House of Blues exhumes Dead Kennedys. The SanFran band was at the eye of the hardcore storm in the early ’80s, churning out punk anthems such as “California Über Alles,” “Holiday in Cambodia,” and o’course, “Too Drunk to Funk” (sic — family paper). Today’s DKs are fronted by East Bay Ray and former Wynona Riders singer Skip Greer, with longtime drummer D.H. Peligro. Since the tour started in August, the band’s premiered their first new material in 25 years, “Area 51” and “You’re Such a Fake.” (Think the latter’s about Jello?) If you need a primer or a reminder, get your mitts on 2008 best-of collection Milking the Sacred Cow. SoCal punk perennials D.I. will set the stage. What does D.I. stand for? “Don’t Inquire”.... From Minneapolis, Minnesota, MC Brother Ali hits the beach at Sound Wave. The hip-hop hit is out to tout last year’s Us, a crossover breakthrough for the underground rapper for its strong sociopolitics. Somewhere somebody wrote that if Brother Ali wasn’t a successful MC, he’d be, like, the world’s greatest high school counselor. Ali’s part of the Grouch’s “How the Grouch Stole Christmas” tour, so there’s gonna be a whole bunch of hip-hop, heads... Sticking on the hip-hop tip, the Loft at UCSD stages L.A. MC Nocando and DJ Nobody. Both of these guys are heavy in the Low End Theory thing in East L.A.... More L.A.? Barroom rockers Lady Sinatra swing into Bar Pink behind last year’s Loose Fang record Hisses and Kisses — more songs about girls, knives, ambulances, and Japanese massage parlors.
Tons t’do this weekend, livemusicwise, so put on your speed-reading glasses. It goes like this: uptown, that plinky Bay Area balladeer Owen Ashworth, aka Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, joins his psych-folk friends the Donkeys at Soda Bar...Brooklyn bad boys the Ex Humans will be tearing up Tower Bar with throwback punk...L.A. guitar-rockers Barrio Tiger pull it out of the garage and into Eleven...and Ruby Room hosts a hippie dippy digi bill with UBUV, F.U.Z.Z., DJ Swamp, and, um, aerial yoga.... Here’s a brow-raiser: Brick by Brick will be serving up Season’s Beatings. Yup. From the website: “A holiday fetish smackdown!” DJ Robin Roth will be spinning for a fetish fashion show, fire-eaters, aerialists, performance art, vendors, and here’s the rub, “Mistress Claus and Her Naughty Elves at the Spanking Booth.” Booya!... Not your cup of wheatgrass? Go check out the Raga Bop Trio at the Loft...or Yesman Jon Anderson up at Pala Casino.
And on Saturday, plug ’em up, dood, as Earthless, 400 Blows, Rats Eyes, and Widows will be cranking at Casbah. That’s an eclectic bill that spans spacey prog to art punk, but there’s a common denominator, if you don’t mind me waxing mathematical — that shit’s loud!... 4th&B gets old-skool, as the Wu-Tang Clan rolls up on the downtown digs. Since 1992, the NYC collective has held the best rappers in the biz, at one time or another, and this winter it looks as if they’re rolling with Raekwon, Method, and Ghostface...? Seventies radio staples the Doobies rocked back big time this year with World Gone Crazy, which debuted in the Billboard top 40. According to Doobie Bro alum Tom Johnston, “This album has been in the mix for five years, but we didn’t seriously start putting the nuts and bolts together until three years ago.” Fans of the band are glad they did and are sure to pack Spreckels in support.... Else: alto saxman Charles McPherson will blow Dizzy’s down with his quintet...from Phoenix, Calabrese brings horror punk to Brick by Brick with Stellar Corpses and the Zombie Cartel...Soda Bar serves up Rooney, “the best Brit-pop band in L.A.”...and it’ll be local post-punk dynamic duo the Dabbers at Eleven.
Passion Pit was once upon a time two years ago the solo project of Berklee College of Music grad Michael Angelakos. The Cambridge, Mass man with the helium tones rocked the web in ’08 with EP Chunk of Change, an electropop serenade to his then-gf. The hype machine went into overdrive, and Angelakos employed some more Berklee grads for last year’s commercial ka-pow! Manners. I agree with Drowned in Sound: “College rock spliced with the type of electronic frivolity symptomatic of a period in which the guitar has found itself marginalised.” Exactamundo. PP plays Soma with Mister Heavenly, We Barbarians, and Pepper Rabbit.... Go with What You Know. That ’06 originals disc showed that Dweezil Zappa didn’t fall far from Papa’s tree. He will, however, continue his Zappa Plays Zappa tour at House of Blues and hopefully have room for a few of his own rock concoctions.... Cinci garage-rock trio the Greenhornes ride into Casbah Sunday night. Couple of these guys are in the Raconteurs with that one guy from that other band...
Coupla clever ones Monday night as that back-when desert-punk band Batwings flutter into Tin Can Ale House, where they’ll pop the tops offa K Holes and Stickers.... And Ché Café stages some international hardcore with Amereeka’s Unrestrained (VT), Anchor from Sveden, and the U.K.’s River Card.
Them urban bohemians and great psych-pop regurgers the Dandy Warhols will revisit their 15 minutes of fame at Belly Up Tuesday night. The Nor’west quartet this year released career retrospective The Capitol Years 1995-2007. It’s a party record. They’re a party band. Their art is their attitude. Dig? With country-inflected Portland pals Blue Giant setting the Solana Beach stage, this’d be the gig to see.... Some great stuff cityside, too, as Jeans Wilder drops full-length debut Nice Trash (“lo-fi love songs by a neurotic Pisces”) at Tin Can Ale House...SoFlo chillwaver Millionyoung brings his Be So True EP to Casbah. Vancougar duo Teen Daze sets the stage at the Middletown mainstay...and local hip-hop/funk fusion foursome the Psycle’s at Soda Bar with Crippled Puppies, a boy-girl band from L.A. that plays “creepy bedroom pop.” I’m in.
Experimental jazz trio the Bad Plus checks in at Anthology humpnight. The avant-garde act is best known for its renditions of rock, including sides by Nirvana, Pixies, Sabbath, and — hell yes! — Rush! They are out to tout this year’s Never Stop, their seventh studio set and first all-original. Take note, Lounge Lizard fan.... Up the street and down the hill, Gay Blades come out of the scabbard (get it?) at Casbah. Sounds like your big brother’s alt-rock, and every review I read uses the word “swagger.” So, get a little Captain in you. Could be good. Grand Tarantula and Feet Feet Parachute go first.... And, also, NY, NY singer-songer Bree Sharp’s “synthetic but not stupid” Beautiful Small Machines plug in at Soda Bar behind Robots in Love. I just Googled “robot sex.” According to Huffington Post, this Jersey guy, Doug Hines, built a pretty hot, “fully functional” robot lady he calls Roxxxy. Here’s where the funny is, though: “Since Hines is a soccer fan, it can discuss Manchester United... It snores, too.”
— Barnaby Monk