Sebadude Lou Barlow’s had a fun reunion run over the past five years with his old band, Dinosaur Jr., which released ’09 standout Farm and toured a ton to great reviews. Lou’s back on the solo track for last year’s Merge offering Goodnight Unknown, a collection that stands as a testament to his folk-imploding musical vision — strummy, propulsive, heavy-hearted, always well played and thoughtfully voiced, but as one record reviewer wrote, for true Lou fans, “maybe too much goodnight, not enough unknown?” He’s kicking off a tour at Casbah with Denton, TX folkie poetess Sarah Jaffe.... That Okie from Muskogee Merle Haggard’s got a new collection, I Am What I Am, that appears to be crossing camps as Cash’s American Recordings did. Good. If anyone’s going to pick up that mantle... The country outlaw’s got 38 number-one hits, including one of my faves, 1980’s “Barroom Buddies,” recorded with Clint Eastwood. Hag’ll be at Viejas’ DreamCatcher Lounge Thursday night and up at the Ink-n-Iron fest Friday morning.... From New Orleans, swamp-boogie shaman Dr. John makes a house call at Anthology.... Downtempo electronicats Tropical Depression and Jeans Wilder pull into Whistle Stop for some Quiet Punx fun.... And, if you miss all that, you’ll find Korn in your 4th&B.
Badass backing band the Sadies (John Langford, John Doe, Neko Case) just dropped Darker Circles, a big Byrds-y psych-folk set that proves Dallas and Travis Good’ve got it in the blood and still stand tall on their own, penning one of their strongest sets since ’01’s Tremendous Efforts. The Sadies are splitting a dynamite double bill with San Diego’s garage-rocking Loons, who’ve got a new BOMP! ’60s-style stomper, Red Dissolving Rays of Light. If/when these Casbah sets sell out and, bloody hell, they should, leave your car and hoof it up to Anthology, where two lions of jazz, tenor saxman Javon Jackson and pianist Les McCann, take the stage. File under “bonus”: the Little It. supper club will slide you a nightcap set by Brooklyn-via-here acoustic crooner Greg Laswell, who is out to tout his new Vanguard disc, Take a Bow.... Madam of the Motown sound Diana Ross will grace the stage at Humphrey’s by the Bay.... L.A.’s skate-rat rapper Murs drops in at Brick by Brick behind his latest trick The Melrose.... Philly DJ Diplo will funk up House of Blues.... Nu-wave dance-jams band Jamuel Saxon brings the party to Banker’s Hill hot spot Tin Can Ale House.... North County hi-fi five-piece Drowning Men wash up at Beauty Bar.... And, up in the O.C., this year’s Tattoo and Kustom Culture t’do Ink-n-Iron’s all aboard Long Beach boat the Queen Mary, with, as I told ya, music by Merle (who I think goes on at 10a), the very Reverend Horton Heat, Wayne the Train Hancock, and a whole bunch more. Go here for details: ink-n-iron.com.... Whatever you do Friday night, friends, set your alarum for half ten Saturday morning, so’s you don’t miss the U.S. men v. Rooney’s goonies. The Cup is so on.
From '90s AOR, Crash Test Dummies (“Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”) bounce back at Belly Up behind this year’s Deep Fried Records debut Oooh La La!, an album based around the optigan and omnichord toy instruments. Behind Brad Roberts’s deep throat — easily the deepest pipes in pop — that should make for an interesting show, which btw is one of those “seated evening-with” things.... Staying upthataway, Paul Rodgers of Bad Company fame takes the Grandstand stage at the Del Mar Fair, or whatever it’s called this year. Rumors around Rodgers: he reunited with Bad Co. and recorded a live album at a casino in Florida — that’s true, it dropped this year; he’s making a new record with Queen — that could be true, he’s worked with Brian May resurrecting Queen live; he was asked by Joe Perry to front Aerosmith this year — no f-ing way.... Wild Weekender-going-indie starlet Maren Parusel says her so-longs at Bar Pink with Chasing Kings and Drug Wars. Ms. Parusel and her new group are making a summer run up the coast selling Single Screen seven-incher “Dear Love”/“Days in Universe.” It’s cute.... And around Uptown: Radio Room dials in barroom rockers Lord Howler and Black Hondo...south-of-the-border ska band Inspector checks into Beauty Bar...and Soda Bar serves up a June Gloom showcase, “celebrating dark music and art” with Riververb, Trees (PDX), Steps Spiral Downward, and Bloody Panda (NYC, and eeeugh!).
Chicago experimental quintet Tortoise reached back into their avant-jazz bag for last year’s groover Beacons of Ancestorship, a welcome return-to-form for the artsy post-rock ensemble. Here’s me trying not to gush on these guys: outside of pure jazz (’Trane, Miles, Monk), no instrumental sides have had the staying power of Tortoise’s 1998 collection TNT — a gate to the group and the genre they vanguard. I think I can use that as a transitive verb, and it suits them, as Tortoise is no passive listening experience. Ready your head, music fan, Tortoise takes the stage at Casbah for the must-see set this week (month? year?). Rockford, Ill trio dasboton will lube the room.... Else: Latin jam band Los Van Van will be by the water out at Humphrey’s...Farm-punk four-piece Swingin’ Utters slosh into North County’s punk-rock spot Hensley’s Flying Elephant...and the Cricket’s got Sting.
This week, Casbah’s Anti-Monday is a benefit for barman Bob. The 20-buck cover will help Uncle Bob cover medical expenses and get back in the black. You get a SanDago star-studded all-nighter that kicks off at 7p with the Dragons, Transfer, Ziggy Shuffledust and the Spiders from Mars, Wirepony, and Furious IV.
In town Tuesday, punk-y, pop-y Brooklyn duo Shellshag shags shells at Casbah behind Rumors in Disguise. “The band not the man” Dan Padilla goes first...and Mattson 2 shred a surf-jazz set at Soda Bar.... Outta town, and totally worth the trip to L.A.’s Echoplex, my little lo-fi fans, the Woodsist fest features Real Estate, Woods, Kurt Vile, Nodzzz, and lotz more of that fuzzy stuff you love.
From L.A., hokey-jokey hair band Steel Panther pounces on House of Blues. Again. You HOB SOBs love that stuff.... Or roll uptown for your recommended daily allowance of indie pop with Portland’s Prids and Soft Tags at Radio Room...or our own natty-lad throwbacks, the Modlins, at Soda Bar.