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Thursday 4
Roll tape. God Is an Astronaut, based in a place called Glen of the Downs, Ireland, is a post-rock instrumental trio that reads like Glasgow gang Mogwai but spins more synth-based ambient-to-explosive jams. The DIY outfit is on their first U.S. tour behind their self-released, self-titled fourth. Tour reports describe a “full audio-visual show” with artsy vids for each composition. God Is an Astronaut orbits Casbah with L.A. experimentalists Frequency and the Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, a Seattle noise-pop quintet with a 13-year-old drummer who is reportedly the adoptee of the front man-guitarist and his multi-instrumentalist wife. Sweet.... Rock 105.3 throws Five Finger Death Punch at House of Blues. Go to the Angelino-based band’s Space page for a taste of their “groove metal,” mug shots, and Monster ads, and feel free to judge this book by its cover — straight-up Jäger-rock. In This Moment and Another Black Day set the downtown stage.... Else: worthy SanDago garage-rock three-piece the Stereotypes throw down at Bar Pink...while round the bends down-tempo duo Stereotech tunes in at Beauty Bar...and Anasaziz wield Knives at the Ken Club.

Friday 5
When I say “WU!” you say “HYPHEN TANG!” New Yawk hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan hits House of Blues Friday night. In their nearly 20 years on and off the grid they’ve become the most commercially successful and controversial rap act ever, though you wouldn’t know it by the lukewarm reception and “ringtone rap” reviews of last year’s 8 Diagrams. Who dat next to RZA? These days, can’t tell the playas without a scorecard.... On the WAY OTHER end of your radio dial, Aimee Mann’s “yuletide variety show” stops at Belly Up. Sets feature Mann behind her latest, @#%&*! Smilers (apparently pronounced Fucking Smilers); comedian Patton Oswalt; pop-folkie Grant-Lee Phillips; and the multitalented lady from London Nellie McKay.... Around town: Canuck “puck-rock” band the Hanson Brothers (the dudes from NoMeansNo) hip-check Brick by Brick into the boards...Cattle Decapitation rounds 'em up at Radio Room...Heavy Love and the Modlins pop rock the Ken Club...Ruby Room (old SDSC) fills a bill with quartet of comers Hotel St. George, Calico Horse, the Moviegoers, and Da Bears...Surf troubadour Alex Woodard and his Naysayers carry the night at Casbah with a freebie...and Bar Pink gets heady and hosts a Radio Silence book-release thing for this “selected visual history of American hardcore music”...put out by MTV Press. Huh.

Saturday 6
Let them eat cake, the Sea and Cake. The Chi-town indie icons serve it up at Casbah Saturday night. This year’s Car Alarm does the improv-jazz-rock thing with the best of Prekop and Prewitt’s output. Get the new Latin-flavored fare in your carousel. With Touch and Go label mates Uglysuit, these psych-pop sets make for best-baked bill of the week.... San Antone she-punk trio Girl in a Coma lay it down at Bar Pink. Last year the ladies signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records for debut Both Before I’m Gone. They were a hit at this year’s SXSW and toured with, yup, Morrissey.... Soma stages L.A.-based popular punks Rancid. Tim Armstrong et al. are slated to release their first in, what, a decade since they bumped their heads into Green Day’s ass. Buck-O-Nine and Danny Diablo open.... Cashville, TN, rapper Young Buck will be out at Canes Satty night rocking the mic with cuts from his latest collection, Buck the World. Indeed.... For your consideration: Alexander Kent, Calico Horse, and BoomSnake play the Ché.... Apes of Wrath and Castaneda (L.A.) coif to club pop at Beauty Bar.... While Oaks, Get Your Death On, Hellrancho, and Sea Pansy hard-rock the Ken.

Sunday 7
House of Blues has Bad Brains. The D.C. punk perennials are back at it in their own bad fashion. For 30-some-odd years the Brains have kept it real. Check the takes from last year’s Build a Nation, but go to I Against I ('86) for a reggae-rounded hardcore education. With Dub Trio and Kevin Seconds this is one hella Sunday-nighter. Nothing else matters.

Monday 8
Jagjaguwar outfit Wilderness sign on for Casbah’s Anti-Monday meet-up. The Baltimore four-piece has been confounding critics with post-punk ooze and operatic wailing, like PiL at half speed. Trippy good...great even. Go back to the beginning, '05’s s/t debut, to '06’s Vessel States, and then follow them down the rabbit hole of this year’s (k)no(w)here. Voxman James Johnson is calling. San Serac and Moonrats open.... All-American Rejects find some acceptance at House of Blues. The Oklahoma poster boys’ new power-pop collection When the World Comes Down is due in time for Christmas. Yay. Jet Lag Gemini and the City Lives support 'em.

Tuesday 9
Meshell Ndegeocello (pronounced MEE-shell n-deh-GAY-o-chel-o) is in the House a Blues. The last lady of soul is out to tout her latest, The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams. Always a bridesmaid, Ms. N.’s been nominated for ten Grammys over her 20-plus years. D’you know she was a go-go dancer. Mmm-hmm.... Brooklyn band Longwave just dropped their fourth collection of impeccable stuff, Secrets Are Sinister. The quartet’s still playing arena rock in midsize clubs, like Casbah, with the local, less impeccable Beautiful Noise and Los Angelino indie kids the Eulogies.... It’ll be metal mayhem at Brick by Brick, featuring Bay Area bad boys High on Fire, with Black Cobra and Suffer Your Life.... Organs grind and surf swells when Monsters from Mars land at Bar Pink. Do you do the Swim?

Wednesday 10
In the meantiiime! Bang. Your. Head. It’s gut-busting guitar night at House of Blues as '90s alt-metal hits Helmet, San Clemente stoners Fu Manchu, and SD space rockers Earthless kick out the f-ing jams.... Udderwise, Belly Up books local folkies the Howls with Northstar Session and the Midwinters...and Agua Dulce does their Latin-lounge thing at Beauty Bar. Shine yer shoes for that one, vato.
Barnaby Monk

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