Wednesday, Sept. 9
On a particularly intoxicated night several months back, I made my way over to Radio Room to see one of the country's better psych-rock bands (Pontiak), only to find they'd finished their set even though they were scheduled to headline. Instead of lamenting the missed opportunity, I walked down to Soda Bar where, unbeknownst to me, Boyscout were about to play one of their first shows. To a certain sect of the San Diego music scene, it was an anticipated event, because the band consists of members of Transfer, Hialeah and Marasol. Although I can't claim to be a big fan of those groups, Boyscout's instrumental assault was among the more forceful sets I've seen from a local act this year, anchored by bludgeoning dual drummers and dynamic guitars that were unusually crisp considering the deafening volume. I guess that's what you get when one of your percussionists (Mario Quintero) twiddles knobs at a local recording studio (Black Box). Get Your Death On!, Modern Rifles and The New Assembly open at U-31.
Thursday, Sept. 10
Too Short might be the most graphic platinum-selling rapper of all time. For example, take this heartwarming line from his nine-minute epic, “Freaky Tales”: “There's another girl / her name is Mary / talk about sex and the girl act scary / I heard she was freakin' for my homeboy Jerry / took her to the house and I popped that cherry.” So elegant, so refined. With Samoan Irok, Charlie Mak and DJ Fingaz at 'Canes ($15).
Friday, Sept. 11
With tender-hearted tendencies that hearken back to the days when Edwyn Collins and Roddy Frame were gods and “twee” wasn't yet an adjective almost strictly limited to describing indie-pop, L.A.'s Devon Williams is a real songwriting talent with tunes as diverse and nuanced as his tastes. That means lots of jangle, '50s- and '60s-style melodies, tasteful string arrangements and even some punky edges, courtesy of tracks like the late-Replacements rush of “Bells.” And while tour-mates Outrageous Cherry have toiled in relative obscurity for more than 15 years, their working-class pop has remained just as pure and innocent, approximating what Robert Pollard would sound like covering the Bay City Rollers and The Raspberries. At Che Café ($5).
Starting a band isn't really that complicated. Just ask The KABBs, whose concept is tidily summed up by their moniker, an acronym built from their members' first names (Kyle, Adrian, Brandon, Brian). My guess is that these guys were friends for a long time prior to this project—and will remain so for long after it. Nothing wrong with playing some rock 'n' roll in the meantime, though, especially with the repetitive pseudo-rockabilly guitars of “Golden and Blue,” which could be a Fall outtake from the early '80s if it weren't for the vocals. Where else would they play but the Ken Club?
Saturday, Sept. 12
Like the majority of San Diego music fans, I've yet to see Zion Laser Strike in concert, but judging from the thrashy surf-rock tumble of “Vegas Tubes” and the space-warped synth ride of the eloquently titled “Nicotine Shits,” it's something that's crawling its way up my to-do list. And although I've written about Northern Towns' Oi!-meets-mod punk and Drug Wars' tangled Hot Snakes worship before, I haven't gotten the chance to witness either of them in a live setting, either. Come to think of it, this might be a good time to kill three birds with one stone. Gotta prioritize. At the Ken Club.
Sunday, Sept. 13
Benefit concerts tend to be irritating. Donating to a cause of your choice is worthy and rewarding in its own right, but they often turn out to be more about the promoters' interests than those of the intended recipients. That's where Che Café comes in to serve its purpose—holding real nonprofit events, where everyone involved is on the same page and donation is a choice rather than a requirement. Proceeds for this one benefit a battered women's shelter, and the show includes music by boyish depressive Jeans Wilder, the underrated Tropical Depression, outsider genius Bill Wesley and other musicians, along with work by 50 local artists, arts and crafts for sale, live dancing and a bunch of other cool stuff. Get there early; it starts at 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 15
Somewhere on the Monotonix MySpace page, there's a picture of lead singer Ami Shalev perched on a streetlight in nothing but hot pants, a pair of Asics and a sweater vest made only of curly brown chest hair. As he basks in the glory, the adoring crowd below outstretch their hands, one half attempting to grasp the ephemeral joy of the moment and the other half snapping photos with cell phones. In the background, there's a glowing yellow sign that says “LAUREL AIRPORT PA,” which one can only assume is short for Laurel Airport Parking, a structure adjacent to The Casbah. This was how Monotonix's last show in San Diego concluded. Need I say more? Go, and get nuts. Christmas Island and L.A. electro-pop crew Anavan open ($12).