Rough Trade roots rockers Alabama Shakes rattles and rolls into House of Blues behind this year’s crit hit Boys & Girls. The four-piece, based in Athens, Alabama, infuses Southern rock with an honest take on trad blues and soul, coming off a little self-serious at times but self-assured all of the time. Fans of the Americana brand would do well to get this fiber into their diets. From Athens in Georgia, the like-minded Futurebirds land first.... Right ’round the bend, ’90s industrial-rock radio staples Filter (“Hey Man, Nice Shot”) and hard-rocking locals Sledd shred at 4th&B.... Soda Bar sets up emo-core crew Braid with Polyvinyl labelmates Owen at the Irenic in North Park. Braid’s Frame and Canvas (1998) is considered by many rock writers the evil emo template. It’s not evil. The caveman-rocking trio TS & the Past Haunts will open the show...while at the club Soda proper, British alt-rock trio Animal Kingdom takes the stage in support of The Looking Away, a sophomore set that nods at stadium pals Snow Patrol and the mighty Mercury Rev...Til-Two will host a Johnny Rad Fest pre-party, featuring Elvis Wong’s (the Reatards) new joint Destruction Unit, with Stalins of Sound, the Lumps, Acorn Bcorn, and the Last Years.
Johnny Rad Fest has streamlined this year, its fifth year(!), and taken over the Ken Club for the weekend (as well as the Kings Inn hotel in Mission Valley, apparently — check the web for the poolside parties and shuttle services: brixton.com/JohnnyRadFest/). On Friday night at the Ken, you get that garage-pop ’Zonie No Bunny and cool as fuck Canuck Mark “BBQ” Sultan, with Tokyo Electron, Tigerfox, and the Kabbs. If you go for the two-day dealio, on Saturday you’ll see that “long-on-distortion and short-on-subtlety” scuzz-rocker King Tuff and beach-rock revivalists Shannon & the Clams, with Half Rats, Night Beats, and Audacity. Trés rad, mes amis, trés rad....
Former Zappa backers the Grandmothers of Invention will be at Little Italy supper club Anthology Friday night. Since 2002, four former Mothers of Invention (Napoleon Murphy Brock, Roy Estrada, Bunk Gardner, and Don Preston) have been keeping the avant-rock of maestro Zappa alive, performing the classics and deep cuts of our “Famous Former Neighbor”.... Portland ensemble Y La Bamba play Casbah behind this year’s breakthrough Court the Storm, a mashup of frontwoman Luzelena Mendoza’s Mexican memories and art-folk that had Bust magazine boast, “If you pine for the day when Astrud Gilberto records some lounge-inspired Mexican folk music with Devendra Banhart, then Y La Bamba is totally your jam.” Totally. Heavy Guilt goes first.... Up at Porter’s Pub at UCSD, the Harlem-based Afro-Peruvian rapper Immortal Technique rocks the mic at the campus beer hall...while across campus, at the Ché Café, local faves Burning of Rome and Tan Sister Radio take the stage with Oaktown’s proggy garage-rock five-piece Saything.
The Grammy-winning alt-rock guitarist Ben Harper will be at the track this Saturday for the Del Mar Summer Concert Series. These shows go down at the Seaside Stage and are free if you pay for the races. Mr. Harper is out to tout his latest Virgin Records release Give Till It’s Gone, a blues-based collection that found its way to number 15 on Billboard’s Top 200....
L.A. glam-punk quintet Prima Donna’s at the Shakedown Saturday night. Touring in support of this year’s Bless This Mess, Kevin Preston and company’s new one is a well-received collection that’s “as good as down and dirty rock ’n’ roll gets,” according to Huffington Post. Phenomenauts, Pass the Axe, and Oddball are also on the bill.... Else: Campy SoCal punks the Dickies [“Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)”] are back in town to play the Griffin with F.O.A. and Jonny Castle...SanDago supergroup Midnight Rivals (Louis, Lucy’s, Convoy, Rocket) play Eleven with Santos and the Pheasants...Soda Bar sets up Grand Tarantula with an East of Sweden CD release...Tower Bar stages some ska with Amalgamated and the Longshots...while Casbah fills an indie-eclectic bill with local up-and-comers Hyena, Jamuel Saxon, Hills Like Elephants, and the Church Hustlers.
Ex–Beat Farmers Manifold will play the BBQ o’clock (5p) show at Eleven in Normal Heights. From their bio: “Hard-rock meets moments of serenity when Manifold comes on stage.” Huh.... Then, that Hillbilly Joker Hank 3 hits House of Blues behind this year’s Long Gone Daddy, a punk’d-up honky-tonk collection of covers (Haggard, Cash) and reissues.... The daddy of surf guitar, Dick Dale, meets surf-jazz siblings Mattson 2 at Belly Up.
Nawlins hip-hop hit Nicky Da B brings “bounce” to Casbah’s Anti-Monday thing. According to Mr. Da B, “Bounce is making its way into the wider world through the work of several gay or transgendered rappers who have been dubbed Sissy Rappers.” He is best known for his work with Grammy-nominated producer Diplo on club cut “Express Yourself.” Illuminauts and Parker and the Numberman set it up.... Another New Orleans native, Trombone Shorty, will be at the Belly Up behind his latest funk-rock ’n’ hop collection, For True, a record that includes appearances by the Rebirth Brass Band, Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes, Stanton Moore, Kid Rock, and Lenny Kravitz. Dude’s connected.... Local “acid-blues” quartet Requiem for the Rockets will take the stage at Tin Can Ale House with SanFran band Tartufi. Flip or click to Will Crain’s “Of Note” on Tartufi for his take on the duo’s experimental bent.
Pub-punk big band Bomb the Music Industry! blows into Ché Café with their latest effort, Vacation, a certified summer set for your next skate session. Check out opener “Campaign for a Better Next Weekend” to what some are calling “the Pet Sounds of punk.” Grim Luck and Auckerman will open the show.... Tin Can Ale House stages local “ectoplasmic-rock” trio Joy with SanFran Nuggets band Pink Films and like-minded Los Angelinos Residual Echoes.
From NYC, nu-waver George Lewis Jr., aka Twin Shadow, plays the first of a two-night stint at Casbah Wednesday night. He is touring in support of his sophomore set, Confess, a record compared equally to mid-’80s Peter Gabriel and the soundtrack to Top Gun. This recent Stereogum album of the week prompted their music scribe to write, “Lewis is an honor student in the Morrissey school of singing.” Moz singing “Danger Zone.” Awesomer and awesomer. L.A.’s “daytime disco” duo Poolside opens both shows.... Speaking of Morrissey, Smiths trib Still Ill’s at Soda Bar with ex-Eclipse79 Electric Monk...while Takahashi (ex-aMiniature) plays right down the road at Eleven. Grunge-era throwbacks Kitty Plague kick that one off.
— Barnaby Monk