Orange County kids Janu and the Whalesharks swim their storied songcraft into the Loft at UCSD. What stands out with this quartet is the pristine harmonies of brother and sister front folks Jake and Sarah Pappas and the playful banjo licks that kick these classic sounds up a notch. I’m personally partial to “Journalists,” off the Binocular EP: myspace.com/januandthewhalesharks. That a typewriter click track? With like-minded locals the Howls and the Smart Brothers, this’d be the gig to get to, folk fan.... “There are two ways of looking at Dominique Leone: as an electronic artist obsessed with pop music, or a pop musician with a serious tech fetish.” That’s from Pitchfork, the indie-crit website that Leone used to contribute to. The Bay Area artist tours with a piano synthesizer, bugle, drum, and falsetto vox that takes a bit of getting used to, as does his prog-rock bent of wicked time-sig changes and cramming a half dozen novel ideas into one track. Yuh, he’s an acquired (but inspired) taste. Electro-rap act Mad Rad (Seattle) and our own vowel-challenged SLPWLKRS will mix it up at Tin Can Ale House.... Best of the rest has she-punks Civet takin’ down the Shakedown...Transfer, Rafter, and Republic of Letters playing a locals-only show at Fluxx Live downtown...soul sister Lady Dottie will don her Diamonds at Eleven after blues roots by Low Volts...and/or you can Makeout Weird at Whistle Stop with art-punk akt Bumbklaatt, out to tout their new t’do Luctus. Measure your head before ordering this screamer: myspace.com/klaatt.
SoCal punk perennials the Dickies hit Til-Two Friday night. The all-original lineup has been on and off the radar since its ’77 inception, making a name with campy tunes, such as the ’79 hit “Banana Splits (Tra La La Song),” and touring with East Coast bros the Ramones. The Dickies did the Warped Tour last year and still bring the swing. Giggity. With our own Widows and Jungle Fever, this is a kill triple bill at the City Heights hot spot.... Jazz pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis sets up at Anthology for four shows over two nights. The Chicago native has recorded 80 original records — five of them certified gold — and won three Grammys. Mr. Lewis is just hitting his stride, touring in support of last year’s Ramsey, Taking Another Look. And you will do a double-take because the dude does not look 75.... L.A. goth-punk dame Dinah Cancer’s reconvened 45 Grave for another run. The Graves’ll bury Shakedown for two nights this weekend, with the Yeastie Boys on Friday and Social Spit Saturday.... Else: Pato Banton & the New Generation brings the good vibrations of reggae nation to Brick by Brick...indie-rockers Hotel St. George drop a new disc at Tin Can Ale House...And Blow Off DJs Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar) and Rich Morel (Pink Noise) spin at Casbah. Da bears.
Got to boogie? Got a swing thing, some dance-pop, and trip-hop for ya, as the Movits move it into Soda Bar behind Rafter and Addiquit Saturday night. The Movits are...is...are a Swedish trio that hammer hip-hop into juke-n-jive gems that’ll goose your bum-bum. Check out lead single “Sammy Davis Jr.” off of this year’s Comedy Central collection Ut Ur Min Skalle. Pretty sure that means “out of my head”.... From Long Beach, odd-pop peeps the Growlers bring their new thing, Hot Tropics, to Casbah. It’s a trippy disc that the band dubs “beach goth.” Check ’em out: myspace.com/lbcgrowlers. Jeans Wilder up first.... Heavy metal’s HIRAX hits Ruby Room with Ritual Torture and Witchaven for sdmetal.org’s “official swap meet afterparty.” The official one.... Northa town, Cali thrashcore crew Ghostlimb brings “ridiculously pissed hardcore with elements of melody, thrash, and general poor disposition” to Ché Café. Capsule, Greiver, and Children of God are also on the bill.... And from the other end of the musical spectrum, Belly Up stages the classic-rock vibes of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers and Grass Heat.... Before you go anywhere, though, go have a happy-hour get-loose juice at Bar Pink and sign up for their Rock N Roll Lotto. You and two or three strangers are going to be thrown together to come up with a short set by the end of May. Submissions end at midnight.
Seattle-based band The Head and the Heart come together at Casbah behind their self-titled debut. The songs are harmony-rich and full of folksy tropes; i.e., it’s a Sunday-nighter.
“What you are going to experience is ass kickin’ bud whippin’ far out drop dead cool music from another solar system when the ancient gods still ruled the Earth!” Huh? Tinnitus unite us, here’s an Anti-Monday for the ages: Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. bring their underground freakout to Casbah with San Diego’s own sonic assault Buzz or Howl and slo-core crew Little White Teeth.... Not your cup of cosmic tea? U.K. “gritpop” band Brother brings their Famous First Words to Soda Bar. Republic of Letters will open the show...and rock-n-soul sextet Stevie & the Hi Stax set up at Bar Pink for their Monday thing.
Donald Glover, Abed’s bromantic partner on NBC TV’s Community, brings his multimedia comedy show to Belly Up. Press says you can expect an “interactive experience that uses live music, comedy, and video to convey the personal experience of being Donald Glover. People should leave the show feeling like they’re best friends with Donald Glover.” Something called Childish Gambino goes first.... If you don’t love Donald as much as Donald loves Donald, then NorWest folkie five-piece the Builders and the Butchers will be at Casbah behind this year’s very recommendable Dead Reckoning. Y’know, if you like end-of-times shit.... Else: “Surfy soul jazz” trio the Red Fox Tails plays El Dorado downtown...and Soda Bar sets up Austin’s eerie folk-pop she-trio Agent Ribbons with our own Little Hurricane and Street of Little Girls.
Psych-rock Spaceman Peter Kember pulls on his Spectrum persona and sets up at Soda Bar behind Black Ryder and Mood Ring. I’m pressed for print, so flip or click to Will’s “Of Note” on this of-notable show.... And, real quick, Oak-town rappers Zion I and the Grouch’ll rock the mic at House of Blues...Black Keys protégé Jessica Lea Mayfield plays Casbah behind her new Nonesuch set Tell Me...while Belly Up props up British new wavers Psychedelic Furs. Say what you will, but Mirror Moves still holds water with me. It’s not really potable, but it’s in there.
— Barnaby Monk