Baltimore represents at Tin Can Ale House, where Marylanders Future Islands and Lower Dens (Jana Hunter’s new band) join our own Heavy Hawaii and Rafter for a four-layer cake of indie-pop confection. Baked goods and beer, mmm... Ms. Hunter’s new do breaks her from “ghost-heavy weird-fi” into an effective experimental-pop sound. Check out the Space takes from forthcoming full-length Twin-Hand Movement, which is due to drop July 20 via Gnomonsong. See if you can find “Hospice Gates” on the www. BTW, have you seen the new Can? Little roomier, but this gig’s sure to fill the floor, so get in early.... If you don’t make the door there, strut yer stuff down the Fifth Ave. hill, where the John Butler Trio will burn up House of Blues. Butler revamped his Aussie trio, replacing bass and drums for new one April Uprising, on which the sick slinger eschews his jam-band tendencies for more song-oriented alt-rock fare. State Radio plugs in first... Canada’s Dan Snaith, aka Caribou, has got a current crit pick called Swim, if IDM’s your thing. The sonic experimentalist and Toro y Moi will groove you tonight at Casbah.... Radio station 91X shills brooding Cali alt-pop acts Far, Dead Country, and Volapike at the Belly Up. I concede the taste test. It all sounds the same to me.
SoCal punk-rock perennials the Urinals will be at Bar Pink Friday night. The on-again, off-again trio formed at UCLA in 1978 as a parody act, but their short, sharp “punk haiku” tracks have lasted and influenced a legion from the Minutemen and Butthole Surfers to Yo La Tengo and No Age. With our own haunted Hammond band the Creepy Creeps, this’d be the gig to get to, punk fan.... Other recommendable stuff: Ché Café stages lo-fi indie kids Sean Bonnette (of Andrew Jackson Jihad), Vision of a Dying World, and Jehovah’s Fitness.... North County metalcore crew As I Lay Dying will kick off a world tour on Soma’s main stage.... SanFran punk-pop band Smoochknob & the Smoochgirls stacks 'em at Brick by Brick behind Casualties of Awesomeness.... Heavy-metal Seattleites Queensrÿche bring American Soldier to 4th&B.... Texas multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter takes Rebel Road to Anthology. The ‘08 title track was a collaboration with guitarist Slash.... Uptowners got “loud with balls but soft at heart” Lualta at the Ken Club...Boston garage band Muck and the Mires pahking the cah at Radio Room...and noise-pop duo Gloomsday will “stab your love away” at Ruby Room. They used to be Knives! They’re still sharp. Vegan cookie, anyone?
Brick by Brick’s got your barroom-rock fix, greazers, as the Blasters, Faraway Boys, Hard Fall Hearts, and Watchmen tat up the Bay Park bar with roots, blues, and rockabilly tunes. The Blasters are just back from a tour through Spain. Phil’s probably got tales to tell. These’d be the sets to see Saturday night.... Otherwise, alt-pop acts OK GO and the Shout Out Louds will play the House of Blues fifth anniversary show. OK GO is a kitschy power-pop four piece from L.A. These guys won a Grammy for a “music video as short film.” They’ve got a new one in concept album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. They read a book. The Shout Out Louds are a twee-pop group from Sweden. They’re Tweedish.... Austinites Look Mexico will play the Ché with Weatherbox, Writer, and the Helen Earth Band. Hear some of Look Mexico’s new t’do To Bed to Battle here: myspace.com/lookmexico. A little Death Cabby, but I count three beardos.... Soma stages a Casbah-curated thing, featuring Seattle electro-rockers Minus the Bear and Newport crew Young the Giant (né the Jakes). The Bear signed to Dangerbird for their fourth, Omni.... Bobby Shaddox’s new-wave alter ego Bobby Fantasy will fire beats at your feet at Ruby Room...while ex-Atoms the Watusis ride a set of surf-pop to Soda Bar.
Some sweet Sunday-nighters, Sunday-nighters, starting with baritone tone poet Matt Berninger and his natty New York group the National at Spreckels. The Nat’s High Violet continues an impressive string of strong output from the quintet. I’m a Boxer guy, myself. That one was nice and roomy. Weird to say about this mellow-ish collective, but a lot of the appeal’s in Bryan Devendorf’s carbonated drumming, don’t you think? I’ve determined that if Wilco is “dad rock” then the National is “cool-uncle-from-New York rock.” Yes, I am a knob.... We’ve also got guitar gal Kaki King coming to Belly Up. The she shredder is out to tout this year’s Rounder release Junior. An Horse trots in first.... Gonna be some sock-hoppy, surf-rocky sets at Casbah with old-school cats Nokie Edwards (the Ventures), Ventures tribute Venturesmania, and like-minded locals Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-Fonics.... The other bill to thrill Sunday night’s at Bar Pink, where the brothers McIntyre as Ohmtown’s Box Elders throw down their take on ‘60s and ‘70s AM pop. Last year’s Alice & Friends was some summery fun, kids, and with summer coming, suggest you suss it out on the Goner Records label and glue it in your carousel. SanFran punk band Wild Thing up first.
Coupla cool ones Monday night as NYC indie-rock trio Nada Surf ride If I Had a Hi-Fi into Solana Beach hotspot Belly Up. Seattle’s Telekinesis opens.... Polaris prizewinner (it’s a Canadian thing) Patrick Watson plays Casbah’s Anti-Monday hap. He’s, uh, baroque.
Hey, hippies, ‘60s folk-rock stalwarts Crosby, Stills & Nash check into Humphrey’s by the Bay for a two-night stint.... The Loft at UCSD beaches sprawling Queens, NY collective Freelance Whales and San Juan Cap’s Union Line.... While country starlet Shelby Lynne delivers her new one, Tears, Lies and Alibis, to Belly Up.
Anthology will host a benefit for the California Music Project Wednesday night, featuring “legends of San Diego rock” Glory with Jerry Raney and the Farmers.... Deadly dBs down the road at Casbah as the Middletown mainstay fills a post-metal bill with Isis, Tombs, and Jakob. Apparently Isis is calling it quits after this tour: isistheband.blogspot.com. Suggest you plug 'em up, Beavis.... Portland’s Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives do their woodsy thing up at Bar Pink.... L.A.’s bass-and-drum mixmaster duo Camo UFOs land at El Dorado.... And while we’re downtown, Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh will rock the mics at 4th&B. They’re Durham’s Little Brother, and they’ve got a fresh joint in Left Back that, according to the NC MCs, sounds like “hip-hop smoothed out on the death-metal tip with a ska feel.” Can I get a witness?
— Barnaby Monk