Rock Picks: Stagecoach, Alicia Keys, Vetiver 

And other shows happening May 1-8

Wednesday, Apr 30 2008


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click to flip through (7) Gretchen Wilson always wanted to be a Ramone.
  • Gretchen Wilson always wanted to be a Ramone.

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Gretchen Wilson always wanted to be a Ramone.

Kennan Gudjonsson

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Nina Nastasia re-enacts Rodin’s The Thinker.

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Bostich + Fussible: Tijuana still makes them happy.

 Yo Majesty, Does It Offend You Yeah? at El Rey Theatre

Three tuff-looking goils from Tampa got together with London neu-funk producers HardFeelingsUK and came up with this authentically crappy sounding (in a good way) EP of furiously fiving, snottily cool hip-hop à la the real, real old-school. It’s ingeniously booty-quaking stuff, all of it, though you really only need to hear their anthem “Club Action,” whose rinky-dink electro-beatbox and echoed-out speed raps frame a memorable chorus of “Fuck that shit!” Meanwhile, over in England, Does It Offend You, Yeah, have been busy barfing out their own early-’80s punky dance-rock tribute, all vocodered vocals, phat-ass synth bass coiling its merry way up your rump, further backdating the mishmash with a Hendrixian electric guitarist named Morgan Quaintance and loads of cowbell-rock swagger incorporated into their relatively artful mash-up of electro-funk ecstasy. They have a B+ album with several variations on this theme called You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into. (John Payne)

 Also playing Thursday:




Stagecoach at Empire Polo Field

Like, wow. The hyper-maxi-ultra country-music blowout Stagecoach returns with an impressive mix of big-time Nashvillians, more than a few of the idiom’s key surviving architects and a roiling third tier of intriguing comers. It’s a bittersweet proposition, though, with the contemptible pop pimps Rascal Flatts, a reunion that no one has been waiting for by the Judds and the overbearingly dull Tim McGraw (and who the fuck invited the Eagles and Mike Ness?). But there’s much to be thankful for — the greatest country singer of all time, George Jones, and one of the greatest songwriters ever, Billy Joe Shaver. Redneck wonder woman Gretchen Wilson serves as a beacon of hope and, with Earl Scruggs and Dr. Ralph Stanley, bluegrass is extraordinarily well represented. Despite so many lows — those American Idol shriekers, the horror of Dierks Bentley — it’s a mandatory event because, as Jones once said, “Country music has a strange power over everybody that loves it, and is about the only thing in the world that you can curse and still love at the same time.” Also Sat.-Sun. 81800 Avenue 51, Indio. (Jonny Whiteside)

 Also playing Friday:

THE DODOS, AKRON/FAMILY at Natural History Museum; DREAM THEATER at Gibson Amphitheatre; ASIA at the Canyon; VIRGINIA CITY REVIVAL, STAB CITY, PSYCHOSTAR at Charlie O’s Lounge; STIFF LITTLE FINGERS at House of Blues; JOHN DOE at McCabe’s; MONOLATORS at Mr. T’s Bowl; NINJA ACADEMY at the Smell.


Nina Nastasia at Spaceland

“I write down lists ... and keep things in their places/and leave things leaving traces,” Nina Nastasia sings enigmatically on her most recent album, You Follow Me (Fat Cat), a collaboration with Dirty Three drummer Jim White, whose nimble pattering and rhythmic shifts provide a febrile backing for her open-ended poetry. As much as she tries to keep the world ordered in perfectly strummed stanzas, life is too messy and complicated to be neatly summarized, as symbolized by White’s skittering drums and her own stormy swells of guitar, which sometimes evoke the majestically rambling folk of the late Tim Buckley. Her longtime producer, Steve Albini, stays out of the way by avoiding showy sound effects, preferring instead to let the running dialogue between White and Nastasia breathe and expand without heavy-handed interference. As inventive as it can be, White’s drum clutter sometimes distracts from Nastasia’s gently pretty anti-love songs, which makes this scheduled solo appearance even more compelling. (Falling James)

Bostich + Fussible at the Echo

San Franciscans may think they have a rivalry with Angelenos (even if most locals don’t spend any time worrying about it), but L.A.’s real competition in musical output and creativity comes from a city that’s much bigger and more diverse than old Baghdad by the Bay. This cultural superpower is just two hours south of here — and perhaps one state of mind away — and, no, we’re not talking about sleepy San Diego. Since 2001, the five guys in Nortec Collective have provided the definitive soundtrack to life in Tijuana, and, like that misunderstood and musically rampant city, their soundtrack bends and shifts to incorporate the changes sweeping through the region. The biggest collision is between traditional folk-music styles and shiny beat-heavy electronica, and Nortec Collective’s Bostich (a.k.a. Ramón Amezcua) and Fussible (Pepe Mogt) seamlessly weave the two together with some fascinating results on their new CD, Tijuana Sound Machine (Nacional). Percussive guitars and a huffing-and-puffing accordion on “The Clap” give way to the slinky spaciness of “Norteña del Sur,” while soothing English-language vocals drive the indie folk-pop of “Brown Bike,” “Playbox” and the ska-accented Kraftwerk robotics of “Shake It Up.” Mesmerizing and multilayered. (Falling James)

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