If, like me, you were hoping to join the Cult at House of Blues, too late, mein freund, that salty alt-rock banger is sold out....
Chin up, though, I got something Sonny for ya, as SanFran paranormal pop band Sonny & the Sunsets are touring in support of this year’s devotional to life and death in outer space, Antenna to the Afterworld. Namesake Sonny Smith is not just a prolific writer of songs, stories, and urp song stories, but an engaged conceptual artist as well. Have a gander at his ambitious 100 Records installment for the width and breadth of his abilities, most of which are boiled down on this year’s very recommendable Antenna — country, folk, pop, synth, garage — all vignettes in the name of living before you die, as told to Mr. Smith by a dead friend from space. Oh yeah, he believes in all things metaphysical and is apparently well tapped in. Catch Sonny at the Casbah, you never who might m a t e r ialize. Memories and Teenage Burritos open the show.... Else: Portland dance-punk four-piece Hockey hits Soda Bar behind this year’s Wyeth Is, with Saint Motel and Swimm...soul-jazz trio the Krass Bros. swing into Bar Pink...and Grammy-winning blues-rocker Johnny Winter’s at Belly Up with like-minded locals the Blitz Brothers.
With this year’s More Than Just a Dream cashing in on infectious lead single “Out of My League,” neo-soul big band Fitz & the Tantrums has captured the ears and imaginations of radio programmers and made dance tracks hipster-friendly. Adult-alternative tastemaker Paste magazine calls the new Fitz “a diabetic coma of sugar-rush pop.” It’s a fine, fun listen but chews up pretty quick. Which is perfect for this Friday’s post-race freebie at Del Mar.... After that, get off the midway and onto Midway, where solo roller the Slow Poisoner takes down the Shakedown after Shake Before Us and Zombie Surf Camp. The Slow Poisoner isn’t just sepia-rootsy, he’s dark-woodsy, gothic-weird.... Cholo punks Shiva Trash blow into Til-Two with a record-release for “Helter Swelter.” Northern Tigers, the Natives, Electric Healing Sound, and California 666 fill this border band bill, while Operation:Mindblow screens a liquid light show.... And also: Stockton indie-pop quartet Surf Club convenes at the Void with Dum Dum Girl Sandra Vu’s SISU...while Soda Bar sets up local post-rock five-piece Swim Party with Modern Rifles and Kalashnikov My Wife.
Jazz-rock experimentalists Montalban Quintet includes members of Pinback, No Knife, Sleeping People, the Jade Shader, and Tanner, and runs through “post-punk, minimalism, jazz, new music, 1950s schmaltz, and field recordings.” Catch up at Casbah with Takahashi (ex-aMiniature), Never Come Down (Hargo), and Subsurfer.... Swamp-punk Scottie “Mad Dog” Blinn’s Black Market III takes the stage at Tin Can Ale House Saturday night. This one’s Matt Curreri’s farewell show. I have no idea where the troubadour’s off to, but he’ll be joined by his full Dive Bar Band.... That electronic tribal dance party of two, Okapi Sun, shines on Bar Pink after Dramady and Rllrbll.... Austin anti-folkie Shakey Graves plays Soda Bar with Amigo the Devil and New Calfornia Sun. Dave Good broke that one down for you in this week’s Of Note, so flip or click there for more on that.... Oh, and Mr. Good’s final Dave’s Garage gig closes out this summer’s run at Brick by Brick this week, featuring the hard-rocking Symbolic, Suicide Chords, Blood Dancer, and the bravest band on the planet, Rushed. Rocket sauce or train wreck? I can’t watch.
The batman of Bauhaus, the godfather of goth, Peter Murphy, sold out his Belly Up show, but wipe that mascara off your pale white cheek, pally, House of Blues has SanFran street-punk band Rancid — for two nights! And Tim Armstrong’s other band, the Transplants, opens both shows. Rancid reportedly has a new disc in the mixing stage that’ll be released just in time for Christmas. Ho-ho-ho.... No-no-no? From Northampton, Mass. — my neck of the woods — Speedy Ortiz skids into Soda Bar. According to Pitchfork, the four-piece is “inspired by the whipsmart lyrics and who-gives-a-fuck attitude of greats like Pavement and Liz Phair, this band is injecting some personality into indie rock.” Little more digging reveals that frontwoman Sadie Dupuis also fronts a Pavement cover band called Babement. With Supermodel Razorblades setting it up, I am so down.... Miss the door to that, dance-rock darlin’ Miss Dizzy’s Gone Baby Gone will be at Casbah with Phantoms and the Routine.
Despite no new material in five years, that on-again, off-again hard-rocking Aussie act Wolfmother has sold out their Belly Up show.... Chilean Cumbia band Chico Trujillo will “merge cumbia, ska, reggae, and rock” at Casbah. Need a taste test, their latest is called El gran pecador. Local Latin dance band Cumbia Machin up first.... From Redondo Beach, rock-roll trio Fallen Riviera gets up on the Soda Bar stage behind their debut, Another World. Duping the Public will open the show.
“Duderino” Jeff Bridges and his band, the Abiders, sold out their Belly Up show. What club slump? That’s three consecutive shutouts for the Solana Beach hot spot.... Upthataway, East Coast hip-hop hit Cory Gunz iz at Porterz Pub at UCSD...while back downtownward, the wascally Bad Rabbits hop onto the Casbah stage. The Rabbits are a Beantown-based funk-rock band in the midst of dropping companion collections American Love and American Dream. Very patriotic. Air Dubai lands first.... Best of the rest: remember Writer? I know, they never wrote. Ex–San Dagan indie-rock siblings James and Andy Ralph are back for a one-off at Soda Bar after Mrs. Magician and the Illuminauts...NorCal’s cinematic shoegaze sextet Whirr (née Whirl) spin into the Void after Tennis System...and 91X’s Loudspeaker plugs in Icarus Line at Bay Park bar the Griffin. Vampire strikes first.
Humpnight highlights: Brooklyn-based psych-sludge band Naam will take the stage at Soda Bar after like-minded locals Joy, Tar Halos, and Sacri Monti...Aussie roots-rockers Blue King Brown visits the Griffin behind their latest, Worldwize...northa town, Sconnie metalcore quintet Misery Signals shine this year’s Absent Light on Ché Café after Color Morale, Elitist, and the Kindred...whilst “Mr. Telecaster,” the British picker Albert Lee, slings his thing at Belly Up...and way northa town, psych-rock singer/guitarist Paul Kantner’s late-model Jefferson Starship lands at Ramona Mainstage. Ramonans love their starships.
— Barnaby Monk