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Thursday 16
The Atlanta-based quartet Black Lips bring their 200 Million Thousand tour to town tonight. The new Vice disc may not match Good, Bad, Not Evil’s immediacy, but it shows the boys’ve got chops outside their punk’d R&B comfort zone, juggling blown psychedelia (“Drugs”), ‘60s pop (“Elijah”), and rap, sorta (“The Drop”). The collection’s variety gives it more staying power — si or no? Anywhich, on stage the Lips’ll never let you down. The “flower punks” join Flowers Forever at Casbah with local openers Nautical Disaster, while the Atoms bounce ‘round in the Atari lounge. Outside of Indio, that one’s got to be the gig to get to this week, but we’re just getting started, so hang on.... Blues guitar prodigy Kenny Wayne Shepherd appears at Belly Up. Check out the Strat slinger’s opus, 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads, a CD/DVD document of Shepherd’s time with blues greats B.B. King, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, and others.... Bar Pink books alt-pop trio Fever Sleeves with indie experimentalists MNML.... Scarlet Symphony pours on the sticky stuff at Soda Bar.... And Radio Room fills a bill with noisy throwbacks Lualta, Ninja Love, Bloodflowers, and Ratbirds.

Friday 17
The real big gigs are out in the desert this weekend, but for those of you not on the Coachella tip... The hottest rock-roll act to break from San Diego in a while is Nathan Williams’s (Fantastic Magic) suddenly famous two-man crew Wavves, which made a big splash — critically — at this year’s SXSW. Fan-based blogs, however, suggest a backlash on young Nathan of tsunami proportions. The hubbub centers around debut Wavvves, a collection of simple bedroom-punk songs that supplant skill with raw aesthetics and a knack for one-off hooks and melodies. Imagine Conor Oberst covering Don and the Goodtimes, except the songs are about smoking bowls and Goth chicks. Wavves roll into Casbah Friday night and will be joined by fellow minimalists Christmas Island, the Dabbers, and (great name) Bipolar Bear. Miss this, you can catch Wavves at the Ché Tuesday.... Judy says knock you in the head! U.K. punk perennials the Vibrators plug in at Radio Room. After 33 years, it’s still Knox Carnochan at the helm and Eddie Edwards in the engine room. And odds are they still play “Stiff Little Fingers.” With Larry and His Flask (OR) and local openers Rat City Riot and Northern Towns, this one should be a hoot.... Desert-rock Zonies Calexico bring the horn-y big band to Belly Up. Joey and John and co. are out to tout crit-hit Carried to Dust, which is the tits (can I say that on the air?), and these guys kill it live. Local country skrunks Bartender’s Bible set the Solana Beach stage.... Back downtownways: Soda Bar draws Klezmer punks Di Nigunim with odd-pop peeps Underscore Orkestra and the Yiffs...acid jazzers Pocket’re at Bar Pink...River City flows pretty pop into Whistle Stop...and House of Blues hosts slinger-singers Derek Trucks and Jackie Green.

Saturday 18
Nah na-ah nahnahnah...mah na mah na. The Portland indie act Menomena rolls into Casbah Saturday night. The trio’s ‘07 Barsuk disc Friend and Foe stands as the band’s high-water mark for its seamless cut-and-paste pop pastiche. Bend an ear to their Space page for a listen. Check out “Wet and Rusting.” Calico Horse and Writer make this bill 100 percent, grade A art pop. Should be good.... Else: Kentucky funk punks Cage the Elephant visit their White Stripes–lite on House of Blues...noise-rockers Archons play Soda Bar...and drum-n-bass dudes Students of the Drum pound it out at Radio Room.

Sunday 19
Ooo-oo, that smell... Belly Up books the fifth annual SeedleSs 4/20 party (wink), featuring Diego Roots, Tribe of Kings, Sister Carol (doing “Black Cinderella”), Yellow Wall Dub Squad, the Scientist, and a reggae set by members of P.O.D. with Brigadier Jerry and Yami Bolo. Who’s calling in on Monday?... More 4/20? O.C.’s hip-hop punx Kottonmouth Kings slither into House of Blues Sunday. The sextet is set to drop another in their Hidden Stash series. “You keep yer weed in there.”... Soda Bar serves up a mixer, with the Intelligence, Christmas Island, and the Pillow Queens.... While hardcores the SkateWitches (featuring some Vitamin Piss) roll on the Ché with like-minded locals Die Sabotage.

Monday 20
I’m good, I’m gone. Twenty-three-year-old Swedish sweetheart Lykke Li brings the poptronica hits of debut LL Recordings album Youth Novels to Belly Up Monday night. The international indie hit was voted Best Female Vocalist this February. Stereogum reviews suggest that onstage the pop chanteuse brings it with soul. The Afternoons are a Los Angelino big band that find their influence in mariachi and marching bands. They’ll set the stage.

Tuesday 21
Spiderman of the Rings Dan Deacon hits campus club Ché Café Tuesday night. The Baltimore electronic experimentalist dropped spanking-new collection Bromst last month to rave reviews. Wavves, Double Dagger, Teeth Mountain, and Fortress of Amplitude go first.... Also upthataway, you got the U.K.’s reggae radio hits UB40 with local dub dudes the Devastators at Belly Up Tavern.... Bean Town big band Bang Camaro rolls into Casbah with a choir of vocalists. They’ll lay out upcoming collection The Art of Fist Pumping. Leslie and Die Sabotage are also on the bill.

Wednesday 22
Lots to see and hear next Wed., so real quick: Doors fans, take note, desert-dwelling psych-n-blues duo Golden Animals appear at Bar Pink, and singer Tommy Eyes does Mr. Mojo proud. These Silverlake mainstays are something to see...Blag Dahlia, notoriously of the Dwarves, does his solo set at the Ken Club...Old In Out, Monsters from Mars, and Sunday Times play a locals-only show at Casbah...Peruvian rap politico Immortal Technique rocks the mic at Canes. Word...Verso does a CD-release thing at Ruby Room with Sex Mannequin and Anasazis in support...and Soda Bar sets up a creepy band-name night with John Wayne Gacy Daycare, Ded Pigeons, and Street of Little Girls. Gives you the willies, doesn’t it?
Barnaby Monk

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