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 30
2MEX and Life Rexall are $MARTYR and also a monster collaboration that knocks passenger-panel-rattling beats into mad-genius lyrics, a Shapeshifters/Visionaries team-up that's as deeply satisfying as MF Doom heading to war with Kool G Rap. New album out on Cornerstone R.A.S. on April 11 is already good, but these guys leave boiling sneaker prints with every step across the stage. Don't be a dummy. With Ill Lit at the Starting Gate in Los Alamitos. Discount offered for being a girl.
Dilated Peoples and their superduper DJ Babu (he of the Duck Season mixtapes) with North Carolina's Little Brother, who have their own just-released mixtape hanging out in the merch box and who quietly blog—hurts to type the word—stories about road wisdom and hip-hop philosophy that deserve the public service announcement status they put in as a joke. Good to be smarter this week at the HOB.
San Diego's Battalion of Saints made their own "more legendary" mark after a stint as the poppier Nutrons: real fast '82 hardcore that stayed that way for a few years (and didn't metal down like Void) and then axed it around '85. This since-2002 lineup augments only-original singer George with two of the guys from Gravity hardcore band Heroin (whose take on hardcore was a lot, ah, different from Battalion's) and some other, more beer-drinkie dudes. Not boys but still fighting at the Brigg.
PLUS: Washout old guy Peter Hook returns for a DJ gig at Detroit to make up for being totally shown up by a Costa Mesa law clerk who learned how to play a better set than he does in only half the lifespan. "Blue Monday" or "Warm Leatherette": of such choices are characters built.
So much hate.
Northern learned a few names by Googling histories of rock & roll but really basically sound like the Pinkerton Weezer foofed up with all those blazer/hoodie bands that oil up the soft-focus scenes on The O.C. Like Main Source samples: This ain't America, is it? With support by impeccably credulous Murder City Devils wank-off (we are) Vipers, who are "fueled" by "drugs, sex and cigarettes" but are nowhere near as exciting as what happens when you actually mix fuel and lit cigarettes. At Detroit.
PLUS: Even Dave Davies couldn't do much with this kind of ass-backwards country-rock clusterfuck ("Come on, girls, better put your best boots on!"), and now that punk rock has entered the clusterfuckinator, oh, what spectacular ass-backwardness we suffer to the world. Two Gallants are wiry idealistic little kids who literally sing about drinkin' whiskey to forget and long country roads and all the other index entries in Sing a Sad Song: The Life of Hank Williams (Williams, R., University of Illinois Press, 1981), which makes them hugely inspiring to the kind of noodleheads who say things like "Johnny Cash was the original punk rocker!" and think not graduating from high school cements their blue-collar credentials. This is seriously cheesy stuff—Crimpshrine with Fugazi drum breaks, lyrics to caption illos in Wild West Weekly and probably a hollow-body guitar just a-twangin' away through a Marshall stack. That the Starvations even had to exist in the same universe as this—this fuckin' guy, whistling over dubbed-in wind-blowing sounds; is this a Pace Picante commercial?—is just one more reason to say "asodhkgfhjsgkjfdsgdfhdgh." New York City? Get a rope at the new Glass House record store.
Buchanan cannoneer Jay Buchanan detaches from the mothership for a solo set at the li'l ol' GypsyLounge, where strip-mall ennui fades away with every cozy drink.
The unfortunately named Floetry, the British neo-soul sisters with voices (and with a commendable tendency to feature guys like Common and Mos Def on their songs), display a dedication to that f-l-o shtick that means album titles that sound less like romantic scene-setters than something to do with the part of a bird where solid waste comes out, i.e., Floacism. But please, don't think of the part of a bird where solid waste comes out the next time you're in a deep wet tongue kiss. Please. At the HOB.
THURSDAY, APRIL 6
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.