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, MARCH 9
Demonstrating on some levels of machination that no one is getting, Electric Six sounds like Culture Club or Men Without Hats on grim purpose, further proof that band discoverer Jack White has insanity and perception hundreds of orders beyond normal humans. "If money talks, then I'm a mime"? "The future is in the future"? If this could get another level of stupid—it's close, and I wish them the determination and vision they need to get there—it would become Devo or Sparks—and oh, shit, they just started with the DeLillo references. True poison: a band to watch, particularly if people quit paying attention to them. Support by Every Move a Picture, who definitely do not get it and meep out more blazer-over-hoodie new wave designed only to sound good in stereos worth a certain dollar amount (the inverse of Velvet Underground, who sound better on worse equipment and best on stereos so broken you can't even hear them at all!). Actually, that was too many words; thanks to Franz Ferdinand for becoming Sublime to a new generation of generic bar bands. At the Galaxy, where stars float in space.
PLUS: Dream Theatre at the Grove, prepping Operation: Mindcrime 2 for people whose minds definitely need more operations.
The Cult of Lemmy lines up for anointing oils from the God Mole once again—Motörhead, like Johnny Cash or Cheap Trick, made music so sharp and dense it forever penetrated the stupid skulls of punk rockers, thus insuring them a career that would last forever since it is now apparent that punk will never a) die or b) get its parents to stop lending it money, but Lemaster (like Johnny Rotten, who admired his pre, head career deeply) always kept a lot going on behind the melting face. Like Hawkwind: heavy fucking band. Or Sam Gopal, which out-heavied Hawkwind with sick churning cave-psych that didn't even use any percussion heavier than some bongos and Lemmy's natural ability to throb on call. End result: the album Escalator hijacks your own heartbeat, runs it through 11 songs bristling with high notes more wasp nest than effects pedal and spits you out, exhausted and arrhythmic, at the back end. The Doors with Lemmy and sitar, not Morrison and organ: that's Escalator, which promises by track seven that "If you think you loved me living, baby, you're gonna love me when I'm dead!" And whatever happened to that young man who sang so hopefully of screaming chaos in his head? Motörhead at House of Bluesin the melting flesh.
Atmursphere reforms for the Christina Ricci bait-hop project Felt, which was originally designed like a better mousetrap to see if a concept-ish album about a not-inaccessible starlet could actually get Murs—or Slug and, now on this record, Ant—a date. At press time, results had been inconclusive. So the target has been reassessed: Felt 2: Lisa Bonet came out in July, and—there must be some logical explanation—suddenly Lisa Bonet has a movie in post-production after no documented work for, like, three years. Felt 3: Thora Birch coming summer 2K8? Also on the bill: El P, Aesop Rock, Living Legends, Cage, 2MEX and overanalyzed NPR-listener favorite Chingo Bling. Moved at press time to the Shrine in LA.
PLUS: Way cheesy ex-ska-kids in Foreign Born used to pound at Joy Division so hard you could hear brittle 26-year-old pelvis bones stress-fracturing, but demos off the new record sink into the Pink Floyd—oh, no, wait, meant Radiohead—territory and more of that blazer-over-hoodie fop-rock. Like many bands who aren't total scum, the vocals are pretty airy/goofy/drama-major but overall still a very laudable step forward. At Detroit.
What is it about scum? Scum is what it is, and while that's too basely motivated to qualify as honest, at least it's convenient. Kim Fowley decided at about 24 to become the biggest piece of shit who ever lived in the world ever, and he did—the Napoleon of scum! What I'm saying is I just admire good follow-through.
New new releases slink the week off, so here's one that's probably just barely showing up in stores or possibly never ever even showing up in stores in OC at all, in which case you need to make like listeners of Radio Farda and mail order. Just out on Soul Jazz is the second volume of extremely accessible and popular Everyman favorite Studio One Soul: Studio One Soul 2, which is the hockey score in the heart of every Music Institute engineering major and the sequel to the compilation that, unlike Matisyahu, does and will make every human who hears it finally decide to love reggae. Simple concept: classic Jamaican artists doing period covers of classic American soul—Aretha et al. with boomin'-in-ya-jeep bass. The second volume rolls around with Jerry Jones' creepy/cool "Compared to What," Jacob Miller's rerouting of Al Green's "Love and Happiness" into his own "Westbound Train," and Tony Gregory's Kingstonized "Get Out My Life, Woman" (originally by Iron Butterfly).
ALSO: Mail order Soul Jazz's Sound Dimension reissue—Jamaica's JBs or MGs, the funk house band for almost the best reggae label running.