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Rock Picks: Meshell Ndegeocello, the Sex Pistols, Weird Al Yankovic

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18Playing Thursday:

MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO at Galaxy Theatre; EAGLES, DIXIE CHICKS at Nokia Theatre; LAVENDER DIAMOND, WINTER FLOWERS at the Echo; JILL SCOTT at House of Blues; ELECTRIC SIX, GORE GORE GIRLS at Key Club.THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25

Gogol Bordello at the Mayan

“There was never any good old days,” Gogol Bordello madman Eugene Hütz declares at the outset of Gogol Bordello’s fifth CD, Super Taranta! (SideOneDummy). Maybe he’s saying that phony Gypsy-mania has bitten the dust; although his rambunctiously theatrical band draws on traditional folk and Eastern European influences, Hütz is more concerned with the here and now than kitschy Old World sentimentality. “I traveled the world . . . hunting and gathering first-hand information/challenging definitions of sin,” he declares on “Wonderlust King,” and his band mates do the same on festively eclectic tracks like “Zina-Marina,” where Oren Kaplan’s punk guitar bumps up against mariachi-like horns and Sergey Ryabtzev’s exotically serpentine violin. Science and religion collide with Yuri Lemeshev’s merry accordion on “Supertheory of Supereverything,” where Ukraine native Hütz declares in typically fractured English, “First time I had read the Bible/It had stroke me as unwitty . . . that the Lord ain’t got no humor.” Despite their worrisome recent collaborations with Madonna (!?), the Gogols reveal their own sense of humor on “Your Country” (where Hütz plays God and sends Stooges haters to hell) and the ambivalent ode “Alcohol,” which echoes the Kinks song. (Falling James)

The Sex Pistols at the Roxy

While this show would be more historically relevant if it were happening at the Roxy in London in 1977, it does mark the first time that the Sex Pistols have deigned to play a small club in Los Angeles. As such, the gig highlights all the messy contradictions surrounding the group’s ongoing reunion. There was a kind of nihilistic symmetry when the Pistols broke up following their short U.S. tour in January 1978 after releasing just one classic album and a handful of singles; it meant that they wouldn’t be lingering around for decades, clotting up the airwaves like the classic-rock careerists. (However, the romantic illusion that they were so perfectly self-destructive probably contributed to Sid Vicious’ tragic death and blinded the surviving members to manager Malcolm McLaren’s greedy machinations.) Is it really “better to burn out than fade away,” as Neil Young once clumsily put it? Isn’t punk nostalgia an oxymoron? While we’d rather see John Lydon doing something subversively creative with that restlessly churning mind of his (what ever happened to Public Image?), the Pistols still deliver the old hits with plenty of seedy menace. (Falling James)

Also playing Thursday:

BLONDE REDHEAD, AUTOLUX at the Wiltern; JOSH RITTER, ERIC BACHMANN at El Rey Theatre; AL DI MEOLA at the Canyon; SICK OF IT ALL at Key Club; JAMES WILSEY at Molly Malone’s; TWO TON BOA at Spaceland; GOOD LIFE, JOHNATHAN RICE at the Troubadour.

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