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, MAY 18
Randy Holden finds caveman-soul torchbearers in a band called Jucifer: a gal named Amber Valentine who deploys then destroys several hundred pounds of guitar amplifier nightly and a drummer named Edgar Livengood who hunkers under his trap set like a gunner in a bunker. They snipped all social ties and went full nomad a few years ago, moving into an RV and booking one of those permanent tours other bands have panic attacks about, and they rumble from bar to barnyard scaring chickens and thrilling hogs with some heaviest Sabbo/Pentagram/Melvins power rock. Newer material pokes back at a folked-out Holy Modal protest moment—these are times that favor only the hardest or the softest—but don't worry because the amplifiers still get to come out and play live, I think. At Alex's to peel a little paint.
PLUS: In totally unrelated news: Ginger Sling rocks a daring hairdo and a Josie Cotton record for the kind of pop-rock they sell in blocks down at the police auction lot. At Detroit.
Kiss Fits puddling together two cover-band concepts like ammonia into bleach. Makeup and hairspray sure are a lot of fun, but even Gene Simmons would've got a haircut and a skin-peel by now if it wasn't for all them yearning soccer-mamas pitching hot hoo-hah at him post every country fair rockstravaganza. People love their cartoons, though. Yet if you took the midget Kiss band (Mini-Kiss) and the girl Misfits band (Ms. Fits) and the fat-guy Misfits band (Danzig) and the other midget Kiss band (Tiny Kiss) and the homeless-guy Misfits band (the Misfits 25th-anniversary edition) and divided them all into each other, what would you get? I don't know, but I'm sure it would still live with its parents. At the Doll Hut.
PLUS: LD & Ariano release an album with heavy-lifting help from Chali2Na, DJ Rhettmatic and Key Kool, LMNO, 2MEX, and any rapper who can hop a ride down to the Blue Café.
Etta James could shout hard, pin a heartbreak vibrato, talk dirty with the dirty dudes in the Johnny Otis Show (who were sidelining XXX LPs as Snatch and the Poontangs) or even just brace her legs and screeeeeeam when the circumstance demanded it—it'd take one of those James Brown fireball femme fatales to even get warm to the kind of thing Etta was doing when James Brown himself was still just Mr. Please Please Please (Buy This 45 Cuz I Need a Hit!). Support by Los Lobos and a lot of international guitar characters at the Doheny Blues Fest in Dana Point.
PLUS: Queen Mary NeighborhoodFest with today's stars today: gimme draws like Moving Units and IMA Robot and just added/revived Icarus Line and then lovely locals like the Rolling Blackouts (Thin Lizzy plus Led Zep) and Mika Miko (Liliput plus Red Cross pre-the-name-change) and Sexytime Explosion, who have elevated to a wild new order of rock-en and sound like '82 Black Flag plus Kim Deal Pixies songs like "Into the White." And Steve Aokidescends from a fluffy white cloud to deejay too! Cinespace by the sea at the QM Events Park.
Blues gets funked when Tower of Power sets up for an hour at the Doheny Blues Fest, which is great because nothing blows the dust off a clunky old guitar like 10 quick blasts from a trumpet/trombone brass section. They might not have written "Foxy Girls in Oakland" (that's from Rodger Collins, enjoying an unprecedented two mentions in two weeks in this distracted music section), but by God, they lived it. Famous Bay Area funk that held down the top end of the state the same way Charles Wright kept SoCal nailed to the ground. With B.B. King shining a little sun on the latest Lucille and more in Dana Point.
Home is where the floor is.
Walt Disney gets an extra pitchfork jab in the ear when the Revolting Cocks—once on the PMRC's ban-this! list along with Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and goodhearted Catholic chick Cyndi Lauper—truck up to downtown Disney for a co-bill with Ministry ("Jesus Built My Hot Rod," "Psalm 69," "Just One Fix") and a cute little chance for industro-perv éminence grise Al Jourgenson to chow down on one last weak hobbling sacred cow. If the tight spiky dog collar doesn't choke you up a headache, then the slaughterhouse drum samples will—at the HOB.
Eagles of Death Metal do makeup rock right—Alice Cooper, T. Rex, a damn lot of Rob Tyner's down-boy falsetto in ex-reporter Jesse Hughes' sangerin'—and it's great to see humans from the high desert doing their best to detox the Poison fumes still lingering in the nation's beleaguered arenas. Still, though: although Little Richard is a good guy to talk up in every interview, Eagles of should start throwing a little public interest toward Esquerita, who taught Richard everything he knew and even once made a woman faint on the street in Texas just by looking at her. Rockin' the joint at the Galaxy for one of Johnny's Saloon's numerous anniversary parties—happy birthday, cowboys.
PLUS: T.I. snaps back at the HOB.
THURSDAY, MAY 25
Mobb Deep put out Peer Pressure the same year as Masta Ace's Slaughtahouse and Wu-Tang's 36 Chambers, and it stood up pretty good: vicious lyrics (locked in jail, project halls, bitch-ass etcs) and production by Havoc to match, a record that made a neat chalk outline around a classic Mobb Deep sound. Which was: hard bass beats that put dents in car doors ("Party Over," "Locked in Spofford") and nothing else besides a few scribbled samples that could have been lifted from a Hitchcock movie. On follow-up The Infamous, Prodigy dropped his manic teenage delivery but kept all of the menace, stitching up a bleak LP about the stretch of street between the courthouse and the cemetery. Now they're back with name changes—Havoc is Hollywood and Prodigy is V.I.P.—and a record on G-Unit that reportedly got them matching Porsches and definitely got them a luxury car sound. Which is: kind of . . . far from classic. But what a long strange etc. it's been. Flavor for the non-believes at the Vault.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.