Stella Blue is closed, potentially forever. Nob Hill's premier dead-head bar and live music venue shut its doors a week ago for one reason or another. If you know anything about Stella's disappearance, drop me a line.
Monday, August 8; The Launchpad (21 and older): If the world were taken over by robots, and heaven knows it won't be long now, Dance Disaster Movement's assertively pulsating tracks would be prominently featured on the robots' iTunes party shuffle. Before that charming postapocalyptic scenario occurs, however, DDM has plenty to offer the ears of the human race as well. Somewhere between the Clash on a very bad acid trip and a break-beat fueled rave, DDM pumps out aggressively danceable music that would make even the most docile of crowds want to haphazardly flail their limbs about. Hey! Those could be your limbs if you stop by the Launchpad on Monday, when DDM plays a 21-and-over show. Joining DDM at the ’pad' is "noir wave" trio Kill Me Tomorrow. KMT is one of those bands that, much like a Jackson Pollock painting, draws criticism for not really being art. Upon a second, third or maybe fourth listen, however, a discerning ear will find that KMT's highly abrasive cacophony of effects pedals, drums, synthesized keyboards and various other disharmonious sounds can definitely be considered musical art. Heck, you can even dance to it, if you don't mind throwing your back out. KMT isn't just about fast-paced, murderous electronic rock, though. They can bring it down several notches on songs like "Liason" that have a much less chaotic and almost, dare I say, pop-ish feel. So go on and shake off those Monday blues. All I ask is you dance responsibly.
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Sunday, August 7; Atomic Cantina (21 and over): You might find yourself in a self-reflective haze after just a few seconds of Channing Cope's hauntingly soothing melodies. Even a short listen evokes a feeling of bemused calm that doesn't go away until well after the music ceases. Their songs would be fully sedative if not for sporadic, dissonant guitar notes added to more prevalent, subtle symbol crashes and otherwise understated guitar. In essence, the band is a less drone-happy stripped-down hybrid of Mogwai and The Shipping News. The San Diego trio, composed of bassist/vocalist Ali Deniz Ozkan, guitarist Kenny Schulte and drummer Chris Conner, has gained critical recognition for their EP Leaving the Ramp and their full-length release, 2004's Sugar in Our Blood. Both records reveal a band that shies away from complexity while narrowly avoiding high impact crescendos. Most of their songs are about five minutes long, which gives the band just enough time to develop depth without becoming tedious. You could sip your beer coolly and calmly all night long when Channing Cope plays the Atomic Cantina on Sunday, but don't be surprised to find a few tears at the bottom of your glass. Joining Channing Cope on Sunday are lo-fi garage rockers Thee Fine Lines. Their unapologetic, happy-go-lucky approach will provide a nice contrast to Channing Cope's laid-back tunes. Sit back, relax and nurse your wounds to Channing Cope, then slam a few beers and get rowdy as hell with Thee Fine Lines.
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Suicide Machines guitarist Dan Lukacinsky puts it right out there: "Punk isn't dangerous anymore, and it should always be dangerous to the government, to the establishment and to the powers that be."
Oh, hell yeah, Romeo Goes to Hell is releasing their first album entitled Two Car Garage Rock. The Albuquerqueans who label (or are forced by people like me to label) their music as two-car garage rock, or punk by default, came into existence in late 2002 and contain a year-old line-up comprised of Levi Eleven on bass, Noelan Ramirez on drums, Josh King on keyboards, Rachel Luhan on guitar and world-class ladies man Rexx Ruthless (swoon) on guitar as well. Everyone sings.
Consider putting on Ya Ya Boom Project's Pink Insides before beginning any number of grueling tasks. Whether it's competing in a triathlon or pulling mysterious chunks of hair from your shower drain, Pink Insides will give you the burst of energy you need to complete your endeavor in no time. The record gets most of its mileage from Marisa Demarco's vibrato-heavy vocals that are two parts Gwen Stefani and one part Agent M from Tsunami Bomb. At its core, Pink Insides is a clunker-free album of immediately gratifying and resourceful pop music.