SoCal songsmith Matt Costa’s sophomore set Unfamiliar Faces, out now on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire label, has garnered much rock-press praise and interest from artists as far afield as No Doubt’s Tom Dumont, who discovered him, Johnson, who signed him, and Modest Mouse Isaac Brock, who took him on tour. At 18, the Huntington Beach native saw his future as a pro skater shatter with his leg, and he turned to music, since then releasing two e.p.s and critical hit debut Songs We Sing. New single “Mr. Pitiful” samples Costa’s sunny piano bounce and melodies, which belie the weight of his words — keeps company with Shins, Spoon, Ben Folds, ‘70s AM radio. Watch Costa’s star rise at Casbah tonight. Californ-y kindreds Delta Spirit open these notable sets with blue-eyed soul.... Another Brushfire artist, Rogue Wave, crashes on Belly Up tonight. Zach Rogue’s Bay Area band broke with last year’s hit disc Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, a collection of Americana pop like their last collection of Americana pop, though more self-assured and musically engaging, attributed to Rogue’s bandmates joining the process. Show’s sold out, so go troll Cedros orrrr...catch blues-rock vet Robben Ford at Anthology...mod it up with ska-core bands the Expendables and Voodoo Glow Skulls at ‘Canes...crash a Shake Shack joint at Bar Pink Elephant —- a ‘60s dance party with go-go girlies and everything...check yer head at Whistle Stop, as the South Park bar hosts its “Musical Pursuit” bar quiz. Bring a team.
SanFran psych-n-blues band Blue Cheer brings the blam to Casbah Friday night. According to the club’s website, these ‘60s stalwarts put on one of their “top-ten shows last year and will blow your mind.” San Diego’s throwback power trio Earthless will inaugurate the crowd to the sound. Goth-folk big band Blackout Party is also on the bill, making this the night’s premium ticket.... Grammy-winner Pancho Sanchez settles in at Anthology for two nights Friday and Saturday. The conga-player and his Latin-jazz ensemble will feature their new salsa beats disc Raise Your Hand. Es muy picante.... Couple more Latin jams dance bands round town tonight, as Belly Up books the B-Side Players’ big-band funk and the Mario Escovedo Experience takes its turn at Bar Pink Elephant, throwing down a Mexican sock-hop. And more’n a few tequila-n-Tecates.... James Brown tribute Supa Bad exhume the godfather of soul at O.B. party bar Winstons.... Local gypsy-folk five-piece the Silent Comedy is an art-house hit. They’ll debut new e.p. material at Whistle Stop.... KC, MO, alt-rockers Roman Numerals hit town for a couple nights. Friday night, they’ll play Ken Club with local nu-wavers Verso and Fing and post-punk up-and-comers Death on Mars.
On Saturday, the Roman Numerals will open Beauty Bar sets with Montreal’s rocktronic trio We Are Wolves. (Another Canada band with a lupine logo...) The wolves are touring behind ‘07 Dare to Care disc Total Magique.... More wolves? Los Lobos lope into Belly Up. The Chicano rock-n-pop quintet’s been recording and touring since 1976 — with the same personnel! The band’s biggest hit was the Richie Valens–penned “La Bamba,” but 1984’s major-label debut How Will the Wolf Survive? (produced by T-Bone Burnett) remains their commercial high point and critical high-water mark. Los Lobos appears most recently performing “Billy 1” on the artsy Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There.... Hometown indie kids Spell Toronto, Republic of Letters, and Japanese Sunday rock the Casbah.... Cardiff hot property Swim Party splash down at Ken Club with Roman Springs and Focus Group.... L.A. DJ Doc Martin will spin downtown at On Broadway in a Sublevel Live event that also features Lillia and DJ Jay “Idol” Videna.... House of Blues hosts a “BODOG Battle of the Bands.” Check out battle.bodoglife.net/-shows/ for details.
Couple post–Super Bowl gigs Sunday. Most notably, Louisville’s Phantom Family Halo, which features members of that town’s indie icons Slint and the For Carnation. PFH trade in experimental avant rock. Check the Southern gothic psych-rock freakouts on ‘07 debut The Legend of Black Six. The band opened last year’s Slint reunion tour and dropped jaws at South by Southwest with current tourmates La Otracina. Brooklyn-based La Otracina signed to the Holy Mountain roster (Om, Six Organs of Admittance, Wooden Shjips) for last year’s Tonal Ellipse of the One. This “heavy mental” double bill goes down at Casbah.... Normal Heights’ Zombie Lounge hosts a local showcase featuring DeadOnSeven, Reason to Rebel, Counter Launch, and Fuzz-Huzzi.
Haitian-born multi-instrumentalist and ex-Fugee Wyclef Jean delivers reggae-flavored rap to House of Blues Monday night. The Grammy-winner touts his latest, Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant, which featured guest spots by Paul Simon, Mary J. Blige, Nora Jones, and System of a Down. Platinum-selling soul singer Lyfe Jennings opens the show premiering music off forthcoming Lyfe Change, which is scheduled to drop in April.... Self-proclaimed “Kings of Psychobilly” the Meteors celebrate 25 years in the biz with Casbah’s Anti-Monday League. They’ll share the stage with Killer Kats and the Strikers, while DJ Buddha spins between sets.
It’s Fat Tuesday and House of Blues is throwing a “Mardi Gras After Party,” with Casbah promo sets by Pinback, who will hold the downtown stage Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Rob, Zach, and co. kick off a monthlong Left Coast swing before heading to the Far East in support of their 2007 disc Autumn of the Seraphs, another collection of crystalline indie pop from the San Diego–based Touch & Go recording artists. Brooklyn hip-hop comic MC Chris is also on the bill.... Round the corner, 4th&B will host blues-rock guitarist Robin Trower of Procol Harum fame. After 40 years, the artist still tours and records relentlessly, most recently in collaboration with Bryan Ferry on 2007’s Dylanesque, and this year Trower, Jack Bruce, and Gary Husband launch their new trio with Seven Moons. Unfortch., current tour line-up does not include Bruce or Husbands. The Mike Keneally Trio will warm the downtown room.... Ninja Tune DJ Vadim of St. Petersburg, Russia, visits a mash-up of hip-hop, soul, reggae, and electronica on Casbah. He’s joined by London’s lady MC Yarah Bravo and DJ Frantik.... Humanimals is coming, and funky beats three-piece Grand Ole Party will celebrate deliverance at M-Theory Tuesday with a 6p set in the Mission Hills record shop.