For those of you not going to Burning Man this week, Awesome Fest 5 arrives uptown tonight at Soda Bar and Eleven. Like the ethos: “SoCal DIY punk community brought together for a love of three things: non-shit music, friendship, and fun.” 64 bands in 4 bars over 3 days and 4 nights. Click this for all those indie punk ’n’ roll shows: awesomefest5.com. Psst...save some mustard for the Sunday daytime events between U-31 and the Office.... Back in the effigyless, nonawesome world: Casbah has Canada’s premier electro-industrial couple, Mr. and Mrs. Handsome Furs, touring in support of this year’s wicked energizing Sub Pop set Sound Kapital...Neat Beats mix master Alvin Fenner will be “Turning on the Large Hadron Collider” when he plays a record-release for his loopy laptop LP Cosmic Surgery at Tin Can Ale House...there will be synth-y new-wave sets from ’80s radio staples Human League and Men Without Hats out at Viejas’ DreamCatcher...and Belly Up books Sergent Garcia, a Frenchman with a flair for dancehall and salsa. He calls it “ragamuffin.”
Casbah this weekend celebrates the Ché Café’s glory days, starting Friday night with San Diego’s original garage-rock group the Crawdaddys. The Amandas and Baja Bugs will open that show. And Saturday night it’ll be surfabilly band the Unknowns with Sidewalk Scene and Comeuppance. Generous sets all around of throwback British R&B sounds....
All-ages Soma stages a cinematic set by Explosions in the Sky. The Austin instrumental act is out to tout this year’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, which everyone (me too) pretty much agrees is their best yet, the quartet having come full circle since their auspicious early aughts (Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die...) and making frenemies with their post-rock roots. If kids don’t give you cooties, Explosions puts on a helluva show.... “Money Grabber” Fitz and the Tantrums spaz at the track over the ’60s rock ’n’ soul offa their darn-good debut Pickin’ Up the Pieces.... Unicorn Nick Thorburn's Mister Heavenly, Waters, and Little White Teeth fill a “doom wop” bill at Bar Pink.... The “goddess of hard-rock deconstruction” Jennifer Herrema’s remodeled Royal Trux, RTX, rolls into Tin Can Ale House with Heavy Cream and Crazy Band (ex-Mika Miko).... While Jazz Crusader Joe Sample checks into Anthology for a two-night stint of super-smooth key tunes.
Me and all the kids with the pumped-up kicks will be runnin' faster than a bullet to the F!!k Yeah Fest in L.A. for just about the raddest, baddest bill that daylong dealio’s ever seen. We’re talking Dead Milkmen, dood, Off!, Guided by Voices, Broken Social, No Age, Olivia Tremor, Death from Above, Japandroids, Descendents, and on and on and — holy crap, my palms are sweating....
But, if you’re stuck in S.D., it’s gotta be Philly psych-rock meteor Asteroid No. 4, which hits Til-Two Saturday night with Strangers Family Band and Trap Gold. Them liquid-light guys Operation Mindblow will be backing the stage with their hurley swirlies.... Or, check this, Dogtown survivor Tony Alva drops in at Shakedown with his band G.F.P. (General Fucking Principle) and SoCal skate punx Shred Savage. I wonder if it’s cool to bring the old deck and a Sharpie.... And alsos: garage-rock revivalists the Marshmellow Men get toasted at Tower Bar...from Mexico City, Latin Grammy-winning rap rockers Molotov go off at House of Blues...and there will be “Red Skies at Night” at Ramona Mainstage as British new-wavers the Fixx kicks in the sticks.
Rock a cause and get down downtown for a daylong deal at El Dorado. The Broadway bar sets up a stage in their back lot for the Great American Showcase, featuring pop-punkers Soft Pack, dance-wrockers Nervous Wreckords, surf-jazz bros. Mattson 2, with Howls, Creepy Creeps, Grand Tarantula, Kabbs, etcet etcet. Great day, and all in the name of boobies, as proceeds go to them saintly lady-saving “Keep a Breast” people....
Sunday night, a jog up Fifth at the Tin Can Ale House, world-wide-web wunderkind Trevor Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, floods the Bankers Hill bar with his epic bedsit indie rock, and electro-pop duo TV Girl will open with a farewell show, as they’re changing stations to L.A. Boo and hiss.... Del Mar closes out this summer’s series with a good one, as that soul-rocking Innocent Criminal Ben Harper takes the Seaside Stage.... Up thataway, Johnny Cash trib Cash’d Out joins Clash City Rockers at Solana Beach hot spot Belly Up to ape their faves.... And Casbah’s rocking live art Sunday night, while painters (Anna Zappoli, Daniel Hardison...) and players (Irradio, A Scribe Amidst...) cover the club in canvas and amps. Bart talked to the peeps putting this on for this week’s “Blurt,” so flip or click to that for the particulate.
Portland post-rock four-piece Grails graces Soda Bar with this year’s Temporary Residence instrumental tripout Deep Politics....
And Casbah’s Anti-Monday menu dishes Glass Candy and Chromatics for your RDA of electropop. DJ Mario Orduno spins round sets.
New York hardcore stalwarts Agnostic Front rage at Brick by Brick behind this year’s My Life, My Way. Mongoloids open that show.... House of Blues hosts Mextronica by the Nortec Collective, Bostich + Fussible, and Los Amigos Invisibles.... And one of my favorite singer-songers, Josh Tree troubadour Tim Easton will be strummin’ and hummin’ at Casbah. You guys check the line-up for October’s JTMF folkadelic fling in the high desert? The “so fars” are enough to start planning, man: joshuatreemusicfestival.com.
Humpnight, there’s a Matt “The Champ” Curreri dilly up at Belly Up with alt-pop acts Yovee and Rhythm & Bluebirds...and DC-based DJ duo Thievery Corporation hits House of Blues behind this year’s trip-hop hit Culture of Fear. The Thieves’ll rob the room downstairs downtown Wednesday and Thursday nights. F to the Y to the I: Wednesday’s set’s all-ages, so bring the Moms. Woot woot!
— Barnaby Monk