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Thursday 25
His freak-folkness Devendra Banhart and backing band of minstrels the Grogs stumble into Belly Up behind the bearded one’s ‘09 offering What We Will Be, a critic’s pick that inspired the New York Times thusly: “[Banhart’s a] knowing throwback to California psychedelia and Brazilian tropicalia and so skillful that nothing seems too studied.” This recommendable long-player’s an earworm, and this show, featuring Bay Area “bedroom girl group” Dorothy and the Originals, is y-o-o-o-o-our gig to get to tonight, San Diego.... Elses: From Dallas, Texas, jazz-minded post-punks Paper Chase check in at Casbah. The Kill Rock Stars quartet is out to tout their ode to natural disasters Someday This Could All Be Yours, Vol. 1. Apparently, this one’s going to require volumes. Kiss Kiss and Street of Little Girls will set the stage.... Uptown, blues-rock combo Ratbirds land at Radio Room with Revolt Revolt and Mojo...and Bar Pink books alt-rock throwbacks Weatherbox and Italian Japanese.

Friday 26
Happy-hour sets at M-Theory Friday have Surfer Blood and Morning Benders breaking out the acoustics to show you the quiet side of the sets they’ll play at the clubs later on. Like, appetizers. Thing starts at 5p, so you should probably get there around 10a and browse for seven hours. (Did you ever wonder what the “M-Theory” is? My gf’s M-Theory is that I will spend $1 for every minute in the store. It’s pretty damn accurate, too).... The poop: SanFran band the Morning Benders is raising brows with new t’do Big Echo. It’s an engaging collection that pushes Grizzly Bear’s ‘70s vox pop further down the food chain by digging deeper in the R&B bins, penning some pretty catchy pop songs, and turning up the gain. What Lou Reed used to call “quiet loud.” BTW, Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor had his hand in production on Big Echo, and Grizzly fans’ll hear it. You’ll find this one all over year-end best-set lists. Anyway, they play Casbah with Miniature Tigers and We Barbarians.... Surfer Blood’s that Palm Beach buzz (and fuzz) band that mined early indie pop and then set themselves apart by slicing up their speaker cones. The Surfers’ll headline sets at Bar Pink by our own noise-pop peeps the Lanterns and Nashville indie kids Turbo Fruits.... When those shows sell out (and they should), lots more to choose from, as Greensky Bluegrass and Rana Santacruz will take Winstons stage and plant some righteous roots in your brain yard. That is going to be a great show, new-grass folk fan...Chowdaheads! from Beverly, Mass, post-rock instrumental act Caspian, touring in support of last year’s Tertia (“metal trimmings, minimal jazz primers, and cryptic riffs”) plays Ché Café with Arms and Sleepers and Beware of Safety...SanFran artcore band the Fleshies, Florida surf punks the Tubers, and East Bay indie-pop act Street Eaters will serve up eclectic sets at Soda Bar...Art Fag Records delivers L.A. gaze-pop quintet Pearl Harbor to Whistle Stop...Ken Club ropes in rockabilly roustabouts Atomic Three, Bop-Tones, and Chango Rey & His Broken Heartbeat for their Rockabilly Shakeout showcase...and Bay Area bad boy Andre Nickatina (aka Dre Dog) raps 4th&B with Ugly Money.

Saturday 27
Dood, drop your gf off at 4th&B, where French electro-pop duo Air will be performing another stunning feat of mass hypnosis, and then meet me at Camp Kill Yourself. Metal conceptualists CKY cruise into Casbah behind their best effort yet, Carver City — tales of a summer vacation gone horribly terribly gruesomely wrong. It’s awesome. With Year Long Disaster and Warner Drive, ears will bleed, faces will melt. Ya think Bam’ll be there?... Reggae royalty comes to town when British toaster Pato Banton visits Brick by Brick.... And the Ché Café fills a goth-y fuzz-pop bill with Trudgers, Mikura Suzuki, Blessure Grave, Dazzle Ships, and the Endless Bummer.

Sunday 28
British singer-songwriter and punk-wave icon Hugh Cornwell (the Stranglers) will stack ‘em at Brick by Brick Sunday night. Mr. Cornwell will be previewing material from due-to-drop Totem & Taboo, the anticipated follow-up to ‘08 critical hit Hoover Dam.... Nashville psych-punk duo JEFF the Brotherhood, who killed at SXSW last week, will bring blistering batch Heavy Days to Bar Pink. Pant Hoots and Splinters go first.... Casbah and 94/9 t’row a freebie with a rock buffet by Fever Sleeves, Helen Earth Band, Tall Ships, and Greg Gibson and food from you-know-who. Get with a TJ dog ASAP.

Monday 29
Reader contributor Jay Allen Sanford hits town tonight, hanging some ‘toon art at Ruby Room and doing his quasi-annual meet-n-greet. Cathryn Beeks and True Stories (featuring Bart Mendoza and Wendy Bailey) will take the Hillcrest stage for Jay’s homecoming.... English indie-rock act Field Music plays Casbah’s Anti-Monday meet-up with like-minded locals Lualta and Metrofique.... Soda Bar sets up art-punk Atlanta band the Coathangers with Southland faves Sunday Times and Ronni NoGood and the Young Bloods.

Tuesday 30
“Coronado’s indie-rap-math-electro-pop-R&B group” Paper Forest will pop tops at Tin Can Ale House Tuesday night. According to the band, the debut’s “gonna sound like we plugged an algebra book into an amplifier.” According to keyboardist Danica Molenaar, however, “We’re the next Lady Gaga.” Sounds like a rift.... Don’t stop believin’, the Neal Schon Band makes the journey to Belly Up. The father of five will have his guitarist-son Miles onstage. I wonder if Neal will be, like, “Miles, get me a beer.”

Wednesday 31
“I Don’t Like Your Band!” Pyrate Punx promotionalizers bring Germany’s Dean Dirg to Radio Room Wednesday night. These hardcore throwbacks sound like a full-blown blast from the past. Check ‘em out: myspace.com/deandirg. No openers listed, no openers necessary, hokay?... Hair band hacks Steel Panthers hit House of Blues hump night. It’s high rock comedy, as these four guys walk the walk. Want an eyeful? Go here now: youtube.com/watch?v=yfB7vF7nCdA. Hilarious.... And, no joke, you get Vaginals, Spurm, and Butts at Soda Bar. What could I possibly write that would make that show any more intriguing?
Barnaby Monk

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