A Webb Pierce Selection
THURSDAY, JANUARY 11
The wreck of the ol' Rhett Miller going downgrade to the Coach House, where country whistle turns into alt. country scream. Difference between this and the Rembrandts is one says 'aw shucks' when talking to the licensing agent. Opening act is Limbeck, who got pearly buttons but still sound like the Get Up Kids minus only the most egregious Moog abuse. Will I never hear a Webb Pierce selection?
It's the same old song but with a different meaning since u been gone: Four Tops soldier on because true class always tells and I'll recommend for any Motown warhorse no matter etc. Fearsome Monkees covers plus "Bernadette" handles everything ever about American music and Four Tops deserve as long a tenure as they can get. They stamped out radio necessaries that outlasted the vehicles that first played them. Detroit steel rusted out but Detroit wax knows no obsolescence. Bernadette in the bucket seat at the HOB.
PLUS: Made me write about Stephen Malkmus so I put on the Clean: New Zealand's famous messy pop band that had some philosophical connection to the Pavement people who came a lot of years and a dozen time zones later, and this makes me feel a lot better. I love the Verlaines, too. Gimme indie rock at Glass House.
We were all kind of thinking it but George Clinton said it with the most conviction: "Sly was like all the Beatles and all of Motown in one. He was the baddest thing around." And when Mr. Maggot Brain tips the headdress how can you argue? Sly and the Family Stone pushed the high edge of pop to the kind of limit the Pioneer probes were looking for and erased the tasteful tuxedo from the world stage forever: unstoppable psychedelic R&B with a beat that put a lot of gray hairs on a lot of old heads. If Sly has been a little incommunicado lately—well, so has Evel Knievel, who flamed out with less fanfare. He skipped the Hall of Fame ceremony—smart guy—but this actual nite is intensely rumored to be a full Family Reunion, if you Sly what we mean, and if it is then didn't you see something you extremely needed to see? At the HOB in Love City.
PLUS: Tuff act to oppose across town for 00 Soul at Detroit, who probably wanna be at the HOB, too; new Alleged Gunmen plus Red Onions band is called Arrow Down at the Prospector; first punks the Gears tear up Alex's; Pepper headlines a bunch of sublime skapunkreggaerastafunk at the Queen Mary.
What we're into now is a nice Sunday morning movie like Dusty And Sweets McGee. Much is made of director Floyd Mutrux's AM found-sound collages—just taping DJ buzz and old rock & roll over drippy Super-8 footage, mostly—but more congratulation needs to follow. Phil Spector was chasing the Voice of God on every song he produced—chasing the Voice of God to catch it and push it out preserved through factory speakers—and Mutrux got it for himself on the other end of the composition, recording these AM staples ("Solid Gold Weekend!" or something) off the LA airwaves so the Voice booms right through. "Duke of Earl" comes on as some hustler guy is shuffling down the street—looks like every step on the beat, too—and this old song becomes the engine for the whole world. All Modern Lovers people should sit right down in front of this sickly lit lost LA film—it's pyramid point between Man With the Golden Arm and Cisco Pike. Available never nowhere so tell me if you got it.
Delta Spirit on the trail of Cold War from suburbs to swampland with new EP. I feel where these guys are coming from and I see the two places they could go, which are total fringe-jacket coke-nose debasement or Lust for Life (the end of "Street Walker," which is a great five seconds: What color will the lights be?) plus Van Morrison. Gun Club plus Jon Spencer is bad news explosion but they're young yet and all that energy will soon refine into fine ambitious despair, at which point we will all get going places. Blues rock was great for Blue Cheer yet we forget that Canned Heat—and Henry Thomas—had a flute solo. At Detroit.
Legendary Shack Shakers sound like polka-punk—Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello, all this weird fast oompah music people like—but they do it with a Clarksdale sort of kick and the kind of cross-eyed reverence for the Lord that made Jerry Lee Lewis such a conflicted fellow for so long. Blues gets so mutilated these days but I guess that's the point, and I guess a person or two probably gave Henry Thomas some crud for playing flute and guitar at the same time, too. Plus the singer is making a documentary on the dying Old Weird South. Credit for that: watch Bill Brown's sad Mountain State (same vibe for West Virginia only) and then go check the Mississippi Register of Historic Places, which lost several paragraphs of structures thanks to Katrina clapping her chalkboard erasers, and you may welter up a little bit more respect. With Reverend Horton Heat at the HOB.
Man, not this week.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 18
Darker My Love do Loop/Telescopes with a little more bliss and more tricks on the drum kit. Pop is drone for my favorite OCMA showcase yet.
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