Devised in Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “avant-garage” act Pere Ubu warps, distorts, and addles traditional time without rhyme or rock-and-roll reason. I often imagine Father Ubu David Thomas strolling by the Hall with a sidelong glance and a sneer at the trophied traditionalists. It’s been 35 years since Ubu’s essential mission statement, The Modern Dance, hit discerning record racks, including Robert Christgau’s, who claimed the band tapped “too much Radio Ethiopia and not enough Redondo Beach,” couching this minor criticism in an “A-” grade. For this year’s Lady from Shanghai, Thomas and company compiled the collection in a sort-of Chinese whisper technique — record sumpthin and pass it along. Knowing that and hearing earworms such as “Free White,” “Another One (Oh Maybelline),” and “Lampshade Man” gives me shivers. Check out Andrew Hamlin’s recent interview with David Thomas and then meet me down at the Casbah for a nog, or six. Our own oddfellow rock-rollers Octa#Grape open the show, making this the gig to get to Thursday night.... Best of the rest finds SanFran skate-punk band NOFX at House of Blues for the downtown club’s 20th anny...this year’s “out-of-nowhere” (Syracuse) art-punk act Perfect Pussy plays Soda Bar after Natives and Empire Pleasure...and the Disconnected dudes spill the Blood, the 30-year-strong London punks led by Cardinal Jesus Hate and J.J. Bedsore, onto Brick by Brick’s stage after South Bay hardcore crews Störta and Nerve Control.
Two Cow Garage frontman Micah Schnabel left the Two Cows in his Columbus, Ohio, garage for this winter’s tour behind The Death of the Self Preservation Society, easily the band’s best set yet, infusing their heartland rock rumble with some ’Mats “ne’er-do-well garage-country strut.” Schnabel promises a 50/50 set of solo stuff/Two Cows. He’ll be at Til-Two Friday night after local “party forever” folkies Sledding with Tigers and acousti-punk duo SwingChimney.... Up in Mira Mesa, party-rock personality Andrew W.K. visits the kids at the Epicentre. I’m not sure how that whole Steev Mike-versus-Andrew W.K., Inc. played out — assertions that the performer is a corporate construct of an anonymous group of studio geeks that call themselves “Steev Mike” — but I do think it makes the guy way more interesting than his music. That and the motivational speaking gigs. I mean, wtf?... Soda Bar sets up Stockholm’s answer to Joy Division, Holograms. The emotive quartet has thickened its schtick on this year’s Captured Tracks set Forever, reaching for — and often attaining — arena heights. They could blow the cap off the Soda after TV Ghost and our own Tropical Popsicle. Dave Good gave you the goods on TV Ghost in this week’s Of Note if you want to flip or click there for more on them.... Else: longtime local scenester Gary Shuffler (Honey Glaze/Ziggy Shuffledust/etc. etc.) celebrates the big Five-Oh at Casbah with tribute crews Queenly and Highway to Hell Cajon...and that tatty Stray Cat Brian Setzer crams his Grammy-winning big-band into Belly Up on their tenth anniversary Christmas Rocks! tour for your RDA of greazy beats and holiday treats. Shine up your skids, kids, this one’s a dancer.
“Master of Disaster” Duane Peters and his O.C. street-punk stalwarts the U.S. Bombs will go off at Soda Bar Saturday night after like-minded locals Rat City Riot, Sculpins, and Oddball. The Bombs are touring in support of this year’s Generation Kennedy No More, which, fyi, completists, is a tour-only record release, so make sure to hit up the merch guy first.... San Diego retro-rockers the Loons and Sidewalk Scene split a “99th Elevator” night of garage, psych & soul bill at Tower Bar. The Loons features garage-rock devotional Ugly Things magazine’s Mike Stax, while local legend Ray Brandes (Tell Tale Hearts, Riot Act, the Shambles) fronts Sidewalk Scene. Just so ya know you’re in good hands with these bands.... Utter mentionables: SoCal hardcore hits Good Riddance, Battalion of Saints, and Pulley fill a bill at Brick by Brick for Slabratory’s second annual Slabby Holidaze mosh-a-thon...Casbah’s got SDMA winners the Schitzos, with Touchies and Nformals for a tasty little locals-only barroom-rock bill o’ fare...the spell-check-challenged hip-hop krew Vokab Kompany hits House of Blues...while the jazz-funky Greyboy is up at Belly Up for their annual holiday shebop, Winter Solstice.
Follow the Crawler into next week.