Gearing up for New Year’s Eve, here’s a good way to work off that holiday roast beast and work on that woozy two-step, as psychonaut beach-goth boys the Growlers bring their first Fat Cat collection, Hung at Heart, to Belly Up Thursday night. One Filter rock writer of some repute compares Hung to “a sketchy Tijuana pharmacy that’s got a little ‘something’ for everybody.” Yessir, it’s lush with the group’s zinging strings, synth waves, and stereophonic vox but is, this time out, balanced with some pretty, engaging songsmithing. I never miss a Growlers gig, kinda my thing. With SoCal cohorts the Abigails and Mystic Braves, this is one of those pick ’em shows. Full stop.
More psychedelic rock-roll in town Friday night, when Til-Two dials in Story City trio Radio Moscow after proggy townies the Brian Ellis Group. Radio Moscow has been in the blues-rock business for a decade, making headway on the heels of their high-water mark The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz, a Black Keys–raved-up fave. If you’re into Cream, the Experience, Blue Cheer, you will dig this “old-style power trio with an overload of psychedelic headspace.” Brian Ellis brings it, too, making this a killer double bill for the City Heights hot spot.... Moz’s musical mastermind and occasional rockabilly Polecat Boz Boorer will be spinning discs at Whistle Stop in South Park. The British guitarist’s 2012 solo set, Some of the Parts, landed in my inbox last year and described a restless musical mind exploring everything from lounge to glam. Should make for an interesting DJ set.... Best of the rest: desert-rock locals the Donkeys clop into Casbah after Rafter and Teenage Burritos for a fine three-course meal of indie pop and roll...couple of (as advertised) farewell shows at Soda Bar this weekend as Swami fuzz-pop act Mrs. Magician says buh-bye on Friday and we say sayonara to SanDago psych-rockers Cuckoo Chaos (the name, anyway, as the band is allegedly and unnamedly staying together) on Saturday...Tin Can Ale House stages nu-math duo Indoor Cities with Kenseth & Brandon & Jason & Andrew (Sleeping People-meets-Innerds) and Endoxi drummer Matt Caskitt’s Caskitt...old-school hardcore hits Take Offense takes United States of Mind (Reaper Records) from the South Bay to Ché Café behind local bros Sleep Walk...and it’ll be a very Cash’d Out Christmas (I’m tellin’ ya) at Belly Up, with bluesy dude Scottie “Maddog” Blinn and my favorite ragtime rockers Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss (Throw Rag, Circle Jerks).
Bar Pink plugs in Sad Robot Saturday night. The up-and-coming but as-of-yet unsigned “dirty fuzz-pop” band boasts a load of TV tracks and KROQ approval, as the she-fronted trio’s “Hold On” holds a solid spot in the famed L.A. station’s rotation. Also, they’re swell to look at and watch rock. Go see what all the buzzy fuzz is about behind debut The Beginning of the End.... Else: Tower Bar’s premiering Snack Skateboards skate flick Rock N Roll, and then local punks Lumps and that time-traveling two-piece the Pheasants (“new age punk for the leather and feather set”) take the stage...funk-rock five-piece and SDMA winners Get Back Loretta headline a locals-only bill at Casbah, featuring Heavy Guilt, Palace Ballroom, Chess Wars, and Loretta’s electro-rock offshoot Swambi...old-school hardcore punks, claiming both coasts in their “procrastathrash” sound (“I’ll tell you our whole story just give me a sec...”), Ramp Locals, drop in at Tin Can Ale House after San Berners Trashquach...and surfy singer/songer Donavon Frankenreiter plays a two-nighter at Belly Up Saturday and Monday. Downey Don’s out to tout his latest, Start L-i-v-i-n’.
Follow the Crawler into the new year.