Reggae’s dancehall duke Junior Reid makes his home nearest the genre’s roots in Kingston, Jamaica. Recording and touring since he was 15 years old, the 44-year-old former Black Uhuru vocalist doesn’t spend much time there but says his worldliness informs his dub riddims. Reid’s a vibrant performer who’s remained relevant by working with the likes of Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne, and the Soup Dragons (!?). Check out last year’s Live in Berkeley CD/DVD for a primer. Reid appears at Bay Park’s Brick by Brick alongside High Tide and Without Papers.... Hardcore head-trippers Long and Short of It’s CAW: An Unkindness of Ravens has been a steady listen around Reader offices this year for its Jesus Lizard juice and '80s art-core audacity. Ben Johnson’s the new David Yow. Question is: what do we do with the old David Yow? (Not to worry, Jesus Lizard is back at it and will be here in October, buds!) In the mean, get geared up at Radio Room tonight with Long and Short, Mount Vicious (SF), and the Archons.... More blippage: Heavy Cessna lands at the Ken with Revenge Club and Snake Babies...and bad-ass song-and-dance man Ben Vereen checks in at Anthology for two nights. Seriously, the cat’s a Broadway institution.
Eddie Spaghetti and his self-proclaimed “greatest rock and roll band in the world,” the Supersuckers, hit the beach at Canes Saturday night. Rock-rolling cow-punk style for nigh on 20 years now, the Suckers make their hay onstage and are indeed an act to be reckoned with. Couple them with Stray Cat bass slapper Lee Rocker, who sets the seaside stage, and you’ve got the ingredients for an all-out barn-burner. Check out Rocker’s Alligator debut Black Cat Bone. Dude rules the rockabilly roost.... She doesn’t care about her bad reputation, and why should she? Joan Jett and the Blackhearts have had so many chart-toppers — “I Love Rock ’n Roll,” “Crimson and Clover,” “Do You Want to Touch Me,” just to name a few. Ms. Jett and the rest’ll ride the midway at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Friday night.... Else: well-aged SanFran punk band Samiam plays the Ken with North County warblers Tiltwheel...groove-oriented garage rockers Ded Pigeons drop on Soda Bar with dynamic duo the Dabbers...she-rockers Stone Foxes and Anna Troy join L.A. alts the Tender Box at Ruby Room...one-man band Pant Hoots and alt-pop act Thin Man split a bill at Bar Pink...and Casbah does its dance deal Jivewire for your pre-Fourth fling.
Happy Independence Day, San Dagos. What we’ve got’s not a lot, but it’s hot. Check out the “Mayor of Motown” Smokey Robinson wooing ‘em at the Fair. Robinson’s R&B tracks have got such staying power — “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Tracks of My Tears,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Tears of a Clown,” etcet etcet — the 70-year-old hit-maker’s heyday is still on. Go to the show, ride some rides.... And then blues banshee Lady Dottie will don her Diamonds down at Casbah. Dottie’s 2008 s/t Hi-Speed Soul debut is a near-perfect party platter. With rootsy rock-and-soul trio Grass Heat, this bill’s a helluva way to keep the fireworks flying on the Fourth.
Avalon Tattoo celebrates 20 years of inking you up, San Diego. The festivities at Casbah Sunday night include sets by country skrunks the Deere Johns and Old Man Malarkey and soul slingers the Tighten Ups.... Ruby Room stages a subtler Sunday-nighter with Austin folkie Elisa Ferrari and like-minded locals Drew Andrews and Joanie Mendenhall.... Also, megasupadupa diva Kelly Clarkson will appear at the Fair. Apparently she’s the first-ever American Idol winner and since has become an international sensation. Whatever.
Take Tuesday off, gang, cuz this week’s sets to see are down at Casbah’s Anti-Monday thing. You just can’t miss the do-right double bill of the Coathangers and the Strange Boys. The Coathangers are all-female Atlanta breakouts whose Suicide Squeeze debut Scramble melds gritty indie-pop with Kim Gordon cool. And the Strange Boys are some youngsters from Austin whose punk’d R&B belies their years. Get your gloves around this year’s In the Red record The Strange Boys and Girls Club for the proof in the pudding. Skyscraper compares them to Black Lips’ “wild pop glee...channeling, distorting, and mending a surprising amount of influence into a cohesive, addictive collection.” True, dat. (And by the way, r.i.p. Skyscraper. This summer’s issue is apparently its last. Bummer.) Casbah’s serving up sides of Heavy Hawaii, Anasazis, and DJ Mario O. spinning round sets. It is so on.... The only forgivable excuses for missing that one might be catching the Bugs and Secretions at Bar Pink or Modern Rifles and Robbers at Radio Room. Because, y’know, they’re local and stuff.
Ageless U.K. punx the Anti-Nowhere League lay it down at Brick by Brick Tuesday night. Front man Animal’s led an ever-changing band of Anti-Nowhere Leaguers for going on 30 years and shows no sign of letting up. Last year’s Road to Rampton finds him with his ‘80s Oi! intact. The “Master of Disaster” and ex-pro skater Duane Peters (purportedly the inventor of the “acid drop”) will set the Bay Park stage with Cobra Skulls (Reno), Ashers (featuring Mark Unseen), and kid act Jakked Rabbits (Slam Diego) for a punk-rock smorgasbord.
Hump-night highlights have Copeland hitting House of Blues. The Florida four-piece plays clean anglophilic arena pop à la Coldplay and Keane, except they’re from, like, Lakeland, not England, and the arena would have to be reeeeally small. You can find their Tooth & Nail debut You Are My Sunshine (I know, right) at the “nice price” in the remainders bin — somewhere between Coldplay and Keane.... Ex–Wild Weekender Maren Parusel — “featuring a supergroup backing band” — cozies up to Casbah with Royal Campaign and the Steve Carson Band.... While Yes and Asia bring their very British fancy-pants prog pop to Humphrey’s by the Bay. (P.S. and BTW, Jon Anderson is not on the tour. It’s some dude they found singing in a Yes tribute band.) — Barnaby Monk