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Rock Picks: Pink, the Grates, Doug Paisley, Ooh La L.A. Festival 

Also, Slavic Soul Party, Pet Shop Boys, the Humpers and others

Wednesday, Sep 16 2009
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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Pink, the Ting Tings at Staples Center
No one who heard Pink’s debut single, 2000’s “There You Go,” could have guessed that the woman born Alecia Moore 30 years ago would go on to spend the next decade as one of America’s most compelling, least predictable pop stars. Yet that’s exactly what she’s done, and reports from Australia — where Pink recently wrapped a sold-out 58-date tour in support of last year’s Funhouse — suggest that her latest jaunt is her boldest so far. Expect a circus-themed spectacle with no shortage of costumes, choreography or high-flying aerial work, and don’t be surprised when she steps to covering the virtually uncoverable “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Not unlike Pink, the Ting Tings, from England, seemed like they should have disappeared without a trace following “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” their perky iPod-spot hit. Instead, they’ve stuck around and made an unexpected incursion into middle America. (Mikael Wood)

 

click to flip through (3) MARCUS LEATHERDALE - A vintage photo of the Avengers, the influential first-wave punk band
  • Marcus Leatherdale
  • A vintage photo of the Avengers, the influential first-wave punk band
   
 

The Humpers at Alex’s Bar
You don’t see rock & roll bills like this one very often anymore. Sure, there’s a veritable horde of nouveau corporate emo-punk bands out there these days, but none of them combines the slam-tastic fury of elemental, O.G-style punk chords with unexpectedly witty lyrical inversions in quite the same daft, booze-soaked manner as the Humpers. With lead singer Scott “Deluxe” Drake visiting from his current home in Oregon, these “Soul Surgeons” reunite tonight for an all-inclusive “Loser’s Club” in their old L.B.C. stomping grounds. And “stomping” is probably the correct word to describe the Humpers’ hard-driving attack, which eschews the militant fussiness of hardcore-punk ritualism in favor of a more recklessly hedonistic drive that draws equally from Iggy Pop, the MC5, Johnny Thunders and the Rolling Stones, with a smidgeon of ’50s R&B sassiness. Also at the Redwood Bar & Grill, Sat. (Falling James)

 

Also playing Friday:

DEAD MAN’S BONES, THE SILVERLAKE CONSERVATORY CHOIR at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater; LITTLE BOOTS, MUSIC GO MUSIC, YES GIANTES at the Roxy; HAPPY MONDAYS, PSYCHEDELIC FURS, AMUSEMENT PARKS ON FIRE at Club Nokia; PILAR DIAZ, VERY BE CAREFUL at the Mint; MEAT PUPPETS, DEAD CONFEDERATE, UME at El Rey Theatre; BLINK-182, FALL OUT BOY, THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater; NIGHT HORSE, SEA OF AIR, EMERALDS at the Bootleg Theater; JON BRION at Largo at the Coronet; ROBBIE FULKS at McCabe’s; STAN RIDGWAY at the Folk Music Center (Claremont); SACCHARINE TRUST, THE URINALS, THE CHUCK DUKOWSKI SEXTET at the Smell; GIPSY KINGS at the Greek Theatre.

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Big Whup Records Release Party feat. So Many Wizards, Voice on Tape, Big Whup at the Smell
Not really a label per se, Big Whup Industries is more of a party machine collective, promoting partnerships with fun, lo-fi bands from the O.C., Inland Empire and Los Angeles–areas in a loose-knit group that’s just begun to promote itself on college radio airwaves (particularly on KUCI, out of Irvine, and KSPC, broadcasting from the Claremont Colleges). Big Whup — the actual band and masterminds behind B.W.I. — are hosting tonight’s release party for What Is Happening ... , Big Whup Industries’ first CD launch ever and a compilation of favorites from many of the affiliated bands highlighting the variety of their local scenes, including the frisky “Bummer Summer” by San Francisco duo Jonesin’, and “Harmoniums” by L.A.’s go-go shouters Puppy Dog. Free copies of the compilation are here tonight — but only while supplies last. Be sure to check out sets by the sweet and sleepy one-man band So Many Wizards, Nicole Kidman (a.k.a. Jon Barba), with his Daniel Johnston–esque tremble, and Ontario’s Voice on Tape, who generate silky soundscapes. (Wendy Gilmartin)

 

The Grates at Spaceland
Brisbane, Australia, trio the Grates come from a land Down Under, but they might as well come from another planet because their chirpy, punky art-pop tunes are not only insanely catchy, they really don’t sound like anyone else. There are scraps and traces and occasional similarities to groups like the Breeders and Dressy Bessy, but those are probably accidental intersections, as the Grates seem determined to carve out their own weirdly meandering musical path. On their latest CD, Teeth Lost, Hearts Won, singer Patience Hodgson tries on a variety of colorful pop disguises, from churning and jangling (“When You’re Scared of Dogs”) and orchestral (“The Fun in Every Start”) to power-punk (“Burn Bridges”) and new wave (“Milk Eyes”). It’s another fine collection, although the production sometimes tones down the more eccentrically endearing twists found on their previous album, 2006’s Gravity Won’t Get You High. Onstage, the Grates are even more captivating, as the charismatic Hodgson prances about the stage and wanders across the dance floor, urging her fans on like an addled fairy princess/kooky camp counselor/cracked tent-show preacher. (Falling James)

 

 

Also playing Saturday:

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