Montreal sextet Islands drift into all-ages Epicentre tonight. Islands is fronted by ex-Unicorn Nick Diamonds and picks up where that art-pop troupe left off, turning Unicorns’ quirk on its ear for dancehall beats and calypso rhythms. Islands are out to tout the release of new Anti Records disc Arm’s Way, a critical challenge after their excellent debut Return to the Sea. L.A. hit hip-hopper AWOL One in support. With Irish indies Crayonsmith and Saddle Creek’s post-punk electronicat Broken Spindles that’s a hot ticket, kids.... Seattle swamp-rock trio the Blakes will be touring the world this summer behind their s/t debut. They’ll be supporting the reanimated Brian Jonestown Massacre. Catch their garage-guit boogie at Casbah tonight before Anton poisons the well. L.A. rockers Broken West and local hook-happy cats the Feelings Mutual open. Feelings Mutual is due to drop an e.p. Check the takes on their Space — little 'Mats in their brew.... Round town: Tower Bar’s got the Sess, Xerox, and Coat Hanger.... Bumbklaat and Citizen Fish swim into the Ché.... Indigo Girls strum-n-hum for Humphrey’s.... And urban cowboy Dwight Yoakam rides the Fairgrounds.
Athens country skrunks Drive-By Truckers stop at Belly Up Friday night. Though not a ton of love from the record-buying public, the Truckers deliver live as seen by the steady string of sellout dates and festival spots. Their latest, Brighter than Creation’s Dark, is another crit-hit full of “Southern gothic rock”.... From the lighter side of the South, pop poster boy Rhett Miller’s Old 97’s visit House of Blues. The 97’s are touring behind new original collection Blame It on Gravity, their first in four years. The dash of hometown hero Buddy Holly appears to be jumpstarting the alt-country crew after Miller’s solo sidestep. Hays Carll and I Love Math on the bill.... Bluesman James Cotton sits in at Anthology. The harp player turns 73 next week. After-supper sets by local indie kids Transfer, Apes of Wrath, and Old Man Hands.... Else: Zach Rogue and Oakland soft-alt act Rogue Wave open for Portland pop stars Death Cab for Cutie at SDSU.... Vision of a Dying World, Crocodiles, and Mermaid fill a bill at Ché Café.... West Coast rapper and Grammy nominee the Game plays 4th&B.... L.A. alt-pop sextet Sea Wolf attacks Casbah.... Nu-wavers Static Static dial in at Bar Pink Elephant.... Pop rockers Get Back Loretta and the Modlins have an appointment at Beauty Bar.... While Whistle Stop props a book release for Troy Johnson’s Family Outing. Live sets by piano poppers Joanie Mendenhall and Angela Correa.
“Rock concert” pianist Scott D. Davis will pound the ivories in tribute to his favorite heavy metal band, Metallica. Davis promises you will bang your head. Check the takes on Davis’s Pianotarium and catch it live at Piano SD Recital Hall in Mission Valley.... New Jersey sons the Smithereens visit their '80s college-rock hits (“Blood and Roses,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” “A Girl Like You”) on Anthology. Though DiNizio and co. haven’t released anything original in ten years, last month the quartet dropped Live at the Court: Greatest Hits and More.... Hard rockin’ locals Long and Short of It, Archons, Cabron, and Browntown West take the Casbah stage.... Baja Bugs serve up refried Beatles at Pink Elephant.... Soul sister Lady Dottie does a weekender at Tower Bar.... And Escondido punks Tiltwheel wobble in to Ken Club with Fasination and Birdzilla. It’s someone called Bearpaw’s birthday. Go get him one.
With a rebel yell! Ex–Gen X singer Billy Idol comes to town for a couple shows this week. The 52-year-old hit maker is touring behind his best-of box Idolize Yourself. (I know.) Anyway, the peroxide prince of punk will pump his fist at 4th&B Sunday night and out at Valley View on Monday.... Local fave Eve Selis and band will drop an Americana set on Anthology Sunday night. The country chanteuse is off to Europe this summer, so catch her while you can.
Brooklyn’s fun punks Oxford Collapse play Casbah’s Anti-Monday meet-up. The Collapse will follow up last year’s crit-hit debut Remember the Night with Bits, due to drop in August. The trio’s on tour with Scottish odd poppers Frightened Rabbit. With West Coast “vaude-villains” Austin James Band, this looks like the bill of the week.... Grammy nominee Bebel Gilberto will jazz up Belly Up with Bossa Nova. She shares the Solana Beach stage with L.A.’s psych-pop sextet West Indian Girl.... Seattle seven-piece Grand Hallway delivers Noise for the Needy to Bar Pink Elephant. The fringe folkies split the bill with Brooklyn acousticat Drew Victor. Sleepy affair for the North Park place.... Tucson twosome Bobby Likes Rock N Roll set up at Beauty Bar. The “electroacoustic folk pop” kids play with Canadian art-rock troupe the Albertans.
It’s tinnitus night at Casbah as Japanese noise-rock trio Boris kick out the jams from their latest, Smile. Have a listen, as the disc epitomizes the psych-rockers’ metal-edged mayhem. Miami metal heads Torche and Beantown punks Clouds set the stage.... Athens roots-rock jam band Widespread Panic hits San Diego Civic Theater. They’re out to tout their tenth in ten years, Free Somehow.... Australian alt-pop trio the Beautiful Girls strut their stuff at Belly Up. The vox and chops on last year’s Ziggurats hits reggae vibes. BTW, the Girls are three hairy dudes.
DYI diehard Ani DiFranco will deliver her punk’d folk to Humphrey’s by the Bay Wednesday night. DiFranco has never signed to a major, running her own recording joint, Righteous Babe Records, on which she’s released 19 discs in her 20-year career and garnered a Grammy for Best Recording Package for 2004’s Evolve. Look for her latest, Red Letter Year, this summer. In the mean, check out the Live in Babeland DVD for a show prevue.... NYC pop songsmith Ingrid Michaelson tours Girls and Boys through House of Blues. Local musicman, SDMA winner Greg Laswell opens. Laswell runs 20 Inch Records, working with Michaelson, Anya Marina, and Minnie Driver.... Surf’s up at Belly Up, where surf-rockers Gary Hoey and Top Dog split the bill.... SanDago psych-rock act A Scribe Amidst the Lions do the CD release thing for their latest, Sunken Cities, at Casbah. Appropriately enough, Pen and Ink support the Scribes.
— Barnaby Monk