The Conners are coming! The Conners are coming! By the time you grok this, San Diego, you are probably surrounded by them. Nerdus americanus. And their annual ritual has commenced downtown, filling our hotels, motels, and Holiday Inns. Nerds, welcome. All we ask is that you obey our traffic signals — this isn’t Gay Pride, after all — and barf in the plastic-lined cardboard-box receptacles provided — this isn’t Gay Pride, after all. Have fun and spend a ton, we got a big City Hall sex thing going on that’s about to drain all our resources....
Them costumed kooks from Huntington Beach, the Aquabats, will flap into House of Blues to kick off the weekend’s tomfoolery. MC Bat Commander and crew have now got a show on the tube, the Hub network’s The Aquabats! Super Show!, boosting their cachet in Nerddom. Honestly, I wouldn’t know an Aquabats song if it flew out of my butt, so I bent an ear and it’s a ska-based new-wavey type of music. Sounds fun. And it comes with costumes!... About ten blocks east on Broadway, El Dorado and Blk Owl do a Dark Side thing with Hollywood concept-rockers Black Lodge, an industrial-metal act scoring a multipart graphic novel called The Diary of a Tomahawk. If, like me, you don’t have a lot of patience for this stuff, at least go for local openers Gone Baby Gone, Neighbors to the North, and Flaggs. That’s an awesome triple bill. And check out Flaggs’ new song on the interwebs, “Take a Ride.” That’s Birdy from the New Kinetics fronting a trio that sounds, inaword, badass.... Else: troubadour Todd Day Wait will play a farewell date up at Tin Can Ale House...Soda Bar serves up a freebie, featuring Dave Good’s Of Noted act this week, indie-rockers Grand Tarantula, with Hello Penelope, the Fixtures, and Neon Cough...anti-comic Neal Hamburger and his hostile combover have the mic at Casbah...while Tar Harlos and Amerikan Bear split an Operation:Mindblow psych-rock show at Bay Park bar the Griffin.
Eighties radio staples the B-52s (“Dance This Mess Around,” “Private Idaho”...so much of their stuff still holds water, but I gotta stop there...“Rock Lobster,” “Love Shack,” “Roam”...I couldn’t stop...“Wig,” for God’s sake!) kick off this summer’s run at the Del Mar track. The Georgia quartet has three Grammys, a ton of platinum and gold in their catalog, and still plays 50–60 sold-out shows a year. Alas, no induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The snub is egregious. And kinda cool. The Five-Twos are too f!!!ing cool for the Hall of Fame. See you in the paddock. Decent list of Friday freebies at the track this year, btw: dmtc.com/season/.... Later and back downtownward: new promotion group Disconnected (that’s punk-lifer Barnesy from Shakedown) stages its inaugural show at Brick by Brick, with Voodoo Glow Skulls, Vietnam Hardcore, and the Tramplers. Keep your peeps peeled for a Disconnected website and future dates...’round the bend from Brick at the Griffin, you got indie-pop acts Animals of Kin, Hills Like Elephants, and Goodnight Ravenswood. Animals of Kin is made up of actor-rockers Ryan Donowho, Tim Jo, and Sarah Roemer. I know, me neither...Aaaaanyway, “because no one demanded it,” local garage punks the Dissimilars will play a farewell show under the spire at the Tower. Wooly Mammoth and Mexico City Rollers set it up.
Wouldn’t be a Comic-Con weekend without that loud lop No Bunny, who hops onto the Casbah stage after Milk Music, Colleen Green, and the Widows. I love me some Colleen Green, y’all, but No Bunny scares the piss out of me. The decider on this date was Olympia, Washington punk’d rawk quartet Milk Music, whose SST reffing and riffing and wicked vein of ’60s guitar soul has got me giddy again. Get your mitts on this year’s Fat Possum full-length, Cruise Your Illusion. You can thank me at the show.... Not your cup? Athens indie-rock act, and another from the Fat Possum stable of artistes, Futurebirds, fly into Soda Bar behind this year’s Baba Yaga after openers Diarrhea Planet, and what is UP with that band name?!...a hop, skip, and a stumble west on El Cajon, Scott H. Biram and Low Volts will fill the Void with their brand of blues-rock noise...while SanDago throwbacks Social Spit hit Tower Bar after Ministry of Truth, CH3, Los Headaches, and the ever-delicious Teenage Burrito. That’s what it says on the Tower site, anyway. None of the bands have the date posted. Please call the club for deets before rolling over.
Bar Pink celebrates six years in the biz with El Vez’s Rock Revue, with backing band the Schitzophonics and DJ Vaughn Avakian spinning ’round sets. SD son Robert Lopez’s rock arc goes from Zeros to Heroes (the “Mexican Elvis” is also known as the “Thin Brown Duke”), as El Vez and his Elvettes’ capable pipes carry the tunes of Lennon, Dylan, T. Rex, Queen, Bowie, and the Beatles. The consummate showman never disappoints and this one’s free, so get there really really really really early.... Miss the door to that, she-punks Des and the Cendents (they’re a Descendents cover band, in case you missed that) follow Shark Blood into the Tower Bar...down the street at State, Postal Service delivers fragile electropop at the Open Air Theatre...while northatown, Rogue Wave washes up at Belly Up with their new disc, hopeful comebacker Nightingale Floors. It got a single in Iron Man 3, yes it did.
Sorry for front-loading this week’s Crawler, just tons of stuff going on. Real quick with next week’s picks because I’m out of room: heady L.A. guitar-rock act Papa, something akin to NYC’s the National, plays Casbah...and Soda Bar dials in Brooklynites the Chamber Band, something akin to “the Decemberists and the White Stripes (by way of Danny Elfman).” Unholy.
Aesop and Kimya, aka the Uncluded, will take the stage at the Irenic to perform music from their collaborative debut, Hokey Fright. The songs, like the collection’s title, confront mortality with the pair’s oddball lyricism and heady folk-hop musical brew. Take a taste test: rhymesayers.com/theuncluded.... No? SoCal garage-pop cats Tijuana Panthers and Northern Tigers maul Soda Bar...while Grammy-winning Fender-bender Jonny Lang slays Humphreys by the Bay with his soulful brand of blues.
From Waukesha, Wisconsin, Heartland rockers the BoDeans will be at Belly Up Wednesday night...Dirty Sirens, Kids in Heat, Legs, and Mrs. Henry fill a blues-punk bill at the Griffin...Casbah’s got Ugly Boogie, but you knew that. The Tilt and Midnight Pine go first...and from Philly, TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb will go off at Tin Can Ale House with the boot-stomping folk-punk off of their sophomore set, Manufacturing Joy. Amerikan Bear lumbers in first. I’m out.
— Barnaby Monk