San Diego garage wreckers the New Kinetics will headline sets at Casbah Thursday night. It seems Bardot & Co. are back at it full steam ahead since their slide into silence following In Stereo, a John Vanderslice–produced collection that kicked through the walls of pop-rock stricture into a place few local bands can stand for more than a song or two; seriously, I’ve yet to hear a Kinetics song I don’t like, and onstage these things come to life and scare the piss out of anyone who calls themself a musician, anyones who call themselves a band. Bardot is a force and New Kinetics is the combo that captures her best of all. Glad to see 2016 has brought them back together. Slashes and Gloomies open the show, for a noisy pop feast of all locally grown fare. Dig in.... Up in the Heights Thursday night, the desert-pop Donks clop into Soda Bar in advance of their new disc, Desert Palms, which features Hold Steady guitarist Steve Selvidge. For more on him, them, and that, check out last week’s Reader feature, “Donkey Water.” Palace Ballroom and Oh, Spirit appear first...while L.A. psychobilly band Tiger Army invades Observatory North Park.... Northa town, Glen Phillips of ’80s radio staples Toad the Wet Sprocket (“Walk on the Ocean,” “All I Want”) rolls solo into Belly Up after Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins.
Back at the Belly Up on Friday night for Thee Oh Sees, John Dwyer’s SanFran psych-rock band that dropped one of its most cohesive sets with last year’s ripper, Mutilator Defeated at Last, a collection that, according to NME, epitomizes Thee Oh Sees experience — “tight but unhinged, urgent but infectious.” Yup. And with Bay Area band POW!’s right-in-the-kisser synth-punk songs setting it up, this’d be the gig to get to Friday.... Miss the door in Solana Beach, a couple exits south the former San Diego radio jock and coffee-shop performer Anya Marina (now based in New York City) plays the Loft at UCSD. Marina is not only opening shows for national acts like Chris Isaak and Jason Mraz but has become the go-to girl for TV songs (Grey’s Anatomy, Vampire Diaries) and film tracks (Judd Apatow). Touring in support of her new record, Paper Plane, Marina has a chat with the Reader’s Ken Leighton for this week’s “Fresh and weird” Blurt. Marina will be joined by electro-pop five-piece Panic Is Perfect.... Around town Friday night: Dead Heavens, featuring Walter Schreifels of Quicksand, takes the Soda Bar stage. Locals Mrs. Magician and Jimmy Ruelas are also on that bill...right down the road from the Soda, Peach Kelli Pop and Gone Baby Gone split a power-pop bill at the Hideout...electronic-rockers Strfkr and Com Truise plug in at the Observatory...Tower Bar stages a fun-punk pileup of San Diego bands, featuring Kids in Heat, Fink Bombs, Bat Lords, and Fuzzy Junkies...while NYC electro-duo the Knocks bring their “Route 55 Tour” to Casbah. Cardiknox and Sofi Tukker open that show.
A Meat Wave hits the Soda Bar stage after Takahashi and Teen Death Saturday night. Chicago trio Meat Wave released one of last year’s catchier post-punk platters, Delusion Moon, rocking Hot Snakes–style riffs with an ambitious voice trilling catchy lyrics (listen to the title track and tell me that doesn’t get stuck in your craw all day) — a record that demanded repeat listens. Listening again right now and can’t wait for their set so I can sing along unheard.... Punks go country. More often than you’d think. And one of the best, Americana band Drag the River, rolls into Casbah on Saturday night. For more on their unexpected 15-year career, Dryw Keltz talked current tour with DtR’s Jon Snodgrass for this week’s “Return of the River” Blurt. Like-minded local yokels Ypsitucky and John Meeks set it up.... Else: Funky Beantown band Lettuce heads into Observatory North Park...and there’s a coupla record-release shows in town Saturday night, as the surf-punk “dirty doo-wop” trio the Frights drop You Are Going to Hate This on the all-ages stage at Soma in a show that includes fun punx Aquadolls, Shady Francos, and Bad Kids...while stoner-rock riot Space Wax throws an Intergalactic Caravan Party at Til-Two with Red Wizard and Nebula Drag for a hella night of heaviosity.
Follow the Crawler into next week...