Bujwah Strangers stages Chicago’s bedroom balladeer, Jimmy Whispers, at the Hideout Thursday night. “Who is Jimmy Whispers?” you ask. Only “the greatest bedroom popper...in the tri-state area.” Says so right at the beginning of his debut album, Summer in Pain, a collection of “sad songs for happy people.” Pinging between Ariel Pink and Casiotone’s Owen Ashworth, Whispers wields pop music like a surgeon’s scalpel, with simple, heart-slicing organ runs accompanying sad-clown confessionals and, hear tell, a surprisingly theatrical stage show. No surprise to see likeminded local Gary Wilson will be at the DJ decks to set it up.... Right up the road, L.A. PBR&B singer/songwriter Ramona Gonzalez, aka Nite Jewel, will shine on the Soda Bar stage after “romantic funk” Los Angeleno Harriet Brown and San Diego psych-pop act Gravyyard...while down at Casbah, Silver Lake’s folk-revival trio Magic Giant headlines sets by our own soul cowboys Jesse LaMonaca & the Dime Novels and gypsy-punk five-piece Quel Bordel.
The neo-soul group from L.A., Fitz & the Tantrums, this year released their third long-player to lukewarm reviews and an indifferent radio that gobbled up the charmed, soulful pop of 2010 debut Picking Up the Pieces and 2013’s More Than Just a Dream. This year’s self-titled effort may lack the punch of their previous releases, but you can be sure its lead single “HandClap” and all the old hits will have the race place dancing in the paddock when Fitz hitz the stage at the Del Mar Fairgrounds after Friday’s races. The concert is free with track admission.... Around town Friday night, London post-punk four-piece Savages takes the stage at Observatory North Park after San Diego’s noise-grind mindblowers Head Wound City. Savages is touring in support of this year’s critical hit and commercial breakthrough, Adore Life, which sits, as of this typing, at number 6 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums.... Else: L.A. garage punks Kim & the Created hit Til-Two with Fresh Brunettes and Bad Vibes...for you static and fuzz junkies, Soda Bar sets up New York City retro rockers Mystery Lights with Loons and Warbly Jets...indie-pop singer/songwriter Zella Day plays the Quartyard downtown...Casbah hosts the local hip-hop troupe that “put the fun in dysfunction,” the Kneehighs, as they spit a record-release set after Parker Edison and Billy Galewood (né Bushwalla)...electro-pop hits the Whistle Stop with locals Le Chateau, Hexa, and Astral Touch...while one of NBC’s top San Diego bands to see, the Beach House-y buzz band Garden Echo, joins the Sama Dams, Guides, and Soft Lions to fill an indie-rock bill at the Merrow in Hillcrest.
Aussie folk-pop duo Oh Pep! play the Casbah behind this year’s Dualtone debut, Stadium Cake, a collection of upbeat summer hummers that get their hooks in you despite the bloated production. And deuces are wild at the Middletown mainstay, as our own dynamic duos Dabbers and Blood Ponies will open the show.... Last week John Meeks told us he was ditching his Americana mien for something subtly seafaring (and a bit gothic) in the Jay Sanford–penned “Meeks, darkly” Blurt. Meeks will play a record-release for the resulting On a Sea Darkly, at Soda Bar after Pall Jenkins and Preston Swirnoff.... Best of the rest Saturday night finds local electro-punk trio Stalins of Sound setting up under the spire at Tower Bar after Way to Go Genius and Talk Sick Brats...while rock-n-riddim band Sublime with Rome (Sublime with Rome Ramirez) rides into the Sleep Train after Dirty Heads and Tribal Seeds for your RDA of airborne THC.
Follow the Crawler into next week...