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, FEB. 2
If someone slightly changed a few settings on Tiger Army's guitar setup, they would become something really close to the early Cure and the Smiths, and if someone slightly changed those pyramid pompadours, they would also become something really close to the early Cure and the Smiths, and if someone took all the lyrics where they talked about the devil or ghosts or vampires or whatever and replaced them with unisex pet names like Fatty, then, well . . . Cure and Smiths. In fact, everything popular with guitars is the Cure or the Smiths. Thursday you're in love at the HOB. And Friday and Saturday too.
PLUS: Foreign Born and the Cure and the Smiths plus, uh, Joy Division at Detroit.
Let's make sure the Germs never die; let's keep any of them who have day jobs away from their day jobs; let's get them weekly shows so every kid in a handcuff belt at the Block can't use their allowance for worse things; let's run them through the set so many times that the old muscle memory tops itself over and over and they begin to crack old limits and establish new ones that the teenage Germs could never have imagined; let's give them a new career that gets as experimental and druggy as the Beach Boys and ends up playing the same county fairs; let's overshadow Shane West's cooling acting fiasco so totally that pretty soon all he can do is fatten up on beers at Screwball and start writing new lyrics; let's adopt a statistical system confining the number of active punk bands to 1/250th the proportion of California's disenfranchised youth and then gerrymander the tallies so the Germs are the only ones legally allowed to plug in their guitars; let's make "Shutdown" as hockey-friendly as "Rock 'n' Roll Part III"; and let's get Darby's grave so sticky with soccer-mom kisses that pollinating insects go there to feed. At the Vault now and hopefully forever.
PLUS: Kottonmouth Kings back at the Galaxy for two days that, depending on how well you sync up your substance abuse, will either drag so hard every note decays from dinosaur to fossil somewhere on its way along your ear canal or snap off so fast that the only evidence you can muddle out is a few bucks missing from your wallet and a few alveoli crusted over in your lungs.
Kim and Co. back as the Muffs for 2006, their Muffs-itude by this point as hard-coded into their DNA as my poor vision or your tendency to puff out like a water balloon after two or three beers. "We're actually kind of self-influenced at this point—is that a bad thing?" they ask. Well, it wasn't for the Ramones, who still have a few years on the Muffs' 15 up and strumming, but by the end those leathers started feeling as tight and institutional as straitjackets, so here we will offer a little spark of fraternal concern for the Muffs, one of the official non-Offspring guitar bands of California's early '90s. You don't wanna end up your own cover band, right? We already have enough bro-a-billy posh men out here doing that. At Detroit.
PLUS: And more Kottonymouthing at the Galaxy.
They're just homely beach kids/They don't go to bars: TSOL-spawn the Diffs are SoCal's youngish-est and therefore proportionately most lauded punky rockit band, scoring ambitious opening acts via an extremely machined stage show and a little bonus boost from the famous patersanguineus. Some of the dudes who were around enough to get Posh Boy records the cheap first time say these kids sound like the Germs; there's a lot of DKs between these four kids, especially in singer Richie Slick's too-low-for-Jell-O vibrato—heard this same effect on lots of songs on old Mystic comps, so guess he's doing some kind of homework—and the I'm-a-Repo-Man surf-pop guitar on "Can't Escape." Plus a lot of the Germs, too. And GBH. Succor for 14-year-olds of all ages at the Brigg.
If you saw Black Mountain open for Coldplay, you saw what it would be like for the first humans to step off the lander on Mars, and if you didn't see Black Mountain open for Coldplay, perhaps it is because you bought tickets off me in the parking lot, so thank you for supporting free trade. At the Pond with Fiona Apple.
Things Willie Nelson has smoked: cigar/Cuban cigar/left ponytail/Martin N-20 guitar/Hank Williams memorial 10"/family Bible/right ponytail/Kris Kristofferson/IRS Form 9465/IRS Forms 656 and 433/Gary Busey/Learjet 25D (currently owned by Columbus State Community College)/BioWillie brand trucker biodiesel fuel/Farm Aid/Toby Keith/18 acres in West Texas and 12 in Maui/exiled Democrats in the Texas legislature/weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed (maybe). Stranger and stranger at the Grove.
Il y a des cactus: Frenchman Naim Amor uprooted himself from Paris for sunnier days in Tucson, Arizona, where words like "chimichanga" and "chuckwalla" offer not even the sloppiest Gallic cognates. But Naim found amis nonetheless: the spaghetti Western stargazers in Calexico and Old Pueblo old-guarders like Al Foul sussed out a fellow traveler and started trading sit-in gigs with Amor, who proved himself a charismatic performer and a very capable arranger, with solo projects that are absolutely adorable as dampered-down four-track pop pieces ("Woman Who's a Woman") and cavalierly charming once someone puts on a little studio shine ("Son Grand Sourire"). Arizona's a good place to die, someone—Lee Marvin?—once said. Good place for a few petits mort on the way, too. Ah, romance at Detroit.
AND: The Sex Pistols Experience: drink beer, like the Sweet, live way too long past 35. Available every day on Indie 103 or as a band at the HOB.
THURSDAY, FEB. 9
Will never come.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.