Beauty Bar books the bill to be at tonight with Austinites Strange Boys and the Crystal Antlers of Long Beach. Strange Boys push punk’d-up R&B through blown amps swinging a little lower and slower than genre stalwarts Black Lips. The Antlers were signed to Chicagoland indie label Touch and Go on the strength of their homemade s/t psych-punk EP, which the label will rerelease next month in advance of the band’s full-length due early ‘09. Get to their Space pages and get inspired. Should be good.... Tonight’s Belly Up bill has J.J. Grey and his band Mofro laying down Southern roots rock with porch-swing cadence and stories to tell. Sit a spell with last year’s crit hit Country Ghetto to sample their Southern gothic vibe. Hill Country Revue, featuring members of the North Mississippi Allstars, set the Solana Beach stage.... Hawaiian rastas Ekolu spread their island vibes at Canes.... Couple of L.A. tribute acts in town, as Dylan devotees Highway 61 Revisited and psilocybic Deadheads Cubensis hit House of Blues.... Casbah’s got an art happening happening. “Share This Place” is a multimedia thing with live original music celebrating the lives of bugs and stuff like that.... Cross town, Crescendo, Tapedeck Mountain, and Feelings Mutual fill an indie-kids bill at Ken Club.... Road warriors, the “Camper Van Campout” kicks off tonight at Pappy & Harriets near Josh Tree. You get CVB, Cracker, Built to Spill, Quasi, and a whole bunch more under high-desert skies. Go to pappyandharriets.com for the lowdown.
Ratatat’s at the House of Blues for a Casbah-booked bill. The Brooklyn-based rocktronica duo has MP3s of LP3 on their Space page if ya like. Guitars gleam over stuttering synth samples in these futuristic cuts. Ratatat’s hometown hardcores Panther and Portland MC E*Rock share the stage.... Venice septet Pine Mountain Logs stack ‘em up at Belly Up. The vocal group covers favorites from pop and rock to TV-show tunes. They’ll be joined by Hawaii-via-Canada troubadour Justin James, who’s out behind his latest acoustic collection Sundrenched.... Sac-town folk-and-soul duo Two Sheds and L.A.’s sunshine-pop quintet Western States Motel check in at Bar Pink. Both bands’ll have fresh EPs in hand.... Else: Local nu-wavers Buddy Akai bop Beauty Bar... O ’Connells stages ragers D.P.I., El Nada, and Nuclear Tomorrow...SanDago cow-punks Pushin Rope and Tokyo’s psychedelic Surf Coasters ride into Radio Room...Soma’s got power-poppers Rocket Summer and Phantom Planet...British prog-rock and pop band the Alan Parsons Project sets sail for Humphrey’s by the Bay...while acoustic collective Snuffaluffagus and Houston ingenue Asher in the Rye play Ché Café...and the modest mousie Frantic Romantic woos a Ken Club crowd.
No discussion of a rock-and-blues revival round town would be complete without a nod to her grace, soul sister Lady Dottie, and her chock-full-of-chops band the Diamonds. They’ll drop their Hi-Speed Soul debut Livin’ It Up next Tuesday and play a CD-release Saturday night at Casbah. Apartment-pop acts Silent Comedy and Pant Hoots set the stage, while Wild Weekend tilts the Atari.... There’s a Ray@Nite after-party at Bar Pink with Phoenix garage group the Love Me Nots. The boy-girl quartet has a new Atomic A Go Go disc called Detroit, and the Hammond-and-guitar concoction smokes from top to bottom.... Or you can dance off the sand at Canes with local Latin-jazz groove acts B-Side Players and Agua Dulce.... Little bills include doom-pop troupes War Tapes and Repeater at Beauty Bar...and Encinitas indies sayvinyl with the Students and Incomplete Neighbors at the Ken.... While the neon marquees have got dad-rock dudes Maroon 5 and Counting Crows at the Cricket...and ‘80s FM pop acts Air Supply and Christopher Cross out at Humphrey’s.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club revs at House of Blues Sunday night. After ‘05’s heralded cornpone collection Howl, the Bay Area band came back to fuzz-rock form with last year’s Baby 81. This is a get-to gig, as the talented trio turns it up and out live.... Otherwise, ya got Grammy-winning hip-hop hits Digable Planets from NYC, who’ll orbit Belly Up for a two-night stint...or Smart Brothers, Wrong Trousers, Jane and the Whalesharks, and Joanie Mendenhall serving up a decent note-per-nickel bill-of-fare at Casbah.
Dance-punk progenitor and former front for Six Finger Satellite John MacLean, aka The Juan MacLean, curates Casbah’s Anti-Monday League with his new sample-based song cycle The Future Will Come — for fans of LCD and DFA. Shark Attack krew and Saul Q kick it off.... Austin’s goth-and-garage mix Dirty Hearts are billed at Beauty Bar. Fair warning, howev., though BB’s Space page lists this gig, the Dirty Hearts’ itinerary has them in Vegas on the 14th and 16th and no mention of a San Diego stop. Taste the Pig and call to confirm.
Grinderman! Set of the summer Tuesday night when Aussie rocker Nick Cave plants his Bad Seeds at 4th&B. Cave’s career is a juggernaut of successful sides (the Birthday Party, Bad Seeds, Grinderman, and solo) and legendary live shows. His latest with the Bad Seeds, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, pits the 50-year-old artist/performer as one of his generation’s most solid songsmiths and enduring rockers. We seldom see the Cave man in the Southland, so you shouldn’t oughta miss it.
Philly throwbacks Dr. Dog headline a fetching Casbah bill Wednesday night. The young scruffians, who’ve got a decidedly Beatles bent, just dished their third Park the Van full-length of ‘60s pop-n-roll, Fate, but recommend debut Easy Beat for the high-water treats. They’re currently touring with likeminded locals the Delta Spirit and San Antone’s Southern-fried faves Hacienda.... Bar Pink sets up SanFran psych-pop band the Oh Sees, who’ve got a woolly and worthwhile new one called (deep breath) The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In.... Besides them there joints: Long Island’s “hip-hop honky” Aesop Rock’s at Belly Up...trad jazzman Ernie Watts blows his sax for Anthology’s icon series...and the mark-of-excellence San Diego Music Awards’ll be doled out at Viejas Park. We’re happy just to be nominated. Really.
— Barnaby Monk