Wednesday, Aug. 26
Built to Spill's Doug Martsch might just be the most unassuming indie-rock icon ever. First of all, he's from Boise, Idaho. All that comes from Boise is potatoes and Christian conservatives. Secondly, the guy's practically been bearded and balding since he came out of the womb. Third, he doesn't really play indie rock anymore—and hasn't for years (arguably since his band's second album, There's Nothing Wrong with Love). Nevertheless, fans come out in droves to witness Martsch tear through guitar jams worthy of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and the further Built to Spill stray from their fey origins, the mightier they become. Check out 2006's You in Reverse or the forthcoming There is No Enemy for proof. The Prids and Catholic Comb open at Belly Up Tavern ($25).In case you hadn't heard, Lee Scratch Perry has a soul fire. And he ain't got no water. With Roots Covenant at 'Canes ($20).As good as The Dirtbombs' live show is, I still wish Mick Collins would revive his post-Gories, pre-Dirtbombs band Blacktop, wherein he scorched the mic with throat-ripping soul assaults atop hot-shit feedback freak-outs. But Collins is never one to look back, and he's going on a quarter-century of back-to-back live-wire bands, with not a clunker to be found. If their garage 'n' blues rave-ups don't get your feet moving, there's not much that will. San Francisco's good-time rock 'n' rollers The Sermon and our local version of the same, The Death Eaters, open at The Casbah ($15).
Thursday, Aug. 27
Puerto Rican rippers Davila 666 are a garage-rock fan's wet dream. What could be more appealing to a subterranean music snob than a throwback power-pop six-piece that sings only in Spanish, drops limited-press singles on taste-making labels HoZac and Rob's House and sounds like they're all about positive party vibes? Bands like this are all about appealing atmosphere and aesthetics, and following that logic, this Bar Pink show also features Chicago's eternally underrated Mannequin Men and psychotic Imperial Valley skate-punks Slab City.If George Clinton has been staying away from the crack, he and Parliament Funkadelic have a shot at freeing your mind (and your ass will follow). Still, it's hard not to miss Bootsy just a little bit. At 'Canes ($30).
Friday, Aug. 28
Ever since the dawn of punk, Kiwis have developed a reputation for carrying on with a storied indie tradition that has, while untouched by the music world at large, made a profound impact on the few determined enough to seek it out. While any indie fan worth his plaid flannel might be able to tell you about The Clean or The Chills, there's a more experimental vein of New Zealand music pulsing even further beneath the surface. Enter Stefan Neville, who's been pumping out seriously damaged noise-pop sketches as Pumice for more than a dozen years now. Scrape past the mangled guitar and self-imposed lonerdom, and you'll find Neville's work to be that of a true artist, someone who doesn't create for financial reward or notoriety, but simply to quell the voice that keeps insisting he let it all out. Diamond Sleeper, Mortuary Parking and Twin Lion provide the appetizers at Che Café ($6).
Saturday, Aug. 29
Like it or not, 2009 is the year San Diego music was defined by current Fat Possum labelmates Wavves and Crocodiles, and it's hard to imagine two bands stirring up a such controversy from relatively inconsequential actions. But I guess that's what music is all about these days—blog-bashing and gossip. Sure, some of the stuff is funny to read, but nobody outside of the indie-rock bubble gives a shit, so here's the deal: You either like the bands or you don't. Let's leave it at that. Stop acting like 12-year-old girls writing in a slam book. L.A. neo-DIY favorites No Age headline, and British newcomers Pens and Graffiti Island open at The Casbah ($15).
Sunday, Aug. 30
Under normal circumstances, a band that specializes in being “sweet” probably wouldn't be a positive. Not suggesting I'm a heartless tough guy who eats dead kittens for breakfast and brushes my teeth with wire cleaners; it's just that that sort of thing often comes off as contrived and more self-conscious than it should. That's not the case with Box Elders, the product of two brothers from Omaha, who—no shit—once employed their mom on drums. Think early-'60s pop with terrible recording techniques and a so-uncool-it's-cool honesty, and you have an idea of what we're looking at. Doubling as a 7-inch release party for tinny local garage kids The Anasazis, it's a solid lineup at Bar Pink.
Monday, Aug. 31
If you wanna talk about someone who's always been too ahead of the curve for his own good, Gary Wilson is your man. Not only was the home-recording pioneer's 1977 album You Think You Really Know Me too bizarre and esoteric for its day, but it still sounds foreign today, even after Beck basically copped his entire style on Midnite Vultures. Originally viewed as a cult curiosity by hipsters and rare-record collectors, Wilson has shown that his outsider status comes partly by necessity, but mostly because he's probably smarter than everyone else. Guy studied with John Cage when he was a teenager. Yeah, that's right. John fucking Cage. Wilson fan and galactic-funk lover James Pants is in tow, as is DJ Ikah Love at The Casbah ($8).
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