“I’ve been starting over for a long time,” sings Mikal Cronin on this summer’s briny beaut, MCII, a heady headphone set that demands a beachside romp and a re-evaluation of what passes for garage-pop chops these days. Cronin’s got ’em good. Makes perfect sense he’s a pal to and frequent collaborator with SanFran’s fuzzed-out indie hit Ty Segall. Cronin plays most of the instruments on the disc, culling charmed tones and crafting some of the best arrangements I’ve heard in several summers. For fans of the brand (just draw a line from Gram Parsons), I can’t recommend this one enough. Click to the interwebs and check out “Change” for a taste. Kook video, but the song is seamless. Like-minded locals Mrs. Magician and the Kabbs open these must-see sets at Casbah.... Best of the rest Thursday night: L.A.’s queen of the keytar Juliette Commagere and borderland goth-pop band Dancing Strangers split a bill at Bay Park bar the Griffin...El Dorado’s Twang Gang lassos lo-folk trio Midnight Pine and Crash & the Burns...Gloomsday, Kodiak, and Dark Watchers fill a doom-rock bill at the Void...Canada band Marianas Trench will be at House of Blues behind this year’s pop-punk E.P. Face the Music...and Victor Penalosa’s hook-heavy rockers the Phantoms reappear for a thing at Bar Pink. Love Phantoms and can’t make this one, nonja worry, they’ll move it down 30th to play Whistle Stop on Friday.
See: The Phantoms and Mittens, which “specialize in the revolutionary genre of 'cat pop'” (I don’t know either), split a bill at Whistle Stop Friday night. DJ Action Andy’s at the decks and Miho’s gastrotruck is curbside. Sounds like an all-in-one date night in South Park.... Casbah kicks off a three-night thing for Ugly Things magazine, which turns 30 this year. The weekend’s festivities include performances by ’zine publisher Mike Stax’s Loons, a’course, as well as a who’s who of Nuggets-era nuggets — Love Revisited, the Sloths, Cyril Jordan of the Flamin’ Groovies, Glen Ross Campbell of the Misunderstood, as well as Ebbot Lundberg (Soundtrack of Our Lives), “girls in the garage” the Rosalyns, O.C. faves the Neumans, and how ’bout Hollywood-rock cult figure Kim Fowley as MC?! Go here, casbahmusic.com, and pick a night — hell, pick all three, but do it posthaste, ya headcase, these tickets won’t last.... Not your thing: House of Blues has Norwegian deathpunk sextet Turbenegro. Twenty-five years strong, the nasty act this year released its ninth studio set, Sexual Harassment, behind lead single “You Give Me Worms.” You can’t make this stuff up. Miami’s sludge-metal sound machine Torche warms up.... Else: East Coast hardcore hip-hop duo Mobb Deep (MCs Havoc and Prodigy) rocks the mic at Porter’s Pub at UCSD...Shakedown stages UK Oi! boys the Business with Inciting Riots and the Code 7’s...SanDago’s surf-horror-punk act Zombie Surf Camp drops in at Tower Bar after Chica Diabla, Revenge Club, and the Touchies...Stomp-and-shout rock-hop New Yorker Brownbird Rudie Relic takes Til-Two with Chango Rey and the Savage Choir...while up at the Royal Dive in O’side, Metalachi serves up heavy metal con queso.
New York’s favorite bar band the Beets is sure to fill the Void Saturday night. The trio plays psych-lite sing-along acoustic rock and has been called Thee East Coast Oh Sees. They have opened for Pavement, Vivian Girls, and Mountain Goats; they have a record called Spit in the Face of People Who Don’t Want to Be Cool; and they have a relationship with radio mook Howard Stern that I can’t quite decipher. They’re colorful! Pangea and Teenage Burrito open the show.... Dave Good throws up the garage door on his second installment of this summer’s Dave’s Garage concert series at Brick by Brick. He’s got local fave Chris Leyva hosting the proceedings and hard-rockers Dive Bomber, Uncle Junkie, and Low Volts on tap.... Shakedown’s doling some fun punk junk on Saturday, as they host a back-lot punk-clothing swap all day. And afterward, appropriately enough, Funeral Dress will take the Midway stage. They’re a street-punk band from Belgium. You probably remember their hit “Free Beer for Punx”.... Smiths trib Still Ill will celebrate Moz’s birthday with a set at Seven Grand in North Park. Couple glasses of jet fuel and you’ll be fooled.... Emo ya don’t! Cold War Kids sold out both their Saturday and Monday shows at Belly Up. Hang on a sec and I’ll pop over to my broker’s website...nope, nothing, I typed whilst shaking my head incredulous.
From Torrance, CA, pop-punk quartet Joyce Manor is touring in support of their new Asian Man record, Of All the Things I Will Soon Grow Tired, about which Punknews.org declares “catchy but not in that cheap shitty poppy way.” Comp’ing Jawbreaker and Descendents, I’m in. They’ll play the Irenic after Kids. (Try Googlin’ that band name.)... Also on Sunday: them ex-aMiniature members, Takahashi, will be at Soda Bar after Bloody Mary Bastards and Subsurfer...and Cash’d Out brings back the Man in Black at Belly Up after fiddle-rockers Lexington Field.
That guy from Switchfoot and that guy from Nickel Creek have a band called Fiction Family, which plays an “idiosyncratic blend of folk flavor, classic pop arrangements, and expertly etched songcraft.” Ooph. They’ll be doing that at Casbah after the Howls play an acoustic set. I’ll be taking care of another kind of load that night, bouncing between Sunshine laundry and Cherry Bomb, thank you very much.
Featuring members of — deep breath — the Locust, Head Wound City, Holy Molar, All Leather, Some Girls, Swing Kids, Le Butcherettes, Cattle Decapitation, Struggle, Festival of Dead Deer, and the Crimson Curse, primitive punx RETOX hit the stage at Ché Café after Graf Orlock, Fucking Invincible, and Griever for a night of seriously dangerous decibel levels. Plug ’em up kids.... Utterwise, NYC shoegaze group Mice Parade marches into Casbah after Midnight Pine...and Green Day’s musical American Idiot opens at the Civic Theatre downtown. It’ll run through June 2. No? Not even curious?
According to the UK Guardian, “the noughties last punk-funk band standing” is Sac-town’s !!!, which takes the stage at Casbah humpnight behind their brand-spanking new Warp record Thr!!!er. The Brits think the sproingy party platter’s the tits, while it seems the sound is “played” here in the States. It’s what !!! does, and belee me, it translates way better onstage. With L.A.’s psychotropical pop group White Arrows up first, I’m not even going to insult you by mentioning the Marilyn Manson show down at House of Blues.
— Barnaby Monk