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Sactown Rundown – Jan. 20-26

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Sac Press Reporter #1: “Coachella is overrated”

Sac Press Reporter #2: “Never having been, I cannot speak intelligently to that contention, but definitely doesn't stir my fancy.”

Sac Press Reporter #1: “Since when has that stopped you?”

Touche!

Drool seems to be filling the gutters from Sacramento all the way down to SoCal over the unveiling of the Coachella lineup, which features the usual diet of indie rock, electro tweak jocks, and a couple jam bands just for fun. And for some reason, Kanye West is a main headliner.

Do you like fishsticks?

Not that we specifically care about the Coachella lineup here at Sac Press – but the impact on our local calendar from some bands who may throw us a gig since they’re already in California that weekend, now that is a different story. Stay tuned to this space for any upcoming local concert announcements from participants of the 2011 LookHowCoolIAm festival.

Now, on to more important matters…

Ra Ra Riot – If you read enough reviews and clips about Syracuse, NY’s Ra Ra Riot, there’s a word that will keep coming up: “Think.” Exactly when did that become a bad thing? You’re going to have to put a little thought into things if you’re going to be an indie rock band with a string section and not let it play out like some absurd collaboration put together for a Grammy broadcast that sounds like a deaf guy playing musical Legos. They’ve been compared to Polyphonic Spree (minus the cult thing) and even more heavily to Vampire Weekend, but if you want to hear what it sounds like when Ra Ra Riot isn’t thinking too much, check out their trio of Daytrotter sessions here, here and here; it’ll give you a sense of what this bouncy outfit is all about when they take the thinking caps off and put on the rock star cups. Givers and Pepper Rabbit join up. 9 p.m. Saturday. Harlow’s, 2708 J St. $15. 21+. www.harlows.com.

Neil Diamond Tribute Show – The Sunday morning after Jerry Perry’s Neil Young tribute show back at Harlow’s, I was over at R15 watching football and chatting with a few randoms at the bar. I told one of them that we had gone to see a Neil Young tribute show the night before, and he started singing “Cherry, Cherry” in response. I like bloody marys too much to throw the one I was drinking at him. Plus, I paid $6 for it. I’d like to find that guy and tell him that if he’s that tuned in to Neil Diamond, his time has come. Even if you think that Neil Diamond is the cheesiest performer on the planet, you can safely bet that you’ve heard several of his songs, be they originals (“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” “America”) or covers of Neil songs (“I’m a Believer,” “Red Red Wine”) and enjoyed them without even knowing that he was the one who sang them. Or, maybe you became a fan by watching “Saving Silverman.” Either way, don’t you think a whole bar “bah bah BAH!” singalong will be well worth it? Neil turns 70 on Monday, and Perry had rounded up a few friends to celebrate their favorite songs of the legendary performer: Sal Valentino, Kepi Ghoulie, The Freebadge Serenaders, Gerald Pease (of Bucho), Hans Ebberbach (of The Nibblers), Brian Rogers (of Izabella), Richard March, The Blue Diamonds, Ol' Cotton Dreary, Vinny's Vipers, Jem & Scout, and Jeff Clark. 8 p.m. Saturday. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St. $10. 21+. www.theoldironsides.com.

Pets CD Release Show – A couple of years ago, Pets were the “next big thing” in Sactown; and just as quickly, they seemed to slip below the radar, although the duo of Allison Jones and Derek Fieth never left town. Guess what, they’re back! With dual guitars, drum machine and more loops than your average children’s cereal, Pets sludged-up, fuzz-coated and sassy (the Allison songs, that is) breed of head-twisting indie garage rock is hard to look past, even for the doubters who think they could do what they do in their own garage and do it better. Try it some time, see if you can pull it in this fashion. Their new CD “Ready the Rifles” is now out and ready to be picked up, and they’re celebrating it with Kepi Ghoulie Band and Dog Party. 8 p.m. Friday. Luigi’s Fun Garden, 1050 K St. (MARRS Building). 21+. Facebook event page.

A Lot Like Birds – Far be it for the Rundown to ignore a band with songs called “How I Parted the Red Sea” and “Ted Bundy’s Thanksgiving Dinner;” do you want to carve or should I? And don’t ask about the cranberry sauce. Kurt Travis of local thrash mainstays Dance Gavin Dance is now a full-fledged member of this raucous post hardcore outfit, and they’ll be holding court at Midtown’s newest all age venue with Not to Reason Why, Early States, Dreaded Diamond, and the Cryptics. 7 p.m. Friday. The Refuge, 1723 L St. $5. All ages. Facebook event page.

Typhoon – Like the Fleet Foxes relegated to a diet of Van Morrison records spread with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Funk and forced to play on instruments found in the trash behind bus stops (Mumlers fans, take notice), this juggernaut of an indie rock band brings their oddly funky and occasionally dingy brand of classically tinged garage pop to Davis, kicking off a four concert set at Odd Fellows Hall, put on by the same folks who provide Sophia’s Thai Kitchen’s consistently awesome summer patio concert series. Stay tuned to the rundown for more on this series, which runs through February 22. With AgesandAges, Brainstorm and Elders. 8 p.m. Saturday. Odd Fellows Hall, 415 2nd St., Davis. $10 adv/$12 d.o.s. All ages. www.sophiasthaikitchen.com.

Mark Your Calendars – February 1 – Holy cow, is this going to be a huge night in this area. Yep, it’s a Tuesday, but if you’re at home watching TV, you’re going to miss all three of these shows: Social Distortion at Freeborn Hall in Davis, Dawes at Odd Fellows Hall in Davis, or Clutch at Harlow’s. To quote Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: “You must choose, but choose wisely.”

If you are planning or promoting a concert in the Sacramento area, or just know of a show you’d like to see featured in the Rundown, shoot me an email.

For a complete listing of Sacramento area music happenings, check out Ann Freeman-Clement’s Concerts, Music Events and the Local Music Scene every Friday on Sacramento Press.

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