By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
THURSDAY, DEC. 8
Crzzzzy distorto-dreadnought rockers Immortal Lee County Killersare the heaviest thing out of the American South since the Merrimac: everybody in the world wishes Can had been the Allman Brothers, so here you go for piles and piles of two-note organ runs that rattle like a train trestle under an overloaded freight. Three shaggy dudes got the Blue Cheer Summertime Talkin' Blues, and of course that's what we like: there is a certain type of person—dressed in a certain type of jeans, picking lightly at a certain type of acne, suffering a certain species of vicious insomnia—that will like every little piece of this band, from the roboed-down campfire songs to the brontosaurus stomp; settin' the woods on fire at Alex's.
PLUS: Mack 10 at HOB; Matt Costa and fun friends at Detroit.
They put the Actuel back in the Smell: LA band Silver Daggers run a cult like the no-wave Beefheart-bluespeople in the Contortions, who could ride the rim of comprehensibility so ably that it made them seem even scarier: the tiny bits of right you might hear make everything else seem even wronger, a soundtrack to a foreign film from another planet. Silver Daggers (sax/keys?/guitar/drums/unpredictable etc.) can go very free—monkey pockie boo rockie roll—or stiffen up just enough of a backbone backbeat that you can catch the silhouette of a song; when they sound no-wave, that's just them relaxing. Headliners !!! have record-collection roots that go down deep, and Silver Daggers opening just shows what kind of nice things happen when two groups have the same BYG and 99 releases in their cold rooms. At the Glass House.
ALSO: Bauhaus are the Rolling Stones for people raised in slightly more broken homes; Bela Lugosi's dead and loving it at the Grove.
Despite admitting in print that he likes Coldplay ("Obviously!"), Ride guitarist Mark Gardener may well still have a life/a clue/a great reason to pull some people out to this intriguing show at the Gypsy Lounge: they weren't Loop, but Ride was just under My Bloody Valentine—the Kinks or Who to their mopey shoegaze Beatles—in the great psychedelic wish-wash guitar revival of the '90s, and songs like "Seagull" and "Nowhere" (title track on their best record) are still so creepy and deep that you can find undiscovered shipwrecks at the bottomest end of their bass lines. Gardener returns for an acoustic set and then—backed by O.C.-alums Goldrush, who sound like British people who like Ride but don't like buying as many effects pedals—a full set of solo stuff and Ride "classics," plus a few "surprises" ("And Your Bird Can Sing"?), or so the British press would have us expect. Sleeper smash show of the week!
PLUS: Local subway-sound guitar roar & roll with Paper Planes—"Fever Blister" will be your "White Light/White Heat"—and One-Woman Guitar Storm™ Chase Frank and twinsie two-piece Hell At Night, who put out about the thickest thorniest pop songs you can get without just tipping over into the Sonics; sounds like Lust For Life with a thumb on the turntable, or maybe the Pixies all trying to burst out of one jittery guitarist and a drummer who hits really hard. We owe you a spot on a CD comp, guys. At Fitzgerald's in HB.
AND ALSO: Cave In collapses Chain; rechristened Nafro finds natural love at Detroit; Schleprock schleps back for some more at the Galaxy.
Mexico City D.F. in the house and a long way from home: MC named Bocafloja—an actual b-boy in non-occupied Mexico—is on a north-of-the-border tour to revisit old friends like 2MEX (with whom he shared the standout track "Chillaxing") and support his newest record, Jazzyturno, which aligns (international) production that wouldn't sound sour on an Up Above release with flow en español that would be an unmistakable West Coast classic if he served it up in English. With support from the Nomadic Sound System all-stars—tuff-gal JROZand her DJ Ethos, most notable—at the Blue Café.
AND: The Abyssinians' overcast take on reggae wasn't supposed to work—even Studio One was like, "Fellows, lighten up!" at first—but pensive rockers like "Satta Amassa Gana" and "Declaration of Rights" (released after great peril and perseverance) mostly established the minor chord in Jamaica, making for a whole new sound that fit perfectly with the revolutionary rasta politics that were just about to mushroom into the charts. One of the world-changers at the Coach House.
PLUS: What's new, Tom Jones? You're the Sean Connery of soccer-mama pop at the Grove.
Don't drink and mosh.
We knew 'em back in the Booby Trap days: chain smoker/bar bouncee/guitarist/singer Annie Hardy (OCW Feedback Class of '04) and drummer/more Micah Calabrese are one of those bands to watch, at the very least so they don't accidentally ash on your sleeve. Amazing the lack-of-shit-giving an Interscope subsidiary will sign a check for—meow, meow-meow-meow, meow-meow-meow is how the lyrics go—but more credit for Giant Drag for stubbing out those cheap cigarettes on some suit's bank account. Sound equals the first Rentals record if Petra Haden got to sing every song—what should have been, etc. Except Annie is a lot meaner and funnier, to the point where dickless dumbshits decide to play gunslinger and hassle her with lame heckles at every show, just for the rare experience of getting a grown woman to actually talk back to them. Kill them all, Annie. Kill them all. At the Glass House.
Early Man got to Black Sabbath late, but wow: How worshipful of the dark lord could we be? "Death Is the Answer" is a precisely machined redux of any of the heavy ones from Paranoid, right down to the light delay on the vocals when he sings anything like SAY-TUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. There is nothing new in this band, but there is every single old thing they need, every last note exhumed without even an atom mutilated, misinterpreted or lost. The Motörhead cops they do demand a hammer to their hands—actually, this sounds like Metallica, who have poisoned their own legacy all the way back to their mamas' suffering uteri—but oh, the slow and heavy ones. Fast shit is for jocks. With the Rolling Blackouts—history will vindicate them one day as the best there was. At Detroit for Vice Nite #2.
PLUS: Pennywise and the Suicide Machines, the Lawrence Welk lineup for ?2022 at the HOB; Xiu Xiu goes weirding at GlassHouse.
THURSDAY, DEC. 15
I am out of space. Sorry, Glen Matlock at Fitzgerald's. Sorry, Kelly Clarkson at the Bren. Sorry, last Starvations show at Galaxy. Sorry, OC Weekly. Sorry for everything.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.