THURSDAY, SEPT. 15
Thee Woggles soul 'n' roll with messy versions of originals by Don Gardner and Bobby Freeman, plus their own original ding-a-lings: kind of crazy to hear extraneous guitar solos over established 45 perfection; it's like inking a mustache on Mona Lisa, and didn't someone get famous for that once too? This is the Billy Childish Paradigm realigned toward a boogaloo buttshaker backbeat, instead of the Kinks and the Who. Fans of me DJ-ing would like it and probably already know about this, which is at Detroit.
ALSO IF YOU DIDN'T HEAR: Fats Domino was rescued, Irma Thomas made it to Baton Rouge, Alex Chilton showed up after a few days even though the new Big Star songs apparently suck (but we're just glad he's okay), and Quintron and Miss Pussycat saved their puppets and their instruments but lost everything else. And MC Trachiotomy is New Orleans' Omega Man and was ("reportedly") riding his motorcycle through abandoned shopping malls.
The Bravery at the Galaxy, the Neanderthal proto-form of the bleachie blondies in Sugar Ray, who are playing at (yes!) the LA County Fair: sometimes you can pretty much see the connections in the constellations glowing right in front of your eyes. Don't worry, kids: it's all the same song, and soon all the same bands will be back working for the same corporations their daddies happen to run. When that happens: party at my house! Meanwhile, MC Trachiotomy rides on, a flaming skull in a leather jacket, whipping wet, rusty chains at everybody who dares sprout a fauxhawk and make that kissy-face in their MySpace photo.
PLUS: The newtown neurotics in the New Model Army at Alex's; piannah pop by the ex-Cherry Poppers in the Visible Men at the Gypsy Lounge; Lee Rocker at the Coach House; nothin' but the blues with KKJZ's Doug MacLeod live at Martini Blues.
Newport Beach has such a creepy repressed side—far be it from the resource pool of this newspaper to miniaturize a reporter into a submarine and inject him into the brain of a lizard-skinned Fashion Islander, but we do need to know where the blood bubbles come from (cell phone tumors) and how they pop, and why they trigger desires to book Blondie (last year) and the B-52's at the Taste of Newport or John Waters (many infamous years ago) at the film festival. And once that's been figured out, we need to learn how to increase the frequency and get all the rich people having scat-sex to Whitehouse, which is accomplished by leading them from the B-52's to the Cramps to Ministry and then dressing them in leather and shooting PCP into their inner thighs. Taste of Newport 2006: Dope, Shiny Shirts, and Fucking in the Streets!
ALSO: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: part Amboy Dukes, part da Boss, all at the Coach House; club Root Down with Giant Panda at Detroit; all the bands that suck too much (Jet, Kasabian, Oasis) or charge too much (BlocParty, Arcade Fire) to play CMJ this weekend show up at KROQ's Inland Detainment Camp at the Glen Hell It's Hot Pavilion in Devore.
You probably want a Hootie and the Blowfish joke again, don't you? Yet that particular work was done by God so long ago. At Taste of Newport in a chilling display of appropriateness.
ALSO: The reason shows are weak this week is because all the hipster-dipster bands packed up their credit-card debt and went to CMJ in NYC, where their careers will rocket into the upper atmosphere and then explode, which looks beautiful and romantic if you're watching from the ground, or the underground, or a well-stocked fallout shelter—consider recent events, ya know?
The Blue Whales at Detroit like a little Pink Floyd and a little Black Sabbath. It's indie-rocky in the old good smart '90s way, and their "Rock Song" going up intersects Mission of Burma calming down: the bass/guitar puzzle pieces together like Clint Conley and Roger Miller, and it's got a big cheerful furball chorus too. These guys should adopt "Max Ernst" the same way Blow Up Blow got "Final Solution."
Is self-described retarded funk-maker Kool Keith the Esquerita of hip-hop? The Joe Meek? The Kim Fowley? What man could say? Especially since it turns out Keith was never actually in a mental institution (or so he now claims), which knocks the tent pole out of his public image and ratchets his genius up a couple more notches. No one from a record company is going to try and tell a crazy guy what to do, and the records sell to a whole new crowd of gawkers/gigglers, and if there's a bad record once in a while people forgive it because, you know, the craziness, and so Keith gets to go home to one of his three adjacent apartments each night with a smile on his face: protected from bullshit by an electric fence of feigned insanity. Great work if you can get it, and if it doesn't eat you up—remember now Screamin' Jay Hawkins, in some ways the Kool Keith of early rock & roll, who after a career spent crawling out of coffins found himself locked inside the life of a monster: "I come along and get a little weird, and all of a sudden I'm a monster or something. I don't wanna be a black Vincent Price. I wanna do goddamn opera! I wanna sing! I wanna do Figaro! I wanna do real singing—I'm sick of being a monster." Meanwhile, Keith reveals to an interviewer that his new character will be Pissy Pete, appearing on album covers in yellow diapers. Shine on, etc. At HOB.
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The Black Keys got confused with the White Stripes the same way the Dogs got confused with MC5 or Carrie Underwood got confused with Kelly Clarkson: similar silhouette, similar sound, and so there's room enough in this iPod for only one two-piece blues-rocker band from the Midwest, y'hear? Too bad for all those armchair scumbags who skipped the A section (A-Frames) and B section to go straight to the Ws because Black Keys are good honest Midwest shit-rock, with obvious cons from the Sonics et al. to fill out the middle of a two-man band that stood on the shoulders of Dr. Ross so they could touch the face of the High Time MC5. Related: this is probably the only band from ArthurFest that will ever come down to OC. Lavender Diamond and Comets On Fire, we need you now, but where would we put you? Possibly at the Galaxy with these guys.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 22
The Presidents of the United States of America were/are the new Knack, and looking back, well, goddamn good for them. At HOB.
PLUS: Dino Jr openers Alaska! at Detroit!
See Calendar listings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.