So, the Melvins/Big Business gig sold out Casbah Thursday night. Go ahead, take a minute.... Okay? Okay. The power-pop singer/songwriter Thomas Walsh, aka Pugwash, is a hit in his native Ireland, where he’s flourished with the help of his hero, XTC’s Andy Partridge, who first signed Pugwash to his Ape House label on the strength of debut disc Almond Tea. The collection is tight psych-pop with a striking resemblance to XTC as well as influences ELO and the Beach Boys. I would include the Beatles, but Mr. Walsh has apparently dismissed that comparison as “lazy.” Pugwash is touring in advance of Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends), due to drop September 4, and will play Til-Two after local psych-rock band the Loons and L.A. mod-rock quartet the Cherry Bluestorms.... Best of the rest finds Old Tiger, Little Red Lung, Creature and the Woods, and Marqay filling an indie-eclectic billing at the Merrow in Hillcrest...Soda Bar sets up Taking Back Sunday frontman John Nolan after our own Little Heroine and Jimmy Ruelas...while “Texican rock ’n’ roll” power trio Los Lonely Boys deliver their latest, Revelation, to Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.
Song parodist/accordionist “Weird Al” Yankovic will play this week’s post-race date at Del Mar’s seaside stage. Yankovic last year won his fourth Grammy for best comedy-rock album (didn’t even know that was a category), Mandatory Fun, on which he spoofs Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, Iggy Azalea, and Imagine Dragons. Yankovic’s always entertaining, and these shows are always free with admission to the day’s races.... A little farther up the 5, Dave Wakeling’s English Beat checks into Belly Up for two nights of ska pop, skinny ties, and skanking — “Come whether you whine or grind!” The English Beat are in the midst of their USA-to-UK Here We Go Love tour, a new studio record being wrapped as I write with the help of a PledgeMusic campaign that will be shared with Mr. Wakeling’s favorite cause, Doctors Without Borders.... Mac DeMarco’s tour guitarist Peter Sagar has his own thing, Homeshake, that’ll play the Hideout Friday night in advance of his sophomore set, Midnight Snack, which is due to drop September 18. Advance single “Heat” is a tasty little synth-and-drum-machine nugget that could have fallen from DeMarco’s bucket. Power-pop Canada band Sheer Agony opens the show.... Else: San Diego–based Volar Records will celebrate six years of serving up stellar indie-rock acts, such as the evening’s bands Keepers and Teenage Burritos. The anniversary party is on at Whistle Stop in South Park...electronic rock is the order of the day at the Merrow, where locals Glass Spells, Le Chateau, Nite Lapse, and Astral Touch share the stage...while Finnish death-metal band Insomnium hits Brick by Brick behind Shadows of the Dying Sun. Omnium Gatherum and Helsott set it up.
According the guy who answered the phone at the Sundance Composer’s Lab, “Gingger Shankar’s double violin sounds like two violins doing it.” I thanked him for his time and watched the video of her cover of U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” Sure enough, the bowing gets pret-ty hot and heavy at the lead break. The singer/composer (Last Temptation of Christ)/multi-instrumentalist — somehow related to sitar-shredding Ravi Shankar (step-niece?) — will take the stage at Bar Pink behind her solo set Anywhere But Here.... There’s a “San Diego Freakout” event at Casbah Saturday night, when amped-up garage-rock locals Wild Wild Wets, JJUUJJUU, Muscle Beech, Shady Francos, and Burning Palms fill a fun bill in Middletown.... Best of the rest Saturday night: ex-Adolescents/Social D drummer Casey Royer and his SoCal skate-punk band D.I. are back in business and touring through town to spin a pit at Brick by Brick after the Infidelz, Surrounded by Thieves, and Dead on a Wire...pub-punks the Downs Family will headline sets at Ché Café after Sidewalk Scene, the Joel Nowak Experience, and Social Spit...while Forbes magazine’s “one of the 100 most powerful women in the world,” Taylor Swift, plays center field at Petco Park.
Follow the Crawler into next week...