Since 2006, Austin-based instrumental sextet Balmorhea (pronounced Bal-more-ay) has been composing some pretty and pretty compelling Southwest musical motifs, unsung and classically stringed things that rightly raise the brow of “desert rock.” Best comp I got: pull Tortoise out of Chicago, plunk ’em down in a tiny Texas town, say Balmorhea (pop. 500), and see what the night brings. Yeah, they’re dusky. Check out the video for “Pyrakantha” (facebook.com/pages/Balmorhea) off of this year’s Stranger CD, a 42-night slide through L.A. with pro-skater Danny Garcia. Wow. And I can’t imagine a better opener for these Casbah sets than our own surf-jazz siblings, the Mattson 2.... Best of the rest: you like your new wave dark and filmic (think John Hughes dramedies), you might like Nashville’s Wild Cub. Touring in support of last year’s Youth, Wild Cub bounds into Soda Bar after Rare Times and the Kabbs. Caught the Kabbs in the Casbah’s Atari Lounge at last month’s Oblivians show. Surfside garage that rocks and rolls in equal portions. I may have enjoyed their set best that night...electronic experimentalist Marcelo Radulovich’s Nice World has him playing guitar again and fronting a traditional four-piece. Find out what’s so nice about it at Tin Can Ale House after No Know and the Great Okra...Americana from Temecula — Lee Koch visits the Griffin after bluesy one-man band Low Volts...and DJ Saul Q spins a Smiths vs. Cure deathmatch at El Dorado downtown. I got Robert Smith in the fifth. He’s a big boy, and scary lookin’.
Dave Good gave you the goods on Friday night’s sets to see in this week’s Of Note, if you want to flip or click there for more on Jay Farrar and Son Volt. The tremolo swingers will split a bill with Colonel Ford, which features members of Son Volt andthensome. A hillbilly hoedown of a band that sounds like it might be one tough act to follow; of course, they are the act that follows, so.... Else: Brooklyn Vegan calls psychedelicious electro-pop act Astro the “Chilean MGMT.” I like it. I’m in. We’ll be at Til-Two. Late Night Howl opens the show...Soda Bar stages local faves Blackout Party, the Beautiful View, and “super ultra murderer band” the Hollerin’. This one’s an EP release date for TBV’s Don’t Be Shy with Me in My Bed, which is a funny title...sonic assailants Joy, Red Octopus, and Sacri Monti fill an all-local and LOUD bill at the Tin Can...whilst Bay Park bar Brick by Brick gets proggy with Fender bender Allan Holdsworth (the Soft Machine) and SanFran instrumental band Points North.
Sac-town hip-hop hits Blackalicious (feat. Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel) have the mic at Belly Up Saturday night. The beats-driven, tongue-twistin’ duo are out to tout this year’s The Sun Giver. Gab and X have been rolling together for 20 years now, and their stage-saavy camaraderie makes for some fun, fulfilling billings.... Austin’s Whiskey Shivers delivers “trashgrass — old-time music with a solid drive and fine harmonies, featuring banjo, fiddle, guitar, upright bass, and washboard” — to Soda Bar after Two Wolves, El Monte Slim, and Lexington Field for one down-home four-course.... From Omaha, them “runaway sons of a post-nuclear age” Snake Island slither into the Shakedown after Electric Healing Sound for a night of fuzzed-out teenage blues and reverb-drenched psychedelia.... That SanFran instrumental band from Friday night at Brick by Brick, Points North, is back at the Brick on Saturday under the guise of Fred Barchetta. Yup, another Rush tribute, along with Snakebit (Whitesnake) and Black Sabbitch (L.A.’s all-fem Sabbath act) throwing down the classics. Bring your air guitar. This should be fun.
HBO’s pro-pot potty mouth Bill Maher’s at Humphreys by the Bay to speak to the sensibilities of SD’s nouveau riche. If he gets through to just one Republican... His take on the Filner fiasco should be worth the price of admission alone. New rule: Humphreys adopts a more liberal price package — loads of seats but nothing under $91.35...wtf?
From Bath, England, neo-soul four-piece the Heavy weighs in at Belly Up after local carny-rockers Silent Comedy. The Heavy’s best known for its hit “How You Like Me Now,” which up until about two minutes ago I would have bet you a million dollars was the Black Keys. Anyone else think that, or am I the stupidest person in the room?... Casbah’s Anti-Monday meet-up gets bit by “occult wave” quartet Vampire. Borderland goth-pop band Dancing Strangers waltzes in first with Music My Soulmate. Really? Not one person in the room said, “No, we can’t name the band Music My Soulmate. If you name the band Music My Soulmate, I quit. You know what, just because you suggested the name Music My Soulmate I quit.” Nobody said that?
Foo Fighter Chris Shiflett and his Dead Peasants pull into Casbah Tuesday night. Mr. Shiflett’s got one loud and proud country-fried side, if the takes off this year’s All Hat and No Cattle are any indication. It’s got nine classic honky-tonk covers (Jennings, Owens, Cash) doubly blessed with pedal-steel and twang. From Hollywood-via-Louisiana, the No Depression–approved Americana artist Rod Melancon opens the show.... Udderwise: nu-metal vets Chimaira deliver this year’s Crown of Phantoms to House of Blues after the Browning, Threat Signal, and Dark Sermon...the Griffin and 91X Loudspeaker plug in dance-rock bands the Nformals, Gone Baby Gone, and Buddy Banter...and Aussie singer/songwriter/multi-multi-instrumentalist (not kidding) Xavier Rudd checks into Belly Up for two nights Tuesday and Wednesday with fellow fest-rock tribe Nahko & Medicine for the People.
Real quik with the humpnight highlights: Columbus hip-hop duo Greenhouse (Blueprint and Illogic) delivers its long-time-coming Bend But Do Not Break to Soda Bar...from Tolouse, France, screamo band Sed Non Satiata (Still Not Satisfied) visits Ché Café. Yes, they scream in French. Yes, it sounds hystérique...and fyi, the Willie Nelson & Family show at Humphreys is sold out, so slip your dinghy in the thingy and row on over.
— Barnaby Monk