Japan is an island nation of way over a million personhoods whose main export is noise rock. No, it isn’t, but with recording/touring acts such as the Boredoms, the Acid Mothers collectives, and Melt-Banana still making the rounds behind banshee sounds after 20-plus years, someone ought to do a study. After a six-year break, M-B hit the road last month behind fetch, a cyberpunk-grindcore collection that will dispel any concerns about the band going pop (what was Bambi’s Dilemma?). The dynamic duo of singer Yasuko Onuki (she insists she’s singing in English) and the SG-swinging masked mindbender Agata will join like-minded locals Retox and Rats Eyes at Casbah for what promise to be very heady sets. Plug ’em up, kids.... Soda Bar serves Minor Alps Thursday night. The indie-pop duo of Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) and Juliana Hatfield (Blake Babies) sounds like a match made in mall-shop heaven. I admit it, I first heard the record bleating from behind the bourgeois thrift at Urban Outfitters, and it almost sold me some chintz. Almost. Fun to listen to, funner to look at (What’s up, Juliana?), the Alps will be joined by a mall-shop-pop writer from yesteryear, Semisonic’s Dan Wilson (“Closing Time”)....Best of the rest: Bay Area band Beats Antique hits House of Blues with the cross-cultural electronica off of this year’s A Thousand Faces. And one belly dancer...Sac-town math-punk trio Tera Melos gets all X’ed Out at Ché Café with Zorch, Sister Crayon, and the Creepers...and if none of that pricks up your ears, head over to Tower Bar, where rock-roll preservationist DJs Heather Hardcore and Diana Death will be spinning the platters that matter. It’s educational.
I first heard Lord Dog Bird (that’s guitarist Colin McCann of Baltimore art-rock band the Wilderness) on NPR’s Second Stage, which is a wicked recommendable place for discovery. I’m usually very pleasantly surprised, and Lord Dog Bird was no exception. His s/t debut does the Jagjaguwar stable proud with its weighted, artful intent and immediacy. Plucked and creaking, McCann’s anti-production (can’t remember the last time I heard such tasty four-track fare) suits the mood and material (and my particular mindset) to a T. NPR comp’d Will Oldham (too precious) and Jeff Mangum (too abstruse), while I was thinking Califone’s organic tones and Neil Young’s outhouse vox. Suss him out on the interwebs and I’ll see fans of the brand at the Void. Portland soundscape explorers 3 Moons up first.... Brick by Brick and the Disconnected dudes are hosting Filthy Rockers Ball 3 Friday night at the Bay Park rock spot, featuring a ton of tatted up cats with Marshall stacks, including Los Gatos Locos, Strikers, Screamin’ Yeehaws (where’ve those guys been?), Insomniaxe, the Gore Horseman, Rail Them to Death, Goon’s Army, and Creeps AD. Slick back the duck and pull them boots on, greaser, this filth’s for you.... From Olympia, Washington, pop-punk quartet RVIVR visits the Tower Bar behind this year’s well-received The Beauty Between. Spinning it now and it’s got high-octane gas — raw and rapid, with palpable he-she tension. With Santa Cruz punk’d blues trio the Pop Bottle Bombers and up-and-coming locals Eskera and Sledding with Tigers, this is a banging bill.... Else: Styletones will funk up Bar Pink with their rock ’n’ soul swank ooze...while singer/songer Brett Dennen takes the stage at Belly Up behind this year’s comebacker Smoke and Mirrors.
Crawler followers, the weekend is here!