Stream the Crawler podcast for April 17-April 23! Barnaby spins the column with music clips, extra tips, and more!
Like a psychedelic Elvis one minute and Chuck Berry on a blues-punk bender the next, New York City staple Jon Spencer and his Blues Explosion — the irrepressible, irreplaceable rock-rolling backbone Judah Bauer and Russell Simins — are playing the two weekends of Bloatachella, while bounding around the Southwest between fest sets to the club-life nights the trio was built for. Get set to sweat, SanDago, as the Blues Explosion will go off at Casbah Thursday night. According to JSBX HQ, in honor of Record Store Day, which is Saturday, April 19, the band’ll be dropping an “old-school, bad-ass, limited-edition single of their Beasties–Link Wray mash-up ‘She’s On It–Jack the Ripper,’” which has, and I quote, “terrorized and astounded live audiences the world over.” Electro surf-rock trio Shockwave Riderz drop in first.... Bryan Ferry drifts onto the bayside stage at Humphreys on his “Can’t Let Go” tour. The Roxy Music man has been on a jazz-age journey in recent years, turning his back catalog into big-band fare. Oh, you’ll recognize “Love Is the Drug” and “Avalon,” you just might wonder where all the brass came from.... Cypress Hill hit House of Blues in advance of this year’s as-of-yet-untitled set. The West Coast hip-hop-n-rock crew, best known for “Insane in the Brain,” off of their Billboard number-one banger Black Sunday, is coming up on 30 years in the biz, and with several multi-platinum platters, B-Real can boast fronting arguably the biggest cross-over band in the world.... Northa town, from Santa Cruz, folk-punk anarchist five-piece Blackbird Raum takes the Ché Café stage...while English indie-folkies Bombay Bicycle Club roll into Belly Up behind this year’s Island offering So Long, See You Tomorrow.
Bear Hands is another band filling dates between Coachella shows. The New York indie kids have sold out Casbah, but Kodiak’s right up the hill at Tin Can Ale House. Kodiak is a kind of a bear, and kind of a band, too, a “San Diego–based hardcore strike force aimed at providing face-melting rock and roll. Loud. Fast. Heavy.” With like-minded locals No Name Gang and Coda Reactor, this is a killer triple bill on Bankers Hill.... From the other end of the musical spectrum, SanFran psych-pop band Blank Tapes and Burger Records sister act Summer Twins split a bill at Queen Bees Cultural Center in North Park. Summer Twins are Chelsea and Justine Brown, vintage traders from Costa Mesa (no kidding, they have a popular shop there called Dee-Lux), and the vintage-kitsch-collecting plays right into the band’s “dreamy ’50s/’60s–inspired pop,” of which, their new EP, Forget Me, is replete. Check out the title track for a time-traveling taste.... Right up the road, Til-Two hosts San Diego Freakout, featuring grrrrage groups Tropical Popsicle, Wild Wild Wets, Electric Magpie, and Slow White.
San Diego’s Slabratory crew presents O.C. hardcore vets Death by Stereo at Soda Bar. The death-obsessed DBS hit right away with 1999’s street-punk essential set If Looks Could Kill I’d Watch You Die, but after several personnel shifts (I think frontman Efrem Schulz remains the only constant), it appears the band makes more of a metal sound these days, according to the few reviews of last year’s Black Sheep of the American Dream. All agree, though, onstage DBS still sleighs. Nations Afire, Assuming We Survive, and Bankers Hill will fill the hardcore bill in Silly Heights.... If you need a break from all that testosterone, just a walk westward, femme fatale WL (pronounced Well) and grunge-pop gurl Colleen Green split a bill at the Hideout. Portland trio WL are out to tout this year’s shoegaze hit Hold, while L.A. transplant Ms. Green’s Hardly Art debut, Sock It to Me, continues to gain momentum behind its ”scrappy brand of minimalism” (Pitchfork).... Casbah hosts something called the Soul Clap & Dance Off. The New York Night Train dance contest will be judged by local dance experts(?) Amanda Suter, Mikey Turi, Steve Harris, Diana Death, and DJ Claire, and will award a “$100 cash prize” — minus the $8 to get in — a $92 cash prize.... Or, OR, North County casino club Harrah’s is a safe bet with ’80s rock-radio staples Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
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