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Thursday 21
Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles rolls into town behind its third and finest effort, Geneva. This proggy iceberg of a record drifts and splinters in the vein of Mogwai, replacing the Glaswegians’ ice-ax percussion with the deep sawing and thawing of cello and violin. It’s fall, after all, layer up and lumber down to Casbah, where the sonic assault of Cleveland’s Keelhaul and thrash-pop three-piece Call Me Lightning will warm the room.... Brooklyn band White Rabbit hops into Soma. The indie-pop sextet has enjoyed some success since their studio stint with Spoonman Britt Daniel, NPR interest, and late-night TV turns. Check out “Percussion Gun” off of sophomore crop It’s Frightening for their favored flavor of pop-rock. The sleek-suited indie-goth hits Interpol headline the show behind their eponymous fourth.... Dream-pop duo Azure Ray will shine on the Loft at UCSD. Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, best known for their spine-icing vocals, have reunited and are out to tout their first full-length in seven years, Drawing Down the Moon, out now on Saddle Creek Records.... Syracuse sextet Ra Ra Riot dropped its sophomore set, The Orchard, to some critical concern that pristine production supplanted the frenetic energy found on the Barsuk band’s recommendable ’08 debut The Rhumb Line. No big whup, the band’s got a stage show. I swear, they will rock the Belly Up with Villagers and Givers.... L.A. indie staples Luna Is Honey will drip on Tin Can Ale House behind their new EP Copy Cats. This is one of them late-night sleeper sets to catch, as these guys are all about fuzztone textures and hibbidy beats. Check out their cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U”: myspace.com/lunachild. LIH is hoping the Artist Formerly Known As... will repay the favor by covering one of their songs when he plays halftime at the Super Bowl this year...maybe their thrill-ride side “Who Wouldn’t”?

Friday 22
From Athens, GA’s Elephant Six psych-rock collective, Ché Café conjures Elf Power and Major Organ and the Adding Machine. Elf Power’s new s/t release, number ten for the stalwarts, echoes and chimes like that other Athens institution, REM. Check out “Like a Cannonball.” Major Organ and the Adding Machine is a bloody mystery, but the main suspects are Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal) and Jeff freaking Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) as well as members of Olivia Tremor Control and the aforementioned Elves. This year the supergroup rereleased via Orange Twin its 2001 eponymous debut with a DVD to boot. With Berkeley folkie Half Handed Cloud and our own tropical rock ensemble Red Pony Clock setting it up, this is one of those Where were you? shows.... Some acceptable excuses: Whistle Stop will host a record-release thing for ripping electro-garage trio Stalins of Sound...electric folkies Longsleeves roll up at Tin Can Ale House with like-minded Long Beach band O’s & the Oculist — you could get your eyes checked...loud-ass Japan band Envy will deliver its latest, Recitation, to Casbah...and because I’m equal-opportunity doucheoisie, maturer audiences might prefer adult-contempo singer-songwriter Joan Osbourne (“One of Us”) at Anthology...Jamaican dancehall dude Barrington Levy at 4th&B...or the cubik zirconia of Diamond imitators, Super Diamond, which will bring their grit-chokin’ baritones to the Belly Up.

Saturday 23
Rockin’ a sultan’s do-rag and ’50s doo-wop, Mark Sultan will put a spell on you at Bar Pink Saturday night. The drummer-guitarist-singer was half of what was the most dangerous garage-rock duo in the universe — King Khan and BBQ Show (Sultan was the sauce). Good inroad to the man’s soul is his ’07 offering Sultanic Verses. Presale tix available for five bones, yo-ho. Get on it or go without. L.A. garage punx Slang Chickens up first in the pecking order.... If you get denied by the Pink Elephant, the other notable shows uptown’d be L.A. electro-rock duo El Ten Eleven and that double-neck guitar at Soda Bar with Jamuel Saxon and Weatherbox...SD alt-rock throwbacks Midnight Rivals at Eleven behind Behind the Wagon...and Ruby Room will celebrate its two years on the scene with a punk-rock potluck, featuring ArnoCorps, Minor Talent, Neverland Ranch Hands, and Revenge Club.

Sunday 24
They’ll be moshing in Bay Park when Charlie Harper and his Brit-punk perennials U.K. Subs hit Brick by Brick with Total Chaos, D.P.I., and Systematic Abuse. The U.K.s have been stirring pits since ’76 and this year expect to release their long-awaited Work in Progress. It’s done and in the can...ask Harper if there’s any in the van.... What has 16 limbs and plays experimental pop music? That’d be Octopus Project from Austin, TX. What has 16 sides and sounds like Octopus Project? Their new record, Hexadecagon. Don’t sweat it, Pythagoras, it’ll all come together for you at Casbah after Portland’s poptronic Starfucker sets the stage.... Dizzy’s at Harbor Club is hosting a tribute to a Sonny Rollins essential, the 1958 jazz classic Freedom Suite, with Dublin transplant Gerard Nolan blowing tenor sax.

Monday 25
Casbah’s Anti Monday team represents the 619, staging locals the Schitzophonics, Northern Towns, and Kera & the Lesbians. The Schitzophonics are a psych-slop trio that slathers deep cuts in swamp muck. Fans of Hendrix and Black Keys will know what they mean.

Tuesday 26
Sylvain Sylvain of New York Dolls fame and Cheetah Chrome of Dead Boys and Rocket from the Tombs join forces in raw-punk supergroup the Batusis. Fill your ears here: myspace.com/batusis. And then catch the legends Tuesday night at Brick by Brick.... Soda Bar taps tried-and-true Texans the Derailers. These natty throwbacks are devotees of the Buck Owens school of countrypolitan, best expressed on their ’07 set Under the Influence of Buck.... Welcome home Stone Temple Pilots when they play the Viejas Arena at State. STP’s got a new s/t disc with artwork by another famous native, Shepard Fairey.

Wednesday 27
Philly psych-rockers Asteroid #4 kick off their tour at Bar Pink with Australia’s answer to Brian Jonestown, the Lovetones. The Asteroids are a band that spans Nuggets-era psychedelia to freakin’ Teenage Fanclub. Awesome surprise. This is a doozie of a double bill and probably the gig to get to Wednesday night.... Guitarist-singer-songwriter Doug Martsch is indie-rock stock. His Boise-based Built to Spill will be at Belly Up behind their latest, last year’s There Is No Enemy. Climbing to #50 on the Billboard charts, Enemy is the band’s best-selling collection to date, and they’ve been at this for, like, 20 years. With their Boise buds ReVoLtReVoLt and Finn Riggins in tow, this is also a hell of a show.... Else: Iceland indie-pop band Seabear lights up Casbah with its sophomore set, We Built a Fire. Apropos of absolutely nothing I’m hearing, the folksy founder and front guy Sindri Már Sigfússon has been dubbed the “Icelandic Beck.” Glenn Beck?
Barnaby Monk

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