Anybody else have a “Canada bands” category in your iTunes? It’s a time-saver for how far that full spectrum flings, from the bubblegum of New Pornographers to the mad-cow meat of Frog Eyes. Fronted by the phlegmatic, idiosyncratic Carey Mercer, Frog Eyes is a punk-informed art-rock act that, though not as listenable as the others on the deconstructionist end of the deal up there — Destroyer, Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown — which is not to say those bands are, y’know, universally listenable — impresses the most, IMHO, for their ambitious reach and organic art-making. I just got Paul’s Tomb, so I can’t really speak to that, except to say that it’s immediately meatier, beatier, bigger, and bouncier than my idea of status quo FE, such as Golden River or perhaps the better entry point, Tears of the Valedictorian. At Casbah with Dead Oceans labelmates Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, these’d be the mind-expanding sets to catch Thursday night.... If you like your mind right where it’s at, check out jazz-n-blues pianist Mose Allison down the road at Anthology. Dude’s 82 and touring behind his new(!) ANTI- disc The Way of the World.... In the stupid-fun category, you got Miami’s reggaeton rapper Pitbull rocking the mic at the Sports Arena behind his first full-Spanish raps, Armando...Silver Lake standouts, the indie-pop trio Pepper Rabbit, hop into Beauty Bar...and Tom DeLonge’s Angels and Airwaves join like-minded Los Angelinos Say Anything at House of Blues for one heavy dose of high-fructose power-pop.
Need a night of canned beer and old-timey pop music — we’re talking ukes and washboards — then take a trip with Oaktown’s Tippy Canoe (aka Michele Kappel-Stone) at Tin Can Ale House. She’s on a West Coast swing behind her last thing, Parasols and Pekingese, a collection that “ranges from juke-joint rocking and smoldering blues-waltz numbers to calypso uke-jazz.” Behind the Wagon and Low Volts (Tim Lowman from Blackout Party) share the Banker’s Hill bill.... English electro-drenched fuzz-pop five-piece Spectrum will close out their U.S. dates at Soda Bar Friday night. They’ve got a lot in common with Crocodiles, if you like. Check the Space takes from War Sucks: myspace.com/spectrumofficialpage. The geographically if not exactly sonically apropos pair of Heavy Hawaii and Pearl Harbor will go first.... “Reggae had sex with metal, punk got in the mix, and ska videotaped it all. Then out pooped the Expendables.” That domestic brew and Tomorrows Bad Seeds belly up to Belly Up.... Else: San Dago mainstays the Farmers bring the barroom rock to Bay Park supper club Tio Leo’s...Ann and Nancy Wilson will have Heart at Harrah’s, rolling in their new disc, Red Velvet Car...Scottish funk-n-blues dudes Average White Band land at Anthology...and electro-industrial duo My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult will be building gothbots at Beauty Bar.
Up in LJ, the Ché Café stages Brooklyn-via-here indie experimentalists Boomsnake with Portland’s avant-pop four-piece the Hosannas. Superhumanoids (L.A.), and locals Snuffaluffagus share this kill bill. The Snuff’s super-interesting-sounding Brazil Wood Poetry is due to drop digitally via Wizard Spit in June. Keep your ears peeled.... If you need it loud and lewd Saturday night, then Brick by Brick should do the trick, as the Bay Park bar brings in the Parental Advisory Tour, featuring Atlanta band Nashville Pussy, Grammy-nominated comedy rockers Green Jellÿ, metal spoofs Psychostick, and banshee rockers the Riot Brides. SD country skrunks the Screamin YeeHaws will set the stage.... Rock and roll never looked so good. Ruby Room fills an eclectic rock-roll bill for their RRNLSG anniversary thing, with Brian Holwerda (Blackout Party), Ghetto Blaster, Die Sabotage, and them “white suburban psychos” Lord Howler.... Minimalist drum-n-bass duo Dabbers meets maximilist post-punk nonet Kata at Bar Pink. According to their Space, “Kata plays Godspeed You! Black Emperor meets Neurosis-style epics.” There’re no “epic” tunes up on the site yet, so normally I’d roll my eyes, but the list of players in this beast begs to differ. Check it out: myspace.com/kataband.
You think you really know Gary Wilson. San Diego’s ‘70s might-have-been and present-day cult musician/performance artist was reborn for the new millennium and in ‘08 released his fourth collection, Lisa Wants to Talk to You, which Spin said “blurs the line between stalker and genius” with “chintzy synths” and “creepy,” “trembling” tales. Wilson’s new group the Blind Dates makes their Bar Pink debut Sunday night.... Rap star-actor Nas will grab the mic at Harrah’s. The Brooklyn-based artist has a critical hit on his hands with Damian Marley collaboration Distant Relatives.... Primo Johnny Cash tribbers Cash’d Out exhume the Man in Black at Belly Up.... And Casbah’s got its three-day weekend dance deal Jivewire filling the floor on Kettner. Early doors (7p) open for D-Pain, Lion Cut, and Smile Now Cry Later, while Philly son Stamp1 slaps together one of his Free*Stars things in the Atari. And, yea, Lucha Libre’s rolling in free late-night bites.
Dilly of a Memorial Day double bill at Tin Can Monday night, as Portland big band Monarques bring their sprawling pop thing In Your Love (aka Knowing You) to town behind up-and-coming SD-via-Jalisco indie-pop act Marquez!... SanFran “goth-folk” femme fatale Emily Jane White joins the Brothers Grimm at Soda Bar.
Seattle’s sludge-metallurgists the Melvins will celebrate today’s release of their 18th record in 23 years, The Bride Screamed Murder, at Casbah with local hardcore throwbacks Rats Eyes and L.A.’s superbadmuthas Totimoshi. Check this trio out, metalhead: myspace.com/totimoshi.... Soda Bar sets up Aussie punx X with Seattle noiseniks A Frames. X is celebrating 30 years since the release (and new reissue) of X-aspirations with their first U.S. tour. Locals Christmas Island and Nude Boy will set the stage.... Boom boom out go the lights when Canadian guitarist and ‘70s radio staple Pat Travers takes the Ramona Main Stage.
Soda Bar gets humpnight right, staging a Woodsist mini-fest with the label’s lo-fi namesake Woods and SanFran band the Fresh & Onlys. The big Woodsist t’do is June 15 at the Echoplex in L.A. The beautiful one is June 12 at the Henry Miller Museum in Big Sur. Check out these bills: woodsist.blogspot.com. Real Estate, Kurt Vile, Nodzzz, Abe Vigoda...c’mon! Who’s drivin’?!.... Real quik with the rest of your humpnight highlights: electronicat Neon Indian plugz in at Casbah...Da Bears and D/Wolves play the Ché with Bloomington’s terrific math-punk trio Good Luck...and the iLCiRCo troupe kicks off a four-night show of slo-mo acrobatics at Anthology. So close you can smell them.
— Barnaby Monk