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, DECEMBER 7
Napalm Death headlines the KIIS FM Jingle Ball over Nelly Furtadoand Timbaland—wait, did I get a wishful wire crossed? One at the Galaxy and the rest at the Honda Ponda in Anaheim.
AND: Salute to BB-39 who sits still where she was sank and could teach us all a lesson in memorial dignity.
Long Beach designer folkie Brett Bixby puts a full band (or so Gypsy Lounge informs) under his vaguely Drake-y soft songs and ah ouch it turns into American Idol leather-wristband rock, or so the recordings would suggest. Old folks know that SNAG means SNAFU so who knows how this is gonna come out? Entrance gets backup musicians and it sounds like Socrates Drank the Conium; what will it mean when Bixby gets backup?
PLUS: The Faint give glory to a nation of moofy girls and their expensive hairdressers: Erasure plus Joy Division gravitas for giggles and a light show beaming straight out of hell make this the mind-flaying psy-warfare foundation of the too-near future. Ahmadinejad, prepare to get worked up (or over) so sexual at the Vault.
Chino XL's awaited Confirmation album seems jammed in purgatory but storied transcoastal rapper—small feud with Tupac, small roles on CSI: Miami, member of Mensa—has a taster single out on Up Above to follow up acclaimed-by-most-who-heard-it full-length Poison Pen, so the devout still have something to seek out. Like other guys in the California substrata, Chino has solid back discography but not much profile, so maybe "Don't Run From Me"—featuring perpetually arrested Snoop Dogg—can get in that new level of audience that listens a little more slowly. You'd think this would be straddling the radio but who knows? I deserve an endorsement, Chino raps—yeah, at least. At Rhythm Lounge.
PLUS: Detroit stacks up a Best of Monday Night Residencies bill with Brookline, Kiev, Lyra and Blvd, certain of whom I originally search-baited with adjectives like "guitar" and "Radiohead" and "Pink Floyd" and "rock," which basically summarizes the most telling cultural productivities of this generation that don't involve YouTubed Iraq footage.
AND: Much-loved sort-of-local Happy Hollows do slightly ajar (instead of completely unhinged) post-punk-pop like Pixies in their swervier moments or those Kim Gordon Sonic Youth songs that sound like much-warped Shangri-Las rips. They could be charming and cover Flipper or be studious and cover Triffids and they'd float through on both. With complementary action by Soft Hands (Spoonie Ubu) at the hometowney Prospector.
How much art can you take? Pennsylvania hardcore band Cold World lifts song titles from Rodney O and Joe Cooley (no fingerpoint break for the "FEVER IN THE FUNK HOUSE!" line though) and the harshest hits from 15 years of NYC hip-hop—Mobb Deep and Wu Tang etc. for sure and probably Big L in shreds in there, too—for a bug-eyed mash of five-percenter mythology and moshcore breakdowns. Plus they propagate their own remixes via MySpace and print hip-hop icon T-shirts that change for considerable bucks online—philosophically this is some wild synapse jamming because I'm thinking "Start of Your Ending" but I'm hearing Negative Approach or something. Only area show at Chain.
Silversun Pickups is a buzz band now, but they been clawing that way since forever—I remember borrowing my buddies' brontosaur to ride up Micheltorena for shows but I sadly don't remember what they sounded like then (too much cavewine) but now they sound like the regular ball-of-fuzz-of-wall-of-sound slow-mo guitar grrrrzzzz that echoes still from a suspected first striking of a reverbed chord somewhere in England at sometime during the extremely early 1990s. (Science say: wave of mutilation floats all boats.) Interestingly: this is a solo acoustic set from singer Brian Aubert that might inflate to something bigger if band members wanna catch the ride down the freeway so prediction is something between a Mazzy Star Black Session and a Jesus and Mary Chain Peel Session and certainly that is a promise of a novelty which you cannot resist the opportunity to devour. Free evening show at good ol' Fingerprints, and OCMA set to follow later in the month.
AND: Yes, you know Public Enemy—sadly forever fossilized as the Clash of hip-hop—but certainly you must remember X Clan, whose To the East Blackwards made them the ( . . . give me a moment to strangle a comparison . . .) ah, let's not demean each side. But lately it's rough times for X Clan, with survivor Brother J and new recruits (including DJ Fat Jack from LA's Abstract Tribe Unique) soldiering on after the passing of original members Sugar Shaft and Professor X, who was granted genre immortality immediately after finishing the phrase "This is protected by the red, the black, and the green—with a key! Sissy!" Original X Clan were hard/smart/serious proponents of black action who dropped out after two albums because they felt there wasn't much legit room left for hip-hop artists who still wanted to talk about H. Rap Brown, but now comeback album Return From Mecca is set for a January release: leading track "Weapon X" is possessed by the unexorcisable ghost of "Tramp" (it's a sequel to 1992's "Xodus") but J is planted right on top with nothing but confidence and so the confidence carries. A set of all this would match Public Enemy perfect at the HOB.
Leafhound was a shit-rock standard bearer and their Growers of Mushroom (big hit: "Stray") leans Sabbath from Groundhogs slightly toward Blue Cheer. Are you ugly or do you hope to one day be more ugly? Court this reissue out now, evidently on Universal?
PLUS: Classics crummed up by pop-punk band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes—when they just covered dumb radio chow at NOFX speed, they were everything pop-punk was too embarrassed to admit it wanted, so that was fine. But now they are some screwy 101 Strings act that knows no thematic bounds—newest album sucks the marrow out of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash and that coming out of Fat Mike gives most of aging noodlehead adolescent OC a prostate orgasm. At the HOB.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14
Crazy dad says: "I CARRIED AN M-16 AND YOU . . . YOU CARRY THAT . . . THAT . . . GUITAR! WHO ARE YOU? WHERE DO YOU COME FROM? ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME? WHAT DO YOU WANNA DO WITH YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON?" And Twisted Sister say: "I wanna ROCK!" Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh at the HOB.
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