Another hot date with your Mom.
Your weekly Mom update: Although technical difficulties caused Mom to redo her choreographed intro at The Press Club Monday night, the scant audience didn’t seem to mind, as evidenced by many smiles. Masked, mouse-eared and red-dressed per usual, she handed out dead flowers and the winners of this iteration of Spin the Bottle—or mic, in this case—received stiff frogs stuffed in their clothing, while Mom’s bum hung out of hers. (Shoka)
That other music-awards show: This paper’s put on the Sacramento Area Music Awards, or the Sammies, for 19 years running. But apparently nearly two decades’ worth of accolades isn’t enough for this city’s musicians, because this Sunday, August 19, from 7-10 p.m., at Empire 32-year-old Justin Nordan will present the first-ever SacShows Local Music Awards.
Don’t get me wrong: This is cool, because no doubt Nordan gives it up for the scene. But it’s still a bit strange.
“I think in their heart of hearts, bands love recognition,” argues Nordan, who lives in Roseville and has booked local shows on and off for 10 years. He says the 40 nominees were chosen in an “unbiased” fashion by a secret panel of five local music aficionados and then were voted on. Winners will be announced at Sunday’s all-ages Empire event, featuring Red Bull, radio “personalities” and local-tune mash-ups by 7evin. Cover is $10. (Nick Miller)
Where to shake ass next week: Is DJ Larry Rodriguez the most dedicated dude in the downtown music scene or what?
He’s throwing a dance party this Thursday, August 13, at Old Ironsides from 9 p.m. to close ($3 before midnight), which will be an afterparty for Jason Rudy’s Love Blade screening at the Crest Theatre. Rodriguez also is an unofficial hub for underground music and art talent. Represent.
Another ambassador of the underground-deejay milieu, DJ Whores, will present a pretty unique dance night next Wednesday, August 19, at The Press Club with Shaun Slaughter and Thee Mike B, who’s known for playing Banana Split Sundaes in Los Angeles with Steve Aoki and DJ AM, who—for the clueless—are the peanut butter and jelly of the L.A. dance scene. So, basically, these are your big nights: Mark that shit. (N.M.)
Second Saturday sounds surveyed: After spending 45 minutes hunting down parking in Midtown, I found a spot in the next time zone over.
The pilgrimage to J and 20th streets led to geriatric surf rockers the Retronauts, who ominously kicked off my night of mediocre Second Saturdayness and quickly made me envious of every person with a designated driver. A couple hours and two flash mobs later, I headed over to Cheap Thrills to experience the evening’s odd couple: The tail end of Call Me Ishmael’s set and ska troupe the Street Vendors. Perhaps I wasn’t getting enough opiates that day, because Ishmael’s wailing vocals and “postmodern mystic gypsy” noise was too much.
A hard-rock-fueled headache and hunger pains got the best of me during the Street Vendors, so I recharged with veggie dogs and caffeine. The band has gone through recent lineup changes, so while their huge horn section could definitely use some tightening, the band’s seasoned rhythm section and new material made up for it.
I guess one out of three good bands isn’t bad on Second Saturday. (Julie De La Torre)
Peeping critic love child: Musical Charis didn’t need an audience in front of them at Fox & Goose on Second Saturday; they could have played for themselves. They were great, goofing around and telling inside jokes that I didn’t get, and I felt like I was spying on a conversation the whole time, looking in on a practice session I wasn’t meant to see. The band sounds like if Peter, Paul and Mary decided to have a love child with Self Against City, which—surprise!—is the former band of Musical Charis’ lead singer, Blake Abbey. Catch their set this Saturday, August 15, at Old Ironsides. (Katie McMillin)
Dispatch—Los Angeles: The Smell in downtown Los Angeles is reachable only by way of a vomit-and-urine-perfumed alley. I realized that instead of Google Maps, I could have just followed my nose. It’s a legendary, one-of-a-kind spot, though, and it hosted two local sweethearts last week, Sister Crayon and Agent Ribbons, for their first L.A. gig together.
Agent Ribbons followed a combined set with L.A. bands VoicesVoices and Really, Very. There was a fair amount of technical difficulties during the girls’ songs, but the band gracefully dealt with it all. And when the microphones finally began to amplify, Agent Ribbons delivered an amusing quasi-cabaret show. Sister Crayon also had their share of a beef with the Smell’s techies, judging by singer Terra Lopez’s continued requests for more volume. Still, the band and local Chelsea Wolfe ultimately left L.A. audiences stunned by the talent trickling down from NorCal. Your artists did you proud. (Megan Hanson)
New San Kazakgascar: San Kazakgascar’s new full-length, Idle Ships, is snake-charmer noodling set atop plodding, repetitive rhythms and vocals that sound more like tranced-out chanting than singing. But the band’s unmistakably a Sac indie-experimental group, not a world-music project, and the blending of musical styles from antipodal sides of the Earth is not unprecedented; San Kazakgascar bears a striking resemblance to A Hawk and a Hacksaw, a two-piece comprised of members of Neutral Milk Hotel, in their fence straddling of antiquated and cutting-edge sounds. Typically a four-piece, San Kazakgascar brings in a cellist (Nick Julian) on “Slower and Slain,” who adds weight to the composition. The band plays Hemlock Tavern in San Kazakgascar Francisco on August 20. (Niki Kangas)