Rock Picks: Holly Golightly, Sergio Mendes, Wu-Tang Clan | Music | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Rock Picks: Holly Golightly, Sergio Mendes, Wu-Tang Clan 

Also, the Hanson Brothers, Oasis, Azure Ray and others

Wednesday, Nov 26 2008


Danny B. Harvey, Insect Surfers at Taix

Guitarist Danny Bryan Harvey might be overshadowed by the bigger names — Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister and Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom — in the Head Cat, but he’s the glue that keeps the Buddy Holly–inspired roots trio together. He also cooks up the music in the country duo Lonesome Spurs, providing sequined backing for Lynda Kay Parker’s fiery vocals. In the past, he’s played with rockabilly revivalists the Honeydippers and various outfits with predictable feline names (the Rockats, the Swing Cats, 13 Cats), and more recently the Kentucky native has worked with Nancy Sinatra and the rockabilly-country legend Wanda Jackson. His ongoing no-cover residency at Taix — still one of the best deals in town — often sees him collaborating with a parade of female singers (perhaps you could call them Harvey girls). Tonight’s bill also features Insect Surfers, the longtime local surf revisionists who got their start in the late-’70s underground scene in Washington, D.C., where they regularly appeared with the Slickee Boys, Bad Brains and the pre–Minor Threat combo Teen Idles. Far from being stuffy traditionalists, Insect Surfers write free-ranging instrumentals that encompass psychedelia, dusty Mojave soundscapes and punk rock drive, with David Arnson’s and Dano Sullivan’s crackling guitars combining for some truly majestic interplay. (Falling James)

click to flip through (6) One cool cat: Danny B. Harvey
  • One cool cat: Danny B. Harvey

Also playing Friday:

THE DENNIS JONES BAND at Harvelle’s; ZOLA MOON at Starboard Attitude; SOULFLY at the Key Club; PASTILLA, CABULA at Knitting Factory; MEDUSA, ELEVATERS at the Mint; MELVINS, BIG BUSINESS at the Troubadour.



Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs at Spaceland

British singer and former Headcoatee Holly Golightly might be best known in this country for singing “It’s True That We Love One Another,” a duet with Jack White on the White Stripes’ 2003 album, Elephant, and the Stripes’ stripped-down blues appears to be the template for the Brokeoffs, her duo with guitarist/percussionist Lawyer Dave. The songs on their new CD, Dirt Don’t Hurt (Transdreamer), are stitched loosely together with acoustic-guitar plucking and old-timey junkyard rattling, and, while there’s nothing really authentic or original about their folksy dabbling, the album still has an easygoing charm. “Best not get too precious,” Golightly coos without irony on “Burn Your Fun,” before adding, “Gonna burn down your still/Ain’t shootin’ no crooked guns . . . only gonna aim to kill.” (Your enjoyment of Dirt may depend on how much you can suspend your disbelief and get into hokey songs about firearms and rural living by folks who’ve seemingly never been anywhere near a farm.) All of the cornpone country-blues archetypes are here — evil preacher men, Jesus junkies, wayward lovers — and the rootsy music seems more inspired by Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs than Robert Johnson. Nonetheless, there is a genuinely ghostly chill to their echoing version of the traditional tune “Boat’s Up the River,” and the sleepy country idyll “For All This” has a spare, unforced intimacy. (Falling James)

Sergio Mendes at Club Nokia

The mid-’60s bossa/samba boom that brought Brazil’s seductive rhythms to American ears for the first time was a most welcome gift. Those exotic new sounds quickly took profound hold, reaching even Sinatra and introducing several numbers that became favorite, enduring standards. Yet, where spearhead Jobim worked a tropi-cool approach so austere, it sounded almost erotic, and the Getz-Gilberto matchup brought a stone-jazz hep to the music, others infused their native style with a gleaming dose of pop. Walter Wonderley’s “Summer Samba” dug into steamy, deep organ grooves, but it was the mighty Sergio Mendes who really nailed it, serving up bright, stickily irresistible confections that layered deep tradition with high-gloss cocktail-hour bubblegum, resulting in a deck of insanely crave-able records that still stands alone today. Mendes, of course, is far more prone to legit Latin-jazz expression these days, but, with classic calling cards like “Mais Que Nada” and his superb version of “The Look of Love,” the pianist is certain to deliver the best of both worlds. (Jonny Whiteside)

School of the Seven Bells at the Henry Fonda Theater

Legend has it that the School of Seven Bells was a legendary South American pickpocket academy. Whether that’s a myth or not, it’s also the name of a young, mystical-sounding Brooklyn-based band. Formed by graduates of Secret Machine (guitarist Ben Curtis) and On! Air! Library! (twin-sister vocalists Claudia and Alejandra Deheza), SVIIB cast an alluring spell on their recently released debut full-length, Alpinisms (Ghostly International), weaving together a hypnotic blend of shoegazing rock, dreamy electro-pop and trance-dance hymns. At their lightest, they sound like Enya with an edge, as the Deheza sisters’ airy vocals float over gently pulsating beats. But when everything coalesces (on songs like the majestic album closer, “My Cabal,” and the Middle Eastern–accented “Wired for Light”), the exotic music transports listeners to an otherworldly plane that swirls with ethereal grooves. It will be interesting to see how the trio (well paired with French ambient popsters M83) re-create their lushly atmospheric sound live, with Curtis handling guitar and drum samples, while Alejandra Deheza plays keyboards, and sister Claudia is on guitar. (Michael Berick)

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