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Thursday 15
“Like a robot making love to a tree,” says odd-pop duo Ghostland Observatory about dousing dance-y funk jams with electronica and pop hooks. But the pair’s known more for their unusual pose in pigtails and vampire cape. Shame, that, as hometown Austin named ‘em band of the year last year. Sample Space hits from ‘08 Trashy Moped disc Robotique Magistique or have a look at debut DVD Live from Austin, TX, an Austin City Limits performance, for a prevue. Ghostland haunts House of Blues tonight and the Joshua Tree Music Fest Friday night.... Mark Eitzel’s SanFran slowcore band American Music Club headlines a 94/9 “It’s about the music” thing at Belly Up. It appears Eitzel and mainstay guitarist Vudi have reconvened the Club permanent-like with the release of this year’s Merge disc The Golden Age — a breezy, SoCal pop record by AMC’s 25-year-old standard. San Diego big band Blackout Party sets the stage.... Viejas is calling kids to the casino by staging alterna-pop band Rilo Kiley. Fronted by former child actors Jenny Lewis (Troop Beverly Hills) and Blake Sennet (Boy Meets World), the Kileys get indie props through side projects (the Elected, Postal Service, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins) and pop cred through TV (The O.C., Conan, SNL). After three independent releases (on Barsuk and Saddle Creek), the L.A.-based group signed to Warner for last year’s Under the Blacklight, a disc of melody-rich sunshine pop — a departure from their usual sardonics.... Jazzcat Jesse Davis will croon till you swoon at the Manhattan in La Jolla’s Empress Hotel. And check in at groovinu.com Saturday mornings t’hear the SD institution spin from his eclectic collection.... Hard-rocking hometowners Long and Short of It launch Flight of the Mallard at Bar Pink Elephant.... Copenhagen experimentalists Efterklang and Slaraffenland join forces at Casbah for the Danish Dynamite Tour.

Friday 16
The legal team of Santos, Sanfillipo, & Ware relives their ‘90s heyday as alterna-rock outfit Lucy’s Fur Coat (“Treasure Hands”) this weekend. The local might’ve-beens reappear at Casbah Friday and Saturday nights. Santos’s Coolest Band in America opens Friday, Thin Man on Saturday. Both nights’ve been sold out.... Lots more live love round town, though: Soul sister Patti Austin arrives at Anthology for two nights. The singer won a Grammy this year for hit jazz disc Avant Gershwin. The Harlem songstress first hit the stage at the Apollo in 1952 at age four. The Grammy is her first.... Qualcomm opens up the yard for a “Concert on the Green,” featuring radio hits Offspring, Pennywise, and Jimmy Eat World.... Rapper Flo Rida of Opa-locka, Floreeda, delivers Mail on Sunday to 4th&B.... Long Beach punks I Am Ghost will animate at Soma with a long list of like bands.... Tyler, TX, boy-girl band Eisley plays pop at House of Blues. Last year’s Combinations suggests the babies are teething.... The “official” Eisley afterparty is at Beauty Bar with electronica trios XrayOK (L.A.) and Aerodrone (Eugene, OR).... Miami madman Blowfly funk up the Zombie with Antiseen and Homeless Sexuals.... Price of Dope players Pocket groove Whistle Stop.... And it’s Josh Tree times three, as Barnet and Chris host their annual high desert hijinks Friday through Sunday. Check Web address joshuatreemusicfestival.com for performers and particulars.

Saturday 17
Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel are Blackalicious, a back Bay hip-hop duo that helped put Oakland on the rap map. Check out last year’s vid 4/20 Live in Seattle t’get the down-low on the duo. Inglewood’s indie MC Pigeon John kicks off the Belly Up bill and DJ Gar Gar spins round sets.... N’awlins party band Cowboy Mouth joins local Johnny Cash cats Cash’d Out and barroom rockers Dirty Sweet at Mariner’s Point on the beach.... Prepare for Armageddon, as Dutch punks Fleas and Lice play Ché. Mouth Sewn Shut, Inhaste, and Doomsday Hour in support... SanFran beats band Von Iva coif at Beauty Bar with the Stereotypes.... Zombie hosts a Joey Ramone birthday bash, featuring the Tabones, Rich White Males, and Idiot Box.

Sunday 18
“UK indie kids the Kooks visit House of Blues behind their Virgin Records virgin record Konk. Berkeley pop pups Morning Benders open. The Benders’ debut Talking through Tin Cans smacks of Paul Simon’s good years a little bit. Woulda been a good show to see IF IT WASN’T SOLD OUT.... Good thing Motor City garage greats the Dirtbombs will be kicking it up at Casbah. Go get We Have You Surrounded glued in yer carousel, like, now, and book a sitter — the Terrible Twos and Dan Sartain share the Middletown stage. Pant Hoots play Atari.... Lotsa live punk rock at Ché Café. The campus collective’s staging Brit bad boys Leatherface up top, with Paint It Black, Dead to Me, Loser Life, and Northern Towns in support.

Monday 19
The Kills’ new hit disc Midnight Boom is out on Domino. It’s no No Wow, but go see the London couple’s Anti-Monday set at Casbah anyway, or take a break.

Tuesday 20
Modern songsmith Dan Bejar has spread spotty Brit-pop gems through New Pornos, playing Ray Davies to Carl Newman’s Paul McCartney. But the lustre lasts longer in the artist’s guise as Destroyer. Though grounded in Bejar’s tonal Bowie-isms and heady pop poetry, his catalogue’s a shapeshifter of style. Recommend 2001’s Streethawk: A Seduction as the artist’s jumping-off (-in?) point. Destroyer’s latest Merge disc, this year’s Trouble in Dreams, has the critics creaming. Destroyer will kill at Casbah with Chainsaw Guts F*cked leader Devon Williams. That’s your ticket.... Else: you got metal mayhem “Gigantour” at Cox with Megadeth, In Flames, Children of Bodom, High on Fire, and Job for a Cowboy.... Punk-rawk throwbacks the Adicts, the Dickies, and the Diffs at House of Blues.... And Scottish folk-pop lads the Proclaimers at Belly Up.

Wednesday 21
As the quietest crew to ever come out West Hollywood, it’s weird to say the Radar Bros. have mellowed since their eponymous debut Singing Hatchet (1999), but there it is. Stillandall, Jim Putnam pens pretty thought-pop that holds your attention. (“Musical ketchup?”) The trio’s out to tout this year’s Floyd-y crit-pick Auditorium. The Radars roll into Casbah with L.A. acousticat Aaron Kyle, aka Le Switch.... Quebecois punkers CPC Gangbangs shared a bill with John Reis’s Night Marchers in Boston a couple of weeks back. Reis musta dug their din because the Canadian crew’s haulin it all to his Pink Elephant Wednesday night. Their Space samples four-on-the-floor scrape and thrum with blown haunt vox. Rocket from the Great White North?... Sin City’s sing-song-y rockers Robot Devil check in at Beauty Bar. Locals Monday’s Alibi on the bill.
Barnaby Monk

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