We feel your pain. Not the pain of all of you about to head out to Indio in order to see the antlike figures onstage from a distance play an amazing unexpected cover version (that will be on YouTube five minutes after they perform it), while some very drunk individual pours a combination of warm beer, extra sunblock and suspect other fluids on you while going on very loudly about how dubstep changed their life. As noted, we don't feel that pain, we acknowledge it.
We mean the pain of those of us looking for shows to attend locally
while Coachella is going on–and those shows are happening, but
they're understandably overshadowed by everything else in the desert. It
may be a mixed bag but there are a few highlights we'd like to point
out. Also, there's something to be said for going home after a show and
resting in your own bed rather than wondering what the hell happened to
your sleeping bag while you were out.
Friday night means the Punk Rock Social at Alex's Bar in Long Beach, which has as the headliner the obnoxious-beyond-any-attempt-at-explaining-it-away punk rock jollies of the Meatmen, whose lead figure Tesco Vee founded Touch and Go Records, made a name for himself in collecting old toys and addressed such heartfelt topics as “Real Men Hang to the Right” and “One Down Three To Go” — aka, an accounting of the Beatles after John Lennon was shot. It's another reunion of sorts for the band with nine lives and then some; little surprise that such fellow defenders of bad taste like Black Fag and the Junk are also on the bill. One two three:
Saturday finds Yuck over at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, making their own kind of noise with the support help of the Lonely Forest. Yuck are rapidly getting their own buzzband status in place — assuming it keeps up, it's pretty well assured they'll be playing Coachella next year at this rate — so catching them now at a lower key show can't hurt. They're riding what appears to be a new kind of early '90s wave of nostalgia (but wasn't that nostalgic already?), caught somewhere between when KROQ first when poppily grunge — pre-Korn, thankfully — and when college radio was wondering whether or not Matador Records' distribution deal with Atlantic meant Pavement was a major label band. All this and they're from the UK — and they're not Mumford and Sons. Buy these people a drink or two.
Finally, Sunday provides any number of options to chill and enjoy and keep a cocked eye open for the sunburned hordes slowly staggering back to the area. Sunday Funday at Ripples in Long Beach if you still have dancing energy? Evan Stone's Jazz Jam at Steamers in Fullerton in the evening for improvisational jams and working through some standards? Rockabilly in Anaheim with Gambler's Mark at the Juke Joint? Rockabilly in Fullerton with the Lazy Boys at the Slidebar? You could even go see Bo Bice at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano if you're so inclined — though maybe that's a step too far. But whatever you do, go out and enjoy it to the full — and try not to be too jealous when your friends tell you missed out on the 2011 equivalent of “OMG SO AMAZING!” that this was: