Loading...

Music Picks: Sky Saxon Tribute, Daddy Kev, Grace Jones, The Mekons 

Also, Jarvis Cocker, Regina Spektor, Ida Maria, Themselves and others.

Wednesday, Jul 22 2009
Comments

FRIDAY JULY 24

SKY SAXON TRIBUTE
at the Echoplex

With all of the recent hysteria about Michael Jackson shuffling off his mortal coil, the death of Sky Saxon in Austin on June 25 received comparatively little attention, even in the Hollywood music scene he once ruled. Before the rise of the Doors, Arthur Lee & Love and even the Byrds, Saxon’s Seeds were the kings of the Sunset Strip in the mid-1960s, churning out crude garage-rock stompers like “Tripmaker,” “No Escape,” “Mr. Farmer” and the hit “Pushin’ Too Hard,” as well as unexpectedly gentle ballads, like the poignant childhood reverie “Faded Picture” and the oft-covered classic “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.” Spitting out the breathless 14-minute garage-blues incantation “Up in Her Room,” Saxon moved the Seeds away from teeny bop into a deeper, more sinister variation of Flower Power, but by the end of the ’60s he’d evolved far past the linear confines of time, space and even being in a band. He continued snarling his way through an intermittent series of underrated biker-psychedelic-garage solo albums, but he also went off the grid, began living in a Hawaiian forest and worshiping dogs as godlike beings, and was a longtime affiliate of the idealistically naturalistic hippie cult the Source Family, some of whose members will honor Saxon tonight with their ultra-heavy space jams. Also paying tribute are the Woolly Bandits’ Rick Collins and other musicians from recent Seeds lineups; former Love guitarist Mike Randle, performing solo; and a new supergroup called Spirits in the Sky, with the Electric Prunes’ Mark Tulin jamming with (believe it or not) his recent collaborator Billy Corgan. While the Smashing Pumpkin singer’s blowzy indie-pop bombast would seem to be the antithesis of the Seeds’ feral rock & roll carnality, it’s heartening that there’s at least one mainstream modern rocker who recognizes the historic importance of that late, great howling-at-the-moon mad dog, Sky Saxon. (Falling James)

click to flip through (3) DEIRDRE O’CALLAGHAN - La Roux: electro-pop - dance fodder from England
  • Deirdre O’Callaghan
  • La Roux: electro-pop dance fodder from England
   
 

Related Stories

LA ROUX, IO
at the Troubadour

One of your au-so-courant U.K. smash sensations currently changing the shape of the universe is Brixton’s La Roux, fronted by red-haired firebrand Elly Jackson and her synth-man Ben Langmaid. Another in a longish line of similar duo-entities, their strong-girl/effete keyboard fellow dynamic La Roux’s strongly resembles Yaz. There is, frankly, not a lot of groundbreaking art on La Roux’s new self-titled batch of electro-pop dance fodder on Polydor, but it’d be churlish to say that tracks like “Bulletproof,” “In for the Kill” or the deeply Prince-y “Quicksand” don’t make you twitch in your seat and don’t make you need to fling yourself onto the dance floor and lose yourself in writhing, liberated bliss. It’s Jackson’s charismatic way of putting her points across, and it’s the beats and compulsive synth sounds, which are remorselessly high-tempo, tighter than a rat’s bum, and amazingly on-point. And the point is. ... Well, party like it’s 1987. ... You don’t ask why. (John Payne)

DADDY KEV, GLITCH MOB, NOSAJ THING
at the Roxy

Know ye that this night of killing electronic/DJ/floor-rotting bass sounds is a farsighted extension of the grand vision of hip-hop, and that it’s presented by Alpha Pup Records, a high standard of truth and beauty to which we all should humbly aspire. This More Voltage Tour features the Glitch Mob, whose literally earth-shaking combo of multiple basses, head-squeezing polyrhythmic drum punishment and spontaneous remixing madness sounds like hip-hop at the end of the world. Nosaj Thing is a.k.a. Jason Chung, with a beautifully noisy line in rock-strewn electronic terrain and unfathomably dense beats. (Dude’s accomplished, too, having remixed the likes of Flying Lotus, Daedelus, Elliot Lipp and Health, not to mention winning the Project Blowed beat battle.) Last but by no means least is beat-slicing/hiphop-shredding producer/engineer Daddy Kev, who’s applied his considerable skills to work by AWOL One, Busdriver, Abstract Tribe Unique, Freestyle Fellowship and loads more. (John Payne)

Also playing Friday:

DE LA SOUL at the Key Club; THE SMITHEREENS at the Galaxy Theatre; JEWEL, MICHAEL FEINSTEIN at the Hollywood Bowl; X, MARIA MCKEE at the Pacific Amphitheatre; VAN DYKE PARKS & INARA GEORGE at McCabe’s; MIKE WATT & THE HANGMEN, THE LIVING SICKNESS, BARRIO TIGER at the Redwood Bar; SEMI PRECIOUS WEAPONS at the Viper Room; JESSIE EVANS & TOBY DAMMIT at Silver Factory Studios; JOE BAIZA UNIVERSAL CONGRESS OF, DOUBLE NAUGHT SPYCAR at Taix.

SATURDAY, JULY 25

THE HANDSOME FAMILY
at Spaceland

The Handsome Family are really just the Albuquerque wife-and-husband duo Rennie Sparks and Brett Sparks, although they’re sometimes augmented by guest musicians in the studio and on the road. At their best, they strum and pluck folkie Americana tunes, which can be haunting and even beautifully scary. At their worst, their songs tend to be a little sleepy and corny, albeit well-crafted, such as “Linger, Let Me Linger,” which is the inauspiciously stodgy beginning to the Handsome Family’s otherwise fine new CD, Honey Moon (Carrot Top). Brett intones creaky country anthems and murder ballads with a foggy mournfulness, but it’s Rennie’s evocative lyrical imagery that makes the songs interesting. “Love is like a white moth sipping tears from sleeping birds,” she announces. In “A Thousand Diamond Rings,” she marvels that “The sunset’s a bird with wings made out of fire. ... The desert dirt shimmers like a sea of watermelon light.” (Note: The Handsome Family play McCabe’s on Sunday night at 7 p.m. with opener Daniel Knox, followed by a separate late show from the Mekons at 9:30 p.m.) (Falling James)

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Kate Nash On Her L.A.-Based Girl Gang

    Now a fixture on the L.A. punk scene with her all-girl band, Kate Nash is a London born and bred singer. She was just 20 when she released her platinum-selling debut album Made of Bricks in 2007, shortly after being discovered on Myspace and championed by Lily Allen. Then chubby-cheeked with...
  • Henry Rollins: Existing in the Moment

    I am still on the road, working on 10 Things You Don’t Know About for H2. We’re more than 140 days in, and a little more than half of those have been actual shoot days. The rest have been devoted to travel, voice-over, studio work and days off. It is a...
  • It Doesn't Get Any Weirder Than This North Hollywood Spot

    Carl Crew is mugging for the cameras. His North Hollywood performance space and oddities museum, the California Institute of Abnormalarts (CIA for short), is getting featured on 1st Look, a late-night NBC travel show. The show’s host, former The Hills star Audrina Patridge, smiles tensely, looking confused and slightly terrified as...
    2
Los Angeles Concert Tickets