4th&B's got the big package this week as they serve up Cake 's Unlimited Sunshine Festival with Detroit Cobras , Oakley Hall , Agent Ribbons , and King City . Props to the Sacramento quintet for keeping this mini winter fest rolling -- they kicked it off in 2002 with the Flaming Lips and Modest Mouse and they're goin' the distance . Couldn't resist. You've had your fill of Cake? Then go for the Cobras. The Michiganders rip through rock standards, oldies you never heard given garage-rock treatment. Give a listen to this year's Bloodshot disc Tied & True and rethink Motown. Isn't Oakley Hall a novelist from San Diego? Unusual name for these ambient East Coasters, but they sound good.... In the early '90s, math-rock pioneers Don Caballero broke ground for a lot of your favorite bands, right-brainers. Check out For Respect (1993) and Don Cab 2 (1995) and get to listing progeny. The Don Cab playing Casbah tonight isn't your dad's Don Cab, but original drummer Damon Che's plucked another radical two-guitar assault from his Pittsburgh 'hood. Take the Pepsi challenge -- last year's World Class Listening Problem rocks. Bay Area experimentalists From Monument to Masses also on the bill.... Los Angelino trip-hop trio 8mm drops in at Beauty Bar. New disc Songs to Live and Die By smacks of Portishead -- sultry electronica. Fall of Snow and Wendy Darling in support.... Aimee Mann and Grant Lee (Buffalo) Phillips deliver pretty pop to Belly Up Tavern. The two popular songsmiths are large of heart, short of soul. But and however, Phillips does a respectable "Killing Moon." Ask for it.
Funked up jam band K23 Orchestra return to their roots when they play Whistle Stop Friday night. Vocalist Al Howard and his four-piece project came together at the South Park bar several years ago as an experiment in stylistic fusion, drawing players from different genres. Five years later, it's safe to assume the improvisational experiment's been a success. Lean in to last year's Whisper of a Newborn Ghost -- it is as billed, "Afro-protest-funk-rock."... Australian roots-rock trippers the John Butler Trio bring their "Good Excuse North America" tour to 4th&B Friday night with Brett Dennen . Butler and Dennen will indulge O.B. green keepers and surf riders with a free afternoon set for the Environmental Clif Bar Guerilla Gig and San Diego Coastkeepers. Bring a trash bag and help with the pickup.... San Diego's thrash-core quartet As I Lay Dying makes a pit stop at Soma before riding the wave of press they're getting for new Metal Blade disc An Ocean between Us . I recommend reading the book first.... Almost December and that means Christmastime with Oleta. Seattle's Oleta Adams visits Anthology, and she's sure to dole more than holiday fare. The eclectic soul singer's the voice behind Tears for Fears hit "Woman in Chains."
Grammy-winning Café Tacuba tour brand new disc Sino through 4th&B Saturday. The evolving Latin pop act has struck beyond nightlife, girls, and cars and turned to headier subjects for their sixth release. Perhaps something to do with front man and chief songwriter Rubén Albarrán's new Aztec identity -- Ixxixoo. Don't wince, the showman changes his name for every album tour. The New York Times last week gave raves to Sino and Tacuba's sold-out NYC sets, likening the Mexican quartet to '70s classic rock, esp. the Who.... Chicago chart toppers Fall Out Boy bring the big gig to the Sports Arena. The power-pop trio topped the...mystifying success of their '05 debut with this year's Infinity on High. You've probably heard lead single "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" pissing through your kids' headphones. I'm waiting in the car.... Or maybe hit North Park. Couple good'ns over there, as she-punks Wild Weekend kick their Zeros schtick at Tower Bar and the Downs Family spill a brew of Irish-ish folk and punk rock into Scolari's.
Watching Colin Meloy sing is like watching a frog gulp flies. But, the dude's got pipes and writes ambitious, literate songs, if a bit histrionic. And historical -- Gaelic folktales, sea chanteys... Meloy marches his five-piece Portland band the Decemberists into Spreckel's Theat-- uh, no, wait, apparently they've cancelled: "One of our band members is sicker than we thought." Next!... Blues Traveler . They're...healthy. Hammy harmonica player/singer John Popper's roots-rock blues act's been at it for 20 years and this year the Jersey band decided to remix and pare down old material on Cover Yourself . Yeah, "Run-around" is on there. The Traveler's check in at Belly Up with Encinitas' acoustic cat Nate Donnis .... Grand Ole Party and Vampire Weekend at Casbah. I'm not cleaning up after that one.
Time for the weekly minutes of Casbah's Anti-Monday League. As to the question VHS or Beta, majority voted to bring 'em back. The Louisville nu-wavers trailed 2007 hit disc Bring on the Comets through town in September and will cross our skies again Monday night. If you were there, you'll be there (huh?), as will Foreign Born and Buddy Akai . If you like your rock anthemic, pick up Foreign Born's On the Wing Now -- big and tasty burger.... Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole . Just ask art historian/pop crooner Jonathan Richman when he takes the Belly Up stage Monday night. The ex--Modern Lover turned 56 this year. Did you get this year's reissue of the Lovers' 1976 debut? Damn. I was all into 2112 in '76.
Evan Dando will share his Lemonheads (it's a new line-up) with a Casbah crowd Tuesday night. No doubt the '90s pop stud'll sell the room, so I hope he's got enough. Dando's last three 'Heads records went gold, and the 40-year-old Boston native reports he's got another in production with the new players due in early '08.... SanFran jazz-n-blues man Charlie Hunter settles in at Anthology for two nights. The guitarist is considered Joe Satriani's most accomplished protégé; indeed, Hunter's released 17 original collections since his debut in 1993. Hunter's best known for his unique invention, the eight-string guit/bass. Engaging set for guitar tech heads.... OC's Social Distortion drops punkabilly on House of Blues Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Singer/guitarist Mike Ness is the only original member of the nearly 30-year-old band, but he's got a disc slated for 2008 with the new line-up. Social D will split the bill with greezy bassman Lee Rocker on Tuesday and Chicago Celtic punks the Tossers on Wednesday.