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, MARCH 23
Sahara Hot Nights were the Runaways with Ikea finesse—easy to put together and (forced to admit) actually pretty well-designed—that Kim Fowley's Frankenstein paws and Dr. Frankenstein ego could never have let him create, and similarly Scandinavian band the Sounds do the same thing but for Blondie. It used to be only Britain could re-brand a band like this, but then Japan got really good and now the Volvo/fjord countries are shipping 2006 models over like there's a warehouse to fill. Buzz me when someone gets around to Television or Real Kids, tho. At the Glass House.
Adolescents sit regal for small-ish club show at Alex's, the last decent venue to see bands that touched huge and then relaxed back to legendary. Black Flag, Adolescents, Flipper—just kidding, not yet—Radio Birdman—someday soon?—and of course the Bell Rays all peeled a little paint off the walls here. The last place where punk shouldn't be laughed at, and Andre Williams coming by in a month and a half!
PLUS: Pretenders wipe out survivors at the HOB; Fishbone flops around at the Galaxy.
It was the summer of 2002 and the Strokes had saved rock & roll for the kind of people who listen to three new records a year (all of which they got in the mail for free, anyway), but it was still a good time because the Strokes were girl-bait of the highest potency and a close friend of mine started several ultimately unfulfilling relationships with New York City models who subconsciously wanted to get back at their fathers, simply by wearing a pair of $200 jeans and asking if they liked that song "Last Night." But the thing about the Strokes and New York City models who want to get back at their fathers is that they don't know how to end things with dignity and grace. You dated Drew Barrymore and you did a record on Rough Trade—go home! With Eagles of Death Metal, bloody Kasserine desert rock of the highest potency. At the Pond.
PLUS: Dudes from Anaheim record store Beats Vinyl Life debut their Saturday Night Basement reggae club, playing Treasure Isle to Crucial's Studio One. DJs JFX and Mr. Kees (whose wise smiling face you may remember from a particularly renewing Aural) mix in Far East Sound (Crucial veterans) DJ Chicho at the Sandbox on Katella in Anaheim.
AND: R-A-W-K and roll all night with Rye Coalition, last seen riffing like Bon Jovi for New Jersey hot moms but now at the Galaxy; Ray Barbee and his flying guitar at Alex's.
Scum-train kept a-rollin' with Detroit's Dirtbombs—unheralded Detroit techno dabbler/ex-Gorie Mick Collins, sometimes heralded young rock riter Ben Blackwell on one of two drums, helping with the heaviest rhythm section out of Michigan since the Bob Seger System—and Atlanta (or something) band the Black Lips, who slid fully soused from fetal form to ripping off the Cramps and the Rolling Stones by age 4. Too young for Legos—choking hazard—but just right for "Satisfaction." Now they're all grown up—maybe 21. Scuzz-fuzz at the Glass House.
Model Airplanes play indie rock, a term that should have died when Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein threw sharp brown rocks at each other's heads in a desert field in 1994, but persists on with bands derived from influences so contained and specialized you de facto need a college degree to make any sense of it. Jangle-jangle-angular-jangular, and songs about love or maybe just girls. The Embarrassment and the Feelies were good bands, though. I wish more people would use acoustic guitars at Detroit.
New Yorker-feted Wu banner-bearer Ghostface Killah raps like ziti at the House of Blues on release day—like it finished up a prison stint, or it just bent out the bars at the zoo—for new album Fishscales, a kaleidoscopic personality tornado extraordinaire. Fish ties lots of tiny knots in Ghostface's usual OCD delivery and pounds in production by MF Doom and several other people last week's album leakers did not spare time to credit. Probably one of the most anticipated hip-hop releases of the year, until Madvillain 2 materializes—probably with Ghostface on it too.
PLUS: Rhett Miller of alto contrario lonely-prairie-night band the Old 97s, now with some new 97s to support his solo deal at the Galaxy.
A note for the little ears: $MARTYR (2MEX and Life Rexall) is as bangin'-ass as they promised.
THURSDAY, MARCH 30
Wee-bro (OC Weekly-designated bro) and Gri-bro (Ellen Griley-designated bro, which is what you graduate to after you can handle your liquor) Matt Costa in an "intimate" (no flip-flops) performance at the new Glass House record store in Pomona, angling (if they get Steve Wynn) to be Fingerprints north.
PLUS: Bro-a-billy (what you graduate to when you just don't want to buy the Sun box sets) band Demented Are Go go go go at the HOB.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.