David Eugene Edwards (“DEE” to his faithful fans) was the biblical baritoned bard behind big band 16 Horsepower. When that alt-country powerhouse called it quits in 2005, Edwards dedicated himself to turning the New and Old Testaments into American-gothic songs as Wovenhand.
More teacher than preacher, Edwards, armed with a deep, dark croon and driving new quartet, comes off as the Cormac McCarthy of rock ’n’ roll, an American Nick Cave, and I don’t use them there comps lightly. A Wovenhand show is like an invitation to incantation, some dark Native American ceremony that’ll either save you or deprave you. Depends on you... Wovenhand’s touring in support of this year’s The Laughing Stalk, hands down their heaviest set yet, in rock and talk. They’ll be at Soda Bar with our own psyched-out roots-rockers Blackout Party and Heart Beat Trail for thee gig to get to tonight.... Best of the rest: Al Howard’s favorite new blues-rock band Dirty Sirens wail at El Dorado with dirt-pop four-piece the Short Eyes. Be sure to check out Al’s intro to the Sirens in this week’s Blurt...circus-punk five-piece Burning of Rome will heat up Casbah after Palace Ballroom, State to State, and Sheep Head...and San Diego’s first lady of rock ’n’ soul, Lady Dottie, dons her Diamonds out at Tower Bar.
DC punk perennials Bad Brains take the stage at Belly Up in Solana Beach. For 35 years, HR and Dr. Know have been leading the BB front to conquer stages worldwide with a punk’d fusion of reggae riddims, jazzy breaks, heady metal, and funky fun. No signs of slowing the show, the four-piece this year released its ninth studio set, with the telling title Into the Future. Haven’t heard it, but reviews are good, with Allmusic summing the consensus thusly: “A return to the ragged glory of the band’s early speed-demon hardcore days.” F yeah. SanDago organ grinders Creepy Creeps open the show.... Utter mentionables: krautpop two-piece Moon Duo (Wooden Shjips) brings brand-new Circles to Casbah after Life Coach (that’s Phil Manley of Trans Am) and SD psych-pop experimentalists Wild Wild Wets...a hop, skip, and a trip down Kettner, Nathan James and his Rhythm Scratchers will light a blues fuse in 98 Bottles’ back room...and Hillcrest hideaway Ruby Room is throwing a ’Stache Bash, with entertainment by the Yes Team (a CD-release date for them), the Paragraphs, that Flying V–spiked soul-rock trio Old Tiger, and DJ Man Cat — half man, half cat, 100 percent awesome. Just saw on Man Cat’s FB pagina that he hails from Marlborough, Mass. I’m from Hudson, dood! Crazy-small world.
L.A. indie vocal act Milo Greene will visit Casbah with White Arrows and J. Thoven on Saturday night. Folkie five-piece Milo Greene this year released via Chop Shop/Atlantic its s/t debut, which reached numero uno on Billboard’s Heatseeker thingy. I never heard of them, but Consequence of Sound has, so I cut, I paste: “Milo Greene builds layers of complex harmonies and sing-along choruses into a total that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.” Truly.... Otherwise: San Diego’s favorite blues-stomping Bedbreakers will be at Bar Pink...Til-Two goes extreme metal, staging the fiery-fonted Draconis, Exhausted Prayer, Apocryphon, Ghoulgotha, and Oneirogen. Leighton’s got a take on the funereal Ghoulgotha in this week’s Blurt...folk + jazz multimedia act Ed Ghost Tucker materializes at Eleven after Manuok and By Sunlight...surf-y pazz ’n’ jop siblings Mattson 2 will play the Griffin with Privet, Marshmallow Men, and Golden Beaches...that absolutely fabulous Black Flag tribute Black Fag will pretty-up the pit at the Shakedown after SanFran’s all-female tribute band Girl-illa Biscuits...and up at the Ché Café, Get Back Loretta, Grand Tarantula, JARA, Gone Baby Gone, and the Fixtures fill an indie-eclectic locals-only bill at the campus collective.
After Love Remains, 2010’s breakout debut, everyone wanted to know How to Dress Well. With this year’s Total Loss, we get more than we bargained for, as the blown-cone R&B is replaced by autobiography in minimalist pop form. Which isn’t to say it’s a disappointment...well, at first, maybe, but then you hear the common-thread plaints and put the kettle on, settle in, and spend a super-solid 38:39 with yourself, in Tom Krell’s eerie reed of a voice. With NYC IDM duo Beacon and lo-fi locals Heavy Hawaii up first, this Soda Bar show’s the go-to gig Sunday night.... Else: Brian Karscig’s dance-rock band Nervous Wreckords will get down at Casbah behind this summer’s Let Them All Talk. New Kinetics, Dirty Sirens, and DJ Diana Death fill the bill.
By now y’all know the Casbah’s Hot Snakes/Night Marchers show is done sold out. If you missed the tix (like me) to that, Soda Bar’s staging Ataris front gun Kristopher Roe, who’s rolling with a solo acoustic show. According to IMDb trivia: “He plays his guitar upside-down” and “He has a tattoo of an Australian passport stamp on his hand.” I’m sold. Local acoustic-rock act Yovee (Riding in Vans with Boys) splits the bill.
“Don we now our gay apparel.” It’ll be a very John Waters Christmas up at Belly Up Tuesday night, as the cult auteur (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray) regales a seated house with holiday tales of his Baltimore childhood through song and skit. Follows is from an interview with film critic Roger Ebert: “‘My vaudeville show,’ he calls his [Christmas show]...‘I’m always hoping I can have a nervous Christmas breakdown onstage in the tradition of Judy Garland’”.... Uptownin’: Doug Benson of Cash’d Out is rolling solo out at Tower Bar, playing Johnny Cash’s Grammy-winning American Recordings...while Oklahoma City garage punks Broncho ride into Eleven for a return visit to our fair burg behind this year’s raucous, Ramonesian debut Can’t Get Past the Lips.
As usual at this point I’m out of verbiage, so real quik-like: Black Crowe Chris Robinson plays Belly Up Wednesday and Thursday nights with his Brotherhood. More on him next week...that bass-slappin’ rapper Meshell Ndegeocello’s doing a Nina Simone tribute at Anthology in Little Italy...SacTown trip-hopper Death Grips got Casbah after Cities Aviv...them folk-rocking Nashvillians the Kopecky Family Band join Sir Sly and Sundrop Electric at Soda Bar. Will Crain covered the gig in this week’s Of Notes...and And And And from PortlAnd turns up at Eleven (= Kinks + Pavement + blender + several days in the sun).... Oh! Frandly reminder for you Mountain Goats fans (and what Crawler follower isn’t?), suggest you get on the stick for tix to next week’s gig at the Irenic. Darnielle et al. roll into town next Monday.
— Barnaby Monk