So, Thursday night’s X and Blasters bill at Casbah sold out, surprising no one...but there’s more around town to soothe your rock-roll soul, as Detroit dynamo Jessica Hernandez and her Deltas roll into Soda Bar. Hernandez and the Deltas are one of the more musically saavy acts on the road, jazz pros playing rock ’n’ soul, and their seemingly constant touring is paying dividends behind this year’s smorgasbord CD, Secret Evil, which runs the gamut from roots to rockabilly to gypsy punk, “but in song after song, one thing is consistent: a powerful, undeniable voice” (NPR). Those always-explosive “bipolar folkies” Kera & the Lesbians set it up.... West Coast hip-hop pioneer Too Short and “the original dirty rapper” Blowfly (dude’s 75!) will split a bill at Til-Two. According to the show poster, this one’s a benefit “to help Blowfly fight the Tax Man!” I’m down. Chicago up-and-comers Rap Sabbath will set it up.... Else: SanFran “working-class soul band” Soft White Sixties light up the Loft after Verigolds...while across campus, they got a Bay Area Heartbreak Kid rolling solo, as hip-hop hit Kool John (“Creator of the word ‘shmop’ and owner of the Shmoplife brand”) has the mic at Porter’s Pub. You may want to pick a gig at Porter’s soon because it looks as if UCSD was just warming up on the Ché. According to this week’s “Mainstream U” Blurt, the university intends to kill Porter’s Pub as well.
91X Wrex the Halls hits the Valley View Casinorena Friday and features a fun-filled bill that includes punk-crossover pioneer Billy Idol, indie’s blue-eyed soul-rock bands Spoon and Cage the Elephant, English rocktronica band alt-J, PBR&B from the O.C., Jillian Banks, and our own blues-rock psychonauts Schitzophonics will be lighting the fuse! I’ve never been tempted by one of these things, but I’ve also never seen Billy Idol live (I know, I lag), and Spoon’s They Want My Soul and Cage the Elephant’s Melophobia have been in constant rotation around the Monk house in twenty-fourteen. Also, in the interest of showing support for what Halloran, Pyles et al. are doing to resurrect the station and local music, in general, I can’t not go. You should can’t not go, too. As of this typing, general admission is sold out. But there’s a couple reserved sections, stage right and left, with tix available, and, of course, beaucoups nosebleed seats, which are not bad in this place, especially if you just rocked a rack of Phil’s BBQ ribs and a bucket of beans.... Best of the rest: from L.A., nice and noisy post-hardcore band the Icarus Line plays the Soda Bar with Zig Zags and Zodiac Death Valley...Tower Bar showcases Tower Bar Records bands Shake Before Us, Kids in Heat, and the Lumps under the City Heights spire...while street-corner rock ’n’ soul revue California Honeydrops take the stage at Winstons in O.B.
From Fullerton, garage-rock Cosmonauts land at the Hideout behind their latest Burger Records batch, Persona Non Grata. Unlike the rest of the SoCal psych-rock gene pool, Cosmonauts (as their name implies) are more about space, simple guitar figures spun out until they leave the atmosphere. This is an effect the Velvets mastered on their most exploratory tracks (“Heroin,” "Venus in Furs”), and from the sounds of Persona, Cosmonauts are getting the hang of it. Clip that to their ability to rock your socks when they want (check out the track “What Me Worry?”) and throw in show-opening SanFran psych band Burnt Ones and loud-ass locals Amerikan Bear and you have Saturday’s gig to get to.... If you miss the door at the Hideout, Tower Bar hosts Jawsh, Nox, and the rest of SeKs for their new record-release, Sin Stereo, with supporting acts the Touchies, Too Fast for the Devil, Zombie Barbie, and Pharmacy. DJ Diana Death will spin ’round sets at that throwback-punk party...while her Rock and Roll Preservation partner Heather Hardcore’s at the decks at Casbah, where multi-instrumentalist and studio studette Shara Worden (Suftjan Stephens, the Decemberists), aka My Brightest Diamond, will split an indie-folkie bill with our own Island Boy...or if you’re feelin’ rootsy, Grampa Drew’s Flim Flam Review rolls into the Whistle Stop...while Dead Feather Moon headlines sets by Whiskey Circle and Taken by Canadians at the Merrow.
Follow the Crawler into next week.