Blah Blah Blah

You say die, we say party!

Strange week in live music: a dollop of “cool”/undercooked MySpace bands; not too much we’re (personally) jazzed about — though Aussie psych-rockers The Lovetones (3/12, Spaceland) are really pretty darn good, more melodic and less worried than Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (the Fonda, 3/13-14, with Elefant and the Morning After Girls). (Hey — did Qantas have a sale? Between the Lovetones, the Morning After Girls, and the Living End — who headline the “Aussie Assault,” 3/13 at the Troubadour — we’re experiencing an Aussie, um, assault. What’s up? Isn’t it summer down under? Or is Hollywood the Australian vampires’ escape from killer UVs?) The new Goldfrapp single is the best T. Rex tribute of the week, we reckon (3/11, the Wiltern). But most curious is the quantity of “death” names (no endorsement intended): Agent Orange, the Adicts (the Vault 350, 3/10); Rancid, Orange (the Echo, 3/14); Rock Kills Kid (Key Club, 3/10); Die Die Die (the Smell, 3/12); You Say Party, We Say Die! (rumored to play the Echo, 3/12); Poison the Well (the Troubadour, 3/15); Black Dahlia Murder (HOB, 3/15); Napalm Death (the Key Club, 3/16); and, most disturbing, A Flock of Seagulls (Viper Room, 3/15). (Kate Sullivan)


{mosimage}Electric Six, Rock Kills Kid, DJ Jason Forrest at the Key Club

Electric Six’s synth-kissed power-pop is precisely what we need right now. Unlike sanctioned hipsters Bloc Party and !!!, the Detroit sextet wear their dance-punk hearts on their sleeves (“Dance Epidemic,” “Dance-A-Thon 2005”) in a pretension-quashing ploy that works brilliantly. And unlike clown-band Tenacious D (to whom they are inexplicably sometimes compared), these dudes are actually funny. Still, they can’t mask their staunchly liberal tendencies even when cracking jokes — “Mr. President . . . sending people you don’t know to Iraq/Mr. President, I don’t like you, you don’t rock” (from “Rock and Roll Evacuation”) — and bemoaning the legacy of the 39th president in “Jimmy Carter.” Up first is Rock Kills Kid, whose Bono/Morrissey–aping singer, Jeff Tucker, wears his heart on his sleeve because he can. With cut-and-paste maniac DJ Jason Forrest. (Andrew Lentz)

Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez at the Getty Center

{mosimage}F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that there are no second acts in American lives, but Chip Taylor’s proving him wrong. Taylor penned such hits as “Wild Thing,” “Angel of the Morning” and “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)” back in the day. Growing disenchanted with the music biz, he became a professional gambler. However, he has returned to music in a big way — in the last 10 years, he has released eight albums, the best of which have been his collaborations with fiddler-singer Carrie Rodriguez. They make an unlikely duo: the gruff-and-gray Taylor and the younger, darkly alluring Rodriguez. Musically, they find much common ground with their laid-back, Texas-style country music, and his rough-hewn singing meshes so marvelously with her more-heavenly voice that they sound like a natural match. Sold out, but call for possible late-ticket availability. 1200 Getty Center Dr. (310) 440-7300. (Michael Berick)

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House at the Mint

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House sounds like the name of a punk rock combo or perhaps one of those pretentiously titled indie art-rock groups, but the Portland quintet are actually a straight-ahead, no-frills rock & roll band. On their new concert CD, Live at Dante’s (In Music We Trust Records), I Can Lick Any SOB crank out unrepentant hard rock salted with just a taste of country, similar to Naked Prey or a rawer version of Slobberbone. Gruff-voiced singer Mike Damron stomps like a rambunctious bear all over Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” and twangs his way through such originals as “Walk Across Texas” and “American Fuck Machine,” which are juiced up by David Lipkind’s sweet-&-sour harmonica retorts. Even when Damron takes potshots at obvious targets — Christian homophobes (“Westbrook Baptist Church”) and Charlton Heston (“Dear Mr. Heston,” which echoes that gun-control ode on Naked Prey’s first album) — the rest of the band keeps the party moving. (Falling James)


Afrirampo, Dreamend, The Old Haunts, Spider & the Webs at the Knitting Factory

Osaka duo Afrirampo return to thrill the Knit wits, their style and attitude best summarized from the source: “Naked rock!!!!! Naked soul!!! Red red strong red dress!! Freeeeeeeeedom paradise rock! Jump! With improvisation.” Dreamend, three guys trafficking in dead roads choked with bells, guitars and drums, support their latest, Maybe We’re Making God Sad and Lonely, while the Kill Rock Stars label weighs in with the other two bands. Trio the Old Haunts boast languidly declamatory vocals delivered as if through a manual laundry wringer, as witnessed on their harried and frenetic Fallow Field LP. Unwitting grunge Alpha figure Tobi Vail (Bikini Kill, Frumpies, the Go Team) and her Webs bring the funk and bring the noise of rhythmically choppy songs nurtured from 1985 onward — she will serve no bile before its time. (David Cotner)

Goldfrapp at the Wiltern

Goldfrapp’s just-released Supernature is the kind of slinky, sophisticated techno-pop confection that could (finally) turn the group into superstars here in the U.S. Not that the duo — Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory — didn’t deserve it a long time ago. Their previous releases, Black Cherry and Felt Mountain, set a standard for atmospheric, synth-soaked melodiousness and dynamic — often decadent — showmanship, which hasn’t gone unnoticed in their native U.K. This time out, it’s more extravagant and more glamorous than ever. The glitter-rock faithful will lust for the new video for the single “Ooh La La,” which melds Ziggy Stardust–like vibrancy with a (mid-career) Madonna-style seductiveness. If the new stage show is anything like the retro spectacle of the clip, expect a fierce set that visually flashes back as it sonically moves forward. 3790 Wilshire Blvd. (213) 380-5005. (Lina Lecaro)

{mosimage}Cylob, Richard Divine, Baseck, Diskore at Darkmatter

Tonight’s party is billed “Darkmatter” and will likely showcase more hard-drive-cooking bleepage than all the laptops at next week’s Winter Music Conference combined. U.K. headliner Cylob is less PowerBook wanker than fiend for acid, braindance, fake hip-hop — whatever lights the crowd’s fire. At the hacker-nerd end, Richard Divine (a deceptively-fratboy-looking Atlantan) should bring a brutal set of IDM riding the line between groove and second-semester trig. Earlier in the evening, Divine’s labelmate Baseck will conjure equally harrowing glitch storms, while Diskore’s nasty blend of breaks and broken-beat will be a slice of heaven as long as you have plenty of tweak. Haven’t heard the cute-costume-wearing couple Sonic Death Rabbit, but if they really are — as their Web site claims — like “a metalhead swallowing a Gameboy,” then I’m there. BYOB, fools! 1334 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn. (323) 769-5844, (Andrew Lentz)


Paloma Parfrey at Beyond Baroque

Most modern poetry either slams — making The $1.98 Beauty Show look understated — or slumps as the most grotesquely dull drone since Journey to the Heart of Paint Drying With William S. Burroughs. Tonight’s erratic cataclysm salts music along with its airing of dirty laundry and all the soap that that entails. Paloma Parfrey, scion of the House of Feral, leverages her energy as lead ranter of the Sharp Ease with her improv combo, Los Angeles Boat Massacre. The players’ last names are shrouded in misty mystery, but the instruments are all clear: accordion, drums, keyboard, clarinet, walkie-talkie and trumpet. Bookending her are the toast of a town less known for literature than it is for amusement parks: Saccharine Trust’s Jack Brewer, She-Rat’s Oliver Hall and Silver Daggers’ Jackson Baugh. 681 Venice Blvd., Venice. (310) 822-3006. (David Cotner)


{mosimage}The Lashes, Figurines, The Cops at Spaceland

It’s hard for me to believe that the Lashes weren’t created in a test tube: These cheery-looking Seattle dudes play sleekly scruffy dance-rock that sounds like a perfect genetic splice of Hot Hot Heat’s jumpy white-boy funk, the Strokes’ swoony romance and Sloan’s retro-’60s tuneage. I’m not sure if singer Ben Clark is mimicking Strokes front man Julian Casablancas or if he’s mimicking Bravery front man Sam Endicott mimicking Casablancas, but does it even matter anymore? Copenhagen’s Figurines orbit the same planet of influences as the Lashes, though their European pedigree provides a bit more of Franz Ferdinand’s stylish sangfroid. The Cops, also from Seattle, get looser on their new Get Good or Stay Bad; they play like a genetic splice of the Replacements and Big Black. (Mikael Wood)


Opeth, Devildriver at the Wiltern

{mosimage}Looking like the staff photo from a mid-’70s community college, the mustachioed men of Sweden’s Opeth waft a stoner air across even their most regimented metal moments. Their oddly addictive concoctions are all about contrast: gangly acoustic passages and lava-lamp interludes shaking hands with melodic flirtations and full-blown, drain-clearing death grunts. Ever since their genre classic Blackwater Park in 2001, Opeth have been critics’ faves, and, 15 years into their compromise-free career, U.S. audiences are getting it. Opeth’s headphones-ready prog epics have often suffered from murky opening-slot mixes — hopefully, their deserved headline status will bring added fidelity. Trend-chasing veteran Dez Fafara wisely abandoned nu-metal tail-enders Coal Chamber to create the meat-and-potatoes maelstrom of Devildriver, who seemingly live on the road — full marks for effort, mate. 3790 Wilshire Blvd. (213) 380-5005. (Paul Rogers)


The Arctic Monkeys at the Henry Fonda Theater

{mosimage}The Arctic Monkeys’ DIY-via-the-Internet success that led to Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not becoming the fastest-selling debut in U.K. chart history hasn’t exactly caused fans stateside to go ape-shit. But just as we accepted Franz and Bloc Party with open arms, so too shall we pinch the Monkeys’ cheeks. Here we have again another synonym for Ferdinand’s spit-and-suave punk-disco, but singer Alex Turner has that quick-witted knack for English-small-town (Sheffield being that other engine of Britain’s industrial revolution that gave us stainless steel and Def Leppard) storytelling that’s all pubs ’n’ clubs, classic Reeboks, track suits, prostitutes and johns, and clashes with the fuzz. Time will tell if they outgrow their dreary environs (and file-sharing fan base), but for now, the colder the better. 6126 Hollywood Blvd. (213) 480-3232. (Siran Babayan)


Toots & the Maytals at House of Blues

In the reggae world, watching the legendary Toots do his thang onstage is kinda like watching James Brown shriek it out or Dolly Parton’s croon-and-swoon spectacle . . . it’s not exactly a rare occurrence (each seems to come through the HOB on a fairly regular basis), but you just know you shouldn’t miss it. Yup, Toots and his Maytals always make for a joyous time, and his soulful voice hasn’t changed pitch or power over the years. Gems like “Pressure Drop” and “54-56” sound as sharp and fresh as ever, even with the slightly embellished arrangements from True Love, the album he did with an all-star cast of admirers that included Eric Clapton and Shaggy. Socially driven bilingual groovesters Elijah Emanuel & the Revelations open. (Lina Lecaro)

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