By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
When two dreadlocked dudes named Roots and Zee came out, Dude had the most fun. They skanked around and sang and toasted, which made Dude smile and dance harder. Dude thought it was funny when they dedicated a song called "The State of the Union" to George Bumbaclot Bush, even though Dude was pretty sure Roots and Zee and the rest of the Corporation didn't really like this Bush dude. (Tom Cheyney)
THE SHAKES, THE SATISFACTION, THE GO-DEVILS, JACKIE AND THE CEDRICS at the Garage, November 16
If you're looking for fresh, fun, frills-free garage-iana, you can't go wrong with the Shakes. The first signing to ex-New Times columnist Jim Freek's Teenacide Records label, the Shakes are as groovalicious and comfy as your parents' hi-fi system and a faded Hang Ten shirt. Mod? Surf-'n'-Spy? Punk? Soul? It's all the same shit as far as the Shakes are concerned, and they shred the subgenres accordingly.
But the band who had the crowd in the hip pocket of their snug slacks were local bad boys the Satisfaction. Personnelwise, these mop-topped and turtlenecked Vespa rockers are the former Invizible Men plus a new singer, Benny Hammond, an electrifying showboat who brings together the sex moves of James Brown, the hellfire of a country preacher and the vocal charms of a snake-oil salesman. The Satisfaction's purée of '64-'67 riff-o-rama has a Brit Invasion snarl tempered with California lysergia, and is about as close to Motown as white boys ever get. The new EP is only a three-songer ("A Day Less Gray" is pure hitsville), but the Satisfaction trotted out new material written in a fury of inspiration during a recent West Coast tour. Said irrepressible ax man Gregg Hunt, "We could care less how many records we sell. This is about friends and having fun."
Osaka, Japan's the Go-Devils are in love with '50s roadhouse rock and its take-no-shit attitude: "Please . . . in . . . monitor . . . more . . . voice," said diminutive front woman Momo. A roughed-up cover of "Louie, Louie" notwithstanding, the Go-Devils need a fresher angle than new-waif cuteness if they wanna make waves. Which is exactly what Tokyo's Jackie & the Cedrics did, with sartorial flash (powder-blue jackets with ruffles, oh my!) and chops that'd make Dick Dale green with envy. Sixties surfadelia is the band's drug of choice, but the Steve Vai-style wankitude occasionally thwarted their Beach Boys sunniness. (Andrew Lentz)
DIO, KING'S X, HAMMERFALL at the Universal Amphitheater, November 14
One-stop hard-rock shopping? Dribbly turnout for Swedish metal traditionalists HammerFall and Texan psychedelic groove monsters King's X suggested customers prefer a jumbo plate of their favorite fodder (in this case Dio) and won't sample exotic hors d'oeuvres. Their loss.
HammerFall's neo-barbarians must wonder if they shoulda bothered donning their studded leathers and synchronizing their guitar poses for only 25 minutes of nightly glory on behalf of 100 yawning early-comers, when they routinely slay hordes in Europe. Plus, assessing them was pure guesswork, since Magnus Rosen's bass was inaudible throughout, mayhap as punishment for his incessant denture-gape mugging. Drummer Anders Johansson had a blast anyway, his merciless rhythms and heart-thundering double-kicks lending authority to a classic riff-&-yodel outfit whose biggest asset is its unity.
King's X invented their own genre back in the late '80s, which may explain why many listeners still haven't logged their coordinates. Those of us who just like music, though, get flattened by the trio's loose-limbed but powerful shake and their effortlessly brilliant musicianship. Drummer Jerry Gaskill is a polyrhythmic eruption. Ty Tabor may look like a slightly unhinged Sunday-school teacher, but the endless strains of inspiration he yanks from a guitar and a wah-wah pedal border on the ungodly. And when cowboy-hatted bassist Doug Pinnick lets loose with one of his soul screams, he fucking parts your hair. A great live band.
Ronnie James Dio got the most stage time, and didn't waste a bit. Now that this lineup's been together several months, drummer Simon Wright, bassist Jimmy Bain, guitarist Doug Aldrich and keyboardist Scott Warren have pulled the Dio catalog into clear focus. Though Aldrich's slick lead twiddling won't wake you up, he's a fantastic rhythm chopsman, and Warren adds a lot both musically and visually. Highlights: a bog-slogging "Lord of the Last Day" and a rampaging "Heaven and Hell." We rock. (Greg Burk)
THE RAVEONETTES, QUINTRON & MISS PUSSYCAT, STEREO TOTAL at the Troubadour, November 14
Fresh off the redeye from Copenhagen, Danish duo the Raveonettes blended their '60s garage-psyche influences so skillfully that fans got their swerve on and collector geeks questioned their notions of authenticity. It's a moot point -- the Raveonettes' roller-coastering grooves seduce effortlessly, and their knack for stomping bass-drum/snare-thwack intros teleports you to a time when parents thought the kids had lost their minds.
If most folks consider New Orleans a party town, Crescent City duo Quintron & Miss Pussycat's disco burlesque ensures you never forget it. Things kicked off with a puppet show starring a sewing machine and a dress (not shitting you) arguing over whether to "finish the stitches or go get stoned." Q&MP quickly settled into maraca-flecked bump 'n' grind till a pyrotechnic climax of Mardi Gras Roman candles wrapped the routine. Rewind midset, the pair got blues-bent, like Marty & Elayne doing their best Royal Trux impersonation. Tasty, but not exactly in keeping with the eye-popping folderol.