Few bands in the Woodsist label’s stable roadtrip like namesake band Woods. The Brooklyn quartet’s folk-pop incantations are immediately listenable, engaging even, peeling away like onions on repeat listens and adding just the right flavor to a drive up the Sunrise Highway.
At turns sunny ’60s and then from the darkest room in the house that Banhart built, Woods has its own time-sig, like some hippie-wristed hoedown slow down, and then there’s the tape hissssss... Last year’s Sun and Shade is just like that, and, like At Echo Lake and Songs of Shame before it, is just the right blend of pop and drang. Soda Bar sets up Woods with like-minded SanFran band Wet Illustrated and our own Little Deadman for what should be the show to see Thursday night.... Not yer cup of yerba mate? Blues greats Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang join forces at Humphrey’s by the Bay...Portland metalheads Agalloch demonize Casbah with this year’s Faustian Echoes...and Bar Pink books Flying Objects side Brothers in a Bind.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get to the track this summer, here’s a funyun: the Offspring will play the Four O’clock Friday freebie after the races at Del Mar this week. The O.C. pop-punk four-piece has enjoyed extended radio play for the inescapable hooks on hits such as “Come Out and Play,” “Self Esteem,” and “Gotta Get Away.” Check out Dave’s chat with Noodles Wasserman in this week’s Of Note for the inside poop....
Then: San Diego’s psych-pop dark horse the Donkeys clop into Normal Heights rock stop Eleven. In case you hadn’t heard, the quartet’s album Born with Stripes won best in show at last year’s SDMAs. All their records are nice, but da Donks crush it live. Bad Dad up first.... Staying Uptown, funk ’n’ soul brothers Pocket play Bar Pink...doom-pop duo Gloomsday dawns on Tower Bar...and you got a reunited Sleeping People at Soda Bar with DevFits. That’s one mathy jam band and a Devo/Misfits mashup — three out of the four musical food groups.... Country skrunks Langhorne Slim & the Law follow chilly chanteuse Jessica Lea Mayfield into Casbah. Slim’s out to tout his new toe-tapper, The Way We Move, and Will Crain wrote a selling Of Note on lil’ Miss Mayfield. This should be a good one for fans of the American-gothic brand.... Latin-pop powerhouse Sheila E & the E Family file into 4th&B behind their latest, Now & Forever, a critical and commercial hit that peppers Sheila’s Miami sound with Papa’s conga jazz for one hella dance disc.
Indie-folkie Andrew Bird alights at Spreckels Theatre downtown. The Chicago native is a multi-instrumenatlist with a wicked whistle and mad violin skills. Bird’s latest, Break It Yourself, lacks his hot-jazz playfulness, but holds up, according to NPR, as “a quiet, careful grower.” Kleenex rock.... No? Follow me to the H.O.B., where punk-rock supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (Utters, Foos, NOFX, Lagwagon) turn in their latest Fat Wreck laughers, Go Down Under and Sing in Japanese, on which the band covers Aussie and Japanese songs. Respectively.... Else: B-Side’s up at the Belly Up spinning out spicy funk-rock and hip-hop for your dancing pleasure...Maddog Blinn’s Black Market III is set to drop its debut disc at the Griffin. Low Volts and Nena Anderson in support there...“Faster than the speed of drunk,” Sactown punks the Secretions will take down the Shakedown after Dime Runner, Killing California, and the Community...Providence prog-pop trio Fang Island’s at Soda Bar. That looks to be an early show at about 6:30p...and then Shaking Pyramid will bring the heaviosity to Tower Bar. Featuring members of mighty psych-rockers Earthless and Joy, this one’s got Richter written all over it.
Kiss and the Crüe are one of the big tickets at the Cricket this summer. The hard-rock throwbacks have joined forces for what kissonline.com is calling “The Tour.” Imaginative. “The Tour” will be followed, in October, by the release of Kiss’ 20th studio set over its nearly 40-year career, Monster. Lead single “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” sounds an awful lot like REM, a surprising turn for the costumed cock-rockers. Speaking o’ which, "the saints of L.A.," Mötley Crüe, dropped a new single in advance of “The Tour,” and it’s called “Sex.” Yup, “Sex.” Go, have fun, ya crazy kids.... I’ll be having it on the rocks whilst one of my guiltiest pleasures, America, works its way through a lengthy hit-singles set list at Humphrey’s by the Bay. That’s Mister Bag to you, Skeezix.
Shonen Knife (translation: Boy Knife) cuts into Casbah’s Anti-Monday meetup. The always-ebullient Osaka three inject Ramones-powered punk with J-pop bounce. This year’s Pop Tune is SK’s 18th record, which they started churning out in 1982. WTFHTTG!? Mallard and Kitten open the show.... House of Blues downtown has Franz Ferdinand. The Glaswegian quartet had a really big hit about 20 years ago with club and radio staple “Take Me Out.” Someone(s) of relevance somewhere proclaimed it number 100 in the 100 Hottest Songs. It’s nucular hot. Anyway, since then, not so much, and the cheap tix for this gig, which includes performances by Bleached (?) and Carnivores (!?), are $32.50. Plus parking and three or ten beers...you do the arithmetic.
This one trips even my weird-o-meter, meaning, I can’t not go. From Providence in Rhode Island (where they pretty much roll around in weird — I know, I’m from there, I’ve rolled), sludgy doom-metal duo the Body (“two of the nicest most upbeat dudes playing the most wicked evil rock”) will back the Assembly of Light Choir (get this: a tastefully robed 20-woman choir that is “experimental/classical in style, with a rock-and-roll sensibility”). All this fabulousness takes the stage at Ché Café at UCSD after Braveyoung, Ten Thousand Leagues, and Lyburnum.... As if anything else matters, L.A. indie-pop kids Avi Buffalo’re back for seconds at Tin Can Ale House...and Neil Diamond blah blah the Cricket.
Birch Aquarium in La Jolla nets Heartless Bastards. I don’t get this setup, either, but it’s being put on by Green Flash beer and the Birch is wicked cool and the Bastards are supersonic, and "beer" plus "cool" plus "sonic" equals beercolonic. I’m all in.... Best of the rest: SanFran hip-hop man Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic from da Bronx take the stage at Belly Up...Humphrey’s by the Bay exhumes Aussie dark-wave duo Dead Can Dance...NYC indie-pop trio Fun (“We Are Young”) will play the Open Air at SDSU...while the Bayou-boogying Honey Island Swamp Band and our own spit-valvelicious Euphoria Brass Band march into Anthology for the hands-down horniest night that joint’s ever had.
— Barnaby Monk