What Is There to Do
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1
Isn't life a blast / just like living in the past? Japan's Polysics franchise Devo with the diligent singularity of purpose that comes from living in a yellow jumpsuit in a yellow submarine. Cultural compression makes cultural explosion when someone lets this stuff get on a stage. There are Devo cover bands and Devo tribute bands and then Devo incarnation bands. And then there is Dove, the Band Of Love. They dressed nice. At the Coach House.
PLUS: Game on at HOB; Paper Planes what heat at Alex's.
Your lucky instore show with Sweden's Peter, Bjorn and John who aren't barely playing any other shows on this part of this continent. They sound a little like the Cardigans and also maybe like Big Country, mostly because they love that breathing room that made the famous big country sound so famously big. It's strange that Sweden barely has freeways or sunny beaches because they sure knock out pop songs like they got droit d'environment. At Fingerprints Records in Long Beach.
ALSO: Giant monster hip-hop from Ill Lit, who do not mess around with squiggles in the margins and instead hammer a giant pile of drums and lifted R&B hooks into some very insistent songs. A baby Visionaries vibe when they all get going at once, but this is woo-banger production all the way down the line—Life Rexall makes beats like this and they shook the hubcaps off his car. At the ROC with Zaire Black and lots more.
ALSO: It's my birthday. I'm fat and fifty!
Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs dragged "Tramp" out the trenches for the best resurrection since Hiroo Onoda and unrolled himself a distinctive style that left dots of dust in all his samples and reassembled hard '60s/'70s rhythm into dosed and crazy '90s hip-hop. Plus he did Grandmasterswith GZA, which has a remix ready to go in March. Plus he has a special pod on the Sirius satellite, where he beams down songs he finds five seconds in the future. And plus he is playing the slightly under-known Rhythm Lounge in Long Beach.
AND PLUS: Mexican institution Jaguares sell out the HOB for cute pop with loud drums.
What is there to do, she said / he said, come on baby and I'll show you a good time!
They are no longer Blonde Redhead on a bachelor budget; instead, Venus Infers—named after a typo made by a guy who liked a lady to hit him in the face—have slowed it down and sapped it up into the kind of spitshined pop you can use for a makeup mirror. They aren't Swedish yet but they are kind of trying at Detroit.
Only Crime sounds just like Black Flag demos until they sucker up for cute choruses, which is such a bad idea. Just grind it in, guys. Kids are tough these days. They hate cute things. They could use some Coleman and Coltrane—it'd rub the glow off their faces. Anyway: Rollins cadence and a lot of fun ugly guitar but they just can't resist a rollover to a happy part in every song. That's too weird: it's like one of those guys you see walk out from behind this or that dumpster all screaming pissed, and then they see a bird fly over and just start laughing and laughing. What I'm saying is: I like consistency. At Chain.
PLUS: Pennywise spinning their wheels and owning guitar amps at the HOB for like four nights in a row. I made the one-chord-per-night joke like three years ago but all those readers are long gone by now, I'm sure.
Thee Makeout Party! is bubblegum early '70s power pop from guys who don't even care about Big Star—unbelievable but true because they go right from the Sidewinders to the Flamin' Groovies or the Raspberries and probably they could find reasons to gloss off Chris Bell, too—and they are probably the last best actual suburban rock 'n' roll band (same as Beach Boys, same as Modern Lovers) in the country except maybe Explorers' Club, who are friends and who are great but who don't make me wanna drive around at night with a soggy burger and a smart girl in the passenger seat, or the girl in the driver's seat if you want me to tell you how I really feel. It's funny how the best parts of their songs come at the very end: "Too Easy To Love You" (" . . . too easy to be loved!") goes from a ha-ha doo-wop baritone ("I wanna tell ya now!") into a heartbreaker sha-la-la outro like Small Faces and "Boogie" flops off a twin-guitar finish that sounds like Ride or something—that's difficult guitar tangle some bands try and make a dozen songs out of, and Makeout did it just for fun, and they cover the Archies and the Idle Race, too. I DJed with these guys at an Elks Lodge fundraiser in Fullerton and they went from something that sounded like "Sister Ray" and made the roots of my fingernails hurt into the Gentrys' "Keep on! A dancin' and a prancin'!" and a bunch of nice grammas bucked right up on their heels and pulled their grampas right up behind them—welcome to the spirit of 1956, patient in the bushes next to '57. They got it right and they got residency at Plush this month.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Blow Up Blow record release at Alex's for the famous "Super Tonight" single—coming since ever and now finally here!
AND: Brazilian Girls wax off at the Glass House.
For venue information, visit blogs.ocweekly.com/music.
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