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, DEC. 21
Gypsy Lounge little scene bells the season with an acoustic 'ganza making space for everyone who's ever had to hump a guitar across that Lake Forest parking lot: Jay Buchanan, Brett Bixby, Chris Hanlin, Chris Karn, Chris Paul Overall and other people named things like Erin (from Coto Normal) and Cory (from Sleepless Me) and long list more besides. Acoustic suits the Lounge crowd well so I bet you should get to this before you hurt your ears somewhere else.
PLUS: Matt McCluer and co. at DETROIT not SOLART due to circumstances so please go to DETROIT to see Matt McCluer plus Blank Tapes and Blue Whales and Blvd. Please completely go to this.
Greyboy Allstars' library funk gets ready for a gigantic 20007 (extra zero for extra effort) that'll see the band releasing a new album recorded with the actual original Greyboy (who split early to further his own DJ/architectural preservation pursuits) and also with LA's Living Sisters, which are Becky Stark, Eleni Mandell and Inara George and who themselves belled the last ArthurBall/Fest/Nights (and who are now this much closer to cutting R&B hooks for Shawn Lee and Exile). GBA proper has a real tradition of late-funk-fusion around the winter solstice—ceremony of pagan origin, definitely, as documented on Demon Fuzz's Afreeka—and Coach House gets to host the ritual over and over again, thus settling the psychic deficit left from all the David Allan Coe shows.
PLUS: Sepultura's new record returns to Dante's Inferno—the heaviest ur-text for thrash that isn't Gilgamesh, the Black Sabbath self-titled of ancient literature—and operatizes one man's tour through hell for a tour to lay waste to the Vault 350.
AND: Raekwon and Redman plus Smif N Wessun and Supernatural for a tour reeling in reviews that make it out to be a real valentine to the 1990s, which is fine with me because I like everything the way it used to be because I am used to it being that way.
Angelo Moore is still holding Fishbone together despite egregious turnover issues and there is even a new record just aching to be born, which is Israelites/Maggot Brain/Germs/The Harder They Come in channel-changing chunks and although it's pretty perfect that Fishbone got to be the house band in the Outkast musical movie it's also kind of unfortunately illuminating: a band that could fit any decade but found a home in none. Scheduled new record tracks don't sound like a departure—though if they decide to schedule some departures it'd be great to see what Angelo Moore and Pharoah Sanders could come up with on the same track, or Angelo Moore and Peter Case—but can even famous electro-turbine-hyper Moore put out enough energy to defibrillate ska-punk in the dimming days of the new early nineties? Sparks fly at the Galaxy—actually, Angelo should look up the Maels bros., too.
PLUS: Supersuckers' second-to-last show of 2006: these guys are just about the Misfits of Motorhead-style country rock but since I'm on a fantasy streak I think Eddie Spag and Blag Dahlia should just go completely Bakersfield and do a Ferlin Husky-style pickup band that misspells every song title ("Cuzz Yore So Sweet") and then sings every misspelling ("Cuzz yore so sweet!") and maybe they wear bandit masks the whole time, too. The Suckers got so much road behind them that they're in the James Brown moment for robust reliable performance delivery and so I think some secret solo projects would really be rejuvenating. Link Wray sounded great doing laid-back bar rock (Link Wray) so why not? HOB.
Alex and his bar are such troopers: open Christmas Eve for anybody who needs a little more wonderful in their life. Everybody else locks up and goes home to their family and friends but Alex is such a good guy he opens up the door and gets ready for family and friends to come to him. It's 1967 and Bob Seger System says sock it to me Santa at Alex's: "Christmas just won't be a drag/cuz Santa's got a brand new bag! Come on Comet/come on Cupid/don't just stand there lookin' stupid!"
And back to Alex's for Christmas Day after the Chinese buffet: celebrate or commiserate says the advertisement and they got special drinks for each one. Plus: DJ Angelina and DJ Dennisre-unite tonight for a special free Christmas Good Foot.
Los Lobos'The Town and the City was a moody record, with slow psych opener "The Valley" to set up an establishing shot for a cinematic song-cycle that roams the rest of the Southwest on a long lonely trip. Sometimes-shoebox production gives this an AM-transistor sound that complements these road songs perfectly: lot of restlessness on this one; apparently it took eight rough months to chip this thing out and they must have been getting pretty anxious, but the final translation comes with a lot of life because of it. At the HOB.
Just in case for you travelers: Project Blowed hip-hop conglomerate blows out a dozen years with an anniversary show at OC expat club Safari Sam's with a full division representing the most vital collective of the nineties on: headline from Aceyalone and Abstract Rude and Mikah 9 as Haiku D'Etat plus about one hundred other dudes from the comps old and new. More details on the Blowed MySpace (/projectblowed) but get tix early because this will wipe the rest of the year out.
THURSDAY, DEC. 28
Mars Volta satellite band Big Sir does test transmissions like This Heat (or This Heat post-project Lifetones) plus Jaco Pastorius and modest vox from singer Lisa that put this on the very daring side of poptones happening between about '82 and '89. Live show (with auxiliary bassist from Hella) promises lucky circumstance as a catch-as-catch-can studio project tip-toes into full-banddom onstage. Scholarly stuff played by musical hyphenates for musical hyphenates. At Detroit.
For venue information, visit From the Cheap Seats at blogs.ocweekly.com/music.