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Home / Articles / Music / If I Were U /  In the clubs
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Tuesday, Jun 02, 2009

In the clubs

Lemonheads, The Constantines and Sleeping People head the list of the week's most intrigung shows

By Todd Kroviak

Wednesday, June 3

When DFA Records’ “dance-punk” got widespread blogger approval earlier in the decade, John Maclean was already on to some other shit, having pioneered the genre with overlooked Providence misanthropes Six Finger Satellite. Maclean surfaced with a new project (The Juan Maclean, naturally) around 2002, releasing several impressive 12-inch singles more indebted to first-wave electro and Midwestern acid house than Gang of Four. He dropped a pair of underappreciated full-lengths (2005’s Less Than Human and this year’s The Future Will Come), providing ample evidence that he’s the label’s ace-in-the-hole—the less self-conscious mirror image of LCD Soundsystem, if you will. Maclean gets the (un-ironic) party started with Swedish minimal techno composer and music-crit favorite The Field at The Casbah ($14).

Thursday, June 4

Since playing their first local show in more than a year several weeks ago, Sleeping People seem to be slowly rolling back into the swing of things. And by “swing,” I mean “awkward jerking motion”—the band’s take on progressive rock singles them out as one of the least danceable, most complex groups in San Diego. Support comes from Aspects of Physics, who are apparently San Diego’s low-budget answer to Autechre, and the lovely Little White Teeth, who simply don’t play enough around here. At The Casbah ($8).

Friday, June 5

Despite the record industry’s recent failings on just about all levels, the dudes at Thirsty Moon Records in Hillcrest have been keeping the dream alive for four years now. Even in light of their impeccable taste and thorough understanding of deep psych, punk obscurities and all things awesome, the store still doesn’t seem to get the acclaim it deserves. Well, here’s the chance to pay tribute. Thirsty Moon co-owners Mario Rubalcaba and Mike Eginton play bass and drums, respectively, for mighty instrumental shred-kings Earthless, who headline the store’s fourth anniversary party at The Casbah. Also playing is the mysterious space-prog quintet Astra, whose performance celebrates the coinciding release of their debut LP, The Weirding. Skate-punk thrashers Widows, hard-psych combo Red Octopus and kitschy butt-rockers Fuck Yeah will add to the festivities. Fellow Thirsty Moon co-owner DJ Jeff McDaniel will even spin rare jams between sets ($8).

Saturday, June 6

They just don’t make ’em like The Long and Short of It anymore. It’s clear from their new album, CAW! An Unkindness of Ravens, that the intense local four-piece isn’t in it for the glory, the money or—judging by the lyrics concerning “homogenous icons” and “matrices bleeding out”—groupie attention. They’re committed to the rock, kids, and like the similarly minded Tarrakian and GORT, they’re also influenced by campy sci-fi, fantasy and all things ’70s. Which is, you know, kinda awesome. If you’re a guy, that is. All three bands get heavy at Soda Bar.

Monday, June 8

In CityBeat’s oral history of The Casbah published about six months ago, owner Tim Mays said that Evan Dando’s Lemonheads played one of the club’s most “epic” shows at its old location back in the early ’90s. However, that was before Dando had a major meltdown due to crack-cocaine abuse, becoming alt-rock’s greatest coulda-been in the process. Time has been kind to Dando’s tunes, though, and he’s been generally well-received since reinstating the Lemonheads moniker in 2006. Say what you will about the guy, but “If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” and “Into Your Arms” (not written by Dando, but still) are two of the catchiest songs to come out of the post-grunge boom. At The Casbah. Special guests will appear but have yet to be announced ($18, $20 day of show).

Tuesday, June 9

Yes, Toronto’s The Constantines are far more popular in Canada than they are here. But their minor-league status in America belies the band’s muscular, anthemic indie rock. In a perfect world, the radio would be all over this stuff. In this world, well, you can figure it out. All I gotta say is that their show at The Casbah last Independence Day was great, and this one, also at The Casbah, figures to be the same. Long Beach freaks Crystal Antlers and Norway’s I Was a King open ($12). So, now that anything labeled “lo-fi” is “hot” or whatever, can we just get over the hype and give credit to the musicians who truly do things on their own terms? A prime example: Jeans Wilder, whose beautiful, heavily drugged ballads sound like Low singles played underwater at 33 rpm. His set at Soda Bar comes bundled with performances by feedback-laden industrialists Diamond Sleeper and Droughter and the mellower, nature-influenced soundscapes of Horse Head.