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, APRIL 6
Digable Planets' Ladybug (now Ladybug Mecca) comes out to pollinate the flowers in springtime and flutter off last year's solo record Trip the Light Fantastic, which dipped a sleepy hand through her Brazilian homeland tropicalia—lots of finger-picked guitars ("Leaving It All Behind") and reverbed dub-psych ("Don't Disturb the Peace")—before thumbing on the sampler and stacking up some beats. Informed fans of Digable will dig how the windows have been thrown wide open; casual fans may miss that dusty Blue Note bomb-shelter vault stuffiness. At the Galaxy.
Psychedelic Furs live forever in prom scene montage, but singer Richard Butler had to fashion a long life out of whatever the end credits left behind, and after 20 years his first solo record is here: Furs-esque drummy orchestra-in-a-box pop that's halfway to good but a long way from awful (backhanded, yeah, but I love Big Star and I still can't give much at all to the new record—no one can ever go back again, can they?). "Broken Aeroplanes" sounds like Pink Floyd for like two seconds but then the dread sets in: soon the guitars will come, and with them, Incubus. But it's actually not that bad, cute in an aw-dad kind of way ("We're broken aeroplanes/On the runway"). And "California" is the necessary Furs sop—vocoder melancholy with a little too much confidence in the vocals and the reverb setting, but by a certain dashboard light it could get to you. Plus the inescapable "Pretty in Pink" at the Coach House.
PLUS: I thought Zombi were monster Goblin copiers—one Italo horror folds into another—but instead these guys look to Giorgio Moroder when they wanna gross people out. Motorik ambiance hovering like fog between the end credits of Blade Runner and the middle section of Neu 2. At the Glass House.
So who was surprised when Bad Religion syndrome sufferer/celebrated thesaurus explorer Greg Graffin got half-busted for (allegedly) wanking it live on the Internet to fan girls who actually were extremely thrilled to inspire Greg Graffin's it being wanked live to them? Guy is in a band with three guitar players all sliding synchronized up and down the fretboard—that's poisonously phallic enough to prime even the most pious old punker (status that makes him doubly cursed to turn in times of loneliness to the Internet, which hums day and night with the muzzled longings of old people and punkers both). Anyway, he (allegedly) wanked it live on cam to some girl and she put it in her livejournal and for a few happy days, people could talk about Bad Religion without mentioning anything about the music they play and play and play, demonstrating anew the joy possible in sex. Girls' night out at the Grand Prix thing in downtown Long Beach.
PLUS: Rootsy down-to-earth stars the Kelly Bowlin Band big pink out for a night of local Laguna rock & etc. at the Coach House.
AND: The Soft Hands aim toward the Urinals at the Gypsy Lounge; Ozma back for progeny with Rooney at the Glass House; Stones Throw's Oh No and MED at the Abstract Workshop at Detroit.
Not sure what's happening with the long-promised-but-oh-wait-pushed-back Chali 2na solo record—Jurassic 5's bassest MC has been working for years on his own release and apparently it's even been done for a few more, sneaking out scale by scale as the Fish Market mixtape or the "International" 12" (production by Dilated People's Babu) on Up Above. But that's it? 2na keeps busy—hear him on the last Breakestra full-length, or spot him onstage with same—and did an interview shrugging off delays as typical fish/pond/considerable-size-discrepancies record bizness as usual. Maybe next month . . . but live with Lil Rob at the HOB.
That new Flaming Lips record comes out this week.
Zolar X/Alice Cooper space-rockers Valiant Thorr play make-believe rocket-rock at the HOB.
And in further Psychedelic Furs news: Tom DeLonge (Blink-182) and his new band Angels and Airwavesplay their first (official) show ever at the Glass House for kids safely born long after Flock of Seagulls dropped out of prominence. Blink dude singing over super-produced '80s hair-pop, or maybe what every slow Blink song would have sounded like if there weren't two other guys around to remind Tom about NOFX. Would probably have been hugely popular eight years ago but will still sound daring and futuristic to fresh little ears dodging curfew.
PLUS: Thomas Dolby was hugely popular 24 years ago and could still sound futuristic today if only he'd been put in suspended animation right after "She Blinded Me With Science." But the technology just wasn't there yet: science marches on at the HOB.
THURSDAY, APRIL 13
Lost boy Rocco DeLuca is headed from the coal-y hills of Appalachia to the diamondelle wet bars of the big time, thanks to patronage by Jack Bauer and also Joel Beers. A slide dobro was never so toasted at Detroit.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.