How does a Portland-based punk ’n’ roll band end up calling itself New York Rifles? Tell hometown hit Courtney Taylor-Taylor you’re in need of a name, and the Dandy will lay one on you. What Taylor-Taylor heard was a CBGB-informed slop-rock outfit putting its Nor’west post-grunge spin on East Coast punk perennials such as Ramones, Television, and Blondie. What Taylor-Taylor heard was Faraway Faster, the Rifles ’07 debut. Since then, the quartet’s pared itself to a trio and dropped a couple more dollops of poppy punk rock. This year’s Girl Shaped Girl is drawing comps to Iggy and the Stooges. Sucks to draw comps, unless, y’know, it’s to Iggy and the Stooges. The Rifles aim to rock the Tin Can Alehouse. Local blues-rockers the Fisks up first....
Best of the rest: “We melt faces.” That Flying V–flinging trio Boy King (née Bunny Gang) hop into El Dorado with indie-pop chanteuse Maren Parusel for one doozy of a double bill...also downtown, indie-rock trio Midwinters come out of hibernation to play the Voodoo Lounge at House of Blues. Soft-rock guitaristo José Feliciano will be in the House, downstairs on the main stage...Makeout Weird at Whistle Stop stages noise-prone, post-punk la frontera five-piece Batwings with borderland MC DJ MNSTRPSY...“San Diego’s most dangerous rock and soul band” the Tighten Ups turn up at Bar Pink with boogie-woogie bandleader Sue Palmer...and Shaking Pyramid stacks preternatural psych-rock heaviosity at Eleven.
Grammy-, Emmy-, Black Reel-, Golden Globe-, and Image-awards winner Yasiin Bey, who his family calls Dante Terrell Smith and you know best as Mos Def, will be at 4th&B Friday night.
The rapper, actor, activist will give you all that, and hopefully a little Black Star. Rumor is Mos and Talib Kweli are talking Black Star reunion. Pissah. This is the gig to get to Friday night.... If hip-hop doesn’t do you, acoustifolk trio Bowerbirds land at Casbah behind this year’s Dead Oceans disc The Clearing, which is funny because a Strand of Oaks opens the show...Will Crain wrote you an Of Note on the “rock-star DJ” Dan Deacon show at the Irenic, so flip or click there for more on that.
Soda Bar stages the gig to get to Saturday night, as the Woodsist label’s namesake, folk-pop act Woods, plays the place behind this year’s Bend Beyond, which everyone and their mother thinks is just darling and the Brooklyn band’s best yet. Maybe. Certainly their most audible, with the vox at the top like that. Woods thrive in the lo-fi, tho, and I preferred the bit of blur and corner-of-the-eye surprises of the earlier stuff. Yes, I am a total douche, but I’ll be there and you can tell me to my face. White Fences and Tropical Popsicle open the show, with DJ Mario Orduno spinning ’round sets.... Uthawise: that little place with a big past, Live Wire, celebrates 20 years of drawing draughts and setting up acts like No Knife and aMiniature, who will reunite for this special night in the M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i Room at the Lafayette Hotel...Memphis-born and -bred multi-instrumentalist and Grammy lifetime achievement-winner Booker T. Jones graces the stage at Little Italy supper club Anthology. Booker’s touring in support of last year’s v. excellent Grammy-winner, The Road from Memphis...Canada band Sheepdogs bring the Southern-fried boogie rock of this year’s s/t set to Casbah after Belgian garage-rockers Black Box Revelation...local rock ’n’ soul band Doves & Desperados will play a farewell date at Tin Can Alehouse after electro-rock duo Pal & Drome...and Grammy-winning bluesman Taj Mahal plays a twofer at Belly Up at 7 and 10. According to the venue’s website, these are “solo/seated” shows.
Alt-rock Texans the Toadies hop into Belly Up behind comebacker of the year, Play.Rock.Music. Dave Good had a convo with head Toad Vaden Todd Lewis and then wrote you an Of Note on the show. I’m more of a Helmet man myself. Page Hamilton’s alt-metal band stops and starts with machine precision, and I’m still listening to that buzzsaw beast Meantime and its kinder, gentler followup Betty, lo, these many years later. Helmet v. Toadies — this is going to be a helluva fun show.... Not up for the drive, around town you got a Heavy Hawaii homecoming at Soda Bar with Swedish-born synth-pop artist Molly Nilsson...them whiskey-swilling, skinny-dipping, boot-stomping, roots-rocking Rainbow Girls of the Santa Barbara backwoods will be at the Griffin...and Raleigh folkie Tift Merritt plays a set at Anthology before that NYC cello-rocking cabaret act Rasputina takes the Little It’ly stage.
Jason Lytle has gone all J.D. Salinger on us. No he hasn’t. The Grandaddy frontman broke up the band and left Modesto for Montana, where he continues to record his world-weary, future fears, like on the brand-spanking new Dept. of Disappearance, which the songsmith told NPR is more story songs than the psychological-pop purging he did with his superawesome and sorely missed former band that I won’t name again because it makes me weepy. I met Lytle at Belly Up a hundred years ago when you know who was opening for Elliott Smith (oh, shit, now I’m really weepy). I told him the new record was terrific, that the band sounded great, that he looked tired, and I offered him a hug. He spat in my ear, “Exhausted! I’d rather a whiskey!” I’m going down to Casbah Monday night and hug the stuffing out of the motherfucker.... Else: English folk-pop singer/songwriter Beth Orton’s down at House of Blues behind this year’s Sugaring Season, her first for the venerable ANTI- record label...Seattle-based indie-pop artist Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, plays the all-ages Irenic in North Park...while Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell takes the stage at Belly Up after our own rejuvenated rock-roll vets the Blitz Brothers.
Guitar virtuoso Kaki King will light up the Loft at UCSD with this year’s Glow, which Consequence of Sound says “challenges the boundaries of acoustics through just six strings and a whole lot of rhythm.” She’s a tapper and a slapper....