ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLEYou know how you read all these reviews about a band that's a combination of vintage R&B, John Coltrane and doo wop, and they say you can dance to it, and that it's influenced by War and U2 and Sonic Youth, and that it's totally post-punk, but with electronic flourishes, and that it still manages to have oodles of soul? You've read that kinda bullshit before, right? Well, mofo, believe it now, because TV on the Radio are in town this week.
See above for a (somewhat) accurate description, but add to it that one of the primary singers sounds almost exactly like Peter Gabriel. On their debut EP, TV on the Radio covered the Pixies' "Mr. Grieves" a capella. Like, barbershop quartet a capella. It's the mix tape kinda good, as are most of the songs on the new album, Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes (2004, Touch and Go). Miss 'em at your own peril. Not unlike the Sleepy Jackson, who was in town last week, they're selling out everywhere, and we're lucky to have 'em.
TV on the Radio perform on Tuesday, May 4 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Apollo Heights open at 9 p.m. Cover is a mere $6. Call 622-8848 for more information.
STRUCTURAL INTEGRITYSo, I've only heard a couple A Frames songs (and liked 'em plenty), but they bring with them some mighty endorsements. Byron Cooley and Thurston Moore came up with "great new scuzz-punk hump" (it took two of them to do that?), while Sasha Frere Jones, of the New York Times and Slate.com, called them "the best rock band in America."
Meanwhile, Jason Willis of The Knockout Pills, who are opening for A Frames, made a point to clue me in to this show, which he does rarely and only when he knows it's gonna kick our collective ass. So there you have it. Some high endorsements from people who know their stuff. See you there?
Head to Skrappy's, 201 E. Broadway Blvd., on Thursday, May 6, to see The Knockout Pills, followed Digital Leather and the A Frames; it all starts at 7 p.m. Call 358-4287 for further info.
ENON IS COMING!Boasting former members of Brainiac (John Schmersal) and Blonde Redhead (Toko Yasuda), Enon play a brand of futuristic, danceable rock that includes bubbling vintage synths and slackhead guitar parts that, on their new album, Hocus-Pocus (2003, Touch and Go), coalesce into what sounds like a real band, as opposed to an art project in progress. Still, the songs that Yasuda sings are more dance-oriented than the ones Schmersal sings, which are more indie pop/rock, to the extent that they could be by two different bands. Rather than sounding contrived, it merely keeps things interesting from song to song
Enon performs at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. on Friday, April 30. La Cerca and Music Video open at 9 p.m. Cover is $6. Call 622-8848 for further details.
BREATHY BRAZILIANNYC's Mosquitos have a day off from opening for Air, so they're stopping into Solar Culture Gallery for a one-off headlining gig this week. They started life as a trio (they've since expanded) of two New Yorkers who play a simple, jangly, often two-chord version of Brazilian pop, with a gorgeous, real-live Brazilian woman singing up front in that breathy, Brazilian way, alternating between lyrics in English and Portugese. Sorta like if Unrest was slowed down and counted among its influences Joao Gilberto and Os Mutantes.
Mosquitos perform at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., next Thursday, May 6. Cover for the all ages-show is $6. Call 884-0874 for more 411.
GIMME THATIn last week's column, we supplied you with a bum date for the Old Time Relijun show at BICAS, so this week, we're here to remedy the situation, as well as dish out a few more details about it.
Headliners Old Time Relijun reside on Calvin Johnson's K Records, which just released Lost Light, a showcase for the band's stripped-down, angular indie-funk. Think a more angsty but skeletal Make Up, infused with elements of Tom Waits, and you're on the right route.
Local openers for the hoo-ha are Sugarbush, who sound a bit like what would have happened if Talking Heads were way more atonal and fronted by a set of female identical twins; Galactic Federation of Love, who perform songs inspired as much by UFO conspiracy theorist Art Bell as they are by an imaginary post-punk Beatles, and have all who have seen them raving that they're Tucson's best new band; and No Bunny, a guy who dresses in a bunny suit to perform songs that often make people run from the room.
The fun goes down at 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 6 at BICAS, 44 W. Sixth St. Three bucks gets you through the door, no matter your age. Questions? Call 628-7950 for answers.
FOWL FOLKAfter performing at an art opening at Solar Culture a month or two ago, San Francisco's Sean Hayes is back this week to promote his album, Alabama Chicken (2003, Snail Blue), a collection of gorgeously dark folk songs nearly as haunted and haunting as the work of M. Ward.
Opening are Burd Early, whose fourth and latest album, Mind and Mother (2004, Western Vinyl), is bleak and seductive in the same way Will Oldham's songs are; The Strugglers, who sound like Will Oldham, if he was a '70s singer-songwriter in a good mood; and Jeffrey Luck Lucas, who reminds of Beck in downtrodden Sea Change mode.
Check 'em all out at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 30, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Cover is $6. That number is 884-0874.
ON THE BANDWAGONFans of Texas blues a la Stevie Ray Vaughan should check out Los Lonely Boys, three brothers who have adopted elements of Tex-Mex, Chuck Berry and Santana into a formula that has critics and fans alike wiping drool from the corners of their mouths. No less than Willie Nelson has proclaimed them his favorite Texas band. They'll be at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road, at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 3. Admission is $5 before 9 p.m., $10 after. For more details, call 733-6262.
Santa Fe residents Hundred Year Flood comprise two hetero couples that bring to mind the country-inflected college rock of the 1980s--get out that Trouser Press guide and look up Guadalcanal Diary, X and Dumptruck. They'll be at Nimbus Brewery, 3850 E. 44th St., at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 29. Call 745-9175 for further details.
Seattle's Dusty 45's infuse their traditional Americana sound--rockabilly to country, with pit stops at all points between--with a mariachi trumpet that makes all the difference in the world, in terms of distinguishing themselves from the pack of bands who perform similar stuff. Trust me, this show will be jumpin'. Check 'em out at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., on Friday, April 30, when they'll open for Rumble King and the High Rollers (get there early, foo!). Call 622-3535 for more info.
If the Chicago Tribune hadn't beat me to it, I would have described Vancouver's Clumsy Lovers by saying "the band's sharply played Celtic/bluegrass-accented rock can evoke the Pogues and Camper Van Beethoven." But they did, so I won't. Damn you, Greg Kot! The Clumsy Lovers perform on Thursday, May 6 at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. Hank Topless opens at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $6, and the number is 798-1298.