Your Mileage May Vary

Thursday 13
San Diego’s new math-punk supergroup Ghetto Blaster, featuring Ryan Foxe (Fishwife), John Cota (Hostile Combover, Rats Eyes), Greg Sudor (Irradio), and Cole Mears (Combover), will make their world premiere at Bar Pink tonight. Dorian had a beer and a Blurt with these cats a couple weeks back, in case you missed it: The quartet will split a bill with simpatico Nor’west punkers Dog Shredder.... NorCal roots-reggae collective Groundation brings its Fuzion tour to Belly Up for two nights. Press on Fuzion says it’s “a showcase of two bands leading a new movement with music as the weapon....” Huh. The other band is sprawling Hollywood nonet Orgone.... Jewel plays Pechanga. SHE USED TO LIVE IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!

Friday 14
Jimmy LaValle’s Album Leaf will bring a Chorus of Storytellers to the Birch North Park Theatre. I mention the gig to my gf, an ambient aficionado, and she tells me “the Leaf’s a constant on Groove Salad.” (I’ve no idea what she means by this.)... Around the bend at Bar Pink, Pocket’ll roll the Hammond in for a funkified night of acid-jazz grooves. That record is one feel-good disc, catdaddys. Ha-ha-highly rock-o-mend it. “Sweet Papa Lou” Donaldson’s “friended” them, so you should friend them too.... A jazz-fusion band that could maybe might be on the LaValle and Pocket family trees, Spyro Gyra, plays Anthology.... And Tin Can Ale House has a tempting triple bill, as freaky folkies Halcyonaire return to the Banker’s Hill bar with River City and Lonesome Heroes. That dude singing those songs on their Space dot com has one rad voice. Reminds me of those early Banhart lo-fi lullabies. Get “Weeping Canopy” in yer earholes asafp, folk fan.

Saturday 15
Lotsa cool crap t’do Saturday, too, starting with OMBAC’s Coming Out Party on Mariner’s Point at noon. It’s a summer-kickoff thing and features a buncha bands and beer and junk. Fishbone’s playing it...and it sorta looks as if they’re playing O.B. rock spot Winstons that night, too, but I’d call the club to confirm this. They all lead such complicated lives.... One-man-band Bob Log III rolls into Casbah behind Jail Weddings and the Glossines. Log’s the former Doo Ragger who sings through a telephone lodged in a helmet. He’s got a new Hank Williams Sr. trib out called Hiram and Huddie Disc 1 that sounds interesting.... Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs and her SanFran folk-pop band the Finches land at Ché Café with Key Losers (ex–Dear Nora) and teamAWESOME! for some lighthearted fare for the punk club.... Folksinger and Woodstock icon Richie Havens and his beard settle on a stool for two at Anthology at 7:30 and 9:30p.... Paddle Boat drifts into the Tin Can with Sleeping Peep Kenseth Thibideau, Worker Bee from San Jose, and former First Wave Helloer Jacob Turnbloom’s new joint Mrs. Magician. Worker Bee sounds pretty cool, like some of them Slint offshoots, particularly the For Carnation. Check out “No Dreams”: Soma stages Welsh metalcore crew Bullet for My Valentine. Dual Flying Vees? Shut the f-f-f-front door!

Sunday 16
Sunday’s the 14th annual North Park Festival of the Ahts. More beer, bands, and junk. Is it me, or does there seem to be a lot of these outdoor-daytime-gathering things going on in town. Too many?... Sunday night, Rolling Stoner Mick Taylor joins Dire Straits cofounder David Knopfler at Brick by Brick. Gonna go press release on this one: “After leaving the Stones, Taylor went on to play with Bob Dylan and to tour England and the U.S. with various touring blues bands. Knopfler has written and produced ten solo albums since his days with Dire Straits.” There you have it. No, you don't. Word at press time is that this gig's been "canceled due to illness".... Seattle’s Unnatural Helpers is a new one on me, and the guitar-heavy punk-pop quartet sounds pretty f-ing good. Short and sharp, loud and fun, like a sloppy-drunk Imperial Teen, and who doesn’t love a sloppy-drunk Teen? The quartet, which I think still includes Kim Morrison of the Dutchess & the Duke (seems to be a rotating cast over there at UH HQ), signed to the burgeoning Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art for sophomore set Cracked Love and Other Drugs. Go fall in love with them at Bar Pink before Pitchfork skew(er)s your view.... Elsers: one of the Windy City’s longest running R&B road shows, Earth, Wind & Fire, will turn Harrah’s into “Boogie Wonderland”...and metal stalwarts Fear Factory sets up shop at House of Blues with the equally long-in-tooth Prong and some other bands like that.

Monday 17
You like bowed gongs and basses? Sure you do. Let down your avant-garde, kids, and let in some sonic enculturation as instrumental experimentalists Dresser, Nakatini, and Turetzky play the Loft at UCSD.... Synth-pop more your style? Then Casbah’s Anti-Monday dilly pairs Gil Mantera’s Party Dream with that cat-crazy couple Lion Cut.

Tuesday 18
Humphrey’s by the Bay is kicking off its summer run by tolling Broken Bells Tuesday night. That’s that indie-rock-meets-synth-pop project with that guy from that band, not the guy from Death Cab, the other guy from the other band, but doing as the guy from Death Cab did. I should look it up, but I know?... Hay! Horse Feathers plays Casbah with Dawn Landes and Joel Partyboy West. Kill Rock Stars quartet Horse Feathers comes to us from Portland, Oregon, by way of Nick Drake and Iron & Wine. Lots of string-y things on new one Thistle Spring, which is just lovely, I’m told.... It’s going to be a Bonerama at Belly Up. As in trombone-a-rama, pigs. This brassy New Orleans big band brings the funk.... Coupla good ones uptown, too, as Illinois’ roots-rocking Forecast and Kansas City royals Queens Club set up at Soda Bar...while Radio Room dials in Portland pop-rock four piece Microtia with our own Misc. Ailments and Oh Air Night. James Mercer from the Shins!!

Wednesday 19
I re-e-e-eally dig these guys the Jacuzzi Boys. They’re a trio from Miami, tubbing with the likes of King Khan & BBQ and the Black Lips. They describe their sound as tropical deathmetal. If by “tropical” they mean “totally” and by “deathmetal” they mean “awesome,” then yes. Haul ass here to check ‘em out: Crank up “Island Ave.” Your mileage may vary. Our own tropical deathmetal trio Christmas Island will set the stage for one of the gigs to get to Wednesday night...yeah, there’s a few, making this humpnight a tough one, but I’ve seen Modern Lover Jonathan Richman (Casbah) do his pop-crooner thing (bit of a tool, actually) and Greyboy (Belly Up) and Primitive Noyes, Jamuel Saxon, and the Illuminauts (Soda Bar) are all from here, so-o-o...see you at the Pink.
Barnaby Monk

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