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, MAY 4
The thrilling returning bands of my youth: beyond-longtime LA Weeklywriter and LA rocker Falling James is apparently back for a little reunion ride with his Leaving Trains, the revolving-door rock band who floated up with teenage iconoclasts like the Last in the early '80s and who had a song—maybe a country song, maybe a glammy song, maybe a really raw punk song—for each most vital juncture in old weird LA's life span: the paisley years, the Courtney years, the Cacophony years, etc. Now all those places are vacant lofts and all those people have moved away. Except Falling James, bringing a little Al's Bar vibe to Alex's Bar tonight.
A lot going on for the Cinco this year, but get delivered the best with Andre Williams, the Bessemer, Alabama, bad man who faked his way into the Navy at 14 and got discharged into show biz a year later, scuttling after anything Detroit would throw him. That blew out into recording greasy soul sides for Fortune, producing for Motown, popping capillaries with Ike "Snow White" Turner and fighting for the reclamation of the credit he earned for his song "Shake a Tail Feather," which is as one-der-ful and mar-v-lus as the little labels that released it. Except for guys like Andre, rock & roll probably would have ended in 1956. And how did he do it? He delivered: "If you go fuck three girls in one week, you fuck all three of them good! You know what I mean?" he told the great zine Perfect Sound Forever. "If you do a song, put you heart in it! Don't come up with no bullshit lyric! Come up with the real lyric! If the word is 'Take it out, let me see it,' then say it! Don't say stuff like 'Ooh, you look kinda mysterious to me.' That ain't sayin' the same damn thing!" At Alex's with the Flash Express lifting off Rodger Collins and Harvey Scales.
PLUS: Official rock & roll Cinco annual with Manic Hispanic at the Galaxy, who have used a beers-and-backyard-parties vibe to make the Galaxy their own punk rock theme-park ride just one or two lucky days a year.
AND: Cypress Hill high on fire at the Vault; the KBIG disco inferno with KC and the Sunshine Band plus Gloria Gaynor and no one who can correctly pronounce "kitsch" at Verizon; the hopeful Hollywood All-Starz—including drummer Vinnie Appice, who joined Sabbath in 1980 and left in '82 to form Dio—at the Blue Café.
AND AND: 2MEX and Life Rexallare $martyr at the Bellagio in Garden Grove.
How's Kanye West going to get in the history books he already likes to talk about? Chuck D dignity or Flavor Flav regret? Psychic says the dignity, pending of course the coming economic collapse, which will humble us all, graduates and dropouts alike. Through the wire to Verizon.
AND: Detroit hip-hop/soul/funk/etc. club l_ePHUNK celebrates five years of fine nights with a special all-star DJ deployment including famed Stenberg Brother Shepard Fairey (appearing as DJ Diabetic) and LA's media-friendly DJ Pube$.
MONDAYBubba Sparxxx rapping about ass over an ambulance siren—kind of makes the point in a way Andre Williams could appreciate. "Ms. New Booty" even has the same rocket-on-target momentum as "Tail Feather," except instead of doing the old-timey up-an-octave "aaaaaaa-AAAAAA-AAAAAHHHH!" they get the Ying Yang Twins and say, "Booty booty booty booty rockin' everywhere!" Take it out and let them see it with Juvenile at the HOB: "Your chest is just whatever/I found the hidden treasure!"
Numero Group out and about again this week with the latest in their Eccentric Soul series, a CD line of reissues focused on lost or just slightly forgotten local labels from the '60s and '70s—past time travels have landed in South Florida, Central Ohio and downtown Seattle, all as motowned as Motown in their own personal ways. This week: the Big Mack label, a left-field (or left-out) Detroit indie that pressed stacks of daring, powerful funk/soul/R&B/even acid rock 45s but couldn't work out a distro deal to save their life. Or their business, which is how they went under and their office got condemned. But Numero back for the resurrection this time—second chances a long time coming.
The Roy Gorbisons—formerly the Bloody Hollies, until they got cease-and-desisted by the Hollies and the American Society of Hematology—haul in some horse blankets from the back of their car for a residency at the Doll Hut, where they will play the usual sort of Doll Hut music, which is to say acid-folk like Comus. Naw, they have pompadours and sing about movie monsters, probably. Flying-saucer rock & roll every Wednesday.
AND: Boyz II Men several steps closer to the end of the road at the HOB.
THURSDAY, MAY 11
El Fall: not so much a band as a point of view you begin to adopt at a certain age, when consistency of performance becomes a lot less important than consistency of ideology and vision—when the idea itself is paramount. Soon after this age, you begin typing out letters to newspaper editors, starting up a lot of uncomfortable conversations on public transit and wearing Kleenex boxes for shoes. At the Glass House.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.