Listen to Barnaby Monk's club and concert picks covering the week of February 27–March 5, 2014.
“If you didn’t see me then you weren’t on the dance floor.” It’s no surprise that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., the Detroit indie-pop duo’s Beach Boys-meets-Ghetto Boys music, with its prom-pleasing beats, boy-band sing-alongs, and smarty-pants lyricism, is entirely inoffensive and Daytona 500 fun. (The day I wrote this, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished first in the Daytona 500. I’m just sayin’...) Also, the band assured the NASCAR champ that they weren’t taking the piss by borrowing his name, just perpetrating a zany experiment in branding. The band’s Josh Epstein explains, “If one can accept a band being named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., then you’ve already opened yourself up to listening to anything that band can come up with. You’ve already decided to leave expectations behind.” The Earnhardts make a pit stop at Casbah Thursday night behind last year’s critical hit The Speed of Things. U.K. disco-pop dude Chad Valley gets the show on the road.... Best of the rest Thursday night: hardcore front men Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds), Steve Soto (Agent Orange/Adolescents), and Russ Rankin (Good Riddance) fill an acousti-punk bill on the Fifth Avenue stage at House of Blues downtown. Mr. Seconds’s new solo set, Off Stockton, will be available at the show and is due out via Rise Records, which also signed his fun punk ’n’ roll brothers 7 Seconds to a new deal for 2014. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for that one, punky...Soda Bar sets up an Idlehands CD release for the alt-rockers’ new deal, Common Soul. Champ (ex-D/Wolves), Diamond Lakes, and Ghost Parade march in first...while on the other side of the mesa, In Motion Collective and the Sure-Fire Soul Ensemble split a shake-n-bake bill at NoPark hot spot Bar Pink.
“Globby glob songs with fur amps.” San Diego’s fuzzed-out psych-punk four-piece Octa#Grape just crushed the East Coast with Sebadoh, and they are back in town at Whistle Stop. Go welcome Glen, O, Ely, and Jason home and congratulate them on what was, by all accounts, a ripping roadshow. And if I haven’t said it enough, one more time for you kids in the back: Octa#Grape’s Red UFO wasn’t just my favorite local record of 2013, it was tops across the board. Go get it: octagrape.bandcamp.com/album/red-ufo. Creepy Creeps will fill the bill with their inimitable surf-organ trill, making this thee gig to get to Friday night.... Else: He “fooled around and fell in love” with radio pop, broke up, and ended up becoming one of the most engaging guitarists of his generation. Blues-rock slinger Elvin Bishop will be at Belly Up with palooka Paul Thorn. (Still so strange to me that Thorn, author of roots beauty Pimps & Preachers was a pro boxer. Apparently he got his bell rung by Roberto Duran and woke up a singer-songwriter!)...Musica para todos los muchachos gauchos nachos. There’s an early show (9p on the nose) at Bar Pink with Brooklyn-based dance-pop diva Xenia Rubinos...the newly named Cuckoo Chaos, Deadphones, will headline lo-fi psych-pop sets at Soda Bar after the sonically sympatico Inspired & the Sleep and Emerald Rats...local hip-hop hits Vokab Kompany and electro-pop duo Dr. Seahorse split a bill downtown at the Hard Rock Hotel’s club 207...San Diego steamroller of soul-rock the Heavy Guilt weighs on the Griffin after Ed Ghost Tucker and We Are Sirens...and synth rocks the U, as ambient Austinites Blackstone Rangers invade Ché Café after locals Idyll Wild and Soft Lions.
Angel Olsen’s Burn Your Fire for No Witness is a very recommendable set of electro-folk playing and poetry from the Bonnie “Prince” Billie acolyte. The collection garnered an 8.3/10 and Best New Music blessing from Pitchfork a couple weeks back, and I’ve been listening ever since. You can drop the needle anywhere on this record for the pudding and proof of it, or just click the pick that sticks, high-water mark “Hi-Five.” Olsen will split a bill at Soda Bar Saturday night with experimental-guitarist Cian Nugent. The dynamic Irish player’s Doubles (2011) is an essential set for fret heads, picking through and piling up “Stravinsky, hard bop, and unrepentant pop”.... New York’s chillwave notable Seth Haley, aka Com Truise (I just learned that the play on Tom Cruise’s name is what you call a “spoonerism”) plugs in at Casbah after Victor Penalosa’s ’70s-style rock revivalists (Kiss, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick) Phantoms.... Other mentionables’d be the Quakes, who take down the Shakedown after Blackjackits, Butchery Boys, and the Steinbacks. This is Dave Good’s Of Notable show this week, if you want to flip/click there for the fat on that...Dead Feather Moon and Low Volts split a blues-infused roots-rock bill at the Griffin...and Cash coverers Cash’d Out exhume the Man in Black for his 84th birthday bash up at Belly Up.
Follow the Crawler into next week.