Roots-punk queen Exene graces the stage at the Shakedown Thursday night.
  • Roots-punk queen Exene graces the stage at the Shakedown Thursday night.
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Thursday 16
She’s the uncommon denominator of roots-rocking punk bands X, Knitters, Original Sinners, and Auntie Christ, the vinyl-voiced punk poetess queen Exene will take down the Shakedown with fellow L.A. alum, Blaster Phil Alvin. Exene Cervenka’s latest Bloodshot batch, The Excitement of Maybe, is a feisty-folk keeper that looks at love from 12 (very listenable) angles, prompting the L.A. Times to call it “catchy and immensely singable. The endless vocal refrains aren’t going to leave your brain.” With yodelbilly Canada band Petunia and the Vipers (Petunia’s a dude, btw — “Imagine David Lynch and Nick Cave had a hillbilly baby — a hillbilly baby that yodeled”), this’d be the gig to see Thursday night. Going to a busy night at the club, so check in with Barnesy regarding the Shakedown Shuttle and leave your car at home: theshakedownsd.com.... If you miss the door on Midway, Soda Bar sets up Brooklyn loft-pop four-piece the Babies, which features Kevin Morby (Woods) and Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls). They’re touring in support of last year’s s/t Shrimper debut, a lo-fi folk-pop affair that suffered some inconsistency. Good thing fans of the brand are into that. With lo-fi locals the Ditches digging in first and DJ Mario Orduno spinning ’round sets, this is another kill bill.... Best of the rest: San Diego sons Joey Harris & the Mentals play their brand of beery, bleary barroom rock at North Park hot spot Bar Pink...and the alt-rocking, piano-pop four-piece the Fray hits House of Blues behind its fresh Scars & Stories, the Denver quartet’s third studio set.

Friday 17
Stay out and step back into House of Blues at 5:30 in the a.m. for San Diego’s sexiest comedian, Lauren O’Brien, and her Pussycat Doll Experience. This is an FM94/9 Mikey Show morning-radio promo, which is kind of confusing, because isn’t that guy a straight-edge Christian? “No better way to start the day than beers and broads!” Guess I’m a straight-edge Christian, too.... Friday night finds local faves the Heavy Guilt at the Loft at UCSD with country-fried blues-rockers the Howls and Low Volts. Headliners the Heavy Guilt last year released its sophomore set, In the Blood, a savory, rootsy stew of avant Americana and psychedelic pop. Definitely check it out, but this band was built for the stage, and this’d be a fine time and place to catch three of San Diego’s best bands. See you there.... Else: Shiva Trash blows into Tower Bar with everyone’s favorite opening act, TBA. The quartet carries the garage-punk energy of its previous joints, the Sess and Atoms, to a more psychedelic, shadowy place — “dark surf slash punk slash weird.” Yup...and Devils Brigade, which features Bay Area bassist Matt Freeman (Operation Ivy, Rancid), marches into the Shakedown behind Dimerunner and the Strikers.

Saturday 18
From New York City via Philly, dark-pop punk Wesley Eisold and his inner new wave Cold Cave plays Soda Bar Saturday night.

Cold Cave takes the stage at Soda Bar Saturday night.

They are out to tout Cherish the Light Years, on which, according to the Pitch, “Cold Cave sound like they’re storming the gates of the mainstream, ready to appeal to anyone with an ear for big, bold, goth-pop.” This is an Art Fag joint, so Mario will be spinning to set it up.... ’Round town: San Diego party-rock band Sprung Monkey lands at Brick by Brick for one of their every-now-and-thenners. Audio Addiction, Her Bed of Thorns, and Pigeon set that up...L.A. dance-band revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy swings into Anthology...Lemon Grove garage grunts the Widows will be out at Tower Bar...and Belly Up books classic Van Halen trib Atomic Punks with Motley Inc. Anyone want to talk about the new David Lee Halen album? Anyone? Eddie sounds good...

Sunday 19
Craig Finn of Hold Steady will be at Casbah Sunday night. The rock-poet laureate of the Midwest this year released Clear Heart Full Eyes, the singer-guitarist’s first solo effort. My initial spins through the disc came up wanting the pump, pulse, and spit of Hold Steady, but it’s got roots in me now. Check out religio-ramblers “New Friend Jesus” and “Terrified Eyes” for all your favorite Finn-isms. Durham’s folk-rock Mount Moriah opens the show....

The Hold Steady's Craig Finn plays Casbah Sunday.

Little further down Kettner, Dizzy’s draws jazz-guitar guru Mundell Lowe into the Back Room at 98 Bottles with Gary Scott on sax and badass bassist Bob Magnusson — “three legendary performers in an intimate, acoustic performance”.... Else: Philly son G Love & Special Sauce will spill alt-hop and pop-rock all over House of Blues behind that “dirty old man one-man band” from Austin in Texas, Scott H. Biram...Uptown, we got Lustkillers at Bar Pink...and a Canadian Rifle in the Tower...while up-uptown, in La Jolla, Korean-American battle-rapper dumfounded will wield the mic at the Loft.

Monday 20
“Cheaper than a strip show,” punk-raunch act Culo a Boca blasts into Tower Bar with their Santa Cruz sidekicks Seduce the Dead and Krapsmere. I know, it’s just wrong.

Tuesday 21
“There’s very little information and no answers/One weird thing is that they’re excellent dancers!”

Rapping Canuck Buck 65 hits Casbah on Tuesday night.

It’s Fat Tuesday, yo, and there’s none fatter than that trip-hopping Canuck Buck 65. Out to tout his 20 Odd Years in the biznizz, experimental artist, MC, turntablist, radio-show host Richard Terfry will do one or all of the above at Casbah after Kristoff Krane and the Illuminauts.... From West Palm, indie-rock quartet Surfer Blood hits the beach at Porter’s Pub in La Jolla. Check the tracks from crit-hit Astro Coast for what the buzz is about, and if you go, ask them about the rumor that Phil Ek’s (Fleet Foxes, Built to Spill) onboard to produce the sophomore set...

Surfer Blood plays Porter's Pub in La Jolla on Tuesday.

Further up the I-5, Belly Up books Gomez and posts, “Gomez is celebrating 15 years of touring with their Quinceañera Party...and the band is asking y’all to help choose the setlist!” I don’t know any Gomez songs. Do they know any Fugazi? I’d like Gomez to play “Sieve-Fisted Find.” Fugazi would’ve been 25 this year.

Wednesday 22
Humpnight highlights: prog-pop icon and the voice of Yes, Jon Anderson, checks in at Anthology behind his latest, Open...while around the bend, indie folkie and hometown hit Anya Marina appears at Casbah in advance of next month’s Felony Flats, with country chanteuse Nena Anderson and her Mules and slo-fi four-piece Little White Teeth.
Barnaby Monk

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