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Rock Picks 

For the week of March 29 – April 5

Wednesday, Mar 28 2007
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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 isn’t 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 that’s not a trick in huge demand around these parts, she’s retained enough of her appealing tunecraft to charm even a career surf bum. (Mikael Wood)

Also playing Thursday:

click to flip through (4) Dont forget the Ettes, Friday. (Photo by Jewely Bennett)
  • Dont forget the Ettes, Friday. (Photo by Jewely Bennett)
     
 

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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. T’s Bowl; MONSTERS ARE WAITING, BROECK, 8mm at Safari Sam’s; BRAZZAVILLE at Temple Bar; YELLOWCARD at the Troubadour.

FRIDAY, MARCH 30TV on the Radio, The Noisettes at Henry Fonda Theater

There’s ample reason why tickets for TV on the Radio’s 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 TVOTR’s 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), he’s 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 — they’re 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, Let’s 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 Malone’s; DOUBLE NAUGHT SPY CAR, PUTTANESCA at Mr. T’s Bowl; SILVER DAGGERS, DOS at the Smell; ADEM, BEDROOM WALLS at Tangier.

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