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Rock Picks

THURSDAY, APRIL 12

Playing Thursday:

VERY BE CAREFUL, YO MAJESTY at the Echo; TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS at El Rey Theatre; SAY ANYTHING, SAVES THE DAY, THE ALMOST at House of Blues; TOMMY SHAW & JACK BLADES at the Key Club; instrumental night with Ninja Academy, Trio Formaggio, The Nick Rosen Trio, The Dave Culwell Trio at Mr. T’s Bowl; PASTILLA, FITTER at Safari Sam’s; Robyn Hitchcock & THE VENUS 3 at Spaceland; Brandi Shearer, Amy Farris, Elana James & The Continental Two at the Mint; FU MANCHU at the Troubadour; AUGUSTANA at the Wiltern.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13

The Aggrolites at the Ex-Plex

Their third album, Reggae Hit L.A., doesn’t hit anywhere until June 5, but Aggrolites fans can count on more of the same “dirty reggae” that attracts skinheads, pinheads and gin-heads to their wild and sweaty shows. A new song, “Hold On,” recorded with Tim Armstrong for the Rancid singer’s record, is bouncy as shit and features that crazy Jamaican carnival sound. Jesse Wagner, Korey Horn, J. Bonner, Roger Rivas and Brian Dixon started as a bunch of studio musicians in love with traditional ska-era reggae. After a gig backing singer Derrick Morgan, the Aggrolites were born. To this day, they still have the ska-balls to lug an enormous console organ on tour with them. Pity the four guys it takes to get it up a flight of stairs. (Libby Molyneaux)

Honeycut, Peanut Butter Wolf at the Getty Center

Funk among the ruins: Towering monolithlike over a flat, dry field strewn with broken dance-pop dreams looms Honeycut, a Franco-American outfit with a blessedly raunchy recombo of the murky-toned mono-era Motown, prime-grit Funkadelic and a whole lotta “Some Girls”–type Stonesy lewd loose-limbedness, all electro’d up and greased for action. The Day I Turned to Glass is their recent release on Quannum, a gnarly, nasty batch of herky-jerky funky fodder revealing between its sweaty cracks the band’s welcome ability to write memorable songs as well. Stones Throw bossman Peanut Butter Wolf spins the musical mayhem tonight, too, armed with his special Roman-column-toppling obscure-funk/soul dynamite. (John Payne)

The Broken West, Mezzanine Owls, Silverface Champs at Spaceland

The Broken West is very much a Los Angeles band. This band, in true Hollywood fashion, went through a name change (their first name, The Brokedown, was claimed by a Chicago group) before breaking out this year. But more significantly, their music is a melting pot of Southern Californian sounds. Soaring Byrdsian harmonies match up wonderfully with meaty Plimsouls jangle pop, with vibrant doses of the Paisley Underground, SoCal country rock and Sunshine Pop blended in for good measure. Give a listen to sublime tracks like “Down in the Valley” and “You Can Build an Island” from their buzz-generating debut full length I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On. Or experience them live at Spaceland as they return to the site of their triumphant January residency. (Michael Berick)

Also playing Tuesday: GRAHAM WEBER at Molly Malone’s; THE FOLD 10-Year Anniversary Show with Castledoor, The Pity Party plus special guests at Silverlake Lounge.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18 Playing Wednesday: ELENI MANDELL, FISHTANK ENSEMBLE, CHARLIE WADHAMS at the Bordello; Kissing Violet, Experiment Perilous, Sin Division, In Lieu Of at the Dragonfly; AEREOGRAMME, THE TWILIGHT SAD, A NORTHERN CHORUS at the Knitting Factory; THE MERE MORTALS at Spaceland.

THURSDAY, APRIL 19 Eddie Money at House of Blues

The American Idol–driven craze for cover albums by fading pop stars has extended the careers of some pretty unlikely has-beens. But I for one cannot say I saw Eddie Money — the pushing-60 rocker responsible for indelible FM-radio anthems like “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight” — jumping on the bandwagon. Nonetheless, I’m glad he did: On Wanna Go Back, his new disc, Money actually sounds like he’s having a good time as he tackles deathless pop fare like “Higher and Higher” and “Build Me Up Buttercup.” (As Randy, Paula and Simon remind Idol hopefuls week after week, song selection is crucial; Money wisely sticks to up-tempo material that suits his cigarette-ravaged voice.) The record probably won’t win Money another ticket to pop-star paradise, but in a way it seems like he’s already there. (Mikael Wood)

The Barbarellatones at the Gig

When marionettes kill the Barbarellatones, they’ll cry little splintery tears. That’s because the Barbarellatones were such a labor of love, lust and lavishly lurid spectacle, a heady hedonism that some of us get a craving for when it’s all dressed up so garishly glam by the band’s heroically humanoid Robbie Quine. He and his mates have issued a small hearseload of records whose titles and track names alone are worth the price of admission: “Kentucky Fried Drag Queen,” “Baby Wants a Corndog,” “Love Is a Roadapple,” “Yummy Yummy Yummy” and “Wicked Wahine” spring most readily to mind; the latest is Interview With a Glampire, whose release is celebrated at this weekend’s shows. It’s all so very Ziggy Stardust, don’t you know, and Mott and the Cramps and Rocky Horror Show too. Esteemed guest Barbarellatones include twang terrorists Geza X and Insect Surfer Dave Arnson. Also at Bar Sinister, Sat., April 21. (John Payne)

Syd Barrett Night at the Bordello

There’s a fine line between genius and psycho — expect it to be crossed at Bordello’s Syd Barrett tribute night, where more than 20 artists, including Eleni Mandell, Pity Party and Nora Keyes, will present personal interpretations of the late musician’s compositions. The enigmatic Pink Floyd visionary and original Crazy Diamond died last year at age 60, having lived as a recluse for much of his post-Floyd life. Promoter Scott Sterling asked each artist to pick one song from Barrett’s catalog: Douglas Lee is performing his on tuned wine glasses, the band Kennedy are going disco and the Leviathan Brothers are doing “something jazzy.” Expect nifty finger pickin’ all ’round. “I’m not a musician, but I have been told that the chord changes Syd Barrett used are very eccentric,” Sterling says. “And his structures are weird and hard to remember — these are difficult songs to play.” (Caroline Ryder)

Also playing Thursday: NATHAN at the Mint; INDIAN JEWELRY at REDCAT; XU XU FANG at Silverlake Lounge; THE BIRD & THE BEE, PEDESTRIAN, FISHTANK ENSEMBLE at the Derby.


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