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Thursday 17
Break Free Your Mind, Aussie psych-rock act Matt Sonic & the High Times will shred through Soda Bar with Joy. Sonic et al. are on their first-ever U.S. tour and bring a down-and-dirty desert-rock aesthetic that describes “the missing link between Hawkwind and Queens of the Stone Age.” Space Nature is also on the bill.... A block and a half to the left, “Cool Bus” stop Eleven will kick off its inaugural Whiskey Weekend, uncorking some damn fine rocket fuels. You can swill some back with Irish punks the Downs Family and country-fried rockers Mark Stuart & the Bastard Sons.... There’s more country skrunks getting drunk down at Casbah as Cash’d Out and Bill Cardinal do the holiday honors at our Middletown mainstay.... And the new kid on the block, punk-rock hot-spot Shakedown Bar, will throw up a St. Paddy’s Day Blackout with DJ Blackie and his buds in Bumbklaat and Ghettoblaster. Too-Ra-Loo, Marine.

Friday 18
Hardcore returns to Ché Café with Betrayed, Praise, and Fell to Low. Betrayed is a sorta reassemblance of Seattle straight-edge crew Champion, featuring the Champs’ singer-guitarist Aram Arslanian and Todd Preboski on drums. Their Equal Vision full-length Substance smacks of ’80s forebears Minor Threat and Dag Nasty, if you need touchstones.... Improg! You like your noodling al dente? Technical sextet Umphrey’s McGee will visit House of Blues Friday night. The Chicago troupe is touring in support of last year’s SCI Fidelity release Mantis.... Dizzy’s downtown does In Motion Trio +2 for those of you who like to boogaloo. IMTPT are kids on the cutting edge of jazz-funk alchemistry, doling dub chops for all ages. Take a taste from The Barefoot Race for a primer (myspace.com/inmotiontrio) and then dust off your dance kicks.... Want some watery domestic? Joey Harris and the Mentals escape to Bar Pink with Spare Parts for Broken Hearts (a she-trio from Orange) for your daily recommended dose of barroom rock-roll.

Saturday 19
They’re coming to surf our beaches and pet our dogs, Sacto bad boys Boats! dock at Tin Can Ale House Saturday night behind Miss Liss Piss and her Lumps, ex-Atoms the Watusis, and that crazy-making Jungle Fever for a four-way flipout of punk’d power-pop.... “Underground Railroad to Candyland spends much of their time slaying orcs and goblins in the L.A. basin and along the 110 and 5 Freeways.” The San Pedro garage-pop four-piece pulls into Tower Bar for an early set Saturday (4p). Their debut Bird Roughs is still stuck in the truck’s carousel. Then stick around Tower because later on it’ll be Tower Prom with the Amandas, Thee Nottinghams, with Thee Strychnine DJs spinning ’round sets. Never heard/heard of the Amandas, but there’s a real who’s who of players and personalities in this ’60s-styled “soulful R&B” band. Check it: sandiegoreader.com/bands/amandas/.... Eddie Money (née Mahoney) cashes in his two tickets to paradise at Ramona Mainstage. The ’80s radio staple wrote some keepers (“Shakin’,” “Think I’m in Love,” and the Ronnie Spector–backed “Take Me Home Tonight”) and is enjoying some of that decade’s resurgency. I heard “Two Tickets” backing my kid’s skate video and thought, That actually works...

Sunday 20
Devo is not part of the ’80s resurgency. Devo is, was, and always will be the geekest, chicest synthrock outfit out there. And I do mean “out there.” If you or someone you love needs a primer, jack ’em into last year’s “radical remixes” Something for Everybody. See you on the dance floor when the Akron quartet takes the stage at Belly Up with Austin-based tourmates and Devo devotees the Octopus Project. Btfw: $$$$.... Chi-town alt-pop act the Smoking Popes put out a sweet comp last year called It’s Been a Long Day (1991–1998). (My college years.) The four-piece will preview brand-spanking-new stuff from this year’s This Is Only a Test at Casbah with Santa Rosa’s New Trust.... Else: the Joshua White Quartet will explore the music of Monk at Dizzy’s downtown...punk-rawk supergroup Rats Eyes take Tower Bar...and early birds might want to check out Little White Teeth when they perform their soundtrack to Tijuaneados Anonymous “live to video” at the Latino Film Festival at Hazard Center. Flip or click to Dorian’s “Border City Soundtrack” in this week’s “Blurt” for more on that. I think they roll around 3p.

Monday 21
Speaking of soundtrack segues...the Soundtrack of Our Lives will be at Belly Up. Tomorrow, the Swedish septet will release on the verld a compilation of mindbenders from “the greatest post-everything space rock band in the history of the eardrum” (NME). Drowning Men wash up first.... Tin Can Ale House fills a garage-pop bill with SanFran bands the Fresh & Onlys and Young Prisms and our own Plateaus and DJ Mario O.... Goth-pop three-piece Esben and the Witch land at Casbah behind their new Matador disc, Violet Cries. Tape Deck Mountain opens the show.

Tuesday 22
Soma stages Girl Talk Tuesday night with Junk Culture and Max Tundra. Girl Talk is Pittsburgh native Gregg Michael Gillis, a producer known for his mashups and digi samples of other artists’ songs. Him and his laptop are touring in support of All Day, out now on — huh — Illegal Art records.... Folk-rock duo Wye Oak will visit their new one, Civilian, on Casbah. The Baltimore band’s name is a reference to the unofficial state tree of Maryland, the largest white oak tree in the U.S., which grew and grew and grew in the town of Wye Mills. Nobody knows where it is now.... Ed Kowalczyk (the bald dude from the band Live) will play Anthology. He’s got a solo record out on Sony called Alive.... From Seattle, psych-pop quartet Black Whales drift into Ruby Room. I’ve been rocking their stuff as I type: myspace.com/blackwhales. Like-minded locals Primitive Noyes will set the Hillcrest stage.

Wednesday 23
Young blood. Austin, Texans the Strange Boys will play the set to get to this week at Bar Pink. These kids ride a wide berth from ’60s folk rambles to psychedelic country grooves. Pick up last year’s Rough Trade debut Be Brave and get Strange. Ramshackle Nashville trio Natural Child and local faves the Kabbs will set it all up with greezy slabs of garage punk.... Best of the rest has uke virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro at Anthology...post-rock five-piece Appleseed Cast at Casbah...and Soda Bar cracks some Dom. Dom is from my hometown of Worcester, Mass. He writes hockey stadium anthems about his cat. Chowdahead.
Barnaby Monk

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