Rock Picks: HorrorPops, Steve Earle, Ace Frehley | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Rock Picks: HorrorPops, Steve Earle, Ace Frehley 

And other March 20-27 music shows

Wednesday, Mar 19 2008

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Also playing Friday:

RUTLEMANIA at the Ricardo Montalbán Theater, 8 p.m.; GARY LOURIS, VETIVER at El Rey Theatre; MAE SHI, RTX, BAD DUDES at the Knitting Factory; VERY BE CAREFUL at the Mint; DAHLIA, ROMAK & THE SPACE PIRATES, HOBO GOBBELINS at Mr. T’s Bowl; B-MOVIE RATS, PAT TODD & THE RANKOUTSIDERS at Mr. T’s Bowl; SHANE FONTAYNE, ANNY CELSI at Kulak’s Woodshed.

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SATURDAY, MARCH 22Matthew Dear at Avalon

One of the founders of the influential Michigan-based indie label Ghostly International, Matthew Dear has dedicated the majority of his time over the past few years to the records he’s released under his own name, including last year’s Asa Breed, on which he married his love of dance-floor beats to his knack for pop-radio tunes. (Dude supported the album in 2007 by touring with a live band, a relative oddity in his field.) Yet Dear also records and performs under a series of pseudonyms, and tonight he’ll rock Avalon as Audion, perhaps his most body-centric guise; memorable track titles on Suckfish, from 2005, include “Kisses,” “Titty Fuck” and “Just Fucking.” Expect to hear stuff from Audion releases tonight, but hope that Dear throws in some of the killer remixes he’s done for acts like Hot Chip and Black Strobe. (Mikael Wood)


HorrorPops at House of Blues

Whether HorrorPops are tearing out their rockabilly roots or smashing punk rock and ska together, what sets them apart is Patricia Day’s grand voice. She belts it out powerfully but with a majestically sad undercurrent that evokes Siouxsie Sioux’s dark allure. The Danish band’s third full-length CD, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill (Hellcat), is a typically rocking affair, driven by Kim Nekroman’s souped-up guitars to create a rumbling, bone-rattling racket. There’s even a little keyboards on “Heading for the Disco?,” where Day puts down a fashion-victim rival for wearing spandex and wonders why anyone would “dress up as an ’80s whore.” (Such fashion fascism seemingly contradicts the message in “Freaks in Uniforms,” from HorrorPops’ 2005 CD, Bring It On, where Day decried conformists who judge her by the way she dresses.) Shallow lyrics and subject matter are still the band’s major weaknesses, and the better songs on Kiss Kiss are the ones where Day is given something interesting and personal to say with those mighty lungs, such as the noir romanticism of “Hitchcock Starlet” and the autobiographical “Copenhagen Refugee.” (Falling James)

The Dollyrots at Safari Sam’s

Sophie Olmstead

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We’re kinda fonda Wanda Jackson.

Ted Barron

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Beauty & the beast: Allison Moorer & Steve Earle

Louis Teran

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Sad American: Kaki King

You might remember the Dollyrots from a ludicrous episode of CSI: NY in which the band performed under the name Rough Sects and singer Kelly Ogden’s bass was used as an unlikely murder weapon. Rock & roll seldom gets treated accurately and intelligently within the formulaic confines of dramatic television — the episode was so over the top, it bordered on pure camp — but it was nice to see the Los Angeles trio finally getting some well-deserved attention. The Dollyrots moved to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records with their 2007 CD, Because I’m Awesome, whose title track was used in a slew of other TV shows and ubiquitous commercials. You can hear Jett’s influence in the song’s pop-punk crush, along with the bubblegum-tuff production of Jett producer Kenny Laguna on the girl-group-style melodies of “This Crush” and “My Best Friend’s Hot.” The Dollyrots have toughened up their sound considerably while still retaining the catchy hooks that make them so endearingly homicidal. (Falling James)


Wanda Jackson at the Blue Cafe

Oklahoma-born singer-guitarist Wanda Jackson, the internationally acknowledged Queen of Rockabilly, has well and truly seen and done it all. From her earliest days traveling on the late Hank Thompson’s honky-tonk Western-swing bandwagon to those feverish mid-1950s nights holding her own beside Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, Jackson never faltered — and it took a hell of a lot nerve to transform herself from simple country sister to the volcanic rockabilly growler responsible for “Fujiyama Mama” and “Let’s Have a Party.” Jackson, with her singular mixture of high-glam image and lowdown R&B-fueled frenzy, remains an unparalleled figure: The fact that she survived rockabilly’s 1959 meltdown, charting country hits (like the self-penned masterpiece “Right or Wrong”) throughout the ’60s, ranks her not only as a taboo-flouting rebel but also a significant predecessor to the country singer-songwriter likes of Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. Wanda Jackson? One of a kind. (Jonny Whiteside)

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