Yes, Virginia...dark cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls did reunite this year and have been touring, appropriately enough, since Halloween. The Boston band, consisting of Amanda Palmer (vox, keys) and Brian Viglione (everything else), will dance its danse macabre into House of Blues after a two-year hiatus that followed ’08’s crit-hit companion piece No, Virginia. The Dolls — despite their allergy to the G-word — produce landmark goth pop, but for these consummate performers, the show’s the thing, and the thing to see Thursday night.... Else: shine up yer skids, kids, as Latin funksters the B-Side Players bring the boogaloo to Belly Up...electro-pop meets trip-hop when the North County kids of Inspired Flight land at Casbah with Jamuel Saxon...the kitty-krazy Lion Cut coughs up a set and art installation at Suite 102. That’s 750 West Fir in Little Italy...right ’round the bend from Anthology, where British singer-songwriter Dave Mason will be checking in for a couple nights to rock the supper-club sophistos into 2011...the thrashy, trashy Cigarette Bums from Silver Lake scorch Soda Bar with like-minded locals the Bloodflowers and the Shantyannes...while Lestat’s pulls on the Wrong Trousers, a fun-as-all-get-out string trio from the island of misfit bands, Coronado.
According to the experts at Pitchfork and their guide to New Year’s Eve, the only show to see in SD would be Crocodiles at Soda Bar. It is a sexy bill with Heavy Hawaii, Raw Moans, and Mrs. Magician, but c’mthefuckon, a block and a half away, SoCal punk perennials the Zeros are going to light it up at Eleven with ex-Apes New Mexico...and in the ’hood, Tower Bar’s got them hyperactive Cardiac Kidz with up-and-coming Last Years...while the lo-fi side has Lights On at Tin Can Ale House with D/Wolves, DUDES (formerly Da Bears), and New Kinetics...go ahead, catch your breath...you got a smorgasbord of sound at Casbah with local faves Transfer, Rafter, Shapes of Future Frames, and Low Volts...Weezer teasers Geezer and Ziggy Shuffler will trib it up at Ruby Room doin’ you know who...4th&B will be throwing a full-on DJ dance thing, with Serb wonderboy Dirty South and L.A. techno team L.A. Riots...while up north at Belly Up there’s a kill double bill of psych-folk fun with SanFran band Mother Hips and our own Billy Midnight. So there, Pitchfork, there’s beaucoups t’do in the 619.
Either you’re sleeping till Sunday or you’re freakin’ wired for sound. Here’s what I got: Bobby Pena and the Stowaways follow the Heart Beat Trail into Tin Can Ale House. The Stowaways are a strummy midtempo folk-rock trio from L.A. with a heady lyric-melodic bent. Not bad: myspace.com/bobbypenamusic. HBT was Nautical Disaster.... You could wind up with Andy Clockwise at Soda Bar. Clockwise is an Aussie-born multi-instrumentalist who plays what he dubs “schizo pop.” He’ll have an EP at the merch table (Are You Well?) with a full-length on the way (The Socialite).... Or, wind down with the reggae vibes of Pato Banton and his big band at Belly Up.
Todd Day Wait’s a traveling man in a veggie-oil van. Looks as if the troubadour’s settling in our neck for a stretch, at least as long as it takes him to record the new record, an EP he needs for a cross-country spring tour, and save enough for another jug of Wesson. Without his usual group, Pigpen, Wait’s assembled the Golden Hills Blues Band to back him Sunday night at Soda Bar. Solo sets by “the residents of 23rd Street,” featuring the Joy/Space Nature boys Zach, Trevor, and Tyler, open the show.
For your Monday-night drunk, Soda Bar stages throwback punx the Last Years, with Shiva Trash, Coastal Gris, and Electric Healing Sound. Caught the Last Years a couple weeks back, and the quartet’s full of furious fun. Besides the deep-cut covers, these kids have got some tasty originals. Listen up for “BLVD.” Or just click this for a taste of their ’77-style punk: thelastyearsband.com/.
Long Beach art-rock four-piece Joyce Manor will drop its s/t debut LP this month via 6131 Records. They’re one of the more engaging OC indie acts — myspace.com/joycemanor — like GBV trashing Weezer. With similarly slanted Bay Area bands Koalacaust, Big Kids, and Algernon Cadwallader, these’d be this week’s sets to see at Ché Café.... For the downtown-bound, go play Guess the Cover with psych-folk singer Nothingful at Tin Can Ale House. Sasha’s a trip. Thing is, you never know where to.
Jazz up your hump night with the first installment of “Reply All: Jazz,” which will be going off at the Loft at UCSD the first Wednesday of each month. This week, pianoman Danny Green joins Gunnar Biggs (bass) and Julien Cantelm (drums) for a set of Green originals and then some experimental jams with the U’s Student Musicians Community. Could be cool.... Not your plastic cup of PBR? Then by all means get to Bay Park bar Brick by Brick for its Kill the Keg challenge — free beer till the keg is drained. Psychobilly trio the Strikers will help you work up a thirst.
— Barnaby Monk