We went to the “End of the Road.” It was weak.
Hold on: Boys for men?: Three shows that will blow your mind and a swap that should blow your wad:
Boyz IV Men play Luigi’s Fun Garden (1050 20th Street) on Saturday, June 20. Yes, you read that right: Boys. For. Men. This trio from San Francisco makes clumsy, comic dance rock—not too hard, not too soft.
Speaking of youth: Remember when people used to write Primus lyrics on their backpacks and every kid you knew wanted to learn slap bass? That was lame; Les Claypool’s solo gig this Friday, June 19, outside at the Radisson (500 Leisure Lane) will redeem those evil years of callous-thumbed 18-year-olds and JanSport manifestos.
I had no idea that there were shows at Guy Fieri’s Tex Wasabi’s restaurant (2243 Arden Way). But at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, Life in 24 Frames will play with Lynus, whose farewell show will be the talk of the evening. Well, that and the pulled-pork, french fry, barbecue-brie sushi roll that’s giving you the leaks.
Pepto-Bismol? Nah: Try the KDVS Record Swap, June 20, also at the Fun Garden, for only $3 at 9 a.m. Vinyl is the perfect naturopathic remedy. (Nick Miller)
The process of a band accepting the realities of adulthood equals so not rock ’n’ roll?: Ted Stevens of Cursive is a conflicted man.
When he joined the band in 2000, for the album Domestica, Stevens had already found success playing with his group Lullaby for the Working Class. Then two years later, he began releasing albums with his side project, Mayday, on Cursive’s Omaha, Neb., label Saddle Creek Records, which is famous for distributing work by such acts as Bright Eyes, the Faint and Rilo Kiley.
And now, Stevens is touring in support of Cursive’s new album, Mama I’m Swollen, released on March 10 (the band will play June 26 at The Boardwalk).
But the side projects keep adding up. Stevens and Alex McManus of Lambchop have a project currently titled the Purples, which has been in the works for several years. “Every time I make a record by myself, I go about it in a weird way,” Stevens explains. “I learn my lesson halfway through and I change courses. Normally it all works out for the best when it’s done. But with this record, he and I just can’t seem to finish.”
In addition to the Purples, Stevens has rallied the Mayday troops back in the studio for another album. The only issue: Everyone in the band, like Stevens, has other obligations. “I just can’t get everyone together on the same day. And I’m equally guilty at this point. My goal is to get a record at least written by December.”
After 13 years of releasing records and constant touring and writing, Stevens and the rest of the Cursive members finally are seeing life as a musician in a more adult context. The days of late-night partying and shenanigans are long gone; a growing number of responsibilities are now priority.
“We’re forced to take it more seriously. We still drink and we still party, but there is a limit to it. There is a magic number somewhere in the late 20s when you hit an age where you need bed rest in order to function well, and if you don’t get it, you’re kind of brain-dead,” Stevens says. (John Phillips)
Ghosts and goodbyes: “The last thing I heard I was left for dead / I could give two shits about what they said / I may be limping, but I’m coming home.” It sounds like Jason Lytle, the former frontman of Modesto-based band Grandaddy, has had some dark times, according to the introductory lyrics of “Yours Truly, the Commuter,” the first track of his recent solo release of the same name. The band’s quietus came in 2006, and considering Lytle was the main songwriter and voice for the troupe, there are, unsurprisingly, unavoidable similarities.
Commuter, however, scores in simplicity, distinguishing this work from Grandaddy’s. Now living in Montana, Lytle’s built the album around heart-wrenchingly grum lyrics about the demise of things, uncomplicated arrangements of piano, organ, strings and, yes, some synth action (used sparingly and tastefully). The result is a sweeping, dreamy, well-textured collection that’s melancholic yet alludes to hope. With few flaws—well, one, mainly: the quizzically included “It’s the Weekend,” which sounds like it was made for a commercial, should have been omitted—this recording, full of ghosts and goodbyes, could be a contender for many year-end best-of lists. Lytle’s created a thing of beauty. (Shoka)