Stream the Crawler podcast for July 31-August 6! Barnaby spins the column with music clips, extra tips, and more!
Brooklyn-via-Minneapolis alternative act the Hold Steady have held steady to their punk’d-rock form, churning out guitarist Tad Kubler’s brand of beery-brawny rawk while frontman Craig Finn sing-speaks his beery-brainy poetics, mini-epic tales of the disenfranchised — homeless hoodrats, post-rave party people, Sunday-school truants. Ten years and six records later, critics agree that this year’s Teeth Dreams is the big record they’ve been threatening to make. Take a taste of “Spinners” at the top of this week’s podcast and see if you think their fist-pumping and proselytizing is built more for the stage than the stereo. I submit that the Hold Steady is a band that needs to be experienced. They follow Cheap Girls into Belly Up Thursday night.... Best of the rest: post-grunge five-piece Fuel ignites Brick by Brick with this year’s offering, Puppet Strings. The new record marks the return of original Fuel frontman Brett Scallions. Royal Bliss, Cavalry, and Born to Rise up first...the Garza brothers play “Texican rock ’n’ roll” as Chicano power trio Los Lonely Boys. Kenny Wayne Shepherd is a blues-rock shredder cut from the same cloth as Stevie Ray Vaughan. LLB and KWS both have new records on the Billboard charts and will split a bill at Humphreys by the Bay on Thursday...while Tucson “sex-rock” quartet Prom Body joins our own surf-pop duo Heavy Hawaii at the Hideout.
From Provo, Utah, technicolor dance-rock band Neon Trees dropped from the same tree, though a much lower branch, as the Killers and the Strokes (for, like, ever, I thought the band playing radio hit “Animal” was the Strokes). Touring in support of this year’s Pop Psychology — “a 40-minute master class in the kind of pop that moves both the body and the brain,” according to the experts at Entertainment Weekly — Neon Trees will play the post-race freebie this Friday at Del Mar.... After that, pop off the 5 at La Jolla Village Drive and roll up to UCSD, where Sir Rap-a-Lot, Devin the Dude, has the mic at hip-hop hot spot Porter’s Pub. The Houstown rapper’s rolling behind his latest, One for the Road, which the San Francisco Chronicle gives props for “chill beats, effortless flow, and an affinity for weed — proper music to blaze to.” If that’s your bag.... ’Round town Friday night, wielding “instruments that bite and vocals that growl,” Atlanta she-punk band the Coathangers play Suck My Shirt at Soda Bar. Kind of considered the female Black Lips, the quartet is young but blooming, delivering a sophomore set that is “well-recorded, well-written, and teeming with force and emotional depth” (Pitchfork). We’ve got “Merry Go Round” going round on this week’s pod, if you’re interested. White Fang and the Natives open the show...and if you need a quick change of sight and sound up there in City Heights, barhop the few blocks to “Freakout at the Hideout,” where Dum Dum Girl Sandra Vu plays SISU for you. Wild Wild Wets and Wax Children are also on the bill, while DJ Mario Orduno spins ’round sets.... “Jesus was king of the vatos!” Pall Jenkins’s borderland dub band Mr. Tube & the Flying Objects land onstage at Casbah after Gletscher and Octagrape...while Flowerthief (pop-rock), Schitzophonics (blues-rock), and St. Cloud Sleepers (“lounge-punk”) fill an indie-eclectic bill in Bankers Hill at Tin Can Ale House.
Veteran alt-rockers Weezer will be at the track after the day’s races Saturday. The radio-made quartet’s set to release the Ric Ocasek–produced Everything Will Be Alright in the End. Weezer’s been teasing the thing online this year. Web search “Weezer Wednesdays” and do some catching up, as I’m sure this weekend’s show will be heavy on the new stuff. Everything Will Be Alright will be released September 30; meanwhile, your stretch-run admission at the track this Saturday gets you into the show, the Western Regional Chili Cookoff (ba-a-arp!), and a salsa contest (¡Olé!).... Brooklyn’s brass-funky Budos Band, boasting “a dirty dozen players,” will take the stage (quite literally) at Casbah Saturday night. The Budos are due to drop their fourth studio record in October, Burnt Offering, about which the band’s label, Daptone, suggests “touches of Fela Kuti, Dyke and the Blazers, and Black Sabbath.” Our always-excellent psych-bent blues-rock trio Schitzophonics will open the show, while DJ Claire’s at the decks between sets.... A Guilt-free Erik Canzona will celebrate his solo CD release at the Victory Theatre on Imperial Avenue in Grant Hill. The record’s called The Narrows and provides Canzona’s soul-rocking vox some dark-blue material. We’ve got a tasty track called “Your Plan” playing on this week’s podcast. Brothers Grim (Silent Comedy) and Matthew Molarius (Transfer) will open the show.
Follow the Crawler into next week.