Heady experimentalists Cave play Tin Can Ale House Thursday night.
  • Heady experimentalists Cave play Tin Can Ale House Thursday night.
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Thursday 1
Avant-gardians Cave will play Neverendless at Tin Can Ale House. It’ll seem that way, anyway, if you’re not into adventurous instrumentalists. Measure your head against this year’s Drag City disc, as the Chicago-based psych-rock quartet reveals a taste for krautbeat surprise, with deep bass grooves and throwback synth sounds that call to mind Neu! or Stereolab at their frenetic best. With local stoners Sister Mary Challenger setting it up, this gig’s about as heady as they get.... L.A. pop-punk trio Dollyrots roll into Bar Pink behind Arrested Youth. They are signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records and made their whirled TV premiere on The Price Is Right. No shit. Multimedia electro-rockers Life of Science will split the bill.... Soda Bar sets up R&B revivalists Nick Waterhorse and the Tarots with Western swingers the Allah-Las. Flip or click to this week’s Of Notes for the of-notables on these throwback acts.... El Dorado downtown does Italian Japanese. The up-and-coming L.A./Dago trio sounds a lot like Eels in my ears. Check out “Le Pony”: myspace.com/italianjapanese. They’ll be joined by Jamuel Saxon’s Keith Sweaty.... Else: the “unobtrusively brilliant” Cass McCombs plays with Donkeys at Casbah...while finger-picking phenom Leo Kottke brings his six-string swing to Belly Up.

Friday 2
Ready to get down? I mean, dowwwn, as Friday night finds local darkwave band Black Heart Procession processing into Casbah with doom-folkie Chelsea Wolfe. Will Crain wrote this one up for you somewhere in these pages, so go there for the deets.... Fourth Avenue freezeout and the B Street band — Jersey son Josh Tanner will bring “the Boss” to 4th&B, as his Springsteen Experience rocks the downtown concert spot with everything from Born to Run to Born in the U.S.A. I never saw the real Bruce Springsteen in concert; I figured the 50 million songs he had on the radio was quite enough. My gf just told me the saxophone player died recently. That’s sad.... Onward, ho! There will be roots-rock sets at Soda Bar, featuring Canada band Deep Dark Woods and like-minded locals the Howls...Brick by Brick’s offering “Season’s Beatings” with DJ Robin Roth spinning for all you black-clad creatures of the night. There will be bondage performance art, a fetish-wear fashion show, and a gall-dang spanking booth...and Ché Café’s kicking off its hardcore holidays this weekend with Alpha & Omega and Xibalba on Friday night. Saturday night they’ll set up the Caravels with Ten Thousand Leagues. Plug ’em up, kids, cuz it gets loud in that little room.

Saturday 3
Speaking of loud little rooms, Angry Snowmans, Thousand Watt Stare, Blackhands, and Sex & Violence will fill a punk-rock bill at the Shakedown Saturday night. Word on the interweb is that the Angry Snowmans (pronounced suh-no-mans) put on the “Best punk X-mas show EVER.” You’ll hear why if you give a listen to their “Deck the Halls,” “Drink Some Rum and Eggnog,” or that yuletide classic “Richard Hung His Sock.” Go hear the cheer here: myspace.com/angrysnowmans.... Best of the rest has Esco punk-rawkers Dan Padilla (“the band not the man”) playing Til-Two with L.A. punk classicists Manix...the Schitzophonics turn up at Eleven with Gloomsday, Jigsaw Seen, and Midnight Ghost Train.... And in residency at Tower Bar this month, you get a coupla psych-pop funyuns in Short Eyes and Pop Gang. That’s a month of Saturdays you got to catch these two new crews.

Casbah plugs in Girl in a Coma on Sunday.

Sunday 4
Casbah plugs in Girl in a Coma Sunday night. The San Antonio she-punk trio is signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records. They are out to tout this year’s Exits & All the Rest. In front femme Nina Diaz, you get a chameleon vocalist for all things ’80s — if the Smiths- referencing band name didn’t give it away. Most notably, tho, fans of Siouxsie Sioux should get in on this gig. Shoegaze Seattleite Christopher Mansfield says he “traffics in wussy pop music.” WPM. His Fences and our own Black Hondo will open the show.... Else: Nor’wester King Dude (“dark pagan-fueled folk wrapped tight with outsider Americana, steeped in themes of love, death, and redemption”) will rule Soda Bar with Jacob Turnbloom (Mrs. Magician).... Tin Can Ale House tries on Teenage Sweater, a solo show by Santa Rosa chillwaver Mario Ruiz.... While the multiple Grammy-winning Tex-Mex rockers Los Lobos lope into Belly Up behind last year’s crit-hit Tin Can Trust.

Solo roller Scout Niblett sets up at Soda Bar Monday night.

Monday 5
“Your Beat Kicks Back Like Death.” That little drummer girl from Englund Scout Niblett finds her way to Soda Bar Monday night. She’s touring in support of her latest, The Calcination of Scout Niblett. She’s known for her intimate sets of post-grunge pluckery and ghostly vox, so, you by the bar, shh-h-h-h. Toronto folkies Picastro and our own Nothingful will open the show.... South Central hardcore crew Media Control — I’m sorry, MEdia conTROL — and like-minded locals Revenge Club hit Tower Bar.... And Grateful percussionist Mickey Hart and his band will play Belly Up for those who just can’t let go of the Dead.

"Godfather of goth" Peter Murphy plays Belly Up Tuesday after dark.

Tuesday 6
Back to Belly Up Tuesday night, as that brooding bat Peter Murphy perches on the Solana Beach stage. Best known for his deep-throated days fronting dark-pop new wavers Bauhaus (“Bela Lugosi’s Dead”), Murphy has been dutifully dubbed “the godfather of goth.” This year he released Ninth, about which Pop Matters prints, “If something is to be said for the undead, it is that their second wind appears to endure longer than that of mere mortals.” Sounds like a slam, but they gave the disc a “7” score. I believe that’s out of 10. She Wants Revenge and Hussle Club are also on the bill.... And also: Cat Burglars steal into Soda Bar. The new surf-rock band features some musical Donkeys.

Casbah serves Sea & Cake on Wednesday.

Wednesday 7
Humpnight highlights have jazzy art-rock act the Sea & Cake at Casbah behind this year’s Thrill Jockey disc The Moonlight Butterfly. For those in the know, this Chicago-based band features the guitar interplay of post-rock luminaries Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt, driven by bassist Eric Claridge and drummer John McEntire. Avant artist from the Jagjaguwar roster Lia Ices will open these essential sets.... Best of the rest: gonna be a stoner-metal set by Portland quartet Red Fang at Soda Bar. They have a new collection out on Relapse (Don Cab, Mastodon) called Murder the Mountains. I didn’t even know Relapse was still in the record-making biz...and it’ll be NYC riot act Izzy and the Catastrophics burning down Bar Pink. Stitching rock, swing, surf, tonk, and bebop, “If the Catastrophics had been the band on the Titanic, they’d have blown that iceberg into cubes for drinks on the ledo deck.” A-fuckin-men, Brian Baker of CityBeat Cincinnati.
Barnaby Monk

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