Belly Up brings a bucket of Southern-fried psych rock to the club tonight with Phoenix family band the Meat Puppets, Athens, GA’s Dead Confederate, and Austinites Ume. Puppets Curt and Cris Kirkwood have lived the rock-roll cliché, done the implosion thing, and last year regrouped as a trio to record and release their 12th proper Sewn Together, a title that pretty much tells the tale on this collection. Revisit their mid-‘80s output, when the brothers passed from punk to prettier pastures. The Kirkwoods are best known for appearing beside Kurt Cobain on Nirvana’s landmark Unplugged set. Cobain played three tracks off Meat Puppets II (1984) that night. Dead Confederate’s debut Wrecking Ball is hoisting high hopes for the alt-rocking quintet whose sound is loud and lazy in a good way.... Bay Area brahs Michael Franti & Spearhead hit House of Blues behind last year’s All Rebel Rockers. Their single “Say Hey (I Love You),” which is equal parts reggae, trip-hop, and pop, is burning up the charts right now. Check it: myspace.com/michaelfranti.... And melodic punk trio Gran Sasso will set the Casbah stage for L.A. faves Happy Hollows.
Viejas books Vegas quartet the Killers out at SDSU's Viejas Arena for the hot ticket Friday night. The Grammy nominees have been a commercial coup for Island Records, racking repeated radio hits and going triple and quadruple platinum on consecutive records. Really? I have no idea who this band is.... For those of you not going to see the Killers, Georgia jam band Gov’t Mule clops into House of Blues before their new one By a Thread, not due to drop till next month.... She-punk super-group the Chelsea Girls (with players from the Donnas, Nashville Pussy, and Hole) stack at Brick by Brick.... Lanterns and By Sunlight bring the indie bright to campus collective Ché Café.... Soma stages blisteringly loud and fast Buffalo band Every Time I Die with U.K. metalcore kids Bring Me the Horizon.... And Ruby Room fills an alt-rock bill with Chi-town four-piece Oh My God and local keepers Dynamite Walls, Royal Campaign, and the yummy-sounding Brandy Alexander Band (occupational hazard).
Sucks to be Saturday this week. Well, not totally, as Long Beach funky soul brothers War (“Spill the Wine,” “Cisco Kid,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”) overtake Anthology. Singer Lonnie Jordan (born in San Diego) is the sole original member behind the big band but last year saw fit to record and release the current crew doing Greatest Hits Live.... Huntington punx Guttermouth hit the beach at Canes with loud-and-fast locals Authentic Sellout and a CD-releasing Mower. The O.B. band’s new one is called Make It a Double and is available via Suburban Noize Records.
Things pick up up Sunday when J-pop duo 2Up drop on Ché Café with (check this quadraphonic bill) the Dabbers, the Vaginals, and Rats Eyes. Yow-to-the-za, that’s a lot of tasty noise-pop for six bucks. You have to go to myspace.com/2up and give a listen to “Dokurodan.” Now!... Acceptable alternatives include, from the ‘80s, boy-girl band and someday Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Bee Five Twos at Belly Up or the Psychedelic Furs at Alice’s House of Blues and New Wave...and, from the future, indie-pop collective Most Serene Republic (there’s seven of 'em and, guess what, they’re from Canada) with Dago faves Da Bears at Bar Pink.
Anti-Monday meet-uppers get a good one in Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The NYC fuzz-pop quartet was saved from blog-world boosterism this year when Pitchfork put their eponymous debut in its Best New Releases bin and wrote of the record, “...likely to appeal to listeners beyond online name-droppers and Brooklyn scenesters.” (Who do they think their readers are, anyway?) (Don’t look at me like that.) The Depreciation Guild and Cymbals Eat Guitars — not to be confused with Boy Eats Drum Machine or, God forbid, Jimmy Eat World — will set the Midtown stage.... And House of Blues hosts a couple of nights of punk-rock sock-hops when L.A. act Flogging Molly checks in with Hepcat and Fritz & the Tantrums.
I’ve always wanted to watch this guy do what he does. I’m sure there’s nothing to “see,” but his sound’s a trip aesthetic, man. Let’s go when Phil Elverum’s Mount Eerie casts its pall over Ché Café Tuesday night. The new one, Wind’s Song, has been deemed a black metal album by the doofi who think way too much about this crapola, but it is glacial. Hearing less and less of the old creaking carnival of the Microphones, which was wonderful, and more sonic confidence. Also on the bill, we get Tara Jane O’Neil, Karl Blau, and No Kids. Been a generous week from Ché Café. They’re calling this one, appropriately enough, the Disorientation Fest.... Miss the door there, just continue up the 5 to Belly Up, where granddaddy of geek rock Stan Ridgway joins Sara Petite...or turn yourself around to Casbah, where Brooklyn psych rockers Amazing Baby play from Rewild. Like-minded Los Angelinos the Entrance Band and SD’s fresh-faced players the New Archaic up first.
Hump night has hometown hardcore hits Battalion of Saints marching into Radio Room. Singer George Anthony and a new crew intend to pick up where signature disc Second Coming left off. Taang! Records in Hillcrest has all your out-of-print BattSaints needs. Check out their hits-disc comp Death-R-Us for a primer. River Bottom Nightmare, Action Now, and Band of Orcs fill this first-rate punk-rawk bill.... At the other end of the aural spectrum, Norwegian pop pinup Sondre Lerche plays Casbah behind New York acousticat JBM...House of Blues hosts alt-pop act Better Than Ezra...and ‘80s radio hits Living Colour wash up at beach bar Canes.
— Barnaby Monk