THURSDAY, APRIL 13
Twenty-four hours to go: Sutherland-svengalied Rocco De Luca steels hearts at Detroit.
Five years ago, ska-punk band Jeffries Fan Club broke up because—as reported in this paper—lead singer Mike Dziurgot wanted to devote his life to God and prepare for the End Times, though he later admitted—with even more chilling candor—that JFC "was not going anywhere. And that is the honest truth . . . and who wants to sit around and go nowhere?" And he was right, because there is no more ungrateful way to profane creation than by half-assing your granted human potential: "Got a million in you and spend pennies. Got a genius in you and think crazies. Got a heart in you and feel empties . . . rest of the time you sit around lazy, you!" Rare these days to find a guy who knows when he's stopped trying—wonder what brought them back? At Chain for two nights.
BUT ALSO: The North Side Kings, whose undeniable claim to fame is that they punched Danzig in the face in Arizona, which is the ideal place to go and get punched. When they're not face-punching, they also play music at Alex's.
AND: Don MacLean drives his Chevy to the Coach House and Coto Normal cocktail-shimmy to the Galaxy. Plus Club Good Foot at Que Sera.
NAFRO (formerly Natural Afrodisiac) prep for the release of their first-ever (?) vinyl in May with a show at Detroit and the live exercise of their smooth '70s (not hard '60s) pretty-Purdie-style honey-dripping funk: slated tracks "Sunday Grinnin" and "Slippin Into Darkness" got that lazy edge-of-'74/smokier side of War feel that makes for very considered deliberate dancing. Not the Dapps, but not supposed to be either.
AND: I have never heard a note of Michael Bolton in my life, but I'm told he's a real crooner. And he used to be in a band with one of the guys from Kiss—truly. If I can't be funny, I can at least be implausible. At the Grove.
PLUS: What if we all stopped paying taxes? Sharon Jones knows—get $5 to DapTone Records and find out.
Soundway Records (expeditionaries behind the Ghana Soundz1 and 2 African funk/soul/etc. comps) splash down with Panama!: Latin, Funk and Calypso on the Isthmus 1965-1975, proof further that James Brown was an international language unto himself. Soul Jazz's Tropicalia comp is good-to-great depending on noviceness, but Soundway gets to write a whole new songbook here with a "Thunderchicken"-style monster from the Exciters, a funkier-than-the-funky-Nassau Fabulosos Festivals (fuzz-groove like the later Meters) and Victor Boa's slinky/skittery break-to-piano beat "Soy Solo Para Ti." One more underplundered scene to keep clean. Plus: Weekly alums Future Pigeon (dub) and AWOL One (hip-hop) both got new albums out now.
Bubble boys the Lashes got the Strokes discography on Sunday and a record deal on Monday, probably from someone who went to college to study A-ing and R-ing and minored in F-ing. Actually, to be fair: other Lashes songs besides "Sometimes the Sun" skip the Strokes to sound like every other pouty-lips pop/rock band killing time till their parents quit paying the PR agent and they have to slink back to junior college. Garbage that gets a million great reviews from people who somehow care even less than me. At Chain.
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Primeval/evil KUCI DJ Dach (ClosedCaskets) drops the first live band into Detroit's first goth/industrial club, Haunted Lounge, and they are called Mankind Is Obsolete (which is true) and they have double-kick chugga-chugga parts where you'd think they'd have flangers and capes. Though again: some of this is pretty radio-friendly—really radio-friendly, like two fingers up the radio's tasteful skirt and one playing with radio's cute little-girl curls—but you gotta start easy before you can start playing Throbbing Gristle.
What if I stopped paying taxes? Watch this space.
THURSDAY, APRIL 20
Between Are We There Yet? (2005) and the upcoming sequel Are We Done Yet? (2007 unless humanity saints up real fast), onetime rapper Ice Cube took a leisurely step back into the recording studio for his self-released Laugh Now, Cry Later LP and then took another leisurely step back to the bank to write the checks that paid for it: "There's nothing a major label can do for me that I can't do for myself," said America's newest independent hip-hop star; meanwhile, an executive producer somewhere looks out his window over the West Side and thinks, "Are We . . . Home Yet? Yeah . . . yeah!" At the HOB.
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.