darling, with analogical synths -- cinematic like closing credits -- and "Tears in the Typing Pool" sounds like those pity pop songs people would write for Nico just to get her attention; meticulously cute from first note to last coy gasp. Another necessary show courtesy the brutes at Detroit.
PLUS: Sage Francis thinks politics when it's cold and dark outside; guess someone should, but if his raps got any more unsubtle he'd get 501c3 status. Remember what Mao said: all power flows from the bottom of a notarized document. At the Glass House.
ALSO: Union 13, los locos del Rancid at Chain Reaction; Bad Dudes vs. Monsterdudes at Koo'sdudes; UK Subs subsist on the pockets of algae on the pebbles at the deepest, dirtiest end of the fish tank and also mohawks at Alex's.
Epitaph grandfather band Pennywise does two days at the Vault because a good thing never needs to change: every generation a moment materializes just long enough for someone to catch it and actualize it, and Pennywise did that in like 1990 when they became the personality-incarnate of the dude-nation that only has enough collared shirts to wear to court appearances. Take this bet: 10 years ago, the guy who nepotized his way to being your boss was drinking Corona in a back yard and listening to this and Sublime. Class war!
PLUS: "Horror" "core" from I Am Ghost at the Glass House, running through the wet spots left beneath the Damned's Strawberries; if we covered Normandie Casino, that's where you‚€™d see Aceyalone.
The last drinking day before Halloween, and a cheat sheet of shows in descending order of terror potential:
RED ALERT: Dwarves at the Brigg: Blag Dahlia is black death -- maybe not like he used to be but as it was, so shall it etc.: "Play pussy, get fucked!"
ORANGE ALERT: It's not a beer belly, it's a gas tank for a cop killer with Ice T and Body Count (?!) at Irvine Lakewith D.I., who offer additional terror in a scared-straight kind of way.
YELLOW ALERT: Pretty Girls Make Graves-ly serious mixtape staples for people who scare themselves when their MySpace inbox is empty for more than 20 minutes. At Chain.
GREEN ALERT: Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band, back from 1992 with some terrible news: Clinton wins! At Coach House.
PLUS: Pretty girls make a mess with pudding wrestling at Que Sera; HELL_ephunk rides that downbound soul train to Detroit.
We were told the 88 sounds like the Kinks, which is excellent because the blood beating through my temples when I pilot a disabled passenger liner toward a perfect landing also sounds like the Kinks, but of course not quite: the 88 have a moment or two ("Yes sir, no sir . . .") just to keep some tension on the line, but else it's this year's suit and last year's Telecaster. All bands sound like this, with variations only in inflection and proficiency: pop rock finds one taste it likes and then just gorges and gorges till it pops, or, eh, deflates. At the Coach House.
AND: Moody hip-hop dudes Atmosphere taser ladies at the Vault: a little charisma, a little fixer-upper broken-heart appeal, and you can zap the fuck out of people who should know better. Tasered with the taser of love!
Horrorpops rip off the wrong Misfits -- Jem, not Danzig -- at the Glass House, and Alice Cooper rips off the young version of himself that surfaces now only in the tattiest used record stores and the loneliest moments of Alice's private dreams. Wayne's World was a hot lunch, but the first few were pretty good; when in doubt, always go with the old guy, cuz he'll work harder. Tasered by the taser of age -- at the Grove!
The blues have got the blues; the blues been pickin' out stems and seeds all day; the blues have got some goo up in their harmonica and some overalls that is getting tighter and some sound guy that is not aligned with the program; the blues is traveling via a poisoned bottle of whiskey from the barroom floor belly crawl to an early grave and an eternal shrine at the Hard Rock Cafe: Blues Traveler at the HOB, whee, and make sure if you're sick you recall to call the doctor!
Wasn't there an election in here somewhere? Vote Irish style: tipsy and often.
THURSDAY, NOV. 3
?uestlove and the Roots set up their bass and trap set for the parameter-dismantling live-rock hip-hop that makes people love them so: conscious is a birth condition and hip-hop is something you feel, and the Roots pulled together enough low tones -- from jazz, from soul, from rock & roll -- to make something that sounds pleasantly familiar to everyone. At the HOB.
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