New-wave diva Alison Moyet drops in on House of Blues tonight. The English pop singer is best known for her brief partnership with Depeche Mode's Vince Clarke in Yaz (Yazoo, for you Anglophiles), whose 1982 debut Upstairs at Eric's remains a new-wave staple for Moyet's soulful blues belt on club hits "Don't Go" and "Situation." She's out behind last year's "theatrical" collection The Turn, featuring songs written for comedic stage play Smaller. Catch up with the artist with last week's PopMatters interview, "The Liberated Chameleon."... The Presidents of the United States of America are campaigning on the last administration's alt-rock ticket. ("Lump" is still a great track, though.) The Seattle-based trio is out to tout new one These Are the Good Times People, the band's sixth studio set and first with San Diego expat Andrew McKeag (Uncle Joe's Big Ol' Driver) on guitbass and vox. They play Belly Up with their Nor'west neighbors the Blakes.... S'more? Casbah stages young funks the Tighten Ups with Team Abraham and Runhoney...while uptown you got alt-pop acts Drowning Men and War Stories in the Beauty Bar's backyard...and a Citizen Video–curated horror-flick trailer fest at Whistle Stop, with a very cerebral performance by Braaiins!
Pass the Emperor Tomato Ketchup, please. London synth act Stereolab tunes in and turns up at Belly Up Friday night. Nearing 20 years of touring and recording, the duo of Gane and Sadier have kept the experimental-pop lab open, rebuilding the sextet; starting their own label, Duophonic Records; and releasing this summer's well-received Chemical Chords. Lab mastermind Gane has supplanted the krautrock beats of old (and Neu!) with a Motown vibe on their ninth studio set. Bend an ear to opening track "Neon Beanbag." Richard Swift and Monade set the Solana Beach stage.... Buenos Aires's Boom Boom Kid will be in town at Music Trader in the Sports Arena area (6p) and later at Ruby Room (9p). The Kid's Latin-flavored punk-pop rocks Spanish-language rave-ups. Check his Space takes and make a date to check out Hillcrest's latest live lounge (formerly SDSC). Tiltwheel and Sunny Side also on the bill... Beauty Bar books a...beauty, with noise-pop peeps the Lanterns, Death Set, and Apes of Wrath.... Also diggin' the Ché's cachet, with punk performance artist Gary Wilson and pop minimalists Christmas Island and Mark Lewis, all hosted by DJ/MC Don Bolles of punk progenitors the Germs.... Elsewheres: Bay Area rapper E-40 will be down at 4th&B...Power-poppers Thin Man and the Powerchords plug in at Whistle Stop... O'Connells has got SanFran acoustic psych-rock band Buxter Hoot'n....and the Casbah bills Boulder's big rock Rose Hill Drive and Oxford, Miss, indie kids Colour Revolt.
Got to get on the Donkeys tip, SanDago. The local quartet's getting national press for their Dead Oceans sophomore set Living on the Other Side, a collection of sunny SoCal desert rock. Check out the Dead harmonies and lilting harmonics on lead single "Walk Through a Cloud" for the band's hippie-dippy draw. They're headlining the Ken Saturday night.... Cambodian psych-pop six-piece Dengue Fever will play UCSD's Loft space. The L.A.-based band signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World Records for this year's Venus on Earth.... Houston hip-hopper Devin the Dude delivers his latest raps, Landing Gear, to Canes.... Local singer-songer and SDMA standout Alex Woodard and his Naysayers are apparently going to carry the night at Casbah Saturday with a freebie. Casbah site suggests you "bring money anyway."... Radio Room dials in hardcore sets by Washington's Neutralboy and Oceanside trio Nuthin SpeshL.... Hard- rawkin' Snot and DevilDriver roll up on Brick by Brick.... While the Nards teabag Tiki with alternatif rock-roll.
Excellent tré at the Ché Café Sunday night features Donkeys' Dead Oceans label mates the Evangelicals. They hail from Norman, OK, and made a Web splash with '06 debut So Gone's exuberant experimental rock, but it's the quartet's performances that rule the indie roost. They're out in support of sophomore crit hit The Evening Descends, a storybook song cycle. Brooklyn's proggy experimentalists Usaisamonster and U.K.'s chaotic tribalists Foot Village rouse the campus collective.... Audioslave and Soundgarden songsmith Chris Cornell hooked up with rap producer Timbaland for this year's Scream, a decidedly R&B-leaning collection for the hard-rocker. The pair will hook again at House of Blues for a daring double bill.... Gunplay Maxwell takes aim at Bar Pink with the Tighten Ups.... And then you got your Sunday-night specials: a 94/9 Halloween thing at Casbah features Monsters from Mars, Zombie Surf Camp, Bunky, Mermaid, free food, and live radio in the Atari, and there's an Oktoberfest fest for lifeguards at Belly Up with music by Young Dubliners, Pop Rox, and the Xceptions. Cough cough — anti-booze-ban rally — cough.
Ruby Room's showing Monday-night crawlers some love with a free one. Check out the Nightmares, Anasaziz, and Braaiins! just givin' it away.... NPR and Starbucks star Sonya Kitchell joins the Slip to soft-rock the Loft at UCSD.... And Casbah's Anti-Monday team stages anti-folkies Jeffrey Lewis from NYC and Portland's Talkdemonic-emonic-emonic-emonic.
All Hail West Texas, the go-to gig this issue is right here: indie- pop's poet laureate John Darnielle and his Mountain Goats join Southern guitar goddess Kaki King at Belly Up on their "Last Happy Night of Your Life" tour. Expect hours of acoustic Goat stomps, brainy waves of lo-fi lyricism (Darnielle likes to call it "nasal core"), and some duets with King from their collab'd EP Black Pear Tree. Burn down "Thank You Mario but Our Princess Is in Another Castle" for a preview of the pair's Pear.... Hate to do that to Greg Laswell, but there it is. Las'll play Casbah two nights, however, starting Tuesday with the pop-rocking Get Back Loretta and Wednesday with Matt Curreri and his Exfriends.... There's also a fine-looking K Records (Calvin Johnson) thing at the Ché, featuring Olympia, WA, ambients Lake and Desolation Wilderness.
Outta words. No matter. See you at Cox for the Neil Young, Death Cab show.
— Barnaby Monk