Tennis System, out of Echo Park via DC, is one of L.A.’s bands ready to break, according to L.A. Weekly, for their “thick-reverb mélange of jangling guitars and ’90s shoegaze.” Sounds yummy. Take a taste test with last year’s “pvnkgaze” platter Technicolour Blind. Tennis System pulls into Whistle Stop after Brooklyn noise-pop band Dead Leaf Echo for very recommendable Sunday sets in South Park.... Also on Sunday, Chicago’s on-again/off-again post-punk vets Naked Raygun light up Casbah with the Touchies and the Two Tens...while Big Rock Show #’s 3 and 4 go down uptown, as SanFran hardcore band the Dead Kennedys take the stage at the Observatory, while English new-wave group Duran Duran plays that Cal Coast Cred — oh fuck it, SDSU. The Durans are touring in support of this year’s nu-pop confection, Paper Gods.
Fun Monday-nighter at the Casbah, where shoegaze pioneer Adam Franklin and this year’s Swervedriver skid into the Middletown club behind their very well received new record, I Wasn’t Born to Lose You. Dryw Keltz talked with show openers, the family band Gateway Drugs, in this week’s “You are what you eat” Blurt. Their dad was in the Knack. Nuhnuh Nanuh nunt nunt nunt nunt nuhnuh nahnuh nunt nunt myyyyy Sharonah. That’s what you call “tablature”.... Otherwise, Undercover at the Office covers Radiohead this month...while soul sistah Tori Roze and her Hot Mess bring their Soultry thing to Bar Pink.
Canadian indie kid Max Turnbull, aka Slim Twig, takes the stage at Soda Bar behind his new DFA disc, Thank You for Stickin’ with Twig, which I just started spinning this morning, and I’ll tell you it’s going to take up most of my weekend parsing the references (Beatles, Bowie, Stones in a blender), learning the words, figuring out what the hell that one electro-pound sound is he uses to bounce rhythms in and out... Every song’s a psycho-delic treat. Go get some before it curdles, and I’ll see you at the Soda on Tuesday. Jack Name and Toothpick are also on the bill.... Not your cup of mushroom tea? Synthpop acts Years & Years and Tei Shi split a bill at the Observatory...while the Merrow dials in Radio Halloran, which features up-and-coming locals Mauru, the Heather Nation Band, and Dani Bell & the Tarantist. A “tarantist” is someone with an uncontrollabe impulse to dance. The condition is said to be brought on from the bite of a tarantula. You’re welcome.
Big Rock Show #5 this week is none other than Van freaking Halen. Hollywood’s hard-rocking Hall of Famers may be a little thick around the middle and thinning on top, but so’s their fanbase. Revisit the glam years with Van Halen boys Eddie, Alex, and Wolfgang and the inimitable Diamond David Lee Roth at Sleep Train Amphitheatre. Shreveport shredder Kenny Wayne Shepherd opens the show.... Around town Wednesday night: skate-rap pundit Murs plays Casbah after Red Pill and King Fantastic...Dave Good’s Of Noted show, Jackson Boone, goes down at the Merrow in Hillcrest...while London lo-fi duo Ultimate Painting hangs at Soda Bar. Fans of the VU brand of e-z melody and the Dead’s lazy canoodling would do well to get Ultimate Painting’s s/t debut and/or this year’s Green Lanes in their earholes. Dream Boys and the Lulls open the show.