The canceled Jason Isbell show last week was a disappointment to many, but to me it brought two fortunate things. First, was a free poster printed for the gig given as a consolation prize. Like the ones that are handed out in San Francisco after shows at the Fillmore or the Warfield or the more local Asbestos Press silk-screened posters you may have seen around town, it’s printed on thick paper that will last being tacked to the wall for at least a year. The design is a symmetrical mirror image split down the center featuring lightning bolts, oil derricks and the front ends of a classic Ford Mustang all on semi-glossy silver. To be honest, I haven’t had the chance to listen to Jason Isbell’s solo effort that he left the Drive-By Truckers for, but the imagery all fits with the down-home working stiff cowpunk that I’ve come to expect from DBT.
Secondly, and of more immediate importance, was the first upcoming show flier from Abstract Entertainment that I’ve seen in months. I was pleasantly surprised. Gird your loins, folks, and start saving those pennies because the next couple of months are going to be a marathon for music enthusiasts who’ve been hoping for some decent out of town acts to come around.
First up on Saturday, February 9th is the Horrorpops returning to Sacramento for the third time in three years. As promised by singer and front(wo)man, Patricia Day, the Ã¢â‚¬ËœPops are touring to promote their new album Kiss Kiss Kill Kill. Like the last time, this show will be at the Boardwalk in Orangevale. If you’ve read my very first typo-ridden post (and I honestly hope you haven’t) you’ll know that a Horrorpops show is a great time, lousy security and teenagers aside. Go, and expect Day’s gravelly captivating voice, two pretty girls in candy striped dresses onstage and a whole mess of pompadours, flattops and Betty Page bangs.
Second is San Francisco psychedelic rock band Blue Cheer. Precursors to the heavy metal movement, their blues-based rock began in the Sixties but never quite made it out of the Bay Area. Now they’re back and will be playing at the Blue Lamp on February 23rd.
New York’s Balkan Beat Box, a world music duo with one of their members a veteran of Gogol Bordello, is playing on Wednesday, March 5th at Harlow’s. For a live show they usually tour with at least five musicians and, so I’m told, hit the stage wearing rubber demon masks. Drum pounding and saxophone wailing soon follows. If what I’m told stands true, this might even rival the Man Man show from a few months ago.
For those of you who want something a little lower key, it might be worth it to check out Hot Buttered Rum or Nada Surf at Harlow’s on March 20th and 25th, respectively. HBR is a California banjo driven bluegrass band. Nada Surf first made a splash in 1996 with their sarcastic teen focused Ã¢â‚¬Å“Popular.Ã¢â‚¬Â Since then they’ve put out four more records of which the latest, Lucky, will be released in a few days.
Sacramento’s own Jackie Greene will be at Empire on March 29th to release his latest CD, Giving Up the Ghost. Plucked from Sacramento open-mikes and signed with a local label, Jackie is now an established musician with this latest his fifth album.
And finally, for you hipsters, rock snobs and indie kids, returning to Harlow’s on April 28th will be Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks to promote their latest, Real Emotional Trash. For those of you who don’t know, Stephen Malkmus was frontman to Stockton based indie legend Pavement. For those of you who do, remember that last year’s show was packed and that Stephen blew the roof off of the joint. Get your tickets as soon as possible, and if you want the coveted couch seats in Harlow’s get there as early as you can.
There is also a tentative possibility that the nationally recognized Davis beatboxer Butterscotch will perform in February, but don’t hold me to this one. Dub Trio, a crossover rock band from New York will be playing in Sacramento on February 17th. Both Dub Trio and Butterscotch toured as part of Mike Patton‘s (Faith No More, Tomahawk) Peeping Tom. I can’t imagine that the band would stop in town without bringing Butterscotch on stage. However, neither Dub Trio’s website, nor Butterscotch’s Myspace confirm this. To add to the confusion, Dub Trio says they’ll be performing at Harlow’s while everything I see published says the Blue Lamp. So it goes.