SanFran’s trad-jazz piano man George Duke appears at Anthology tonight. Duke may have strayed from the hard-bop path when he pioneered synth sounds for nu-jazz goof Jean-Luc Ponty in the ‘60s, but he touched the outer limits when he joined Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. After 40 years and 30 albums, his latest being last year’s well-received, funk-infused trib to Sly Stone, Dukey Treats, the man is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, in that every hit pop-hop cat you can name is sampling Mr. Duke — from Kanye to Common and Daft Punk to MF Doom. You got three shows over two nights at the Little Italy supper club to get with it, so get with it.... Belly Up books a CD-release thing for the shoegaze-y Focus Group. The local quartet enlisted the help of indie vets Pall Jenkins and Rick Froberg for what samples as stumbling lo-fi pop. To their cred, the lilting lyrics and casual hooks charm. Check the Space takes at myspace.com/thefocusgroupsspace. Karate-rock duo Ninja Love and ramshackle ‘70s throwbacks Black Hondo set the Solana Beach stage for this locals-only load.... ‘Round town: the Anna Troy Band and Saucy Monky swing into Bar Pink...Tiltwheel and Sunnyside shine on Beauty Bar...and Thin Man, Old In Out, and Death Eaters swoop down on Hogwarts, er, Casbah.
L.A.-based Grammy winners OK Go will deliver a heaping helping of geek rock — including outerwear — to House of Blues Friday night. Their third full-length is in the can and due to drop (ew) in June. The Dave Fridmann–produced collection is said to “deconstruct the quartet’s Weezer-plays-Pixies sound.” ‘Kay. But do check their take on “Gigantic” from last year’s Pixies trib Digging for Fire. Math nerds IO Echo and Jaguar Love up first. Jag Love is ex–Blood Brothers and worth, y’know, getting to the club on time.... What else? Eighties apers the Cured and Still Ill resurrect your favorite Cure and Smiths stuff at Casbah...Pine Mountain Logs burn a cord of countrified pop-rock covers at Belly Up...while Bartender’s Bible plays the real skrunk at Bar Pink...Humanimals Grand Ole Party join she-rockers Dirty Legs at the Soda Bar...hard-rocking Archons, Oaks, and Ride the Sun pound it out at Ruby Room...and our lady of trip-hop MC Flow hooks with Mr. Tube at the Whistle Stop for a night of indie-lite dub zounds.
Local quartet Long and Short of It celebrate their release of new core-metal collection CAW! An Unkindness of Ravens at Casbah Saturday night. Press pack from Black Rabbit Rebellion records says of CAW!: “Soaring, shrieking vocals give way to thunderous bass licks and punishing guitar blasts, all held firmly together by the ‘sledgehammer of South Park’” — that’d be drummer Tim Johnson, aka Big Baby. Kill Me Tomorrow and Fing open.... British rock guitarist Dave Mason visits Anthology. After finding fame with prog-pop band Traffic, Mason went on to lay tracks for everyone from Hendrix to Michael Jackson. He’s out to tout his latest, 26 Letters, 12 Notes.... Lo-fi grime guys Charles Muskett share their Hot Dreams after River City flows folk through the Ken Club.... Beauty Bar fills an eclectic bill with Drowning Men, the Drabs, Black Patterns, XIV, Stereotech, and Eclipse 79.... Napoleon Complex, the Modlins, Hot Toddies, and Beautiful View dial in some odd pop at Radio Room.
Bar bill of the week has B.C. psych-rock throwbacks Black Mountain paired with Toronto’s psych-folkies the Sadies at Casbah. Black Mountain’s In the Future was one of last year’s lauded discs for its acid-rock guitar gusto and hooky heaviosity. And though the Sadies stand on their own eight legs just fine, they’re prolly better known for backing indie chanteuse Neko Case. Not a bad backing-band view, eh?.... Else: hardcore holdovers the Adicts, the Dickies, Billy Bones, and Henchman play House of Blues...while Midnight Radio, a tribute to Hedwig and the Angry Inch, joins the Attack! at Ruby Room.
Adrian Thaws, aka Tricky, is a London-based electronicat of the trip-hop persuasion. His scat-rap and rock makes Trick “a critical crossover act, bridging white and black England.” For more on him, check last year’s autobiographical collection Knowle West Boy. He’ll trick out Belly Up Monday night.... Flying V pilot Michael Schenker delivers MSG to House of Blues. Last year’s In the Midst of Beauty marked the return of original MSG vocalist Gary Barden, who after all these years shares the marquee with the former Scorpion.... And SD’s little folk-rock flowers Joanie Mendenhall and Nowhere Men prettify Casbah’s Anti-Monday meet-up.
Suicide Squeeze Seattleites These Arms Are Snakes will stop at Casbah on their way home from SXSW. The Snakes have enjoyed a year of critical love over their third, Tail Swallower and Dove, a collection of heady art-punk jams. With math-y and manic Cali kids Tera Melos, U.K. spaz-rockers PRE, and like-minded Los Angelinos Mae Shi (which, oh by the way, just played 16! shows over four days at SXSW, which I think bests the Black Lips’ run, si?), this one’s near impossible t’resist.... Resistors, ya got alt-country poster boy Rhett Miller gracing Belly Up’s stage...and No Kids hooking up with the Parenthetical Girls (see Will Crain’s Of Note this week for more on them) at Bar Pink.
Hump night ‘round town offers 31 flavors of alt pop-n-rock to choose from, with the Bronx (ex-Dragons guit guy Kenny Horne) and Sac-town thrashers Trash Talk at Casbah...Hillstomp, McDougall, and the Show Is the Rainbow over Bar Pink...Blank Dogs, Eat Skull, Naked on Vague, Christmas Island, and Blessure Grave filling a big bill at Soda Bar....up-and-comers the Shys, Takeover UK (from Pittsburgh, PA), and Gliss at Beauty Bar...and the Fascination, Vinyl Film, and Desert Diamonds dressing up Ruby Room.
— Barnaby Monk