Get Out!

May 11 - May 18: Mad Like Eldridge Cleaver

Little-but-not-for-long Cold War Kids appear between tours with cowbabies Two Gallants and cardigan-jockeys Tapes 'n' Tapes for a show at the Galaxy that will be probably be the last chance for new people to see them before they are lifted out of their day-job lives and up to indie rock heaven. New songs are the best they've done yet, undoing years of boring vacuum-sealed OC tightness—hardcore and pop-punk and No Doubt all had every breath of air flattened out of them in the studio. Instead, someone used a very precise producer's ear here, finding equal space for the calculated post-punk minimalism that made Joy Division throw out almost all the drum rolls and the cultivated idiosyncrasy that made Dylan and Loudon and Neil Young all sing like screechy freaks, though in a new and beautiful sort of way, of course. Cold War Kids are being very careful to put their own sound together—all the demos in sequence is like a telescope locking into focus—and that's gonna take them pretty far, I think.

Since this is the week of wild men and their mild guitars, let's ply you with this little playlist: Kevin Ayers, the ex-Soft Machine singer who so mastered a certain depleted kind of psychedelia that Syd Barrett—soon to be completely depleted by psychedelia himself—helped him sing a nice little song called "Religious Experience," though here we will suggest instead the more melancholy "All This Crazy Gift of Time." Or Meic Stevens, the Welsh Bob Dylan who mostly sang in Welsh, dearly endearing him to such as the Super Furry Animals, whose "Love Owed" adopts instead an Appalachian lilt and ends every verse with a sad little curlicue of a lyric ("For you, you are my only one . . .") and a hangdog harmonica honk. Or the ferociously cracked Trevor McNamara, an Australian maverick who played every instrument on his Yeah Captain LP and then paid to press it up himself. The facility with which one incorrigible colonial could dip so effectively into every worthy micro-genre of psych proves forever the value of criminal genetics. And then almost-super-famous Steve Peregine Took, who got Pete Best-ed when Marc Bolan abbreviated their old duo into T. Rex, and who recovered with obvious amounts of drugs and the possible covert help of his buddy Syd Barrett and recorded "Beautiful Deceiver" about 1971 with beautiful acoustic help from various Motörhead personnel. What a nice present you just got.

The Epoxies
were drama geeks who heard the Dickies and Devo and that was it; they've never worn anything but stripes and Day-Glo since. Pop-punk with a radio heart at the Galaxy.

Saturday: Tutti frutti. Photo by Autumn DeWilde
Saturday: Tutti frutti. Photo by Autumn DeWilde

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