THURSDAY, SEPT. 1
Interrupt to report: beloved local DJ Scotty Coats is recovering nicely after a nasty 30-foot fall a few backs back, but due to a crippling lack of insurance, his credit rating may not recover. A website for donations to help is up at scottycoats.com: please visit and click, since this country is so broken that the only way people can manage catastrophe is by appealing to the goodwill of those they have touched before. Which is philosophically sort of nice but practically severe—Scotty is a good guy and deserves not to have his life ruined by lack of money and insurance. Help if you can. This has been one of the only sincere things ever written in this section. Thank you.
PLUS: Destiny's Child says goodbye forevz at the Pond; Donna Summer and Devo say hello, it's me again at the Grove and the HOB, respectively; Tsk Tsk and Year Future should be on the same show, but they're at Alex's and Chain, respectively; help Scotty out, respectfully.
Shonen Knife have been young, faux-naif and cute since just about when Nirvana got famous—no, wait, since like 1981, when judging by current physical appearances band leaders Naoko and Atsuko Yamano must have still been waiting to be born—and they cling to their candy canes and lollipops like grim death. "Do your best, since it'll only last two or three years," said Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon once, but he wasn't a cute Japanese girl singing about things he liked to eat: "I am writing about animals and food very naturally because I am very shy about writing songs about love," Shonen Naoko Yamano told this very paper once. "I like delicious food, so if I write songs about delicious food, people may become happy too." In related news: Comets On Fire's "Whiskey River," slightly below. With dead-boy-band the Vacation at the Galaxy.
ALSO: Pinback missed the huge-time by one Fox teen-drama theme song but will still drag all the messenger bags out to the Glass House; Von Iva see your disco at Alex's; Susan Tedeschisings with the Blind Boys of Alabama about the atom bomb at HOB.
"The blues got the blues," someone once said: when even Ike Turner can't get a good backing band, the culture is in crummy shape. But not Etta James (real name Jamesetta, since manipulated by Johnny Otis), who (reportedly) grew up in the same girl gang as Sugar Pie DeSanto (sigh, she's good-bad but she ain't evil) until she was discovered—in the same manner as one discovers new types of flowers, or beneficial medicines—and deployed into a world that should have put her right up there with Aretha Franklin. At the Long Beach Blues Fest with this year's circuit survivors, but sadly no Nathaniel Mayer or Gino Washington.
ALSO: Rave-o-saur Nocturnal Wonderland returns for long strange trip No. 11 with lazer tag, sumo wrestling, five themed rooms (Alice in Wonderland riffs as backdrop for Mark Farina, Richie Hawtin, Colette and Roni Size, and a million more, pretty much the ideal-est venue for psyche-juve-delia of the year) and one unending primal drumbeat, rationalized by Freud as the musical representation of the human death drive as he pawed at his sleeves during a bad E moment on the sidelines. At the NOS Event Center in San Burnoutadino.
PLUS: Poor little Knitters on the road at the HOB.
ALSO: Long Beach rapper LMNO promotes his new record P's and Q's—don't like it? Get f'd—with buddies the Visionaries at the Vault.
The Black Crowes collide at high speed with the rest of the Long Beach BluesFest, though impressed spies report the Crowes have passed through their uncomfortable Aerosmith boogie-jam phase and are accumulating Neil-Young-like credibility in their silver years.
PLUS: LA's ArthurFest is the feel-weird hit of the summer: Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, Black Keys (coming to Galaxy in two weeks) and a lot more so intimidating you may finally feel like a dork for liking shit like Death Cab For Cutie and the Killers, and well you should, little man. At Barnsdall Art Park near the Vermont Avenue train station: how cosmo!
I heard all these stories about how great the Stooges were but remained vaguely disappointed till I heard the Electric Eels, and I heard all these stories about how great the Beatles were but remained disappointed till I heard the Kinks, and I heard all these stories about "heavy" and "metal" and couldn't take any of it seriously—partly my own fault for growing up during Metallica's Ride the Litigation years—until a burned Comets On Fire CDR scourged—the only word—the hair off the back of my hands 20 seconds in. Undaunted, I called a friend for help: "That 'Antler of the Midnight Sun' song just made me ORGASM," she said. Official YEAURRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! band of 2K5. At ArthurFest day 2 with college-student-destroying guests Dead Meadow, Sunn 0))), Earth (yet not Earthless—these are real band names, not weak jokes, by the way) and Silverlake's only dub band Future Pigeon, who, against all rational odds, are not a weak joke at all.
I could definitely come up with some other weak jokes for you, though.
Kelly Clarkson! Except her debut album scourged—the only word—from No. 52 to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in a matter of seconds, something accomplished before only by the Beatles ("Can't Buy Me Love"), who probably would have usurped Jesus for all time if American Idol had only been there to put them on TV every night for weeks; and they'd probably still be around now, benign but stern philosopher kings, each ruling absolutely over his own quadrant of the globe—certainly America would become the seat of Ringolandia—after rising from bums to rockers to rock stars to pop stars to cultural icons to figures of world import to demigods to globe-begirdling feudal lords and finally (on a cresting wave of base adoration) to pharaonic divinities-among-men. Which brings us back to Kelly: thank God there is only one of her, because we want to live free. At the UCI Bren Center.
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PLUS: The Redwalls scourge—the only word—the Beatles' back catalog at Chain Reaction; Living Colour at the Anaheim House of Blues: official YEAURRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH! band of 1988.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 8
Massive Oakland hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics pile single file into a fully loaded tour bus: Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Souls of Mischief—'93 till infinity and counting—headline over new signee O.C. (not to be confused with anything else that has ever used those two letters, including the place, the TV show, the old soul singer and the chemical composition of carbon monoxide) and longtime collectivists Pep Love, Casual and Non Phixion and the Boom Bap Project. Great show at the Vault; gives Pine Avenue some class!
PLUS: Mysterious Low/Red House Painters side project the Retribution Gospel Choir at Detroit—they have yet to release a song but it's probably ska-punk. Or would be if they were truly as bitter and depressed as you might think and really wanted to inflict themselves on people. If they really wanted to scourge.
See Calendarlistings for club locations. Also: be smart; call ahead.