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 25
You and your crew at Mobb Deepat the Vault.
Starvations back from the grave with Fortune's Flesh: a self-assessed "death doo-wop" band, revisiting a genre left wheels up and spinning when Jan Berry copped a coma on a real-life dead man's curve. Big sappy earth-angel/sea-cruise chords with a little slide guitar to really sad it up and Gabe's signature edge-of-breathless vox, plus some Sales bros. glam harmonies in back and a gigantic Mekons drum sound (these are Mekonic times we live in: true spots before the eyes of rock & roll) that shivers the ropes dangling from the rafters. Last months of Starvations were more birthday party than gun club, but Fortune's Flesh scoops back an older, leaner kind of teenage mania—Phil Spector waved around as many pistols as any bluesman or cowboy and knew how to arrange a piano part besides. Get to heaven and back at Alex's.
PLUS: Parliament Funkincandescent descends from the mothership to the HOB; Rebel Fever bottlerockets Chain Reaction; Smoking Popes are older/wiser/bubblier at Glass House.
If the electrons from the first TV broadcasts are just now reaching Alpha Centauri, then the echoes from Tower of Power and War must just be quivering into Yosemite National Park, where a fringe-dwelling soul soloist named Nino Moschella has been humbly four-tracking his own private What Goes On on his own private four-track. Our own world-class Ubiquity Records found him and loved him and put out an EP for him because lone geniuses do it better: The Real Better Believe is psych-folk by way of Prince and the Family Stone, an adorably fuzzy set of songs that stick in snips to Devo's jumpy demos, frothy Eno tracks like "Blank Frank," Gary Wilson's flying-saucer funk 'n' soul, Parliament ballroom-rattlers like "Red Hot Mama," even pouty loft-disco songs by mutants like Liquid Liquid. That kind of colossally inclusive sense for influence just about died out when CDs came in—too confusing for the ad departments to market—but it's the best legacy the '70s gave us, and it lives on in the same lost hills where they grow marijuana and brew moonshine too. At Detroit's Abstract Workshop.
PLUS: Former J5/Ozomatli turntablist Cut Chemist has his own new album coming out; to put it together, he left crate-dug-out America and roamed the globe ("The Garden" was recorded in Brazil; at this point, Cut Chemist is sampling embedded psychic impressions) and then even went back in time for "The Storm," a de-crypted party-tape beat from like 1988 mixed with molecular precision to fit in verses by Edan and Mr Lif. Sci-fi at its best. With Ozomatli at the HOB.
Between Ennio Morricone and Les Rallizes Denudes is a place for men with no name and songs with no end, and that's where Japan's Mono come from. They love the same bottomless sounds as monolithic Krautrockers like Kollektiv—you can call it "atmospheric" because 16-minute songs snuff up all the oxygen in the room. But it's impressive by medieval standards: Mono makes cathedral music with a rock backline, heavy with the kind of reverent grandeur that spills down on you when you stand underneath a steeple and slowly slowly tip your head back. The kind of songs bats hear in their heads between sonar beeps, at the Glass House with split-album buddies Pelican and Tarentel.
AND: Que Sera celebrates the Dirty Girl's one-year anniversary of amateur female Jell-O wrestling with another heaving helping of amateur female Jell-O wrestling—dirty sweet, you're my girl, but please deploy a towelette before we bang a gong. Plus dirty music and clean strong drinks.
Johnny and June's son John Carter Cash presents Personal File, a two-CD set of unreleased recordings lifted from his father's bedroom slush pile: first CD is all the secular stuff, including Jimmie Rodgers and Louvin Bros. covers, and second CD is all gospel, and both are the simplest solitary nighttime bedside recordings possible, just little sketches of ideas that never got the details they might have wanted. Just about 50 tracks, most dating from 1973—consolation goodbye from one of the best Americans who wasn't James Brown.
Get a haircut, then get a job.
LA dolls Mika Miko rocket into town to burn it to the ground: this ferocious fivesome is into some kind of buggy thrash now, like the first Red Cross EP—one of my favorite things to reference—and similarly overcharged/undersupervised outings from the Neos, the Useless Eaters, maybe Sado-Nation, and etc. till heart attack and death. Too smart for art-core, too hard for smart-core, too art for bore-core—no wonder they play with such righteous iconoclasm. If the Swell Maps had come from the South Bay, maybe SST would be a lot healthier right now. Instead, Mika Miko is doing a full-length with Kill Rock Stars, reportedly very excited to sign a band actually capable of killing a rock star. With Some Girls at the Glass House.
THURSDAY, JUNE 1
Kool Keith travels the spaceways from planet to planet on a new record about aliens and UFOs: Mr. Nogatco (National Objectives for Governmental Astral-Terrestrial Covert Operations) will ennoble the likes of Jacques Vallee and John Keel the way the Diesel Truckers ennobled the movie Duel and Dr. Octogonecologist ennobled eight-armed gynecologists and horses daring enough to wander around inside a hospital. Klaatu barada nikto for the day the Vault stood still.
PLUS: Stephen Pigmeat Seagal gets his mojo workin' at the Coach House.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.