Eighties new-wave staples Flock of Seagulls land at 4th&B Thursday night. Though the band name has become the butt of many a pop-culture joke — Mike Score’s trademark coif the hairpiece of that joke — the band’s synthpop hits “I Ran” and “Wishing” are as pervasive today as they were at the height of the band’s popularity in 1982. A week doesn’t go by that you don’t hear a Seagulls hit on the radio, at Vons or the mall, in your subconscious. Pretty sure I’ll be carrying “I Ran” around with me the rest of the day today. Oy. 2 Bit Radio, the Lillies, and Valentino Frankenstein open the show....
Experimental instrumentalist Matt Embree (aka “the Walrus”) will appear at the Irenic in North Park. The ex-Rx Bandit/Sound of Animals Fighting guitarist remains at the center of the O.C. scene with his MDB record label (run out of his garage in Seal Beach) and coterie of stage and studio musicians who specialize in psychedelic sonics and tension-filled performances. Pop-punk vocalist Vinnie Caruana (I Am the Avalanche/Movielife) opens with a solo acoustic set.... Else: that wild and woolly-costumed big band the Yiffs kick off their California tour at Soda Bar after a set by psych-pop sextet Sundrop Electric...“Mr. Telecaster,” the British singer/songwriter Albert Lee, is at Anthology...New York new-wavers Twin Shadow and Poolside wrap up their two-night stint at Casbah...and Ché Café stages L.A. garage punks Peter Pants with Key Chain, Kids, and Wide Streets.
Since the last time Jimmy “The Harder They Come” Cliff was in town, the Jamaican reggae star was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2010). Cliff plays the post-race Friday freebie at Del Mar this week.... SanFran one-woman band Colleen Green takes the stage at Tower Bar behind this year’s Art Fag offering Milo Goes to Compton. Green’s fuzz-pop take on ’60s sock-hop and ’70s punk is copy-cat, for sure, but so infectious and fun, we’ll let her slide on cheats like “Good Good Things” and “I Wanna Be Degraded.” Plus, she’s super cute. With lo-fi locals the Plateaus, this is one of your gigs to get to Friday night...as is the Cuckoo Chaos show at Casbah. The math-pop supergroup and SDMA winners are at, or v. near, the top of our indie-rock heap, which, btfw, needs to start doing some weeding out. Perhaps hard-acts-to-follow Tropical Popsicle and Little Deadman can help that cause. DJ Keith Sweaty spins ’round sets.... Best of the rest: Canadian prog-rockers Marching Mind march into Eleven after Suicide Chords, Interrobang, and Science Fiction Jazz...right up the street, Soda Bar’s serving dance pop, with Rafter, Lion Cut, and Jamuel Saxon...while funk’d up acid-jazz act Pocket’s at South Park’s G-spot, Whistle Stop.
The punk and pop pedigree of the Escovedo family is impressive, and though rooted in Texas, its San Diego branch of Javier (Zeroes) and Mario (Dragons) will surely have a contingent at the Griffin when their roots-rocking brother Alejandro Escovedo plays the Bay Park bar behind this summer’s heat-seeker Big Station. With NYC singer/songwriter Jesse Malin splitting the bill, this one’s sure to sell out. Tix still available as of this typing....
Speaking of pedigree, the three-headed indie-rock monster that spawned Pinback and Black Heart Procession, among others, Three Mile Pilot, lands at Belly Up behind their new EP Maps, an “odd men out” set from 2010’s undersung reunion record The Inevitable Past Is the Future Forgotten. Sleeping People Kenseth & Brandon will open the show.... Meanwhilst, around town, the scariest band in the land, Deadbolt, resurfaces at Casbah with the Hangmen and Los Loaded Saints...there will be a Burning of Rome CD-release thing at Soda Bar...gutter punks Rats Eyes tear through Tower with the Widows...O’side’s circus sideshow rockers the Drowning Men wash up at Bar Pink with this year’s All of the Unknown. Dirty Ghosts and Bella Novella in support at the North Park bar...San Diego sax giant Joe Marillo and his friends will play the music of Jobim at 98 Bottles...the Grammy-winning rock guitarist Eric Johnson’s at Anthology...and from Steeltown, PA, punk’d greasers the Memphis Murder Men will take down the Shakedown with like-minded locals Gore Horsemen and the Embalmers.
Bust out your baggies, Summer Babe, El Dorado’s Brightside pool party at the Lafayette this week books the Crash & Burns, Barbarian, and DJ Saul Q.... Then, Sunday night, the Mexican Elvis will stump at Casbah when the El Vez for Prez campaign comes to the Middletown mainstay. Creepy Creeps and the Schitzophonics will take the podium first.... Christopher Cross’s s/t solo debut went five times platinum and won the guy five Grammys in 1979, beating out Pink Floyd’s The Wall for album of the year. WTF? Apparently the soft-rocker’s still touring and recording and will ride like the wind into Anthology.... L.A. funksters Orgone and Earful will play the Belly Up in advance of this summer’s Doheny Days Music Festival, which is looking enticing, as Jane’s, the Lips, Magnetic Zeros, and Santigold are set to take the beach-front stage at Dana Point. You going?
From DC, Afrobeat big band Funk Ark drifts into Soda Bar behind this summer’s High Noon, a deep-groove doozie that’ll goose your cosmopolitan bootie, fo sho. With the In Motion Trio setting it up, you best dust off your skids, kids, because this Monday night we dance!... No? Latin trip-hop hit Ana Tijoux is at Casbah behind her new La Bala album...and the novelty rapper Grammatical B, who this year added a DJ to his stage show, will take the mic at Tin Can Alehouse.
Johnette Napolitano and her L.A.-based alt-rock trio Concrete Blonde last summer revisited some of their early fame with a 20th anniversary edition and tour behind their 1990 goth-rock collection Bloodletting. With a few new singles up on the interweb, CB will be at Belly Up with acoustic shoegazers Menkena.... In town Tuesday, country-punk trio Blood on the Saddle rides into Tin Can Alehouse after Dum Dum Boys and Moose...and the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quintet jazzes up Little Italy supper club Anthology.
With a shared affinity for VOLUME, Oakland quartet Saviours take down the Shakedown Wednesday with this year’s stellar stoner-metal offering Death’s Procession. With a good deal of Golden Earring and Sabbath in their sound, Saviours bring ’70s metal back to life with palpating loudness and pace. Ride the Sun and the Marsupials open the show.... And from Dallas, Texas, alt-country act Old 97’s roll into Belly Up behind their back-to-back Grand Theatre volumes. With Nashville’s “garage-country” she-trio Those Darlins opening the show, this one has hootenany written all over it. Hee haw.
— Barnaby Monk