It's too damn hot by half and I have stubbornly avoided the river this week, instead choosing to sweat it out at home. The reason has mostly to do with a leaky brake line on my old truck, which I hope to have fixed with a friend by press time, because I don't know how much longer I can stand this business. I didn't leave the Deep South to watch in horror as the heat fuses my sweaty legs together like a Chernobyl mermaid but if this nonsense persists, I will slither into the Mad and all you will hear of me until September will come in the form of alarming reports and sightings. That's a bankable promise.
Speaking of the South, I would like to offer a sincere rest in peace to two of its musical icons: One of the last princes of New Orleans, Dr. John, and the Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-raised, but Houston-famous rapper Bushwick Bill. May they dwell forever in the twilight chambers of our most mystical and haunted dreams.
Have a good one.
Lone Star Junction is an outlaw country trio that peddles in a dancing-friendly mix of live covers and originals. Tonight at 9 p.m. at the Jam, they will join the trippier western noodlers in Mojave Green for the kind of beery adventures that Tres Hombres-era ZZ Top mythologized nearly half a century ago. But unlike the still-touring Frank Beard and bearded company, you can catch this hot little gem for a mere $5. Hot, blue and righteous.
It's local rapper and hip-hop impresario Johnnee Angell's 43rd birthday and you'd better believe there's going to be a party at the Siren's Song tonight at 8 p.m. The big bash will be hosted by Pir8 and will feature a live drum and bass set by Tamaras Abrams and Josh Foster, as well as spoken-word performances by Vanessa Vrtiak, my brother Rufian, Turtle, Rockslang, Kswag and many more. There will also be comedy by Talvi Fried and the whole thing is totally free. Viva.
The Lil' Red Lion is having one of its epic heavy rock and roll nights again, so if you are in the punk and metal community, this one's for you. Zig Zags are a Los Angeles trio that makes a disgusting noise that would be perfect for a Repo Man/Toxic Avenger crossover movie. It's a loud and brutal sound, something to provide the perfect soundtrack for the desert planet death-race apocalypse that the petro-dollar economy is about to wallop Earth with if we don't all get our shit together real soon. If a jet ski could ride on melted tar blacktop in 130-degree heat, Zig Zags would be playing out of the speakers. I am told that the show starts around 8 p.m., and as of press time I have heard no talk of a cover charge and only vague whisperings about an opening band called Source. Such is the way of information in this brave new world of ours.
I've caught Los Dune Bums live a couple of times this year and I loved the slithery and danceably loose Latin grooves rolling out of the speakers, augmented with melodic and hilarious guitar pops. The Bums are playing Blondies tonight at 8 p.m. with punk quartet The Chonks, who are on tour from smoggy Los Angeles. In for the win as well is one-man power band Quenten Wall Of Sound. No official cover but donations are greatly appreciated.
The Outer Space has Group Photos in the solar system tonight at 7 p.m. ($7-$20). With a resonant post punk sound that rolls with low-range moodiness, this quartet is a good nighttime jam. Meanderthals, meanwhile, are more straight forward indie rock with a brighter sound and more present vocals. On tour from Washington State, the trio will be joined by local interstellar lounge act Tessoulation. Blast off.
Toby and Jack's is having another outlaw bluegrass jam tonight at 9p.m., when Three Legged Dog returns to the scene of the crime to wreak some more stringed havoc. I've rolled into one of these gigs and it was a fun fun fun time worth the price of admission, which just so happens to be a cool free-ninety-free. Can't beat that on a long near-summer night.
Sonoda is a four-piece fronted by Lisa Sonoda and serves as a live realization of her bedroom pop creations. Expect textures and melodies gushing with the sweetness and density of spun gelatin. Chiming in for the evening is fellow Los Angeles traveling band NewBalance, which hustles the kind of neo-folk sounds simply blooming in L.A. right now. And finally, a man who needs no introductions — largely because I've drained a thesaurus making them for him over my tenure in this column. I am, of course, referring to the inimitable mister moonbeam, a four-appendaged traveler of the gleam. Oh yeah, the place and time? Don't get too hung up on the material world or nothin', just mosey by the Outer Space around 7 p.m. and offer $7-$20 to the nicest person by the front door. The rest will come together just fine.
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collin Yeo has never walked on gilded splinters but he's willing to learn. He lives in Arcata.