Rock Picks: B.B. King, Matmos, Coldplay 

Also, Supergrass, Ratatat, the Duke Spirit

Wednesday, Jul 9 2008

THURSDAY, JULY 10Playing Thursday:

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click to flip through (4) The Trashwomen audition for Celebrity Circus.
  • The Trashwomen audition for Celebrity Circus.

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The Trashwomen audition for Celebrity Circus.

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Eyes on the prize: Mavis Staples

AJ Farkas

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Candied knights: Matmos

YAZ at the Orpheum Theatre (see Music feature); THE BLASTERS at Levitt Pavilion, Pasadena, 7:30 p.m.; THE DEADLY SYNDROME, MISS DERRINGER at Hammer Museum, 8 p.m.; KING KHAN & THE SHRINES, JACUZZI BOYS at the Echo; TILLY & THE WALL at the Echoplex, 7:30 p.m.; DON BYRON, BILLY CHILDS & JOE HENRY at Largo at the Coronet; THE GUTTER TWINS, ED HARCOURT at the Roxy; ROBERT FRANCIS at the Troubadour.



B.B. King, Mavis Staples, Leon Russell at Pacific Amphitheater

Talk about running the gamut. Whether it’s the highly spiced sting of renowned blues ambassador B.B. King’s storied ax, Lucille, the sanctified gospel-to-funk tumult of the incomparable vocalist Mavis Staples or the quasi-mystical rock & roll philosophizing of the unpredictable Oklahoma titan Leon Russell, this bill represents a fascinating layer-upon-layer display of vernacular pop culture. Each of the performers has risen from both unlikely and decidedly humble origins to attain an impressive degree of success, fame and, more important, artistic significance. King, Staples and Russell have all exerted a pervasive influence, one that reaches far beyond the sterile confines of the marketplace and into the common American soul, and whether you crave lowdown blues, spiritual elevation or psychedelicized hillbilly insight, this show rates as a three-headed model of sheer musical temptation. (Jonny Whiteside)

Also playing Friday:

YAZ at the Orpheum Theatre; SUPERGRASS at Amoeba Music, 7 p.m.; MARIA TAYLOR at the Echoplex; GREG GINN at Fais Do-Do; CUTE LEPERS, SUN TRASH, THE BILLYBONES at the Knitting Factory; THE CHAPIN SISTERS at McCabe’s; ALBERT HAMMOND JR. at Spaceland.


The Trashwomen, The Flakes, The Jinxes at Mr. T’s Bowl

Proving the theory of devolution, the Trashwomen are back together again, headlining a bill of like-minded lowlifes who seem stubbornly disinterested in taking advantage of the significant advances in musical technology over the past 40 years. Society thought it had gotten off easily when San Francisco trio the Trashwomen broke up in the ’90s, but damage spread further when two members, Tina Lucchesi and Danielle Pimm, formed the garage-punk hellions the Bobbyteens. Now they’ve reunited with guitarist Elka Zolot for more mayhem, stomping “Justine” and “Peter Gunn” into barely recognizable, fuzzy little bits and slamming out surf crudities like “Space Needle” and the self-explanatory “I’m Trash.” Fellow Bay Area reprobates the Flakes are “five long-haired creeps who like money and old records,” and they have an energetic early-Stones garage-rock snarl on tracks like “Sadie Slye” and “Amberjean” from their rippin’ 2005 CD, Back to School (Dollar Records). Los Angeles answers back with the Farfisa-pumped caveman declarations of the Jinxes. (Falling James)

Rachid Taha at California Plaza

Sometimes multiple-musical-personality disorder offers a way out of the chaos. In Rachid Taha’s case, will the righteous pan-Arab neo-trad punk or the teetering self-parodist leather-clad rocker take the stage? He could barely stagger upright at the Knitting Factory last time in town, his growl more sodden slur than gravelly shout, his band bravely annihilating then reconstituting the raucous sonorities. Yet a pre-911 gig at Bimbo’s 365 in S.F. still ranks among the most revelatory roc del mundo mashdowns I’ve ever danced my ass off to, on par with Manu Chao and the Pogues at their most recklessly effusive. No surprise that Rachid’s latest collection, Rock El Casbah — The Best Of, bears obvious homage to the Clash, considering his peerless cover of that paradoxical signature tune. But the French-bred Algerian iconoclast also counts rai progenitor Messaoud Bellemou among his heroes, and worldly psychedelicist Steve Hillage among his collaborators: There are plenty of chefs in Taha’s madly creative soul kitchen. (Tom Cheyney)

Supergrass at Avalon

While some bands parlay a fortuitous collision with fashion into fleeting adulation, others are simply destined to become crowd-pleasing stalwarts on sheer musical merit. Supergrass are the latter, their mischievous sense of melody, charming audio curiosity and unpretentiously stylized delivery (not to mention a rhythm section apparently synced-up at birth) having earned them an era-defying, theater-filling longevity. Damn it, they’re a career band — just when we thought the major labels had stamped out such substantive nonsense! Fifteen years after their cheeky-chappy, proto-Chav debut single, “Caught by the Fuzz” — and those arrestingly simian sideburns — collared indie-heads everywhere, Supergrass are continuing the Britpop lineage of the Small Faces, the Kinks, Buzzcocks, the Jam and Madness that can be so clearly traced through their songs. Following 2005’s more acoustic, wistful Road to Rouen, this year’s full-length, Diamond Hoo Haa, is a more overtly fan-friendly effort that glints with Bowiesque glam grandeur and Elton John–y melancholy. Also at Amoeba Music, Fri., 7 p.m. (Paul Rogers)

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