Desaparecidos -- See Monday
Desaparecidos -- See Monday
Photo courtesy of Saddle Creek

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Monday, November 4



While it's tempting to associate anything Conor Oberst-related as moody, dark and emotional, these stereotypes do not define one of his most fleeting projects, Desaparecidos. This politically charged band thrives on the sociopolitical state of affairs, taking inspiration by happenings in America that most people just gripe about. Spearheaded by Oberst, the vocals are raw and pointed, but it's the heavy distortion and slashing punk riffs that pull a different kind of audience than the one that shows up for most Bright Eyes sets. Lyrically, Desaparecidos takes on civil rights, the abuse of the American population, the hacker group Anonymous and violence against undocumented immigrants. In fact, the group's breakout single, "The Happiest Place on Earth" announced, "I don't want to be ashamed to be an American/But opportunity/No it don't exist." This angry output proves Oberst to be a surprisingly great punk musician who continues to be delightfully unpredictable. With a history of multiple hiatuses, the probability of Desaparecidos officially calling it quits is high enough that you should really take advantage of the opportunity to see them while they still exist. --Britt Witt

Tuesday, November 5



Dan Bejar is a man of big ideas, big feelings and big sounds, but to the chagrin of his fans, he's been laying low recently. It has been more than two years since the eccentric poet-cum-rocker released Kaputt, his greatest work to date, and after his current tour, he's not hitting the road again for another two years. Thanks to its high-art, low-stakes melodies, Kaputt fused Bejar's introspective, vice-ridden lyrics, lush instrumentation and dreamy, retro palette into the loveliest, densest release in Bejar's prolific history with Destroyer. There's a lot to unfold inside Kaputt, which makes it almost OK that Bejar has hinted that he'll play only a couple of new songs, max, on this tour. In the meantime, we're just glad the man himself is not kaput. --Kelsey Whipple

Wednesday, November 6

Meat Puppets, Golden Sombrero


If there's more jangle than mangle in the songs on the Meat Puppets' 14th album, Rat Farm, it shouldn't be a big surprise. Sunny, folkie shuffles have always sprouted like dandelions throughout their earlier records, and any rats on this farm appear to be blissful and content rather than particularly menacing. Apart from their crazed debut album, the Arizona cowpunk trio have always been more cow than punk, and new tracks like "You Don't Know" and "Leave Your Head Alone" lope along with soothing, laid-back vocals atop Curt Kirkwood's occasionally florid eruptions of Hendrix-y lead guitar. Golden Sombrero is a new band from former Gun Club and Pontiac Brothers guitarist Ward Dotson. Despite the Western-sounding moniker, Golden Sombrero aren't chasing old ghosts on some lost highway. Instead, Dotson is indulging in his love of '60s pop and covering tunes by Burt Bacharach. --Falling James

Thursday, November 7

Jonathan Wilson


Jonathan Wilson is the guy behind the guys and the girls making music that comes from (or that sounds like it comes from) a cozy little cabin in Laurel Canyon. Father John Misty, Mia Doi Todd, Jenny O., Leslie Stevens, Farmer Dave and anybody else you'd picture sitting around a big, wooden picnic table as the sun sinks through the smog all have a connection with Wilson, the same way it seemed that Guy Clark knew every up-and-coming country outlaw in Nashville in the '70s. Wilson's just-out album, Fanfare, has guests including Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and David Crosby, whose zoned and lonesome If I Could Only Remember My Name is as crucial an inspiration here as Dennis Wilson's sleeper masterpiece Pacific Ocean Blue. It's an album that starts slow but lasts forever. --Chris Ziegler

Mazzy Star


Mazzy Star's music, like their recent career, seldom hurries, seldom worries about making the expected impression -- or, indeed, about being heard at all. Apparently at least 13 years in the making, the band's fourth album, Seasons of Your Day, released in September, radiates a sleepy, fleeting-meeting sensation of nostalgia both for what was and for what was promised, or even merely implied. Defying the yawning gap since 1996's Among My Swan, Seasons is but a subtle evolution for these Santa Monicans: perhaps less layered and cluttered than prior releases, yet Hope Sandoval's floaty vocals are still girlishly elusive amidst faux-folk and quasi-country (including slide and pedal steel) guitars. The cumulative effect remains woozily bluesy, introverted and enveloping: like catching yourself inexplicably staring into space in a crowded room. --Paul Rogers

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