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, JULY 6
Well, no, let's do Friday.
Kris Kristofferson is the insanest—if Deniz Tek (fighter pilot/heart surgeon/Rolling Stones joiner-decliner/Radio Birdman founder) had gone country/folk, could he have handled the competition with this Rhodes Scholar/Nashville janitor/helicopter pilot/movie star? The way Kris got Johnny Cash to listen to his songs was by delivering them via helicopter to his lawn. And in burnout classique Cisco Pike, he's the next most musical thing to Jim Rockford. They don't renaissance them like that anymore at the Grove.
Rodney Mathewsand the Mighty Ryeders had disco slickness but did it all by hand—no robots in studio saving the labor—and their 1977 album gifted samples to RZA and De La Soul (and probably others) after it finished being a soul staple in its own moment. But now Rodney Mathews' loved ones need medical-bill-paying help, so OC/beyond label Ubiquity booked this three-venue benefit that puts smooth-soul bands the Rebirth and Nino Moschella at Detroit, DJs at Avalon and scuzz rock bands Flying Saucers and Japanese Motors (plus Smiling Face Down) at eVocal (next door to Avalon). Pay dues means help Rodney out.
PLUS: Germs burners CircleOne at Doll Hut; Dickies at Galaxy; Ozzfest sweats off the beer bellies at the Glen Helen Pavilion in Devore.
Wal-Mart-sweat-pants-style country duo the Wreckers (Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp and countless hours of uncredited industry massage) stand still, look pretty and make them slinky honky-tonk angels of old seem like a bunch of ruler-clutching sister superiors. I wouldn't let these TV-show theme songs near the pickup trucks at the stable, but then again, pickup trucks are sure good for hauling around a lotta crap, so I dunno. At the HOB.
Bluegrass fertilizers NickelCreek—the Watkins siblings plus mandolin, string bass, electrified 13th Floor Elevators ho-jug—take Bill Monroe to the Matador Records webstore with Appalachiaed covers of Pavement and a reverent, revved-up take on one of the backwoodsiest folk idioms. At the Hee-Haw-O-B in Anaheim.
Apropos to our man P.K.D.: before he wrote sci-fi, he worked in a record store—yes, he was agoraphobic!—and he always kept a thumb in music even when the rest of him was lost in the Gnostic celestials. And though Brian Eno made a cameo in Valis and Germs manager Nicole Panter got Darby and co. into an interview, classical and folk were always his first loves and Linda Ronstadt was one of his best loves. A Phildickian dark-haired girl herself, she had a particularly heroic and heartwarming role in both short stories and the novel The Divine Invasion, in which Linda "Fox" saves a ruined world from itself. Wonder if she ever read it? At the Pacific Amphitheatreat the OC Fair.
PLUS: Blues Traveler clam the jams at the HOB.
Minneapolis makes several levels of fierce punk rock and hip-hop, and P.O.S.—Pissed-Off Stef—started with the first one before discovering he could (and loved to) rap and then gathering in the beatbox crew. He plays bass and drums, too, and puts out songs that transplant the sentiment of city heroes like Husker Du and Dillinger Four to beats he produces himself and guest MCs from Bouncing Souls and Hold Steady. Last album, Ipecac Neat, won piles of critical plaudits and follow-up, Audition, does label Rhymesayers proud. At Glass House.
AND: Chris Isaak plays the fair; anyway, did you know Isaak's producer Erik Jacobsen used to work with Jerry Yester, who made a record with Judy Henske that sounds like the kind of folk album Linda Ronstadt would have done if she was out in space with Philip K. Dick? Farewell, Aldebaran—another divine invasion.
THURSDAY, JULY 13
Some amiable guy named Bill Cosby had a moment in the '60s—I Spy rolling along, Jell-O far in the future—when he wanted to make records, so he made a record, and it sold pretty well, and so then he made another record, and this time the backing band was the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, and that's how come some early-in crate-diggers started inflating the price of old Bill Cosby albums. Cosby breaks made it into West Coast (Cypress Hill) and East Coast (UMC's) songs and select Cosby 45s (some including session work by Carole Kaye) are respectable dance-floor goosers in the right hands. Hey-hey-hey at the OC Fair.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.