A couple NorCal indie hits bring it south to Belly Up, as garage-punk’s rising stock Ty Segal takes the stage with slack-rock icon Stephen Malkmus. I saw Segal at this year’s FYF and dude’s Melted fuzz-pop show outshone the sun and swallowed dance dust as his unknown-hit parade caught the crowd of kids by surprise, inspiring soda-pop smiles and silly dances. (Yeah, me too.) One-time Pavement great Stephen Malkmus is now jester for Portland troupe the Jicks. Word on the wire is that after this tour, Malkmus and his missus and kids are moving to Berlin to do something new. Maybe open a sandwich shop. He makes a helluva bologna and cheese on white — see this year’s Mirror Traffic. That said, this is the gig to get to tonight. (Yeah, me too).... Best of the rest: from the city of Compton, the Game rolls his new joint, The R.E.D. Album, at 4th&B. To the rapper’s delight, R.E.D. debuted numero uno on Billboard’s top 200...’round the bend, heavy metal hits House of Blues when Stockholm’s Euro-thrash acts Opeth and Katatonia demo the downtown stage...Wolf Parade’s singer/songer/many-instrumentalist Spencer Krug as Moonface shines on Casbah behind Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped. The Jagjaguwar press says it “sounds as the title suggests.” ’kay. Like-minded locals D/Wolves open the show...Canada band Himalayan Bear (feat. members of Frog Eyes and Godspeed) lumbers into Tin Can Ale House with Attacks the Brilliant Air. Sounds like orchestral Devendra, according to the worldwideblob...there’s one of them exercises in erudition, PechuKucha, at Til-Two for you heady cases...and up at Ché Café, SanFran post-core band Loma Prieta takes the campus collective’s stage with Griever and Good Grief, Charlie Brown.
Dateline: Philadelphia — Kurt Vile leaving the War on Drugs was like splitting the psych-rock atom. Vile, the free radical, finds his voice and composes Matador masterpiece Smoke Ring for My Halo (Look for it in your local independent music shoppe and on many or most indie crits’ year-end lists. It’s one of four absolute keepers released this year. I’ll give you the other three for Christmas.)
Meanwhilst, War on Drugs cofounder Adam Granduciel was readying his excellent Secretly Canadian set Slave Ambient. When I saw the hype on this disc, I was very ready to hate it. It’s unhatable. Unless you hate on Dylan, man, and trickle-down musicnomics. Slave follows Smoke Ring in my truck’s carousel, which gets me to Garnet Peak and back nicely, thanks. It’s driving music, on several levels. The War on Drugs wages at Soda Bar with Philly friend and neighbor Mike Polizze, aka Purling Hiss, who’s out to tout face-melter Lounge Lizards.... If you miss the door at Soda Bar when this show sells out, and it will, your night’s not totally lost: you got San Diego’s garage-pop throwbacks Nashville Ramblers rolling into Til-Two, which according to Mapquest is exactly 1.4 miles east on El Cajon Blvd...and SanFran she-punk band Wax Idols touring with Terry Malts through Tower Bar, which according to Dora the Goth Explorer is just through Cannibal Land, about three and a half miles southeast...old-school oi band the Business shakes down the Shakedown...4th&B stages Latin hip-hop-n-dance bands Calle 13 and B Side Players...Mexican death-metal act Brujeria brings witchcraft music to Brick by Brick...while country-fried singer-songwriter Leon Russell, inducted this year into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, wheels his baby grand into Belly Up.
Paul Simon, winner of 12 Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, will revisit his extensive songbook out at Viejas Arena at SDSU. He’s my mom’s absolute fave, and my memories of watching her dance around to “Me and Julio” and “Kodachrome” are some of my faves.
Simon’ll drop The Songwriter next Tuesday, a 32-song, 2-CD set of the little man’s ginormous career. Guess what Mom’s getting for Christmas.... Else: Big Head Todd’s doing his Big Head Blues thing at Belly Up, featuring his Monsters as well as hard harp player Charlie Musselwhite and contempo blues babydoll Ruthie Foster. Looks as if it’s sold out, so get with your ticket broker on that one...or go check out Bay Area bluesman Tommy Castro, who will sling his Strat to roadhouse tested Hard Believer at Anthology...or soft-rock singer-songer Mason Jennings. He’s down at House of Blues behind this year’s bag of cracked marbles Minnesota. Yes, bag of cracked marbles.
Get some laundry done, your room stinks.
From NYC, one of “the big four,” thrash-metal scourge Anthrax hits House of Blues behind this year’s Worship Music. The makeshift band’s tenth proper and first in nearly a decade has been a critical hit across the metal-media universe. And just because I know you want to know, it’s Joey Belladonna manning the mic Monday night. The replacement’s replacement’s replacement John Bush has left the building. Again. Testament and Death Angel up first....
Bunch of fun sleeper sets around town, too, which is weird for a Monday night, but check it out: Hotlanta band Gringo Star will drop their new collection, Count Yer Lucky Stars, on Tuesday — like, tomorrow, so you know they’ll be on it. The garage-rock quartet plays Casbah with Subsurfer and New Kinetics...Silverlake’s up-and-coming alt-pop act Voxhaul Broadcast is out at Bar Pink behind debut Timing Is Everything, and singer/actor Robert Schwartzman (Rooney/lotsa movies) is opening the show...from the Portland punk-pop scene of yore, the Bloodtypes (ex-Epoxies) will be at Soda Bar...while from my beloved Beantown, straight-edge hardcores Bane and Defeater tout tolerance at Ché Café. Hardcore fans take note, Defeater’s new one, Empty Days and Sleepless Nights, fucking cooks.
Tuesday, it’s got to be San Joe rootsicana band the Mumlers at Casbah with He’s My Sister. I know that’s not their name, but it’s a way better name, like Kera & the Lesbians, who are also on the bill.
Mumlers are still touring behind good and ghostly Don’t Throw Me Away.... San Dago’s own Joshua White finished a finalist in this year’s international Thelonius Monk-a-thon thing. You can check out some of Josh’s original comps at Dizzy’s downtown.... Ahoy, polloi! from NYC, “post-classical” string quartet Ethel’s at the Loft at UCSD.
I got a coupla humpnight hits, as Ramones tribute Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! plays an early show at the Stage downtown. And if you’re not into the hairband thing they got planned afterward...House of Blues hosts a load, as the Pac Sun PacTour takes the downtown stage featuring alt-pop acts Manchester Orchestra, White Denim, Dear Hunter (not Deerhunter), and Little Hurricane. You remember them...
— Barnaby Monk