It’s hard to say if the ol’ Rundown screening process is easier or harder when there’s a lot going on – but Lord have mercy, is it a big week here in Sactown!
And it’s not just this week either. In addition to last Saturday’s Ra Ra Riot show selling out (as has Friday’s Goapele show), has anyone else noticed that the calendar of concerts at Harlow’s has gone completely berserk in the last couple weeks. Just look at some of the names on deck: Kaki King, ALO, Murder by Death, North Mississippi Allstars, Truth & Salvage Co., Zach Deputy, Young the Giant and Rocky Votolato, just to name a few.
There’s one more that’s not listed: G. Love & Special Sauce make their return on April 13. Stay tuned to Sac Press for a review of his new Avett Brothers-produced album “Fixin’ to Die” and an interview with Mr. Dutton himself.
Let’s get back to this Davis-heavy week (the town, not this reporter), and one of the biggest Tuesdays you’ll ever see…
Sacramento Electronic Music Festival – The second installment of this event at the Townhouse has been covered ad nauseum, so it’s nearly impossible you haven’t heard about it yet. But if not, check it out here. Thursday-Saturday. Townhouse, 1517 21st St. $7 per day/$15 all day pass. www.townhouselounge.com.
Deerhoof – They’re up against night one of the SEMF (or is the SEMF up against them?), but this one is sure to see a ton of heads piling in to see one of those bands that delightfully has no idea what in the hell they’re doing. The janky indie art rock spun by this San Francisco outfit is based on the premise that the four members have actually cracked the formula to just what their music is supposed to be, but they’ve written it and perform it like the soundtrack of the journey it took to get there. There’s almost greater joy in a band that’s happier slapping around guitars and tangling keyboards like a spinning compass in some mythical gumdrop forest in an acid rainstorm, than one who will write more songs about the places we already know about. They’re kicking off their tour this week behind the release of their new record, “Deerhoof vs. Evil.” G. Green flanks. 10 p.m. Thursday. Harlow’s, 2708 J St. $12. 21+. www.harlows.com. Check out Deerhoof over on Daytrotter.
Lord Huron – San Francisco’s dazzlingly colorful Geographer are the headliners for this show, but it’s Los Angeles’ Lord Huron that might end up stealing the show. Before I’d even heard a note, they were described to me as “Fleet Foxes meets the Local Natives” (that description is enough to make an indie rock fan frolic through the proverbial daisies), and there’s not much better way to describe it. With J. Tillman’s Baroque chamber pop sensibilities and singing guitar riffs clattering with a wall of percussion and an ambient backwash of swirling, fluttering melodies and nature store effects, you can bet their “arrival” isn’t far off. They yield to Geographer with A B & the Sea opening. 8 p.m. Saturday. Odd Fellows Hall, 415 2nd St., Davis. $10 adv/ $12 d.o.s. All ages. www.sophiasthaikitchen.com.
And would you believe that from here on down, ALL of these shows happen on Tuesday…
Social Distortion – “In the first few days (after he died), I was like ‘we’re just gonna end this band now,’” Mike Ness told me back in 2004, discussing the passing of fellow founding Social D member, guitarist Dennis Danell in 2000. “But then I realized, it was too important to him, it was important to me, we started this together. It gave me a new purpose; I decided ‘let’s carry this on out of respect.’” To say that the band has been a revolving door ever since would be an understatement, but the constant has always been the enigmatic Ness, one of the grittiest frontmen in the history of rock and roll, and a man who has cemented Social Distortion’s place as one of the most influential acts not only of punk rock, but rock music period – regardless of who does or does not choose to recognize it. Although the band ushered in a whole generation of punk and rockabilly acts too numerous to mention, the heart of Social D has always been in the blues, playing gritty, gutter-dwelling riffs in the fashion of the most socially maligned rebel bluesmen in history and singing the songs Johnny Cash never got around to singing. They’ve just dished up a new album, “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes,” which debuted last week at #4 on the Billboard charts; the group’s highest first-week post in their 32 year career. Cheers! With Lucero and Chuck Ragan. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Freeborn Hall at UC Davis. All ages. tickets.ucdavis.edu. Check out Social D’s recent session over on Daytrotter.
Dawes – Although they used to go by the name Simon Dawes and identified themselves at the time as more of an alternative rock band, the original incarnation of Dawes really wasn’t, at its heart, that much different than this new Americana delight from Laurel Canyon. Their songs are still just like those dusty trails that somehow lead through the center of a bustling downtown, like if Pizza Rock and Dive Bar had somehow been opened on a non-descript trek in Colusa. Their debut full length “North Hills” is pure gold for anyone who can’t go three days without listening to a Tom Petty record – likewise for anyone who hardly ever listens to Petty, but loves it when he’s on. The jubilantly enjoyable Jonny Corndawg opens, along with Shannon Harney and Friends. 8 p.m. Tuesday. Odd Fellows Hall, 415 2nd St., Davis. $10 adv/$12 d.o.s. All ages. www.sophiasthaikitchen.com. Check out Dawes on Daytrotter here and here; and some Jonny Corndawg for fun.
Clutch – Quick, punch yourself in the crotch repeatedly and don’t stop until you’ve finished pounding a 16 oz. Budweiser. Enjoy that? How is it that Clutch’s hard rock wiles have a similar effect, but it feels so damn good? Lead singer Neil Fallon is like the dark side of Dave Matthews; the one that would have resulted if he’d never kicked the heroin habit (?) and listened to nothing but Faith No More and Led Zeppelin records his whole life. They’re the kind of rock band that appeals to your primal instincts, barreling right past the voice in your mind that says “I don’t like heavy music” and forcing you to let it fly loose, even just for a couple of hours. Who doesn’t need that once in awhile? 8 p.m. Tuesday. Harlow’s, 2708 J St. $20. 21+. www.harlows.com.
Mark Your Calendars – Michael Tobias & the Acidic Swamp Band – It's Tobias' first show in Sac since the release of his labor-of-love debut album, "High & Low." Feb. 4. Naked Lounge, 1111 H St. www.nakedcoffee.net.
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.