Indie band du jour? Man, non, indie band du nuit! You come across the word “autumnal” a lot when reading about Jersey boys Real Estate. Moody but never morose, they’re more of a summer-nights band. With his shimmering surf-guitar and stifled jangle, principal Martin Courtney sings campfire songs for East Coast crusties. Organic like Kingsbury Manx and narcotic (the good kind) like Radar Brothers, Real Estate’s Domino debut Days was a critical hit and commercial curiosity. It was “the Zen record of the year.” I totally just quoted myself. Real Estate hits the beach at Belly Up Thursday night. Psych-drone soundscapist Sun Araw and local slo-fi indie kid Jeans Wilder open this go-to show — y’know, for fans of the brand.... Else: Soda Bar sets up blues-rock yawper Dax Riggs. Dave Good wrote the Of Note on the show...country-fried acousti-rockers River City land at El Dorado with Deadly Birds. DJ Keith Sweaty spins round sets at the downtown digs...alt-rock folkies Murder by Death are out in advance of this year’s Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, due to drop September 25. They’ll be at Casbah with like-minded Bloodshot band Ha Ha Tonka...that “Wicked Game” crooner Chris Isaak will play Humphrey’s by the Bay...L.A.’s industrial-metal heads Fear Factory stack ’em at Bay Park bar Brick by Brick after Fates Demise and the Squirelly Arts...while right ’round the bend, Pal&Drome, DUDES, Church Hustlers, and Mothlight fill an eclectic electric bill at the Griffin.
English roots-reggae band Steel Pulse has the 4 o’clock post-race place at Del Mar this week. For almost 40 years David Hinds and his crew have been bringing dem rock-steady riddems. Always a party when Pulse in the house. Two words: Vi sine....
After the track: “Every band’s trying to network or get Dum Dum Girls in the sheets,” sings Mrs. Magician’s Jacob Turnbloom on “Actual Pain,” a standout cut from this year’s Swami set Strange Heaven. The fuzzed-up ’60s-influenced sounds go down easy, but Turnbloom’s acerbic wit catches in the throat when he informs “You’re all going to die” on “There Is No God.” The backing “la la la”s and “wah-ooo”s throughout tickle your feet while Mrs. Magician saws you in half. Hell of an experience, hell of a local release. Mrs. Magician will stage its latest trick at Casbah after Spider Fever, Plateaus, and Ditches. That’s a lovely load of lo-fi Friday night. See you there.... Best of the rest finds Zoot revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at Anthology for two nights of West Coast swing. Stick around Friday night for a late set by “the world’s greatest tribute to the Rolling Stones,” Jumping Jack Flash...Def Jam recording rapper YG’s “4 Hunnid Degreez” tour rolls up on House of Blues...rock ’n’ soul dance band the Amandas pull into Whistle Stop for a night of sock-hop...Midway punk club Shakedown stages loud-ass locals Los Loaded Saints with Focke-Wolves and On High...while pop-punk three-piece Darling You’re Stunning hits the Griffin with Bloodflowers and Sundrop Electric.
When did the Sea break up with Cake? The Del Mar track’s Summer Concert Series serves up Cake on Saturday. The Sac-town quintet is out to tout Showroom of Compassion, the band’s seventh studio set and first on its own label, Upbeat Records. Not every cut’s fresh Cake. But it’s fucking Cake, man, your favorite odd-pop food group from the ’90s. Except for Beck. And King Missile....
If you’re not too full after that, Ché Café stages “A night to not forget: Six bucks, cuz Man Your Horse is all the way from Vancouver! That’s right, math rock from Vancouver. Color is fulfilling ’n’ unleashed. Ditches is downtown ’n’ dirty. Big Bad Buffalo is total-gnar ’n’ greasy.” I cribbed that from the college co-op’s Bookface page cuz I didn’t study. It’s summertime, yo.... ’Round town: Bar Pink books an SDMA showcase, featuring local faves Cuckoo Chaos, Maren Parusel, and Hills Like Elephants...Santa Cruz psychobilly trio Chop Tops roll into Brick by Brick with Denny Harvey and the Strikers...while Trash Axis hits Eleven. They’re a seven-piece experi-metal band that “sounds like loud reed metal machine music.” Deep Sea Thunder Beast and a coupla Zonie bands called Name and North will open the show.
There will be an SDMA showcase at Casbah on Sunday, featuring the Nervous Wreckords, the Howls, Grand Tarantula, and Parker and the Numberman.... If you’ve seen enough of those guys, singer/songer David Ramirez plays Soda Bar. Paste magazine calls him “the best damn songwriter you don’t know yet.” They’re the pros.... Check it out, the British invasion via Detroit. Power-pop wavers the Romantics will woo Belly Up with dance-floor staple “What I Like About You” Sunday night after San Diego “dirt-pop” band Short Eyes sets the stage.
Did you see the Ryan Gosling flick Drive? It was no star vehicle ha. It was a kind of quietly engaging movie, and the music was an electro-pop masterstroke by the filmmakers.
The Drive Tour rolls into Casbah Monday night and features College, Anorak, and Electric Youth. Correct, no Chromatics, no Kavinsky, but “A Real Hero” will be worth the price of admission. Wait, at 14 bucks, maybe not. Up to you.... R&B radio staples Seal and Macy Gray will be down at Humphrey’s by the Bay. That one appears to be sold out. Hose off your dinghy, Cap’n, we’ll take ’em by sea.
The mayor of San Diego’s jazz scene, Gilbert Castellanos, and his Hammond B3 Trio (Pete Kuzma on the organ, Duncan Moore at the traps, and Castellanos and James Zollar blowing brass) offer up another Night of the Cookers — a tribute to trumpet masters — at Little Italy hot spot 98 Bottles.... L.A. alt-pop trio Avi Buffalo roams into Soda Bar after Jeans Wilder and Kera and the Lesbos. Click to Will Crain’s Of Note for the of-notables on the show.
Gap Dream, playing Soda Bar Wednesday night, is garage-pop soloist Gabriel Fulvimar from Cleveland in Ohio. He is out to tout his s/t Burger Records debut. It’s on cassette, and it’s got the goods. I am loving this collection and cannot wait for this show. O.C. trio Cosmonauts will set it up with their own brand of primitive psych-pop.... Northa town, Ché Café stages the Acoustic Funtime Friendship Show, featuring weird-ass Portland jazz-punx the Taxpayers, touring in support of this year’s Asian Man record God, Forgive These Bastards — Songs from the Forgotten Life of Henry Turner. There’s a readin’ book, too.
— Barnaby Monk