Listen to Barnaby Monk's club and concert picks covering the week of March 6–12, 2014.
From Chicago, heady-metal trio Russian Circles spin into Casbah Sunday night. The post-rock instrumentalists are touring in support of last year’s critical hit Memorial, a record that out-explodes Explosions in the Sky, pummels the Fucking Champs, and gives Godspeed a run for their plucked artsy nuance. Spend the seven-plus minutes with “1777” and hear all your favorite post-rock touchstones propped up to die at the hands of these technical wizards. And there in lies the rub: a touch too technical, and leave my Mogwai alone! With Helms Alee and Ken Mode opening the show, this one’s a solid noggin’ nodder. Do NOT forget your ear plugs.... Other mentionables’d be Portland experimental-pop band Rare Monk at Bar Pink behind their modest, mousy new seven-inch “Splice”/”Sleep Attack”...and another Northwest notable, Mirah (a K Records player who’s worked with Phil Elvrum’s Microphones and Thao Nguyen), who will be at the Loft at UCSD. She’s touring in support of this year’s Changing Light, a set that finds the often odd-pop player in Cat Power’s cat box...across campus at the U, local death-grind dudes Cattle Decapitation hit Porter’s Pub...while up at the Belly Up, L.A. big band Vaud & the Villains play-act their Cajun cabaret Every Saint Has a Past and Every Sinner Has a Future.
Seattle garage-pop act Tacocat (“Go-Gos meets the Monkees. Kurt meets Courtney”) and lo-fi locals Teenage Burritos split a delicious-sounding bill at Soda Bar. I haven’t tasted much of the music, but I do love me some late-night Mexican num-nums, which that neighborhood is full of, soooo.... Utterwise: art-damaged punks Ghetto Blaster plug in at Casbah...while punk-damaged artist Mary Ocher’s at Bar Pink. Ms. Ocher’s from Moscow and her family name is Mariya Ocheretianskaya. Not sure why she changed that piece of poetry. Anywhey, her FarmersOnly profile says she’s “liking the Patti Smith and working frequently with the King Kahn.” I’m down.
SanFran strings band Kronos Quartet takes the stage at UCSD’s Mandeville Auditorium Tuesday night. I don’t know what they’re bringing these days, but I’ve heard these contempos light UP some classic rock — Television, Bob Dylan, Hendrix!
Another classical fah-reak, Yo-Yo Ma, will be throwing down at Copley Symphony Hall on Wednesday. The master cellist has 75 recordings to his credit and 15 Grammy awards. Not too shabby. And dude likes to party after a show, so mind his tweets if you want to hang.... And there’s an Indian Gold Records showcase at Casbah, as borderland bands Fax, Machino, Vampire Slayer, Al-B, Schem, and Rancho Shampoo bring the Mexicali sound to the Middletown mainstay. Chad Deal turned us on to Rancho Shampoo’s primordial ooze in this week’s Blurt section, and I’ll have a clip up on the Crawler podcast, so go get some!