Time to dust off the first computer toy 30-somethings owned-Speak & Spell, that crude robo-clipboard whose pretentious electronic voice belittled millions of American 5-year-olds by awkwardly reporting, "That is incorrect!" That's right, Depeche Mode is on its first tour in four years because Dave Gahan has managed to stay on this green earth so far. Their last tour was in 2001, when they played 85 shows in front of 2 million post-depressive new-wavers. Thanks to clever marketing (they gave out the single free to all the DJs registered with Billboard Magazine), their new song "Precious" debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play Chart.
Good chance that Dave Mustaine will descend from his wheelbarrow barrio of Fallbrook, as his former guitarist in Megadeth-Chris Poland-comes to Blind Melon's with his band, OHM, on Nov. 17. On drums is none other than Kofi Baker, the fully developed sperm of Ginger Baker, who just went solo crazy at the recent reunion of Cream. That three-night stint at Madison Square Garden netted a cool $12 million, which averages to about $200,000 per song.
Sure, Tom DeLonge got his own signature Stratocaster. Not bad. But did he ever get his own signature motorcycle? That's what former Ozzy axe-man Zakk Wylde got recently from 357 Customs. Riding one's hog-it's what we imagine is the only modern use for Wylde's very '80s rock music (4th & B, Nov. 17).
If you want to see the whitest-sounding non-caucasian sing this week, check out the very good indie-pop band dios (Malos) at the Casbah on Nov. 18. On record, Joel Morales sounds like a pasty-white North Park hipster with package-strangler jeans. In person, he's a formidable Mexican fellow with a little extra to love. It's a neat experience-like finding out for the first time that Rick Astley is short and white. Seattle producer Phil Ek (The Shins, Modest Mouse) handled dios' new self-titled album. And yes, Ronny James Dio's lawyers requested an additional word for their name.
Who wants Dandy Warhol boots? Because kicks-designer John Fluevog is selling 'em for $329 a pop. One potential customer might be Brian Jonestown Massacre's god-complex, Anton Newcombe, so that he can kick band members in high fashion. To see Newcombe's first band-member kicking-and for more info on the Dandy Warhols-rent DIG! It's the best documentary you'll ever see about two bands you really don't care much for. The Warhols are at 4th & B on Nov. 19.
After hearing Liz Phair's new album, she's officially become one of those people you compliment by asserting in an unnaturally empathetic voice, "She's got a great personality." Live, it's better. She's at 4th & B on Nov. 16.
After hearing Buckethead's new album, he's officially excused for wearing that extra-crispy receptacle on his head. Collaborations with System of a Down's Serj Tankian, world-music singer Azam Ali and others, it's not nearly as indigestible as a lot of people expected. He's at 4th & B on Nov. 20.
Alternative Press subscribers might want to check out AP's "pick" for the recent Vans Warped Tour-emo-punks The Fully Down-and see if you still want to subscribe to the magazine. They're here on Nov. 17 at the Jumping Turtle in Carlsbad, which is starting to get better and better bands.
Trailer Park Couple of the Week goes to: Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys of Nashville Pussy. The most impressively "rock" husband and wife in San Diego this week, for sure (Casbah, Nov. 22). They may not have that seven-foot loogie-spittin', fire-breathin' Corey Parks on bass anymore, but their reconstructed Pussy still burns.
The Nov. 21 4th & B show with GWAR marks their 20th anniversary of gross-out theater-rock. Safe to assume that in 1985, playing guitar above a fake severed limb and bitching at the "fluid manager" for "more bile!" they never actually thought they'd be 40-something doin' this. Or maybe they did-which is rad. Opening band is DevilDriver, a fine metal band that frontman Dez Fafara started when he quit Coal Chamber two years ago.
Roots-rockers might remember the Del Fuegos. After spending a few decades of singing "Don't Run Wild" to you over-age drunks, frontman Dan Zanes decided you were unmoldable. So now he goes to places like Mandeville Auditorium (Nov. 19) and sings songs for little people. He's got a new CD-book combo out called Jump Up!, for those of you who got knocked up after one of his shows and don't want your kid singing along with abnormally-hued dinosaurs.
A bro-fest is in full effect at the Wavehouse in Mission Beach on Nov. 19 for Sun Diego's "Beanies & Bikinis" event. They're dumping 22 tons of man-made snow in the parking lot of Belmont Park, erecting a two-story handrail structure and giving $12,000 to the pro snowboarder who pulls the gnarliest trick. If seeing the crowning of a Miss Sun Diego who "could cut glass with those things!" isn't enough for you, the hip-hop lineup is attractive, including Awol of the Shape Shifters, Writers Block of The Visionaries and U-God from Wu-Tang Clan.
And finally, if you spent an entire season speed-dialing for his Samson-ian grandeur, now you can be freaky like that up close. American Idol finalist Bo Bice (the long-haired rocker one) is playing an acoustic set at Croce's on Nov. 17. Proving that Idol grads aren't necessarily doomed to a Gary Coleman-esque life, he's charging $25.