Let’s kick it off with the club date of the week, shall we? DC’s favorite son, Ted Leo and his Pharmacists, fill your punk-pop prescription at Casbah. For a decade Leo’s trio has served up one of the most consistent punk-n-roll catalogs, starting with 2001’s Tyranny of Distance through last year’s Living with the Living. But unwrap Hearts of Oak (2003) for the band’s high-water mark, particularly their signature single “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?” Leo fuels fires with his grind-out guitar tones and finger play, a rock-solid rhythm section, intelligent sociopolitical lyric sheets, and hard-rock croon. The guy pulls syllables like taffy. With Jersey noise-pop peeps Titus Andronicus, whose debut The Airing of Grievances made the sextet Pitchfork’s flavor of the month with a “best new music” 8.5 share.... Else: Nawlins’ live killers Cowboy Mouth open wide at Belly Up. The 20-year-old party band is out to tout new disc Fearless. Memphis trio Ingram Hill sets the Solana Beach stage.... Bar Pink takes out the indie-rock Eurotrash with Francophiles 13th Hole. Local up-and-comers Pleasure Device split the bill.... And Canes stages a “Rock Obama” showcase, featuring desert digi act Gram Rabbit, with Rising Sound, Minor Keys, and Maldroid.
Big sack o’ spook rock this Halloween night. Too much to tally, so here’s a sampler: Night Marchers, Wild Weekend, Black Hondo, and a “super-duper special guest” appear at Casbah...91X hauls Jack’s Mannequin into House of Blues’ “Halloween Massive” event...Creepy Creeps, Nightmares, and the Mistits (yup, you read it right) will be at Bar Pink...Kill Me Tomorrow and Pant Hoots haunt Whistle Stop...Deadbolt does Ken Club with the Postals and Braaiins!!...Buddy Akai’s at Beauty Bar...Ché Café cooks up some Cattle Decapitation with a side of Bumbklaat...Fee Waybill and his SanFran dance-pop band the Tubes roll into Anthology...Jason Mraz plays his apartment pop at SDSU’s Open Air...and “Feel the Noise,” U-31’s got a good’n, with local carny rockers Silent Comedy and DJs Gabe Vega and Saul Q. Recommend you stick Silent Comedy’s s/t EP in yer ears, it props their chops and earned the quintet SDMA’s “Best New Artist” award.
UK goth-punks the Damned still walk the earth. After 30 years, vocalist Dave Vanian and guit guy Captain Sensible have kept the name alive and this week released the band’s tenth studio set, So, Who’s Paranoid? a garage-y collection that recalls 1979 Damned staple Machine Gun Etiquette. They’ll hit House of Blues Saturday night with regrouped SoCal hardcores the Adolescents.... Texas space-rock trio the Secret Machines deliver their hot-off-the-presses eponymous third to Belly Up, but it’s indie artist Murray Lightburn and his Canadian crew the Dears that fill this bill. Last week the orch-pop act released their fourth, Missiles, but bend an ear to the Dears’ ‘06 crit-pick Gang of Losers.... A load of lo-fi psych-pop at Ché Café Saturday night, with Brooklyn bands caUSE co-MOTION and Crystal Stilts and local duo Christmas Island.... Brit-pop soul samplers the Heavy weigh in at Casbah with L.A. trip-hopper Kenan Bell.... Radio Room dials in surf-rock psych-outs Monsters from Mars.... And SanDago power poppers Buckfast Superbee join ...Students at Epicentre.
“Show me I’m wrong...” Local rock-roll quartet Autotonic plays an afternoon set at Bar Pink’s Swami’s Sunday Mass. Let us play.... Casbah books the Revival Tour, featuring popular songsmiths Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Tom Gabel (Against Me!), Ben Nichols (Lucero), and Tim Barry (Avail).... Big bill at Belly Up Sunday night has hepcat harpman James Harman blowin’ blue notes for Ben Hernandez’s Bon Voyage Party with Nathan James, Sonny Leyland, the Freemonts, and Blue Largo.... While hard-rockin’ Bible-belt band Maylene and the Sons of Disaster take down Soma with catchy Christian metal. Chino screamos A Static Lullaby also on that bill.
Casbah’s Anti-Monday team throws a “Get Out and Vote Pre-Party” with local pop-rock acts Roman Spring and Bedford Grove.... SanFran experimental band Tartufi plays Bar Pink Monday night. Check ‘em out on UCSD’s KSDT radio show earlier on.... And Portland thrashers White Fang lope into Ché Café behind Thanksgiving and the Endless Bummer.
The mighty Madonna gets all material and shit at Petco Park on Super Tuesday. Could be the material girl will be the first to tell you who your new prez is. Weird. Not as weird as the 50-year-old pinup’s latest, Hard Candy. Ouch.... Magnetic Morning (formerly the Setting Suns and featuring dudes from Swervedriver and Interpol) plays Casbah. Local Album Leafer Jimmy LaValle’s in on this too. Get a taste of the Jersey City–based post-rock collective from the Setting Suns’ s/t EP.... And Anthology does a couple SDMA showcases Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday night it’s blues-rock with Nathan James, Ben Hernandez, and Veronica May. And Wednesday’s got pop-rock’s Billy Midnight and Sayvinyl.
Asheville’s odd instrumentalists Toubab Krewe combine Mali music with American fest rock. The jambalaya jam band will join local funky duo On the One up at Belly Up.... Ohio emos Hawthorne Heights hit Soma Wednesday night. Their third for Victory Records, Fragile Future, pretty much tells it all. Your nieces and nephews love this shit, making the quartet Billboard bombs.... Flagstaff dark-pop act the Skyrider Band join Sole and Thavius Beck at Casbah.... Live Wednesdays at U-31 bills the Spinto Band, Dynamite Walls, and hot-shit Scottish trio Frightened Rabbit. Check out the Rabbits’ Fat Cat sophomore set The Midnight Organ Fight. Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit
— E. Fudd, Barnaby Monk