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Midnight Monkee Movee

We feel the Monkees generally don’t get their due; specifically we feel their post-TV-show film, Head, has not yet been recognized as the prophetic, stylish, post-Warholian tour de fun it truly is. Deeper, weirder and at moments more boring than the TV show, but really a must for anyone who likes film or ’60s music. In fact, Mike Nesmith has said he feels Head is director Bob Rafelson’s masterwork, surpassing Five Easy Pieces. (It should be noted: Jack Nicholson gets co-writing credits on Head.) In any case, the Nuart will be presenting a shiny new print of the film Fri., Sept. 8, at midnight! Geek out/freak out! . . . We meant to give you a larger, bigger heads-up about the Mother Hips show, Thurs. Sept. 14, but the heat wave melted our brains a bit. Anyway, this NoCal-ish rock-&-roll troupe have been around for ages, but nobody seems to have heard ’em down here! No matter: They are quite the wonderband for anyone who appreciates harmonies and Beatles-/psych-influenced roots-rock. Yes? Can you feel it? Are you much for Big Star? Okay, how about this: Go to their MySpace page and take a listen to “Red Tandy,” and all will be understood! (Kate Sullivan)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7


Tool at Staples Center

It’s heartening that a band of Tool’s sprawling sonic ambition and almost perverse refusal to pander can play a vast shed like the Staples. The listening public, it appears, welcomes a challenge. Tool’s new album, 10,000 Days, while still prog as fuck, is way more welcoming than 2001’s Lateralus, with freshly focused production and collaborative writing creating the comforting/terrifying surge of an intravenous painkiller. Tool’s substructure has changed little: arachnid bass visited by both unison and syncopated guitar; Danny Carey’s Kali-armed percussion; and the curious sounds that emanate from Maynard James Keenan — incantations at once menacing and self-flagellating, ecstatic and suicidal, exotic yet lurking in all of our heads. Make the most of it — Tool don’t do anything in a hurry, so Lordie knows when they’ll visit us again. (Paul Rogers)


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

{mosimage}The Vibrators at the Anarchy Library

Thirty years ago, with rock & roll limping into profound decline, London’s Vibrators leapt into the burgeoning punk-rock fray with drive and aplomb far more substantive than popular history has recognized. Often derided as lapsed pub rockers who jumped on the bandwagon out of sheer convenience, the band in truth was a prime example of the stripped-down, sped-up, street-bred sound common to the U.K. safety-pin set, and vintage staples such as “Whips & Furs” and “Sweet Sweet Heart” had actually been written a year or two earlier. (Moreover, punk in ’76 was hardly a golden ticket to success.) With a ragged-ass non-image and all the sophistication of a well-swung meat cleaver, the Vibrators, then and now, are a classic example of punk purity. Also at Long Beach’s Vault 350, Sun. (Jonny Whiteside)

Vashti Bunyan at Getty Museum

The legend of Vashti Bunyan grows through her rediscovery some 35 years after her misty, mystical debut, Just Another Diamond Day (then unheralded and recently reissued), which has been championed by the latest generation of “freak folk” musicians, notably Devendra Banhart. Vashti conceived the album on a sojourn to the isle of Skye, with a small donation and encouragement from soul mate Donovan; these are just very, very simple songs that draw one in with the sheer power of their quietude and their tasteful touches of keyboard, fiddle, mandolin, Irish harp, recorders and a small string section. Now Bunyan’s recorded Lookaftering with a miraculously true-to-form sound and helpful input from the cream of that aforementioned progressive-folk crew, including Banhart, Joanna Newsom, Adam Pierce of Mice Parade, and Kevin Barker of Espers, along with Nick Drake collaborator Robert Kirby. Also at the Echo, Sat. (John Payne)

Rakim at House of Blues

“Thinkin’ of a master plan/Cuz ain’t nuthin’ but sweat inside my hand,” spat Rakim on one of rap’s all-time classic jams, “Paid in Full,” off Eric B. & Rakim’s ’87 debut of the same name. Rakim became one of the ’80s’ most influential acts with hits like “Eric B. Is President (Make ’Em Clap to This),” “Microphone Fiend” (later covered by Rage Against the Machine) and “Don’t Sweat the Technique.” While Eric B. moved the crowd with his turntable twists, Rakim stood out with his poetic rhymes and smooth-flowin’, laid-back raps. Rakim hasn’t been seen or heard lately, except for the recent Hennessy billboard adds with the tag line “Never Blend In.” An individual he is. (Ben Quiñones)

{mosimage}Willie Nelson at the Hollywood Bowl

As the world’s biggest buttheads tarnish Texas’ name, Willie keeps country cool. You’d be “Crazy” not to love that laid-back, behind-the-beat Tao. You’d also be “Crazy” to miss the ever-braided icon’s Bowl debut as you guzzle beer under the big sky. Funny, as time slips away, the Farm Aid poet remains relaxed and relevant, telling it like it is on everything from biodiesel to weed and wild horses. And he’s prolific as ever. Last year it was a reggae album. Next it’s a record with alt-country golden boy Ryan Adams; we’ll get a sneak peek of that team-up on the final night of this three-day camp-out, along with a fellow lucky duck, Canadian songstress Neko Case. For the first two nights, though, it’s just Willie, keepin’ the cowboys heroes — along with the L.A. Philharmonic, pardner. Also Sat.-Sun. (Courtney Fitzgerald)

Blowfly at the Knitting Factory

Talking outsider nightclub culture? Yeah, yeah, Lenny Bruce was okay, but underworld African-American party records are what really kick-started the whole sick-comic bit. Those defiantly lurid slabs of free speech, pioneered and exploited by chitlin-circuit mutants Redd Foxx and Leroy & Skillet, opened the door for the most egregious perp of all, the proto-rap kingpin and all-around filth machine Blowfly. The gold-lamé-clad musical superhero has been flouting taboos, battling censorship and breaking up listeners for decades with his hyper-lewd patter and tender ballads like “Spermy Night in Georgia.” Still burningly hip (Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles has recently done two albums on him), the resolutely repulsive and inevitably delightful ’Fly buzzes mad as ever. (Jonny Whiteside)


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

Apollo Sunshine at the Troubadour

The 2003 debut by Leverett, Massachusetts’ Apollo Sunshine, Katonah was a wildly melodic li’l slab of indie rock multicolorized and deeply informed by approximately 200 musical styles and pop POVs from times past, the effect of which was to create about 200 alternative paths for the future of hooky harmony. The Berklee School of Music grads’ new one, Apollo Sunshine, is yet another 200 rock-psychedelia-power-pop recombinations, clever tales of the wonders and miseries of childhood that hodgepodge quaint, hairy-old-hippie strum onto mathy heavy stuff, with loads of dense, beautiful chordage, a sonic surprise around every corner and, mainly, spectacular twin-guitar caterwauling that’ll have you quivering in your floppy Thin Lizzy boots. (John Payne)

{mosimage} Japanese New Music Festival, Ver. 4 at the Smell

Just what is it that makes today’s Japanese music so different, so appealing? One can appreciate tonight’s energy as anything from fine noise rock to the effect of swallowing what’s left in one’s stash and turning into an orange shortly after takeoff. Seven bands with combinations of three of Japan’s finest freak-out musicians — Tsuyama Atsushi, Kawabata Makoto and Tatsuya Yoshida — hit like a Dada brick dropped on one’s foot. They wield names like Acid Mothers Temple SWR (psych), Akaten (improvisations with scissors, toothbrush and zipper), Ruins Alone (drum & sampled bass), Seikazoku (the ethnic acid of prog), Shrinp Wark (improvising duo inspired by the U.K. pop group This Heat), Zoffy (unclean troubadours) and Zubi Zuva X (a cappella polyrhythmic sound poetry). Omedeto means “congratulations” — now you have something to say to the players after the show. (David Cotner)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

A Tribe Called Quest at the Wiltern LG

Quest’s Tip has a once-maligned, now-esteemed solo album, as well as a much-bootlegged, never-released-stateside cult album, under his artsy-Negro belt. Ali Shaheed Muhammad has become a respected producer for a host of artists, including his group Lucy Pearl. And Phife? Well, we hold love for him just on the strength of his Tribe work. But it’s the three-headed whole that will slay you. The leading lights of the Native Tongues set are now revered rap elders, and this reunion tour is one fans have been clamoring for. Not only are Tribe a great live act, but they’re one of the few outfits whose energy and vibe merge so thoroughly with the crowd’s that a whole new entity is created — an ecstatic, brainy, sexy mass of roiling bodies and dope, dope rhymes. (Ernest Hardy)

The Polyphonic Spree at the Henry Fonda Theater

Though they’ve yet to time-capsule their massed rapture properly on disc, the Polyphonic Spree’s live show is a uniquely elevating experience. The Spree’s 20-plus members (it varies, see), in hallelujah robes and with all manner of instrumentation, whip up a collective ecstasy that would make Jim Jones blush. Talk of their being propelled by “extracurricular” substances or under leader Tim DeLaughter’s unhealthy spell is but a sign of our cynical times: Perhaps P.S. are simply lost in the music after all. Too often written off as the Flaming Lips via Godspell, they also drip doses of gentlemanly early Bowie and the laddish wink-and-a-nudge swagger of Blur and Supergrass — it’s little wonder that Blighty so quickly and thoroughly embraced this oddly addictive Texan troupe. (Paul Rogers)


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

Fast Forward, Joseph Karam, No Age, David Scott Stone at the Smell

The Smell raises the threat level to brown with an event called “We have some planes... ” in reference to the onboard declaration of the hijackers — and five years after 9/11, we can all easily summon neon 3-D memories of where we were at the time, how clean the air was and how nice everyone was to each other for a few weeks afterward. Fast Forward are overtly political mystery fringe-rockers; David Scott Stone premieres guitar works hovering between haunting static shock and rancid tone paintings. Wives spinoff duo No Age are cover stars of this month’s Maximum Rocknroll and may grace the stage with “Dead Plane,” a curled stab of organ-based cloudwork. Karam, member of the Locust and heir to the throne of costumed skuzz-rock abdicated by the Mummies, promises still more of that patented Journey to the Center of That Expensive Knocking Sound. (David Cotner)


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

Adam Green
at the Troubadour

With his old anti-folk duo the Moldy Peaches, New York–based singer-songwriter Adam Green seemed intent on keeping alive the spirit of early records by Beck and Jonathan Richman — emotional complexity expressed through musical simplicity. Now a prolific solo dude, he’s more interested in the opposite. On Jacket Full of Danger, Green’s latest, the music approaches the self-conscious grandeur of Scott Walker’s late-’60s stuff, complete with soaring string arrangements and sentimental wine-bar piano. Yet lyrically Green’s done some refining: “You know I wanna bone you,” he bellows in “White Women,” which comes a few tunes after “Drugs,” where he admits that “I like to do drugs, I like to have drugs, I like to hold a cigarette full of grass in my hand.” Green’s act is weird, but weirdly compelling, too. (Mikael Wood)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Golden Smog with Tim O’Reagan at Avalon

When is a side project no longer a side project? When it winds up the musicians’ main gig. Golden Smog began as a jolly ad hoc Twin Cities ensemble that included a couple of Jayhawks and Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy, with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy coming aboard later. However, their new album’s arrival finds the Jayhawks now defunct, Soul Asylum just resurfacing after long inactivity and only Wilco remaining a productive musical entity — and this Smog tour is Tweedy-free. So what do they have, then? As their more-than-fine Another Fine Day demonstrates, the golden-oldie core is rockin’ out in a wonderfully relaxed, surprisingly cohesive way. Still, don’t expect them to ignore their cover-band roots. Opening is another ex-Jayhawk, Tim O’Reagan, whose new solo debut is quite terrific. (Michael Berick)

The Tyde, Japanese Motors at Spaceland

Tyde front man Darren Rademaker’s devotion to jangly guitar-pop verities is so pure that the dude could keep making the same record over and over again, and it’d still sound like something of a revelation. That’s certainly the case on Three’s Co., the local outfit’s new one: Rooted in the same old-school West Coast source material that inspired the band’s first two records, the disc nevertheless sparkles with new life, a product of Rademaker’s melodic know-how but also of his audible investment in what he’s doing; I can’t think of anyone in the current American indie scene who seems more stoked to have discovered a way to turn his lifelong love of music into a job. Conversely, Orange County’s Japanese Motors hail from the post-Strokes school of artful disengagement. (Mikael Wood)


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

{mosimage}The Black Keys at Avalon

Smart-ass references to the White Stripes are of no use. The stripped, blue rawk of the Black Keys is no longer an indie find, considering it’s soundtracking ads for Victoria’s Secret, Sony Ericsson and the rest. But what’s left is the addictive stomp of their powerhouse sound, larger than the two skinny bodies — Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney, to be precise — that manufacture it. Well, that and a steady stream of earnest production, including the recent Magic Potion, their fourth full-length in five years. So the credibility shouldn’t be an issue, especially considering Auerbach and Carney’s full-throated live set, one of the best in the game. I’ve run out of reasons to write off the Black Keys. Also at Amoeba Music, Tues., and the Troubadour, Wed. (Scott Thill)

More Shows

FRI., 9/8: COCOROSIE, Avalon; COWBOYMOUTH, the Roxy; DR. DOG, Troubadour; OVERNIGHT LOWS, Safari Sam’s; THE OUTLINE, Key Club; TOOL, ISIS, Staples Center; THE WAILERS, 311, PEPPER, the Greek.SAT., 9/9: BONNIE RAITT, KEB MO’, the Greek; DECIBULLY, HUSKY RESCUE, JUDAH JOHNSON, THE HEADLIGHTS, Spaceland; FEIST, RUBIES, THE LONG WINTERS, Avalon; HEART, L.A. County Fair; SUPAGROUP, THE GIRAFFES, Key Club; TOTO, Wiltern; WAYNE HANCOCK, Safari Sam’s.SUN., 9/10: CUBENSIS, 14 Below; MEGADETH, LAMB OF GOD, Hyundai Pavilion; WILLIE NELSON, NEKO CASE, RYAN ADAMS, Hollywood Bowl. MON., 9/11: SEA WOLF, BEATEN AWAKE, Spaceland. TUES., 9/12: KARL BLAU, LAURA VEIRS, WHITE WHALE, Spaceland; LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS, Knitting Factory; MICKEY CHAMPION, Little Pedro’s; RELAPSE RECORDS’ CONTAMINATION TOUR, Mountain Bar; SILVER JEWS, Henry Fonda. WED., 9/13: IAN GILLAN, HoB; JOHN LEGEND, the Roxy; MAE, THE NEW AMSTERDAMS, VEDERA, Henry Fonda; SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS, THE PAYBACKS, Safari Sam’s; TIFFANY, Vine St. Lounge; WINTER FLOWERS, HARPETH TRACE, Little Pedro’s; ENGLISH BEAT, Malibu Inn.THURS., 9/14: THE ADVANTAGE, the Echo; BUTCH WALKER, DAMONE, Avalon; HEM, OLLABELLE, Troubadour; MEG & DIA, THE HIDDEN CAMERAS, Knitting Factory; THE MOTHER HIPS, ILL LIT, THE BROKEDOWN, Spaceland.


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