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, FEBRUARY 8
Fingerprintsblows rock bureaucracy out again with another in-store by a billion-dollar touring band: last week was Peter/Bjorn/John and this week is Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, who is touring with Sunn 0)))/Boris sad aux singer Jesse Sykes for his big LA show but who appears here with Tom Brosseau—"Here Comes The Water" sounds exactly like Loudon Wainwright III, bless it a billion times—and one billion reverent fans. New Sparklehorse record has many songs that sound like the Triffids—weepy strings, guitar like "Pale Blue Eyes," lyrics about sleep and light and dark—and if a sad man has to make music, that's the best way to make it. Show at 6:30 and buy the reissue of Born Sandy Devotional on the way out.
The more old I get the more I like FEAR: better musicianship than puny peers (Spit Stix up there with DJ Bonebrake and KK Barrett) and weird atonal avant-creepness ("Dis-CO-nected!", "Getting The Brush," "We Destroy The Family") plus big stupid guitar parts like the best Alice Cooper and Lee Ving's hardhat Sinatra vocals plus lyrics written by committee 'round a trash fire downtown. They hated New York (good) but that's where the personality came from: Hell City, USA. This (like the Monks) is ripe and ready for someone to do an extremely careful rip-off (like Fucked Up does Wipers) because it's scarier still than a lot of the Black Flag discography. Caveman punk came no better—all you assholes sucking that overpriced shit, come up to the Galaxy.
PLUS: KRS-ONE has been touring like he's got no home and he's probably played OC more in the last year than at least certain people who live here, but today he extends his range into downtown Long Beach for a show at Blue Café. Reading reviews from this very tour has him rapping over Vivaldi and Pachelbel—that's cool; fuck sample clearance forever.
Bobby Brown signed on instead of today's scheduled James Brown date—he's cast on several strengths, including a Halloween performance in super-heavy funk drag of "Monster Mash" (with cheerful support by Mike Tyson) on Jimmy Kimmel Live and an arrest in James Brown's town Augusta, GA, for simulating a sex act onstage, so at least we know he's got the charisma the performance will demand. Tyson onstage to share "Try Me" would really be a memorial but Bobby Brown at Disneyland HOB is respectable affront enough.
AND: Philosophical rap from Long Beach's Zaire Black, who likes a wise saying over a mellow beat—"Soul Controller" and "The Creator Has A Master Plan" makes this kind of aspirational rap at the ROC.
ALSO: Your non-fuckin'-round rock & roll from the Soft Hands—I love the Pere Ubu guitar and Pixies rhythm section and where Jonathan Richman said she cracked, Soft Hands say I hope so. Life-affirming like Ame Son on Actuel at the Prospector.
Honorary locals (tho really from Colorado) Drag The River on some hollow-hearted Neil Young/Nebraska trip—a long lonely trip—for something that's not country as in cowboy-hats-and-blue-tats but more country in that feeling you get when you wake up in your car in the emptiest part of the Wal-Mart parking lot. I always kept an eye on this band and their newest record is a big leap up into some heartland—which used to be a word that described more than a kind of buffet—Americana rock & roll. Fade to black at Alex's tonight and then on Valentine's at Gypsy Lounge.
I seen an old man in the street with no legs!
Ain't he cute!
Roots with Sly Stone/Pink Floyd/Paul C "live" (as opposed to the hopeful dude with a CDR of backing tracks?) hip-hop at the HOB. Last year's Game Theory is supposed to cap off Roots' discography in prep for a career-eclipsing tenth album that will put the band up in the Neil Young/Wu-Tang Inclusive range for consistency and longevity, which are brokerage-firm terms you only get to use for the most institutional of artists.
AND: Happy Valentine's Day, sweetie—I resigned!
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Original dirtiest dude Blowfly—the dude is so dirty, like the stories I could explain would make you wear watertight boots forever—bleeds out the sleaze to advance his new record (Punk Rock Dance Party, pretty much the definition of a social event where you wanna put a tarp on the carpet) and his own personal birthday at Alex's, where he is loved like an uncle that your parents resist inviting to holiday dinner. The best part about Blowfly's punk-rock renaissance—he used to have to hide his records alongside Rudy Ray Moore's T&A LPs—is that his new buddies have stewed his brain up with all kinds of contemporary references, so now Blowfly raps about Turbonegro and has Jello Biafra doing cameos for him. Oh and ha ha, he does the Clash as "Should I Fuck This Big Fat Ho?" Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha.