Listen to Barnaby Monk's club and concert picks covering the week of February 6–12, 2014.
Soda Bar serves Woolen Men. (It’s true.) Woodsist’s windows-down daytrippers do the label proud with their galloping garage-rock sound and off-key, out-of-time, sing-along-with-me singer. Like listening to a young Michael Stipe fronting the dBs. And that tension builds over repeat listens, which is a really good trick. Last year’s s/t set was an underground success, while aboveground rock-writers added it to their year-end “under-rated” gems. Bend an ear to “Head on the Ground,” and I’ll see you at the Soda Sunday night. Trips, Pleasure Fix, and Young Wants go first.... Zappa plays Zappa downtown at House of Blues. Dweezil Zappa’s longtime, and by all accounts very successful tribute — they won a Grammy (?) — to his avant-rock composer father has released a live, two-record set called Front of House, which is a technical term that describes how they bring the vintage Zappa instrumentation to their modern stage show, or something like that. I’m sure some Zappaphile will indulge us with the mind-numbing esoterica. Looking at you, Jay.... Casbah Presents presents Young the Giant (ex–the Jakes) on the mainstage at Soma. The O.C. alt-rockers are touring in support of this year’s teen-pleasing Mind Over Matter. The question must be posed: if Young the Giant and Imagine Dragons had a fight, who would win? Cuyacas and Tapioca & the Flea fill this all-ages bill.
Indie-pop band St. Lucia sold out their Casbah show behind this year’s ’80s-glazed When the Night...but if that’s your thing, Soda Bar’s serving up Sylvan Esso, a gal and a guy from Durham (and notable folky-rocky-type bands Megafaun and Mountain Man) looking to get their glitch-pop on.
From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, three-brother band Pontiak pulls into Tower Bar. The acid-rock akt’s new record, Innocence, is their eighth studio effort for Thrill Jockey in as many years and seems to suffer from the same identity crisis these cats were diagnosed with on record/year one. According to Bitchfork, it’s an “oft-killer rock record with a nasty balladry habit.” And Southern prog. Ooph. All that said, Pontiak shreds a room, y’all, and with Cy Dune and Nothingful to fill this eclectic rock-roll bill under the City Heights spire, I vote yes.... Otherwise: chamber-rock big band Mother Falcon swoops into Soda Bar on another-in-a-month-of-Tuesdays there. Soft Limits opens this week’s show...San Diego singer-songer and much-sought-after-producer of same Greg Laswell’s strumming and humming at Lestat’s...and Brooklyn-based psych-pop four-piece Chappo joins Royal Teeth and Blond Fire to light up Casbah Tuesday night.
They’re huge in Boston. Beantownies Gentleman Hall take the stage at Soda Bar in advance of their as-yet-untitled Island Records debut. The anthemic alt-pop sextet is touring the West Coast with Philly pop-rock trio Basic Vacation. Was touring? Something in the World Wide Wind suggests this tour may have been postponed/canceled. Please call the club for deets.... If that one’s a no-go, Secret Chiefs 3 play Casbah with miRthkon (yeah, written like that). They are a couple of proggy avant-garde instrumental bands from the Bay Area. Big bands, actually; i.e., there’ll be lots of people there even without an audience, so don’t feel bad if proggy avant-garde instrumental music isn’t your bag.