Brendan Benson and Raconteur bandmate Jack White released solo efforts on the same date last month. Though White’s Blunderbuss is an adventurous set of off-White Stripes, it lacks staying power.
Benson sounds more invested in his fifth solo go, What Kind of World, a pop-rock collection that shows the singer/songsmith’s got a country heart. Benson plays Casbah tonight with Young Hines, a Georgia-based singer/songwriter who is signed to Benson’s Readymade Records imprint and is touring in support of his Lennonesque debut Give Me My Change.... Best of the rest: Soda Bar sets up NYC’s fuzzed-out "motorik spacerockers" White Hills with like-minded locals Joy and Sculpins...the psych-pop Plateaus will be out at Tower Bar with Teenage Burrito and DJ Mario Orduno spinning ’round sets...and up at Belly Up, ’Zonie country skrunks Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers take the Solana Beach stage. Cracker guitarist Johnny Hickman opens that show.
Gator by the Bay takes over Harbor Drive Friday night through Sunday. Click this for all the deets on dat: gatorbythebay.com....
Lotus Plaza’s dream-poppy Spooky Action at a Distance received a Best New Music vote from Pitchfork last month. Pitchfork loves them some Deerhunter, and Lotus Plaza is the solo side of Deerhunter guitarist and Bradford Cox counterbalance Lockett Pundt. Fans of the brand would do well to pick up tix quick as this Soda Bar show with Wymond Miles (Fresh & Onlys) is sure to sell out.... Else: SoCal punk perennials Smogtown’s at the Shakedown with Cat Party...surf-jazz cats Mattson 2 will play the surf-film fest at the Griffin in Bay Park...local punks Rat City Riot take over Tower Bar with Tempe’s All City Boot Boys...funkin’ groove group Pocket turns out at Bar Pink...while Whistle Stop plugs in a Pussy Galore showcase, featuring barroom rockers Family Wagon and the Bunny Gang, with DJ Robin Roth spinning after-show dance jams.
Barnesy’s holding one of his punk-rock record swaps out behind the Shakedown Saturday afternoon, and then it’s the Cry, Casanova, and Telephone Lovers filling a bill at the Midway rock spot. “The Cry is four young guys from PDX who have reinvented the two-minute pop song for the next generation. Merging ’77 punk with ’50s doowop vocals and the jangle of ’60s pop-rock for an energetic ‘new-old school’ sound.” Sounds good to me.... From the you-know-you-love-’em department, new wave radio staple Devo’s at Humphrey’s by the Bay on Saturday...Chicago shock-rockers the Dwarves do the Ken...local faves the Donkeys and Rafter set up at Soda Bar...and ’Sconie alt-rockers the BoDeans will be at Little Italy supper club Anthology.... That Delta Spirit dealio up at Belly Up is sold out on Saturday, but a second show’s been added on Sunday, and as of this typing tix are still available. Wicked pissah Long Beach band Tijuana Panthers will set up the Sunday-night shingig.
Pink Floydian Roger Waters brings The Wall Live tour to the Valley View Casinorena Sunday night. Nosebleeds are $200. Ouch....
Affordable fun: pianist Misha Piatigorsky’s big-ass jazz band Sketchy Black Dog takes the stage at 98 Bottles, and wait’ll you hear what they do to classic rock...Whistle Stop will host a Joey Ramone birthday bash, with master of ceremonies Mario Orduno on the decks...while new blues-rock booty-shakin duo Gauntlet Hair hits Soda Bar behind Akron/Family’s Dana Buoy.
OFF! has been the brightest spot in hardcore rock this century. And why wouldn’t they be, with San Diego son and drummer Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket, Hot Snakes) driving behind SoCal punk vets Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, Black Flag — dude’s into bug spray), Dimitri Coats (Redd Kross), and Steven McDonald (Redd Kross). If you watched this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, you saw Anthony Kiedis bouncing around stage in one of OFF!’s trademark trucker hats. That scene simultaneously warmed my heart and chapped my ass. The dichotomy of douchery, I know — I own up. OFF!’s self-titled CD dropped last Tuesday, so pick that up and check them out at Casbah with Retox and Spider Fever on Monday night and/or Tuesday at the Ché Café with Spider Fever and FIDLAR. If you prefer pissed off to pissed on, don’t miss ’em, as Keith’s voice is as strong, intelligent, and cathartic as ever.... Miss the door in Middletown, go check out one of SD’s better garage-rock groups Grand Tarantula up the big hill at the Tin Can Ale House with Luistania (El Paso) and And And And from PortlAnd...or French avant-gardian Yann Tierson, who will be at the Belly Up behind this year’s critical hit, Skyline.
Mike McCready’s UFO tribute Flight to Mars lands at Casbah Tuesday night as the Seattle act makes the rounds on its tenth anniversary tour. Mistress of Reality and Vendetta Red open the show... And the New York Philharmonic will be kicking out classical jams at Copley Symphony Hall when conductor Alan Gilbert leads the beast through Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, Debussy’s La Mer, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, which, crappin’ you negative, freaking shreds.
Casbah curates a bill at the Belly Up that features Dum Dum Girls.
Dee Dee’s Girls are out to tout last year’s Sub Pop set Only in Dreams, a record that the New York Times reviewed as “louder and fuller than anything they’ve done before and better than the onetime peers they’re leaving behind. These lush and reverb-thick songs are ambitious and pointed.” Good on ’em. SanFran garage-pop band Young Prisms and L.A.’s synthy SISU set it up... Else: Oaktown instrumental duo Silian Rail’s at Soda Bar with our own Weatherbox and Manuok...while funk soul bruthas Stevie & the Hi Stax are gonna bring it at Bar Pink. Go on, you know you want it.
— Barnaby Monk