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Rock Picks 

For February 9 - 16, 2006

Wednesday, Feb 8 2006

Blah Blah Blah

Today, Thursday, Feb. 9, the long-closed Huntington Beach club known as Safari Sam’s reopens after a long dark season. It will still be known as Safari Sam’s, only this time it will be located along the Thai Town–Scientology fulcrum, at 5214 W. Sunset Blvd. And it’s all ages, kids, which means you, yes, YOU WITH THE MEXICAN VICODIN, can attend the opening-night gig, TONIGHT, featuring The Sex Pistols Experience, a cover band who will also be on Jonesy’s Jukebox today. I tell ya. Can’t decide which is more post-ironic: this, or the Germs using an actor to perform as Darby Crash at their gigs. Saturday, 2/11, Nashville Pussy play at the Knitting Factory, a band whose sole usefulness is as an alternative to Bonnie Raitt and the Donnas when debating whether chicks can shred on guitar. Sunday, 2/12, Part-Time Punks (at the Echo) continues its mission of bringing unpretentious garage rock/punk to those who need it most (Eastside hipsters, that is) with a gig by NYC’s The Witnesses and S.F.’s Magic Bullets. Go forth and rock. (Kate Sullivan)

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Thursday, Feb. 9The Click Five, Big City Rock at the Roxy

Six or seven years ago, the Click Five would’ve been a boy band à la ’N Sync or the Backstreet Boys: They’re handsome in a non-threatening way, they sing about finding just the girl they’re looking for, and they’ve toured with Ashlee Simpson and, well, the Backstreet Boys. Today, though, in a world of Death Cab cuties and My Chemical romantics, the Boston-based group of Berklee College of Music grads are a rock band with matching suits and designer-guitar fuzz. Don’t tell let the secret out: Greetings From Imrie House, the Click Five’s wham-bam debut, still makes for a blast of high-octane teen pop, from the freshly scrubbed vocal harmonies down to the highly processed synthesizer cheese. Six or seven years ago, local openers Big City Rock would’ve been the Wallflowers. (Mikael Wood)


Meat Beat Manifesto, Dälek at the Knitting Factory

Electronic-music groundbreaker Jack Dangers has propelled his Meat Beat Manifesto through expansive electro-acoustical dimensions in recent times. His latest discs, Off Centre and At the Centre (both Thirsty Ear), bring in such prog-jazz heavies as drummer Dave King, flutist Peter Gordon and keyboardist Craig Taborn to merge densely textured otherworlds with subtly complex polyrhythmic dance-thump and deep-space analog-synth sallies. Do not miss Dälek, the scary industrial crew who make something like a hip-hop equivalent of a slasher flick, ill-harmonized claustrophobically in evil-tongued raps, barbed-wire screetchez, scratchez and sonicus interruptus for even wickeder massed guitar samples, like the barbed wire on your future. Their new disc, Absence, is on Mike Patton’s essential Ipecac label, and you should buy it, experience it and burn in hell — you owe that much to yourself, don’t you? (John Payne)

Ariel Pink, Gris-Gris, Indian Jewelry at the Echo

Bursting forth nearly fully formed from the foothills in the headlands of Los Angeles, Ariel Pink has a star-making story à la Kate Bush; his home-recorded pop debut, The Doldrums, was distilled from his 8-track/beatboxing/keyboard demos sent to red-hot pop feral children Animal Collective and released on their Paw Tracks label. Skimming his MySpace profile is an exercise in discovering new angles in music; there’s a cover of the Smiths’ “This Night Has Opened My Eyes,” and Pink is perhaps the only person apart from Lester Bangs to recommend ’70s German agit-pop theatrical troupe Floh de Cologne. Also tonight: the electric organism moving the echoey psychedelia of Gris-Gris and the chunky rhythms and whirlwind mantras of Indian Jewelry. (David Cotner)

Bob Mould, Curt Kirkwood at the Troubadour

Indie-rock loyalists will forever prostrate themselves before the altar of Bob Mould’s Hüsker Dü, because in the ’80s the band did indeed kick pre-emo rump in righteous ways (still brings a tiny nostalgic tear to the eye). Mould’s next band, Sugar, was a more musically inclined power trio with a beautifully dense sound that in retrospect seems way underrated. Mould, growing up and out of limited punk rock parameters, followed with solo albums that combined his heartfelt, intelligent songwriting, fiery electric guitar and ardent singing with explorations in electronics, to varying degrees of success, such as his similarly underrated Modulate (Red Ink). Tonight, Mould performs solo versions of material from his latest work, Body of Song (Yep Roc), another slamming, searing set featuring Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and Sugar bassist Dave Barbe. Another rock form-smasher, ex–Meat Puppet Curt Kirkwood, opens with a look at his roots-rocky new solo disc, Snow (Little Dog). (John Payne)


Rocky Dawuni, Leon Mobley, Ashley Maher at Temple Bar

One native son, one child of the diaspora and one naturalized citizen of the motherland, all seeking the eternal resonance of Africa. Rocky Dawuni, L.A. resident and child of Ghana, cultivates root-stock hybrids, nurturing West African groove, reggae and soul into fresh sound plantings on his latest CD, Book of Changes. An impresario as well, Dawuni jets back to Accra a few days after the show to prepare his annual Independence Splash happening, which honors A.B. Crentsil and other Ghanaian heroes of highlife this year. Leon Mobley, best known as Ben Harper’s high priest of percussion, channels the rumble of the ancients through his supple-strong hands. Ashley Maher, celebrating the release of Flying Over Bridges, entwines singer-songwriter craft with Afro-jazz funk and some Richter-registering dance moves. When Africa calls, we all gotta listen. (Tom Cheyney)

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