Mini Apple pop-punk act Motion City Soundtrack rolls into Casbah with the release of their fifth Epitaph disc, Go, which dropped Tuesday into eager emo hands. The quintet has been hitting it since 1997 behind core cofounders Justin Pierre and Joshua Cain, a songwriting team that prefers personal to political, story songs to concept rock. Though one might argue that there’s no shortage of bedroom politics going on in new single “True Romance.” L.A.’s “kickasstic” quartet Henry Clay People open the show in advance of this summer’s Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives. You like the idea of Pavement-meets-Mats, check these no-frills indie rockers out. That’s a double dose of road-hardened, stage-savvy sets at the Middletown mainstay.... If you miss the door there or prefer a little more avant adventurousness in your rock, the Casbah’s curating a show at Soda Bar featuring Brooklyn band Here We Go Magic, which will play the “psychedelic electro-folk” tricks off of its new Secretly Canadian set, A Different Ship, on which main magician Luke Temple drops the krautrock kicks for bedsit acoustics. They literally do this on album-opener “Hard to Be Close,” which opens with a clang and ends with country strange. Thrillionaire and Ditches up first.... Else: Pasadena’s punk-rawk Gypsyhawk lands at Eleven with the very metal Behold! The Monolith...while Texas troubadour James McMurtry (yeah, Lonesome Dove Larry’s boy) delivers “hangover wisdom and truck-stop soul” to Anthology.
“One banana, two banana, three banana, four...” Cali punks the Dickies hit the Griffin Friday night. Thirty-five years on, and this campy crew — Ramones crossed with L.A. hardcore — shows no sign of slowing; in fact, they are the oldest surviving intact punk act on the road.
Fans of the brand would do well to get debuts (they both came out in 1979) The Incredible Shrinking Dickies and Dawn of the Dickies into your collections. These are the tunes that influenced new-school punks such as Green Day and blink. Local opener, the four-piece F.O.A., is a cross-pollinating punk tribute — an education, really — in Descendents, DKs, Minor Threat, Devo, etcet, etcet. That’s one fun double bill at the revamped Bay Park bar. If you haven’t been, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better night.... Not so much? L.A. indie kids Vanaprasta will play Soda Bar behind their debut Healthy Geometry. The L.A. Weekly sez it’s “a head rush of twining guitars, ripped rhythms, and Steven Wilkin’s big tenor. The Killers with doctoral degrees in guitar rock.” Austin’s Rocketboys launch it.... Alt-country pin-up and Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller will deliver his sixth solo set, The Dreamer, to Casbah. One of the Of Noters Of Noted this show, so flip or click to that for more on this.... And alsos: Privet, Young Hunter, and Red Pony Clock fill an eclectic-indie bill at Tin Can Ale House...bluesman Nathan James and his Rhythm Scratchers play the backroom at 98 Bottles...while SanDago super group Revenge Death Ball bounces into Shakedown for its Gray Beard record-release show after San Antone’s rock-roll juggernaut the Heroine and São Paulo soul-rockers Cruz set it up.
From Vancouver in Canada, noise-rock duo Japandroids land at Casbah with this year’s wicked pissah Celebration Rock. Singer/guitarist Dave King has dropped the ubiquitous “I” of the seemingly impossible-to-follow rager Post-Nothing, for an all-inclusive “we” that shoves this tiny band from the elemental to the universal. Go find “Younger Us” on the interweb post-haste for a taste. Rock writer Ian Cohen heard it: “Celebration Rock treats every day like the last day of school, raising a glass to the past, living in the moment and going into the future feeling fucking invincible.” Can’t think of a more fitting gift for the hard-rocking grads in your life. Crawler-approved trip-hopper Cadence Weapon fires first, when he delivers this year’s Hope in Dirt City to the stage, making this the gig to get to tonight....
But if/when that sells out, haul it over to Til-Two, where SD Cholopunks Shiva Trash blow in with a record-release show. Friends and cohorts in support are Northern Tigers, Last Years, and Electric Healing Sound...and Tower Bar celebrates Sergio Big Swig’s birthday with them haunted-rock organ-grinders Creepy Creeps and Fink Bombs.... L.A. surfabilly band the Gears will take down the Shakedown with Guantanamo Baywatch, RF7, and Social Spit. The Gears have been at it since 1978, and counting. Check ’em out: myspace.com/thegearslosangeles.... San Diego “mystery punks” Tan Sister Radio plug in at Ché Café behind their recent digi-release Flashing Vents and Pancakes. Snail Race, Color, and Sir Algorithm open the show at the campus collective.
Happy Fatha’s Day. Why don’t you drop a dose of Psychocandy on the old man and drag his sad old ass down to the Jesus and Mary Chain show at House of Blues?
The brothers Reid seem to be holding it together since reuniting in 2007, enjoying some festival fame and scoring big on these mini tours, but other than a glut of reissue packages, no new news on the supposed “record in the works.” Goth-pop trio Cold Cave open the date behind last year’s synth-y Cherish the Light Years.... Around the bend at 4th&B, Jack Russell’s Great White headlines the American Rocks tour, which includes Faster Pussycat, the Bullet Boys, Lilly Lilly Lillylilly Lillian Axe, and Pretty Boy Floyd. Who can headbang that long?... Nor’west electropop duo Beat Connection brings its Palace Garden tour to Casbah with like-minded Los Angelenos White Arrows.
Black Flag founder Greg Ginn and the Royal We (the Royal We being he) is back in town backing last year’s We Are Amused, a gritty electronica album in the vein of Skrillex. Ginn, however, bathes his guitar skronk and neu beats in theremin. “I try to play what I like to hear,” Ginn told CMJ upon the album’s release. Ginn plays Eleven with that “dancey helium” duo Hot Nerds.... Casbah stages lady rappers THEEsatisfaction, a Sub Pop hip-hop duo based in Seattle with a record out called Awe Naturale. Local electrofolkies Revulab go first.
Looking for your weekly allowance of experimental jazz-rock jams? Then Interrobang (“Be like this ‘?!’”) clangs at Tin Can Ale House Tuesday night after Winter Sounds (“Epic indie new wave folk and punk anthems from Nashville”). (We’ll just have to take their word for it.)
Real quik with the humpnight highlights: Hanover heavy-metal hits the Scorpions (“Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “No One Like You”) sting Valley View Casino Center. They are touring in support of this year’s wishfully titled Comeback.... And Otis of fLUF plays bass in a newish band called Octa#Grape, which’ll be at the Tin Can Ale House playing “globby glob songs with fur amps.”
— Barnaby Monk