By Daniel Kohn
By Imade Nibokun
By Arrissia Owen
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
THURSDAY, JULY 20
Gnarls Barkley are already sinking into the one-good-song tarpit, but Cee-Lo is God's own soul singer and Danger Mouse steps up his occasionally overrated production—sometimes steps it up too much, like on "Go Go Gadget Gospel," which is "Good Vibrations" arranged to the rhythm of the reprogramming scene in Clockwork Orange—and so "Crazy" tore such a hole in the radio that even people at the OC Weekly managed to independently hear and like it, and that is some commendable action if nothing else. Plus this record canceled out the deleterious effects of the Arctic Monkeys, and that too is some commendable action if nothing else. At the OC Fair.
PLUS: Sharp Slick Rick is back in the country after some dumb deportation to tell the newest part of his story at the HOB.
During their golden days, SF's Quicksilver Messenger Service almost scared the Velvet Underground off the stage: "I think I'm getting out of here," Sterling Morrison told Lou, waiting for QMS to finish a '68 opening-set with fearsome guitarist John Cipollina playing especially white-hot. And 10 years later, Television was running on the same twin-lead engine as songs like "Gold And Silver" (though Verlaine says no: "I didn't like any San Francisco bands when I was growing up! We sound more like the Ventures . . . ") and about 10 years after that, QMS guitarist Gary Duncan put a new package together for a better-late-than-never delivery. Without Cipollina on board—sadly committed to a side career of no longer being alive—the county-fair Quicksilver is a little like the county-fair Beach Boys, but remember them when, huh? At the OC Fair.
PLUS: Stab Radar Bats—deducts from members of I'm Gonna Stab You, FM Bats and somebody from Radar?—make something unpredictable at Alex's.
P.S. PLUS: Best new Bats songs sound like PIL with a hellhound on the trail.
Costa Mesa Supernova—the true Supernova—makes Internet headlines by actually filing suit against Rock Star: Supernova—the fake reality-show Supernova—for misappropriation of the noble Supernova name. Slated for entry in evidence: a MySpace message from producer Butch Walker, explaining how "retarded" the fake Supernova people were for deciding to use the name Supernova after he had warned them that the true Supernova was still aware and litigious. Sue me baby all night long at Alex's.
PLUS: Ha ha, the new Slayer: "Religion is rape! There never was a Jesus Christ! I've made my choice: 6-6-6!" Anyone who could have been shocked by that is still probably counting the $8.8 million they sucked out of the Iraq reconstruction budget, but goddamn if it's not still comforting to hear. While the world is probably too far gone to even register genuine shock at anything Slayer says anymore—by now Satan is hoarse from laughing and wishes he could unspread his wings because they're cramping up fierce—there is now a certain toasty Christmas-card feeling in those double-kick drum beats now. It's good to know someone out there is still burning with righteous hate—makes you feel nice and warm. At the Long Beach Arena.
AND: Baby Devo 2.0 booji-boy-bands the catalog for the footie-pajama set. Like he says: the war is over/stop fighting. At the HOB for two nights; Awol One and $martyr bust down the Glass House.
Blue Cheer is like Bob Dylan to me at the Galaxy.
Mysterio reish label 4 Men With Beards—funding second childhoods for Eddie Gale, Aretha Franklin and Wire—adds Big Star guitarist Chris Bell's I Am the Cosmos to its storied roster, filed next to Big Star's last/saddest/maybe best Third/Sister Lovers LP. Big Star is the band that Cheap Trick borrowed from for That '70s Show's theme song and Chris Bell was Dave for Alex Chilton's Ray, playing second guitar on most of Big Star's best songs and then dying in a most tragically timed car wreck the day before Chilton's 28th birthday. I Am the Cosmos is his disappeared solo album, one of the last lost power-pop prizewinners as well as the sly source of the song that made last week's headline "I Got Kinda Lost." Sadder than the Beatles ("You And Your Sister," the only song to better Big Star's "Thirteen," included here in special Byrds-y and folk-sy bonus versions) and more rock & roll than the Raspberries ("I Don't Know," the only song to match Big Star's "Don't Lie to Me"). A beautiful record that everyone (except shitbags) loves.
ALSO: HB hip-hop LD & Ariano's first single on Up Above out now!
The ghost of a band called the Buzzcocks and let's tell it like it is: when you wanna do the punk reunion, all you really gotta worry about is finding a drummer who can still play like the drummer did 20 years ago and putting enough processing on the lead vocals to rub out the blooming throat-cancer nodules. Other than that, it's not like the rest of the band forgot how to change on the fours sometime in the early 2000s. So . . . they just got a new drummer and he looks healthy. Plus they're as conscious of the joke as John Lydon but too polite to make a big deal about it. I don't mind at the HOB.