Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit scurry into House of Blues tonight. Since his 2003 six-track days, Scott Hutchison’s broken from the bedsit vibe, and his warren has grown to five (you know how rabbits are), fleshing out the sound and filling up the stage for this year’s healthy pour, Winter of Mixed Drinks. Weird to say, but the new sound’s like a shambolic Bunnymen. Dig new single “Nothing Like You.” Scottish accents are cool. Plants and Animals and Bad Veins go first.... “Energy yes! Quality no!” The biggest band in the land, BOMBSHELL, a “marching sound collective,” joins Rob Crow’s other other band Mission:Valley, grungetronica duo Tropical Depresssion, and slo-core quartet Little White Teeth (happy birthday, Yuko!) to fill a doozy of a bill at Tin Can Ale House. I thought BOMBSHELL was an anti-venue band. And where are they gonna put all those people? Why do I sound like my mother right now?... From “Squaresville,” U.K., Foals bring Total Life Forever to Casbah. The Sub Pop quintet is a nu-math dance band that’s punk-informed but pop-inflected. It’s hook-y-ish and probably better live. Esben and the Witch open.... Grammy-winning singer-songer Shawn Colvin checks into Anthology for two nights. The last time the adult-contempo hit was in the studio was ’07, to cover Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Weird.... Else: Minnesotans Motion City Soundtrack reel with Say Anything on Soma’s main stage...local soloists Drew Andrews and Manuok play Quiet Punx at Whistle Stop because that’s how they roll....and Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea and Kera & the Lesbians bring estrogen rock to Bar Pink.
Soda Bar sets up Canadian grungy garage duo PS I Love You. The odd-pop pair just dropped their Paper Bag debut, Meet Me at the Muster Station, to some indie-crit acclaim. You can add BMonk to that list — the collection kicks like Mascis off his Thorazine. With Los Angeleno seven-piece psych-rock outfit Shadow Shadow Shade and like-minded locals Death Eaters, this is a hella triple bill. See you there.... The honorable mentionables Friday night would be Sigur Rós singer-guitarist Jónsi, out to tout his second solo, Go, at 4th&B...Thrill Jockey duo Damon and Daniel, aka Mi Ami, bringing the prog-house to Tin Can Ale House behind Tape Deck Mountain, whose new stuff sounds f-ing rad...local electro-pop duo Hyena will drop its Hi-Speed Soul debut at Casbah, with SanFran band Music for Animals and Illuminauts in support and DJ Andrew Decade spinning round sets...20th-century alt-metal merchants Alice in Chains join 21st-century alt-metal merchants Mastodon at Viejas Arena...post-punk supergroup Mrs. Magician (feat. members of Drug Wars, Northern Towns, Boomsnake, First Wave Hello) turns tricks at Whistle Stop...and piano fans will love what Dizzy’s doing, bringing in the stride-slick Stephanie Trick and our own boogie-woogie beaut Sue Palmer.
Sticking with Dizz on the jazz tip, Latin collective Trece de la Suerte will move your shoes at a daytime t’do with saucy music and food. Starts at 3p and all ages are welcome, so let the kids run wild on the MLK walkway downtown.... Louisiana soul sister Irma Thomas will be on the mic at Anthology. She came up with Etta and Aretha. In ’07, Ms. Thomas took home a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues record, After the Rain, and she’s touring in support of her new Rounder release, Simply Grand.... Curse Your Branches, Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan will join Baltimore boy-girl band Wye Oak at Casbah for an evening of frank folk-pop fare.... Houstown’s hip-hop hit Devin the Dude’ll be down at 4th&B behind his sixth studio set, Suite 420. You keep your weed in there.... Up north, Dirty Reggae dudes the Aggrolites take it to Belly Up behind their new Hellcat hit IV.... While Dokken slinger George Lynch and his Lynch Mob ride into Ramona Mainstage with their latest hard-rocker, Smoke and Mirrors.
Providences indiebandicus, commonly known as Deer Tick, burroughs into the Loft at UCSD. The Rhode Island quartet is three years and three albums into a plump folk-rock career. Dial into their latest, Black Dirt Sessions, here: last.fm/music/Deer+Tick. Also, they want you to know that their school bus is up for sale on eBay.... The prince of “wonky pop” — whatever the flip that is — Dan Black will bring his synth-y “Symphonies” to Fluxx Live Sunday night. “Symphonies” is the lead single off his dance-pop debut UN, and it was one of those Billboard heatseekers this year. I dunno, MTV loves the guy, though.... Uke master Jake Shimabukuro brings the teeny stringed thing to Balboa Theatre. Kid shreds Zep, Beatles, “Thriller”.... And — tinnitus, unite us — Valient Thorr, Red Fang, and Ghetto Blaster turn up at Casbah.
English indie darling Emma Louise “Scout” Niblett plays at Soda Bar with Street of Little Girls. Niblett’s of the minimalist ilk, conjuring pretty, creepy, intimate shows out of voice, guitar, drum. This year, with the help of studio pal Steve Albini, she dropped pretty, creepy, intimate Drag City debut The Calcination of Scout Niblett. I can’t go. She scares me.... Besides, I’ll be going to Sex Church with Nude Boy at Tin Can Ale House. Punk done slow and skuzzy. I can keep up. I can relate.... Best of the rest: L.A. trip-hop up-and-comer Kenan Bell rings in Casbah’s Anti Monday this week...and Southern blues slinger-singer Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s got a new disc, Live! in Chicago, and a gig at Belly Up.
Jagjaguwar art punks Women just dropped their sophomore set, Public Strain, a noticeable leap for the foursome on which, according to Pitchfork, “the hooks are noisier, the noise is hookier.” Haven’t heard Public Strain, but the debut was a keeper, and with fellow Canucks (that derogatory?) Manchild and lo-fi locals D/Wolves on the bill, this’d be the gig to get to at Casbah this week.... On the violent side: Zonie metalheads Incite bring The Slaughter to Brick by Brick...and London club Pop Killer Paul Oakenfold conjures dance trance at House of Blues.
The hot ticket this week has to be at House of Blues, where Canadian collective Broken Social Scene brings the Forgiveness Rock Record tour. The Chicagoland band Sea and Cake’s jazz-inspired cocktail rock will set the downtown stage. That’s a super-rich double-decker, indie kids.... And alsos: Electric Six plugs in at Casbah with the Constellations...Maren Parusel plays Bar Pink with Pacific Hurt...and Born Ruffians run amok at the Loft.
— Barnaby Monk