Tickets go on sale Saturday, February 17, for Ozzy Osbourne at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre on October 9. The occasional Black Sabbath frontman says he’s quitting the road after his upcoming solo trek around the world, a trip he named No More Tours 2, referring to both his sixth studio album No More Tears and the 1992 “retirement” road trip that he also called No More Tours. It seems likely that this latest “farewell” won’t be the last, but the good news is that his longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde has returned to replace his replacement, apparently for the length of the tour, which so far is booking well into 2020. That’s more job security than most musicians can claim right now, but the crazy train has to eventually stop sometime, doesn’t it?
Plenty of contemporary acts fuse reggae with hip-hop, ’70s funk, and Latin pop, or at least attempt to do so, but rarely does one find someone who does it all as a one-man-band. Savannah, Georgia-based multi-instrumentalist Zach Deputy has spent around a decade calculating the precise sonic alchemy required to bring his music to life on stage by looping and layering the parts as he plays, building up chord progressions, beat boxing, and harmonies, either starting with or adding guitar parts as he rides the groove, depending on how he feels. The unpredictable nature of his presentation breeds improvisation, as seen in YouTube clips where different performances of the same song bear little similarity, other than the title and an occasionally recognizable refrain or chorus. With Deputy claiming several ethnicities, thanks to a geographically diverse family tree, there are bits of many different styles and genres on the four full-lengths he’s released so far. His newest from 2016, Wash It in the Water, is by far the most steeped in his Puerto Rican and Cruzan heritage and influences. He plays all the instruments on the record as well, with most of the tracks eventually sliding into that same slippery island groove that he’ll bring to the always reggae-friendly Belly Up on March 4.
Fans of experimental new music with old-world influences should consider checking out Xylouris White, whose March 10 appearance at the Loft was just announced. Drummer Jim White spent over two decades with Australian cinematic art rock trio Dirty Three, known for epic instrumental tracks of King Crimsonian grandeur and, occasionally, pompousness. Having collaborated in the past with Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, and Cat Power, among others, his newest team-up finds him touring with Cretan lute player and singer Giorgos Xylouris, already a superstar in Greece when he met White back in the late 1990s, while both were still living in Australia. Their first two albums together as Xylouris White, Goats (2014) and Black Pearl (2016), are surprisingly conventional, at least for two musicians known for ignoring contemporary song construction in favor of traditional, even ancient, cadence and rhythm. However, their newest dropped in January, Mother, and spinning through the tracks indicates the duo has finally embraced their virtuosity and created a complicated, almost mathematical soundscape more suited for their world-ranging chemistry. Produced by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), the first single, “Only Love,” kicks right in with “Flight of the Bumblebee” ferocity, soon joined by a low vocal vibrato that evokes Captain Beefheart fronting a Greek wedding band. Online concert clips indicate that their shows also incorporate group chanting and dancing, so don’t be surprised if the Hare Krishna catering crew that frequents UCSD shows up to shed their sandals and join you on the dance floor.
Here’s how mellow onetime Southern-rock hellraisers 38 Special have become — despite being named after a handgun, their band logo now features a galloping horse instead of the 38-shaped gun barrel seen on early album covers Wild-Eyed Southern Boys and Special Forces. For nearly 40 years, you could count on their energetic founding frontman Donnie Van Zant (whose two brothers were/are known for fronting Lynyrd Skynyrd) to keep their live shows rolling like a steam train. However, Van Zant split in 2013 and soon after retired from performing (reportedly due to inner-ear nerve damage), and they lost longtime bassist (1977–2014) Larry Junstrom the following year, leaving singer-guitarist Don Barnes the only founding member (though he, too, quit from 1987 through 1992). Barnes will be manning the mic at Casino Pauma on March 22, backed by two players who’ve been with the band since the late ’80s, a drummer who joined in 1997, and a bassist who didn’t play with the group until the 2000-teens.
Kyle Thomas says he took on the persona of King Tuff as a way to make believe he was living the lifestyle that Vincent Furnier made people think Alice Cooper was living. Unfortunately, like Alice Cooper, publicly splitting your personality in two can wreak havoc on one’s psyche, not to mention one’s life. Rather than go the Cooper route and check himself into a mental institution (and then write an album about the experience), Tuff instead decided to try being a hired hand, taking part in sessions and tours with other artists whose own light shined bright enough to draw most of the attention, and all of the responsibility, away from himself. He most recently toured with Ty Segall as a member of his band the Muggers, formed specifically to tour behind Segall’s 2016 release Emotional Mugger. It apparently took a lot of musical meandering and soul-searching before Thomas decided to hole up in his home-built studio and self-create something new with his King Tuff persona, no longer dependent on the fiction he’d created of a drugged-out, hard-drinking, rock-and-roll burnout. You can see the results of his conversion at the Casbah on May 3, as he tours in support of his first King Tuff album in four years, The Other, an honest ten-track journey that chronicles Tuff’s evolution from pretender to confessor, featuring guests such as Jenny Lewis and his former band boss Ty Segall. The bill includes Cut Worms, aka Max Clarke, a pop-folk troubadour whose debut album drops shortly.