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San Diego Shows–Wednesday, August 2

September 2, 2009 - 9:51 am

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PLAN A: The Boxing Lesson, io echo, Useless Keys @ The Casbah–Austin’s The Boxing Lesson describes their sound as “psychedelic progressive indie space rock” but that’s a bit of a misnomer. That makes me think of bands like Mars Volta (although they’re not really indie) and Brian Jonestown Massacre. With a few exceptions (the single, “Dark Side of the Moog” being one of them), I hear a lot more of bands like Doves, Low and Elbow in their somnolent, droning soundwaves. The type of music you’d hear on “Big Sonic Chill” or in those really hip opium dens that only exist in movies, their 2008 album, Wild Streaks & Windy Days, was a blog favorite last year. io echo is already well on her way to becoming the queen of the L.A. scenester scene. Model looks, snazzy fashion, decent voice (although not exactly classically beautiful, but who is these days?) and she already has friends in Trent Reznor, The Duke Spirit and A Place to Bury Strangers. And while it ain’t no iPod commercial, her song “Doorway” was just featured in a Palm Pre cel phone ad (it’s that one with the chorus that goes, “you get right under my skin!”) which only generated more buzz. It’s not all good, but it’s good enough to make waves I guess. Finally, Useless Keys are another L.A. band you should watch out for. Shoegaze-inspired indie rock in the vein of Black Angels, The Warlocks and some of The Pixies’ darker stuff. Their currently working with producer and mixer Rich Parker, who has been behind the boards for some of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s better material. PLAN B: Wendy Darling, DJ Ana Sia, Sunshine to Silicone, Audible Mainframe, The Heavy Guilt @ Ruby Room–Not sure when all these bands are going on, and this has to one of the more bizarre lineups I’ve ever seen (indie-rock, electro, rap and acoustic folk all in the same night?), but the crucial bands to see would be Wendy Darling, Audible Mainframe and Heavy Guilt. Wendy Darling is a Rilo Kiley-type indie-rock quartet who used to be based here, but bounced to the Bay Area a few months ago (shortly after we did a feature on them). Amazon frontwoman Cori Rush has some pipes on her, and they’ve already scored some overseas success with their last album, Half-Told Bedtime Stories. L.A.-via-Boston rap group Audible Mainframe are, well, just okay, but I give them props for having a live band and for managing to sample both Public Enemy’s “Bring The Noise” and R. Kelly’s “Real Talk” in the same song. Finally, The Heavy Guilt are a promising new local folk-rock outfit. They’re not all the way there yet and they should definitely focus more on moody death dirges like “Clove” than the white-boy blues of “Let This Daylight Rest in Peace,” but I’m definitely keeping my eye on these guys.  BACKUP PLAN: Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! @ U-31–Why? Because Ramones tribute bands are fun. 

Boxing Lesson video for “Dark Side of the Moog.” Photo above by Manual Nauta.

QUICK PICKS:

Israel Vibration, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Belly Up

Joe Wood & The Lonely Ones @ Hensley’s Flying Elephant Pub & Grill

“Knight Vision” (Drum & Bass) night @ Kadan Club

Disaster Us, DJ Barnesey @ Radio Room

Lady Dottie & The Diamonds @ Henry’s Pub

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