THURSDAY, MARCH 29Jill Cunniff at the Hotel Café
Even hardcore fans of Luscious Jackson, the mid-90s all-lady Beastie Boys spinoff group, had to be surprised by the appearance last month of a major-label L.J. greatest-hits disc: Though they made a respectable contribution to funky-fresh post-Odelay pop, singer Jill Cunniff and her bandmates never really broke out of the big-city hipster ghetto and connected with the kind of listeners for whom greatest-hits discs were invented. As it happens, the best-of isnt the only L.J. product in stores right now; Cunniff also just released her solo debut, City Beach, whose mellow folk-hop grooves she brings to the Hotel Café tonight. Brooklyn-based Cunniff says she made the album to bring the beach to caged-up city dwellers, and though thats not a trick in huge demand around these parts, shes retained enough of her appealing tunecraft to charm even a career surf bum. (Mikael Wood)
Also playing Thursday:
VAGABOND OPERA, FUXEDOS at the Echo (see Hoopla); JJ GREY & MOFRO, CHUCK PROPHET, EVIL BEAVER, THE BINGES at Knitting Factory; WATKINS FAMILY HOUR at Largo; MON COUSIN BELGE, WHITE, BIANCA OBLIVION at Mr. Ts Bowl; MONSTERS ARE WAITING, BROECK, 8mm at Safari Sams; BRAZZAVILLE at Temple Bar; YELLOWCARD at the Troubadour.
FRIDAY, MARCH 30TV on the Radio, The Noisettes at Henry Fonda Theater
Theres ample reason why tickets for TV on the Radios obscenely sold-out shows are the hottest this city has seen in eons. While the stunning headphone opus Return to Cookie Mountain ruled the Pitchfork Nation (and beyond) in 2006, there are still legions of freshly minted fans who have yet to experience the band live, especially here in L.A., where their only local appearance was a simmering campfire of a show at the Hollywood Bowl opening for Massive Attack (a fruitful match, as TVOTRs production mastermind David Sitek is producing M.A.s upcoming album). Their reputation as an incendiary powder keg live precedes them, and rightfully so. The world needs a band like TVOTR who are equal parts art and heart now more than ever. U.K. thrash-bashers the Noisettes open, getting down like a multiracial Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with singer Shingai Shoniwa as the black Karen O. Also Sat. (Scott T. Sterling)
The Ettes, Buck, Miss Derringer at Spaceland
Long Gone John, we hardly knew ye unless you count the past two decades the surly, shaggy Sympathy for the Record Industry anti-mogul spent holed up in his Long Beach cave baiting his enemies and issuing a nonstop hailstorm of lovingly/tastelessly designed records by Roky Erickson, the Gun Club, the Come Ons, Lazy Cowgirls, the Detroit Cobras, Wanda Jackson, the White Stripes and Turbonegro. The subject of a recent documentary (The Treasures of Long Gone John), hes moving to Olympia and taking his toys with him, saying goodbye tonight with several of his favorite bands, including a reunion of the punk-pop trio Buck, whose leader, Lisa Marr, has stretched out in a more countryish direction in recent years (one of her ballads was recorded by Neko Case). Former Tongue howler Liz McGrath also comes from a punk rock background, but her new group, Miss Derringer, is more subtle than garish, with a stylish rootsy-noir vibe. The Ettes are in many ways the quintessential Sympathy band, with superfuzzy riffs and primal beats contrasted by kittenishly charming vocals. Swoon over em while you can theyre apparently also thinking of relocating. (Falling James)
Jewmongous at the Knitting Factory
Sean Altman is one outrageous schnook. With unhinged songs like They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Lets Eat) and Reuben, the Hook-Nosed Reindeer, Altman is clearly not averse to taking risks. He also makes some big talk about how his brand of Semitic yocks are part of a new and different breed of Jewish comics like Sarah Silverman and Jon Stewart. But, on closer examination, it seems as if Altman may himself be in a bit of sociocultural denial; he first became enamored with life as a musical performer while working as a busboy in a Catskills resort, the classic locale for Jewish-American humor, and while his punk-rough approach and vividly iconoclastic lyrics place him in an up-to-date arena, he echoes such forebears as Eddie Cantor and Lenny Bruce and upholds the tradition with biting, bitchen acuity. (Jonny Whiteside)
Also playing Friday:
VUSI MAHLASELA at Skirball Cultural Center; JOEY ALTRUDA, SAL CRACHIOLO at the Bordello; THE UNTOUCHABLES at Good Hurt; CARINA ROUND, THE OOHLAS at the Hotel Café; LYRICS BORN, RHETTMATIC at Knitting Factory; JON BRION at Largo; ASYLUM STREET SPANKERS at Molly Malones; DOUBLE NAUGHT SPY CAR, PUTTANESCA at Mr. Ts Bowl; SILVER DAGGERS, DOS at the Smell; ADEM, BEDROOM WALLS at Tangier.