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Rock Picks: Rutlemania, Kinky, Angels & Airwaves 

And other March 14-20 concerts

Wednesday, Mar 12 2008
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Page 3 of 4

Neon Neon at the Viper Room

Hey! You got your Welsh psychedelia in my avant hip-hop! Well, you got your Cardiff-based electronica in my SoCal rhythm and/or noise! Boom Bip (né Bryan Hollon) and singer Gruff Rhys (from Super Furry Animals) collaborate and celebrate the release of Stainless Style (Lex Records), a concept album based on the rise and fall of John DeLorean. The record is smooth and impassioned, and its lilting beats cushion simple synth lines couched in ’80s electropop, but of course this particular lily is gilded in sex appeal and clean lines that have more to do with the architect’s drawing board than cocaine. “Gruff and I focused on making real pop songs — like Rick Springfield or Cyndi Lauper — that you can sing along to in your car,” Bip revealed recently to the NME, and that’s a far cough from the peanut-butter and K-Y jelly sandwiches that modern pop seems hellbent on serving these days. Also at Amoeba Music earlier this evening at 6 p.m. (David Cotner)

Also playing Monday:

click to flip through (6) Blink and you’ll miss them: Angels & Airwaves
  • Blink and you’ll miss them: Angels & Airwaves
 

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EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY at the Wiltern; THE CHAPIN SISTERS, SUMMER DARLING at the Echo; LESLIE & THE BADGERS at the Hotel Café; LAS KRUDAS at Silverlake Lounge.

TUESDAY, MARCH 18

The Felice Brothers, Justin Townes Earle at the Echo

The Felice Brothers are three brothers and a buddy from upstate New York who’ve probably never heard any music they love more than the stuff Bob Dylan recorded (in upstate New York) with the Band. On their nifty self-titled album, out now on Bright Eyes front man Conor Oberst’s Team Love label, they sing about whiskey in their whiskey and pistols in their pants, which should give you an indication of their interest in modern times. (Modern Times they probably dig.) Justin Townes Earle is the son of Steve Earle, but on his new The Good Life he sounds less concerned with punking up his roots than his dad does these days; in fact, the best tunes have lap steel, strings and harmony vocals that import a bit of old-timey Nashville elegance. He had to rebel by playing it straight. (Mikael Wood)

Kinky at the Mayan

Monterrey quintet Kinky are a sleek and supple band with heavy doses of electronica injected into their rock & roll. Sometimes they come off as the Mexican equivalent to Duran Duran with bilingual lyrics sprinkled into their heavy dance-floor action. They do a neat subversion of Wall of Voodoo’s “Mexican Radio,” contrasting shiny synths with a merry old-school accordion on the re-released, augmented version of their 2006 CD, Reina. The album features guest vocals from Men at Work’s Colin Hay on the slinky funk of “Monday Killer” and airy chirping from Ely Guerra on the hit “¿A Dónde Van los Muertos?” Singer Gil Cerezo launches himself into outer space amid the beeps and blips of “Sister Twisted,” which rides along Cesar Pliego’s rubbery bass line. Carlos Chairez’s snippets of guitar slide in and out of the trance-y murk of “How Do They Do That?” in a mesmerizing fashion, and he chops up his riffs with funky precision on the Devoesque “Again and So On.” Bring your dancing shoes. With Beastie Boys keyboardist Money Mark. (Falling James)

Also playing Tuesday:

RACHAEL YAMAGATA at the Hotel Café, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.; BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW at the Knitting Factory; DAN BERN at Hayworth Theater, 8 p.m.

 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19

Carbon/Silicon at El Rey Theatre

The late Joe Strummer, with his down-to-earth approachability, played the good cop in the Clash to Mick Jones’ more rock-star-ish bad cop (typified by the bitchy way he dissed roadie Ray Gange in the semi-fictional film Rude Boy), but don’t forget that Jones not only sang the band’s more melodic hits, he was an underrated lyricist. He’s paired with Generation X’s Tony James on The Last Post in an exciting new project, Carbon/Silicon, that rocks harder than Big Audio Dynamite and is — sacrilegious as it might be to say — more musically satisfying and closer to the eclectic spirit of the later Clash than Strummer’s Mescaleros. “The Magic Suitcase” is an airy power-pop tune that blends the Velvet Underground with David Bowie and Mick Ronson, while “National Anthem” is a spacy disco-pop statement of purpose and “Caesars Palace” mesmerizes with a shiny chorus hook. Jones champions his environmentally conscious “ideals versus economic pain” on the breezy “Acton Zulus” but is most compelling on the insanely catchy “What the Fuck,” with a staccato guitar riff that’s lifted from the Who’s “Can’t Explain” (or “Clash City Rockers,” for that matter), revealing the endless possibilities lurking in a few simple, distorted Kinks power chords. (Falling James)

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