So, the American West’s answer to Mumford & Sons, Lord Huron, has sold out the Observatory, but someone(s) from that band will be spinning at Whistle Stop afterward. I’ve seen that a few times now. Is it a thing? You sell out the Observatory and you get to DJ at Whistle Stop?... With the Conservatives winning over Labour in the U.K. last week, there’s going to be one pissed-off Fat White Family taking the stage at Casbah Thursday night. The South London psych-folk sextet is Sleaford Mods’ deranged brother, toothless and booze-soaked and a blast to be around. Check out last year’s Champagne Holocaust for a taste, and dress down, if you go, because things will get grisly when the Family takes the stage after L.A. Drugz, a punk-rawk mash-up attraction firing L.A. Guns loaded with the Plugz.... Top-shelf crooner Tony Bennett graces the stage at Humphreys by the Bay Thursday. Mr. Bennett added another Grammy to the mantel — his 18th! — this year for his turn with Lady Gaga on their retro record, Cheek to Cheek.... Best of the rest finds Brooklyn indie band Ava Luna at Soda Bar behind this year’s stylistiaclly scattered set, Infinite House...while L.A. hip-hop hit Nipsey Hussle has the mic at Porter’s Pub.
“Things disappear...but I’m still here.” That proclamation’s from Scotsman Mike Scott’s “Still a Freak” off of the Waterboys’ latest and — by most rock-roll standards — greatest record to date, Modern Blues. This is not your beloved Brit-folk poetry of the new-waving “Whole of the Moon” Waterboys, this is Mike Scott and longtime violinist Steve Wickham (fuzzed-up and muscular here, giving the Hammond a run for its Leslie-spinning money) immersed in the American counterculture of Jack Kerouac and that era’s penchant for restless and playful boogie rock, folksy ballads, blues stomps, and country-isms as can only be sung by such a bright emigree. The Waterboys Went to Nashville would make for a compelling “making-of” rock doc, as this Modern Blues record has Modern Classic in its roots. The Waterboys bring 30-plus years of pop chops and poetic rock to Humphreys by the Bay for what should be the venue’s show of the season. From Woodstock, New York, “future cynic” Connor Kennedy sets the stage.... If you miss the Humphreys gate, there’s another kind of great about a mile away at the Valley View Casinorena — your mom’s favorite baritoned bard, Neil freaking Diamond, will be strutting the big stage in the Sports Arena behind his new hit record, Melody Road.... Else on Friday: up in the Heights, Toronto meets Austin in blues-punk duo Black Pistol Fire. Out to tout this year’s Hush or Howl, they play the Hideout after our own one-man blues-rock band Low Volts...SanFran folk-rock band Two Gallants take the stage up the street at Soda Bar behind their new record, We Are Undone...Til-Two sets up a punk-rock riot with Millions of Dead Cops, Deathwish, Systematic Abuse, Death Eyes, and Sculpins...the Relationship (featuring members of Weezer, U.S. Bombs, and the Bravery) hits House of Blues behind their new Burger Records record, Oh Allen...Casbah keeps it local with indie-eclectic sets by Palace Ballroom, Birdy Bardot, Grizzly Business, and Diamond Lakes...and just because “It’s fucking Rush, Pete,” local tribute Y.Y. Zed will dive face-first into the Canada band’s rocket sauce at Brick by Brick. (The part of Geddy Lee will be played by Yolanda Johnston. She’s a woman.)
Mary Timony’s super cool new troupe Ex Hex hits Casbah Saturday night. The she-punk trio’s enjoyed good press for last year’s Rips record, which Pitchfork tagged with a Best New Music badge for its “uniform, neo–roller rink vibe.” I never know what they mean either. It’s ’70s radio rock done by a tight DC post-punk trio, and I cannot wait to take it all in stagefront. Portland rockers the Shivas and San Diego’s synthy A/V act Die Misbildungen des Menschen will open the show.... Else: the older Oasis brother Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will play an open-seating (no seating, seems like) set at Humphreys by the Bay behind their new one, Chasing Yesterday...Soda Bar sets up London alt-rock quartet Wolf Alice with Gateway Drugs, a “drug-pop” four piece from L.A. that believes in “art after death”...local Smiths tribute Still Ill will celebrate Moz for a cause — it’s (almost) his birthday! — at North Park bar Seven Grand...while pop-rock odd couple Lana Del Rey and Courtney Love split a bill at the Snooze Caboose Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.
Follow the Crawler into next week...