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. 22
And begins the weakest week in show biz: the ice forms on all the venue doors now till New Year's, confining seasonal affective drunk and disorderlies to quarters and getting them good and desperate for that first vicious kiss of 2006. The most wonderful time of the etc.! Tonight: lit-up 88, Madman Moon and Helen Stellar zap Detroit.
Abolish holidays: TSOL and the Crowd plus more for pre-holiday nuclear detonations at the DollHut, getting back to their roots of cramming a billion people into a room designed for a dozen skinny guys and a hat rack to see some proto bands in their last remaining natural environment. TSOL had some problems with murder and lawsuits a while back—hey, they still got it!—but it's nice to see Jack and Co. flouting any extant legal prohibitions and turning out a show in the county's best sweatbox. Good stocking stuffer: beer.
PLUS: Days End and Sexy Time Explosion with rock chunks too loud for a baby's ears with door take going to put food/blankets/soft animals in a baby's hands as benefit No. 2 for the Long Beach Rescue Mission. The most wonderful time! Misanthrope music somehow makes goodwill toward men at Alex's.
AND PLUS: Technicali crew out in force to support Visionaries' project Writer's Block (Zen and Dannu), who have a new CD with super-posi lyrics over beats by Key Kool, Life Rexall, DJ Babu (Duck Season!) and more . . . and then LD and Ariano and Swiss Precise on the up-and-coming cut. Local hip-hop's last night before a short hibernation at the Blue Café.
The most loneliest time of the year: like Marines on picket, lots of us are stranded far away from home this and all times of year, while the rest of you toast chestnuts under the tree or etc.; what a godsend that Alex's Bar reaches out to those homeless-ish with somewhere to go get a little buzzed and dance a little sloppy on the night before sleeping late and listening to the worst John Lennon song all day. Good Foot DJs Dennis and Jacob plus buddy Jermaine forsake their own families (just a bit) to dole out some hot 45s like big bills into a Salvation Army bucket. Free to get in and meet some friends: Santa Claus goes down to the ghetto!
Common counts Coltrane and Gaye (and Bob Marley) as conscious artists, and the less modest assessors who surround him might knock him into that category too; his "Used to Love H.E.R." hit enough of a nerve that Ice Cube kinda wanted to do something harsh to him. True that West Coast explicitly didn't come off so great with lyrics like "Stressin how hardcore and real she is/She was really the realest, before she got into show biz" (she is "hip-hop," as the last line shockingly reveals), but if only Common could have seen even further into the future, to his show at the HOB and to Kanye West breaking script on TV and to Young Jeezy and Mike Jones and some guy named Puff something: "Now I see her in commercials . . ."
And speaking of self-made men: 20,000 calls a day is what Mike Jones (281-330-8004!) says he gets—you know what, lemme call right now. And: YOUR CALL DID NOT GO THROUGH, so disregard hitting Mike Jones up on the low cuz Mike Jones' fone don't work no more. In related news, when Brown University unwisely added an 867 exchange to its phone network, the two roommates unlucky enough to live at 5309 reported that they got at least five "stupid" messages daily plus tons of hang-ups: "It's the worst number to have in the world," said one. Uh, is Mike there? Plus hyperspeed psychobabble from Twista. At HOB.
Was John K. the Renaissantest man of the '90s? Except for the producers behind the Judgment Night soundtrack, sort of! Ren & Stimpy has somehow grossly become a half-a-classic, and if Family Guy gets a floorshow, then so do the Chihuahua and the cat at HOB. True, it's not music—it's barely television or history—but John K.'s self-penned theme songs had even more Hasil Adkins in them than his animation. Guy was "swampy," as they say—he deserves his mention. [Editor's note, v., v. last minute: this has been rescheduled for Feb. 9. Sorry, dudes! Blame Christmas.]
THURSDAY, DEC. 29
Eighteen Visions sold a billion records on Trustkill and made every song you hear when a soundtrack director needs a way to indicate that an 18-25 male lead is "troubled," and now they are signing to Epic, where the high heat of the spotlights might entertainingly melt their brains the same way what happened to AFI, who—before the Internet—used to be a hardcore band in the accurate sense of the word. Anyway: the black-T-shirt show Chain Reaction was born to get bursted open by.
PLUS: Los Lobos do it with restraint and maturity at HOB—but you can still wear a black T-shirt!
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.