By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
THURSDAY, DEC. 15
Glen Matlock should have been in Iron Virgin (real band: song is "Rebels Rule" or something stupidly righteous), but instead he got stuck being the only musician in the Sex Pistols. Can't believe he gets slagged as the wimpy one when every day at noon you can hear Jonesy juicing one out over Cat Stevens. At least Matlock still plays music, as opposed to Jonesy, who just plays Playstation. Or Lydon, who just plays back his answering machine even though it always says zero . . . hoping . . . hoping . . . hoping . . . at Fitzgerald's.
AND: Remember the Starvations? If you read this Friday, you'll have to. At the Galaxy.
YET: Kelly Clarkson at the Bren; at least she worked hard to get where she got, which is: not waitressing. For now. God bless her!
Storied rootsman (or soul man?) Chris Gaffney and stalwart side man Dave Gonzalez glide in for a landing with their Hacienda Brothers band at the Blue Café, unwinding that lonely-night-drive desert rock & roll (pre-QOTSA co-opting the region from the SDQ) just like a ringin' a chow bell. After some long nights of dental-assistant blues (little pain, lot of anesthetic) at the Blue, it's so reinvigorating to get Gaffney and Co. under a soft set of lights.
PLUS: Some humans and the hair products that made them famous perform at the Coach House as something to do with members of "boy" "bands" like "New Kids on the Block" and "98 Degrees," which make as much sense to me now as news of the moon landing did to those last stubborn Japanese infantrymen staggering out of the Philippine jungles in 1981. Did these people ever really exist? How? Who paid for them? And why are they back? Please, just let me return to my unit and keep fighting—it's the only life I ever really understood.
Kenny G., who's he? The godfather of non-soul, the hardest-working non-man in non-show business, non-soul non-brother number one! Mr. Please Please Stop! The New Minister of the Super-Lite Non-Funk! Mr. It's a Boring Man's Man's Man's Man's Man's Boring World! Mr. No Sax Before Marriage! Mr. Not in the Mood! Mr. White Lightening! Did you know Barry White got this guy started, sometime after he finished his accounting degree? America: land of self-parody. When your parents go to this, do drugs in their marriage bed and listen to Pharoah Sanders. At the OC Pavilion.
PLUS: Texas Terri in the role she was born to consume: fronting a Stooges cover band, with support from valued Stooge conscript Mike Watt. If this is great, it will be great, and if this is a train wreck (à la Metallic KO), it will be a godhead blessed train wreck like a train dropped from a high-altitude bomber into a cramped mid-mountain tunnel, where it will collide explosively with a nuclear submarine full of orphaned war babies. Desperate rock & roll fun show of the night; play "Johanna"! At Alex's.
AND DOUBLE PLUS: House-restoring super DJ Greyboy captains the last OC installment of beloved funk/breaks/hip-hop/etc. club the Root Down, the counterpoint Detroit night to Abstract Workshop. We'd miss you, Root Down, but we'll just brood about the long drive when we come visit you in LA instead.
AND OMEGA PLUS: Just fuck it: the Rolling Blackouts drink tap water and subsist on the fumes from the Lomita Del Taco and are even so disadvantaged they play better and write better than almost any band in LA except the ones the Rolling Blackouts themselves suggest as opening acts. One day you'll pay—pay them, because they deserve it. At Revolver Project at La Cave with some nutty nuts.
Have the Bad Dudes found a singer? They almost don't need one, but if NASA could fit an astronaut into a Mercury capsule, then these guys can push some skinny little guy in between all the dials and hoses and sparking oscillometers that make up most of their agit-prog rock songs AND bring him back to Earth alive, too. Devo plus Beefheart: go on down to the big dig at Chain.
Only 14 shopping days left till some boring day in January.
Anaheim's Willowz knock knees with the troglos in the Vacation, who wanna be Dead Boy Dictators but drop in more like the Knack after a macho major-label retooling. Fifteen years ago they would have sounded like Poison—in fact, gloss this up a little and they would still sound like Poison. Bonus suck: computer-generated Australian caveband Jet love them, same way Jet love wis-kee and wo-man. Predict: stripy shirts, leather jackets, aw-right and a shitload of enticing merch. Verdict: Rolling Blackouts or roll over. At Glass House.
I have plenty to say about Social Distortion, who begin playing more shows in a row at HOB than probably any band has ever played in Southern California, but I have to frame the arguments a little more perfectly to maximize the editorial response from people who were concentrating on drawing the Misfits logo while some teacher was covering basic sentence structure; in related news, Joe Houston, wild man of the sax, battles illness in North Long Beach, and we wish him the wellest.
THURSDAY, DEC. 22
Amoeba flagship band Helen Stellar finally ride on down to the OC with their wall-of-sound flapping behind them: Cameron Crowe (who ruined me ever going on tour with bands with that Almost Famous shit; remember, Lester Bangs died with his mom paying his rent—why don't they make a movie about that? Doesn't do nobody any good to get famous after they're dead!) likes them and therefore probably likes Slowdive/My Bloody/Loop if he's on his shit and Jesus and Mary Chain but only the song the Pixies cover. If you wanna be cool like Cameron Crowe, get rich and head on down to Detroit, where our Madmen Moonsopen alongside the 88, who wear clothes and write songs with equally flaccid élan.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.