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Rock Picks: The Dirtbombs, Robyn, Dizzee Rascal 

And other May 15-22 shows

Wednesday, May 14 2008
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THURSDAY, MAY 15 Blowfly, Antiseen at the Knitting Factory

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click to flip through (5) The Dirtbombs missed their show in Cleveland after getting lost backstage.
  • The Dirtbombs missed their show in Cleveland after getting lost backstage.
 

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The Dirtbombs missed their show in Cleveland after getting lost backstage.

B. Margolin

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Mojo repairman Pinetop Perkins

Fredrik Skogkvist/Family

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Robyn shows her love.

Pop music succeeds best when taken to the extreme, and this mad coupling reaches two very bizarre points on the musical spectrum. With a deliciously vile brand of spew that’s made him a kingpin in the underworld, the redoubtable Blowfly stands at Olympian heights in the realm of yech. Touted as the original dirty rapper (a handle that scarcely skims the top layer of scum off his deep well of outrageous oratory), he never fails to implode the brain with his spontaneous ejaculations of satirical venery. Antiseen, the self-proclaimed bad-will ambassadors of destructo rock have been wreaking havoc since their filth-infused days with GG Allin, and their frantic mixture of aural agony, Southern-gothic fury and sheer FTW disregard for all laws of god and man is a reliable recipe for disaster. Gloriously devolved contrarians all, almost noble in their perversity, and certain to elevate squirming to a preferred recreational activity. (Jonny Whiteside)

Mystery Hangup at Safari Sam’s

Like their namesake, Mystery Hangup are creepy and unsettling, inspiring a certain amount of ominous foreboding and jealousy. The Orange County trio of sisters twine Cat’s feverishly overwrought wraithlike keening with Bisou’s angular guitar and keyboard parts and drummer Lux’s shifting post-punk rhythms. Even as Cat scratches out heavy-metal guitar solos, Bisou counters with artier, inventively exhilarating chord progressions, such as the Sonic Youth–influenced wall of noise towering over “Sun.” Perhaps as the result of too many anonymous late-night phone calls, Cat wails her restlessly insomniac lyrics with a heavy dose of doom-ridden goth romanticism on such tracks as “Morning Glare” and “My Heart Sleeps Awaken,” from Mystery Hangup’s 2007 debut CD, Three Moons and the Crashing Sun. The group’s production with the estimable Paul Roessler and Geza X captures both of Mystery Hangup’s extremes, from the gracefully melodic intro of “Je Ne Fume Pas” to Cat’s anguished cries and Bisou’s sideways-slanting sheets of raining guitar on “Vista de un Ladron.” (Falling James)

Also playing Thursday:

MASON JENNINGS, BRETT DENNEN, MISSY HIGGINS at Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School; MISS DERRINGER at the Bordello; TINA DICO, AM, WAZ at the Hotel Café; THE SIXTH CHAMBER at House of Blues’ Foundation Room; LES NUBIANS at the Key Club; LITTLE ONES, RA RA RIOT at the Troubadour; BRANT BJORK & THE BROS at the Viper Room.

 

 

FRIDAY, MAY 16

 Kathleen Edwards at the Troubadour

While Kathleen Edwards’ first two albums, Failer and Back to Me, attracted critical accolades and Lucinda Williams comparisons, she really blooms on her enchanting third disc, Asking for Flowers. On the sharp-tongued rocker “The Cheapest Key,” she lights into a disappointing friend/lover with vitriol, tossing off barbed bon mots like “Don’t get me wrong/Here comes my softer side/and there it goes!” Her humor is less cutting but equally as clever on “I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory,” which will certainly draw a big reaction among local hockey fans when she sings, “You’re the Great One/I’m Marty McSorley.” Edwards also impresses on such issue-oriented tracks as the draft-dodging tale “Oil Man’s War” and “Oh Canada,” a searing rant against her homeland, while “Alicia Ross” offers a poignant portrait of a murdered girl. Tough and tender, humorous and heartfelt, Edwards seems poised to escape the alt-country backwoods for the more popular rock territory, where her idol Tom Petty resides. With the Last Town Chorus. (Michael Berick)

Also playing Friday:

CROWDED HOUSE at the Orpheum Theatre; THE PROCLAIMERS at El Rey Theatre; SUN TRASH at Alex’s Bar; AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB, GANO/RYAN at the Echo; JESCA HOOP at the Hotel Café; PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS at the Key Club; MIA DOI TODD, MARIEE SIOUX at McCabe’s; KATE WALSH, BRANDI SHEARER, QUINCY COLEMAN at the Roxy; YEAR LONG DISASTER at Viper Room.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 17

 The Dirtbombs, Dan Sartain at the Troubadour

If they ever get around to electing a king of Detroit or even a president of the world, Mick Collins would be the perfect candidate. “I don’t wanna be a hero,” he humbly cries out on the Dirtbombs’ rollicking new CD, We Have You Surrounded (In the Red). “I just wanna do the best I can to keep you happy and be your ever-lovin’ man.” This ever-lovin’ Renaissance man/eclectically knowledgeable and intuitive DJ/brain-twisting science-fiction writer/founding member of the Gories should keep you ridiculously happy tonight as he declaims garage-rock, soul, punk, R&B and glam-pop psychedelia, buttressed by the dual-bass, dual-drums attack of the Dirtbombs. Here’s a man who’s cool enough to cover the disparate likes of Dead Moon (with a militaristic, rat-a-tat take on their classic “Fire in the Western World”) and Sparks (where he thrashes the Mael brothers’ “Sherlock Homes” with unexpectedly sinister and skuzzy garage-rock guitars) while penning such fabulously strange original tunes as “I Hear the Sirens” and “Leopardman at C&A” (which he’s described as “a take on urban paranoia” inspired by Alan Moore, and powered by momentous rolling-tom-tom thunder). With the wild Alabama roots-rock revisionist Dan Sartain. (Falling James)

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