The Ramones/the Pack/the Trend/the chords fall into rows of capital letters, and the guitar leads knock in right on top for the Marked Men, for whom "buzzsaw" is a word left meaningless unless it's right in front of "guitar," and for whom two minutes is enough to make a statement, deliver support, reinforce a chorus, draw a conclusion, second-guess over the bridge and then chorus-chorus all done. Playing guitar just like a-fallin' down a hill—a Texas rock tradition. Plus supporters the Sultans take Devo's "Gut Feeling" to one of those Stitches-style beach parties. You like the stripes? Or the Stripes? You like the Alex's Bar then.
AND: Shapeshifter AWOL ONE assumes solo form for a show at DiPiazza's to support his new Killafornia EP, which backs up every creepy line with a funny one or a smart one. The rapper who tells it like it is.
AND YET: Social Distortion: it persists at HOB.
Not even Social Distortion tonight! Mike Ness books a Jacuzzi.
dios (malos) return to their most native OC environment—the Chain—for the first time since the Winter Formal many years ago, when they still played out a sad song called "50 Cent" and yours truly was still writing something sad about the sad situation that resulted. But now they have a new album out (produced by Famous Phil Ek!) and a leaner lineup and very pretty songs, for being some dudes that were just drinking beers at the Prospector not seven nights ago. A flagship band for the suburban sound that makes all the secretaries feel better/as they put those stamps/on those letters. At Chain for the big-eyed kids out between the crash cymbals.
AND: Social Distortion: it returns at HOB.
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Helio Sequence are Detroit's perfect band: kraut simplicity with neu-velty act charm, motorik computer drums and breathy vocals about things one could experience or think about in life, and giant washes of tone and echo that go so well with the deep sepias and the burnt oranges: Death Stereolab for Cutie, rah rah. Shotgun in a little ventilation—harmonica?—and we're somewhere between the U.K. circa fey 1983 and the TV set right now. Member of Modest Mouse if you wanna tug the hem of greatness, too.
AND OF COURSE: Social Distortion: it yet lives at HOB.
THURSDAY, JAN. 12
Terminal darling sop-pop for student-loan types (stuck between checks to Elephant 6 and Fannie Mae) with Fielding at Detroit, who have breathy vocals about things one could experience or think about in life but use real drums. This is definitely the sound of the week for people who aren't named Social Distortion, and if dios can do two shows in seven days, you can handle Fielding's one: guy/gal on mic, big simple choruses, sit in a car and watch the fireworks over the high school football field. Forty years ago they would have sounded like the Count Five—weird, huh?
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.