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Thursday 3
SanFran psych-pop band the Fresh & Onlys will bring the ampersand to Bar Pink tonight. The Onlys spill Nuggets-era vocals — complete with haunting female backup — over jangly garage-rock chord progressions, a sound reminiscent of their Haight & Ashbury ancestors. Fans of Thee Oh Sees and Skygreen Leopards would do well to wrap their paws around the new Woodsist (who else) disc Grey-Eyed Girls. With Austin rock-n-soul risers Woven Bones and DJ Mario O spinning some vinyl, these are the sets to catch tonight.... Little Dragon’s a Swedish electro-soul outfit with a Japanese female singer. They are out to tout this year’s closer-to-trip-hop disc Machine Dreams. The Dragons swoop down on Casbah with Pollyn and DJ Blacq Shampoo.... Ken Club stages psych-rock sets by Red Octopus, Radio Moscow, and Nebula.... And acousti-punk quartet the Canton Mudders kick the Tin Can Ale House with Tiny Frank and the Morning on Fire fo’ free.

Friday 4
Girls’ new bed-sit collection Album stokes '50s and '60s vocal pop with unwieldy guitar tones and lo-fi “whatever.” The numbers make for straight-ahead sing-alongs about busted affairs and broken dreams, but Christopher Owens — who insists on citing the Everlys as his heaviest influence — has a voice that takes some getting used to. Once you do, though, you’ll uncover one of the more charming (and rocking) pop collections to come out this year. Their Bay Area buds the Morning Benders split this hot ticket at the Loft on UCSD campus.... On the downhill side of campus, the struggling students at Ché Café have booked a benefit to keep the collective solvent, and even though Abe Vigoda will NOT make the scene as previously planned, it’s still a killer bill and cause with the Beaters (ex-Sess), Blessure Grave, No Paws (No Lions), and the Preteens.... Soma stages Irvine alt-rockers Thrice, which has a new one called Beggars. (Apropos title for the Vagrant label.) Dear Hunter and the Bled set the Arena area stage.... Else: Swamp-boogie cat Kenny Neal wades into Anthology...trip-hop trio Digable Planets orbit O.B. nightspot Winstons...and very heavy-metal hits Casbah with Baroness and Earthless. Get yer plugz at the bar.

Saturday 5
Cold Cave creepy Wesley Eisold is bringing indie geeks and klub kids together ‘round his new Matador platter Love Comes Close, one of the most infectious synth-pop discs I ever heard, and I hate the shizz. But — BUT — it’s dark, and Wesley was, once upon a time, front man for killer Philly hardcores Some Girls. Cold Cave plays Casbah Saturday with Nite Jewel and Ale Mania.... Hollyweird’s heavy-beats bad boy Mickey Avalon will be down at 4th&B behind a slew of new singles, including Billy Squier staple “Stroke Me (explicit version).” Of course it is, Mick.... Utter mentionables: L.A. psych-pop act Lemon Sun join our own wild-weekender Maren Parusel at Soda Bar...the Dirty Santas deliver naughty rock to Radio Room. The Aversions and End of Power up first...’Round the bend at Bar Pink, the princess of Pioneertown, Linnzi Zaorski, unwraps her Christmas collection. She’ll be in town for a couple of nights at the North Park hotspot...and Modern Rifles shoot up Tin Can Ale House. Swim Party sets the stage at the Banker’s Hill bar.

Sunday 6
One of the o-riginal ska-punks, Angelo Moore (aka Dr. Madd Vibe), and his refleshed Fishbone will visit House of Blues Sunday night. They’re looking to dish their new CD/DVD discs, Fishbone Live (in Bordeaux). The like-minded Less Than Jake headlines the gig. Cage and the Swellers are also on the bill.... From the mainstream side of Manhattan, Stellastarr shines on Casbahh with local up-and-comers Transfer. Look for Transfer’s new radio-ready set Future Selves to get the boys some national notice. Good luck with that.

Monday 7
Casbah’s Anti-Monday meet-up gives you Harper Simon, son of Paul. The young Mr. Simon this year released his self-titled debut via his own imprint Tulsi Records. It’s a folk-pop affair that does Dad proud. Give a listen here: myspace.com/harpersimon. The Chapin Sisters and Farmer Dave will set the Middletown mainstay’s stage.

Tuesday 8
Pompadoured pop star Morrissey will grace the stage at Copley Symphony Hall Tuesday night. Do not mess with Moz’s hair. Last month in Liverpool, the singer walked offstage after a plastic bottle hit him in the hairdo. And this just a week after he collapsed onstage in Swindon. All’s well, though, my little mope-pop idolaters, as the Smiths mythmaker has made the leap overseas for the U.S. leg behind his new b-side and rarities record Swords. Whew.... Not your cup of Earl Grey? Belly Up books Brazilian bossa nova babydoll Bebel Gilberto...and Radio Room dials up Echo Park indie kids Woah Hunx, the Cowabunga Babes from Austin, and our own Christmas Island and Braaiins!

Wednesday 9
The “In Solvent See” tour hits House of Blues as Canadian electro-industrial act Skinny Puppy howls along with Nebraskan death-metal dudes Vverevvolf Grehv (feat. Dapose of the Faint). Puppy’s new disc, In Solvent See, their 13th, isn’t due to drop till early next year, but you’re sure to get a sneak peek Wednesday night.... Punk pioneers Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds), Greg Attonito (Bouncing Souls), and Kepi Ghoulie (Groovie Ghoulies) are gonna folk shit up at campus club Ché Café.... Brian Karscig and his Nervous Wreckords will play a CD-release thing at Casbah for their debut EP Nailbighter. Local lounge lizards Apes of Wrath and the minimalist Maystar open the show, while SanFran alt-rock band Mata León entertains the Atari Lounge between sets.
Barnaby Monk

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