Mr. Smiths comes to town

...and the best of the rest in San Diego clubs this weekend

Moz sells out two nights at the Observatory. Check out what else we got in store or follow him up to FYF...
  • Moz sells out two nights at the Observatory. Check out what else we got in store or follow him up to FYF...

Country-punk Rocky Votolato delivers Hospital Handshakes to Casbah on Thursday.

Country-punk Rocky Votolato delivers Hospital Handshakes to Casbah on Thursday.

Thursday 20
Former Smiths frontman Morrissey checks into the Observatory for two nights of pouty — and often hilarious — pop crooning Thursday and Friday nights. Morrissey is touring in support of his latest comeback, World Peace Is None of Your Business, the cult figure’s tenth solo set since his split with Johnny Marr. I haven’t listened to him since Vauxhall and I (1994) or the Smiths since the truck ate my Louder Than Bombs best-of cassette, which has been stuck in there since about ’09, if anyone has any advice as to how to retrieve it. It’s great he’s still standing and kicking and kvetching and devouring your adoration, but is he earning it? Enjoy the show(s).... If you miss the door to that on Thursday and simply must hear some Moz, stroll on over to Bar Pink for an evening of Kevin Cavanaugh’s Morrissey Piano Bar. I caught this show out at the Riviera once, and though Mr. Cavannaugh’s interpretations are very good, the possibility of the actual Morrissey showing up for an after-show pint ­— what’s it, two blocks away? — should def. make this your post-show stroll.... I’ll be tapping my toes to Rocky Votolato’s set at Casbah. Rocky’s return to studio/road life after a three-year break, Hospital Handshakes, is the punk’d folk record fans of his seminal Seattle act Waxwing have been waiting for, kicking up his country-and-western tendencies with muscular melodies and charged electric guitar (check out the middle arc of “Royal,” “White Knuckles,” and “Rumi”). A couple of other punk-rock ex-pats, Dave Hause (of Philly’s the Curse) and Chris Farren (of Tampa’s Fake Problems), will open the show.... Biff Byford and his 40-year-strong English act Saxon stacks ’em at Brick by Brick in advance of this October’s Battering Ram, the metal band’s 21st studio record. Armored Saint and Symbolic will set that one up.

The "Hendrix of the Sahara," Vieux Farka Touré, will play Casbah Friday night.

The "Hendrix of the Sahara," Vieux Farka Touré, will play Casbah Friday night.

Friday 21
Local reggae-rockers Pepper will season the seaside race place at Del Mar after the final furlong Friday night. The trio trips up punk with dub and a party-boy vibe à la most of their Warped Tour compatriots. Always a fun show and always free with track admission.... Around town Friday night, “the Hendrix of the Sahara,” Vieux Farka Touré will play the Casbah behind his latest record, Mon Pays. The world-folk guitarist refers to his sound as “desert blues” and he is the son of Grammy-winning Malian musician Ali Farka Touré. He’ll be wrapping up his West Coast tour here after our own Steph Johnson sets the stage.... Up Laurel hill, indie-jazz band Juice Box and alt-rock trio Little Dove split a very recommendable double bill at the Balboa in Bankers Hill (that’s the old Tin Can Ale House)...while Soda Bar serves up ’60s dripping psych-pop Tropical Popsicle after Lowlands, Vowws, and Angels Dust.

Local psych rockers the Loons play Casbah on Saturday.

Local psych rockers the Loons play Casbah on Saturday.

Saturday 22
Psychedelic rockers the Loons join San Diego’s favorite doom-pop duo Gloomsday, mod squad the Bassics, and the always-rocking Rosalyns to fill a fun all-local bill at Casbah Saturday night. The Loons dropped their fourth studio record this year, Inside Out Your Mind, which they unveiled locally in March and in April at the Beat Bespoke festival in London. If you’ve never been, the Loons are not so much revivalists as survivalists, playing the music with authenticity and dressing the part, near as I can tell, unironically.... Else: Soda Bar has a hillbilly night in store Saturday, as Austin’s trad country-fried rowdies Whiskey Shivers headline sets by local pub-rockers Lexington Field and El Monte Slim’s new Americana quartet Ypsitucky...it’ll be Christian-metal Grammy nominees P.O.D. at H.O.B. downtown. Hoobastank and Media Lab open that show...while up in the rurals, Cha Cha, Grammy-winning Latin-jazz conguero Poncho Sanchez plays Ramona Mainstage. For a taste of what’s in store from Poncho’s big band, I can’t recommend enough his recent Live in Hollywood record, which captures the energy of the top-shelf percussionist.

Follow the Crawler into next week...

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