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Thursday 29
Ska septet the Slackers lollyskank into Casbah tonight. The Brooklyn band’s been touring and recording since the early ‘90s, keeping the ska vibe and skinny tie alive with garage-rock undertones. They’re out to tout this year’s Hellcat Record The Great Rocksteady Swindle. With like-minded Los Angelinos See Spot, this one’s gonna bounce.... Folk-rocking North Carolinians the Avett Brothers scored a deserved commercial and critical hit with last year’s I and Love and You, punching into the Billboard top 20 ten years and ten LPs into their career. Avetts Seth and Scott et al. bring the thing to House of Blues behind Black Mountain, NC’s roots-rock big band Truth & Salvage Co.... Just up the Fifth Ave. slope, Tin Can Ale House stages psych-pop sets by Space Nature, Twin Brother, Primitive Noyes, and Paddle Boat. Kranky label fans ought to get with the Primitive’s Ideation disc. Godspeed you, Primitive Noyes.... Uptown, noise-pop Drug Wars’ll rage at Bar Pink with Munich’s Mondo Ray...while SanFran black metal band Ludicra dials in their new one, The Tenant, at Radio Room.

Friday 30
Chi-town Dead revivalists Dark Star Orchestra check into Belly Up Friday and Saturday nights. Over 2500 servings of noodling jams served since 1997.... Upthataway at the Ché Café, Da Bears, Dinowalrus, Tempo No Tempo, and Endless Bummer fill an indie-pop bill at the campus collective.... SanDago super trio Superunloader won an SDMA for Best Hard Rock last year. They’ll throw down a freebie at O.B. rock spot Winstons. Chad and the gang’ve got a ton of stuff up at Superunloader ReCorDs. For a nice price, Live and Small at Lestat’s is some tasty acoustic fare.... From NYC via NM, flamenco-flavored singer-songwriter Raúl Midón will play two shows at Anthology at 7:30 and 9:30p. Midón signed to Universal Decca to release his fifth, Synthesis, which dropped this month. According to the New York Times, “Raúl Midón has a supple, high-flying tenor. His live performance is a force of nature”.... Street of Little Girls play nice at Tin Can Ale House after Dabbers and Moviegoers warm the seats.... L.A.’s psych ‘n’ soul five-piece Lemon Sun join Bay Area garage-pop band Leopold and His Fiction at Bar Pink. Like it: myspace.com/leopoldandhisfiction.... Couple of good bets out at the casinos Friday night, as Ratt brings its Infestation to Pechanga and Snoop Dogg howls at Harrah’s. I kinda can’t believe that I just read a pretty glowing review of the new Ratt record. But, then, it was written by a metalhead from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Stillandall, let’s root for Ratt — they’re from here, y’know.

Saturday 1
It’s on! The Ché’s Spirit Animal Festival kicks off at 3p and delivers doo-woppin’, punk-rockin’ Brooklyn duo Japanther. You checked out this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Ice Cream yet? Yum! Also on the bill, btfw, ya get Lanterns, Jehovas Fitness, Derrida, the Preteens, Bicycle Voice (SLC), teamAWESOME!, Unknown Motive, and the Buckshorts — all four food groups and dessert for eight bucks. Happy birthday to me. (Yes, it is).... So much kewl stuff to choose from Saturday night, toss a lawn dart: Radio Room delivers Drag the River’s Chad Price and Two Cow Garage’s Micah Schnabel...Cinci’s heavy-duty garage-rock trio Heartless Bastards hit Casbah...Supersucker Eddie Spaghetti serves up a set of barroom rock at Brick by Brick...D.C. power-poppers Title Track (ex-Q and Not U) play Soda Bar with Wild Weekender Maren Parusel...Ocala hardcores A Day to Remember sock it to Soma...and SD mainstays the Shambles are gonna rawk Cheap Trick’s Live at Budokan at Bar Pink.

Sunday 2
The Ponys clop into Casbah Sunday night behind fellow Chicagoans Disappears and up-and-coming locals Christmas Island. I caught the Ponys on their Turn the Lights Out tour in ‘07 opening for Deerhunter, and crappin’ you negative, the psych-pop quartet blew Bradford and the boys away. They’ve got a spanking-new EP in Deathbed + 4 to get your merch mitts on. This’d be the set to see, Sunday-nighters.... Else: chowdahead punks BANE will play two at the Ché at 4 and 8p.... And across campus, it’ll be Cape Town trio Civil Twilight alt-rocking the Loft with the U2-y tunes from their brand-new s/t debut.

Monday 3
Brooklyn drones Growing do the honors at Casbah’s Anti-Monday thing this week with locals Heavy Hawaii and the Illuminauts. You like Spacemen 3, Eno, Earth, you’ll like Growing. The trio has a shimmering new do out on Vice Records, Pumps!

Tuesday 4
Belly Up and 94/9 host the Midwest’s rock-roll poet laureate Craig Finn and his Hold Steady Tuesday night. Expect a preview of their due-to-drop fifth, Heaven Is Whenever. I drew the line with these guys between Separation Sunday and Boys and Girls in America, but they still slay it live. San Diego psych-folkies the Donkeys will set the Solana Beach stage before heading out on a West Coast swing.... Eluvium’s Matt Cooper brings his new ambient thing, Similes, to Casbah with fellow Oregonian Thomas Meluch, aka Benoît Pioulard.

Wednesday 5
If yer doing the Cinco de Mayo thing, get with Mario Escovedo’s MEX at Bar Pink for some south-of-the-border sock-hopping showstoppers. It’s always a party when MEX is in the casa.... Other hump night highlights: Atlanta’s heavy-metal hits Mastodon will Crack the Skye at House of Blues with the equally voluminous Between the Buried and Me, Baroness, and Valient Thorr.... Consummate kazooist Roger Clyne will country-fry the Casbah with rootsicana duo Jay and Lou, the Smart Brothers.... While Sweden’s answer to Bob Dylan, Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth, ducks into town. Dude’s new Dead Oceans disc Wild Hunt is some heady acousti-rock, folk fan. Suggest you get it in your carousel and cop this hot ticket to the Loft. See you at school.
Barnaby Monk

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