At first, it would seem odd that a mondo new wave band of Los Angeles elders, a klatch of Nashville teen punks, a buzzy Brit pop act and several Manhattan noise-oids would play at one show. Seems kind of a mish mash. But isn't that what the glittering pop-culture rag,
is anyway? And though New York City's The Virgins and the U.K.'s Switches are on the bill, it's Be Your Own Pet and She Wants Revenge that lead this sensational mess. Be Your Own Pet is on CD number two with the recently released
And it's singer Jemina Pearl and company's "Zombie Graveyard Party" (that's one of the songs), an album of richly dynamic sound shifts and nihilistic lyrics that somehow still come across as zesty, lusty and fun. As for She Wants Revenge, it's surprising they don't have a song named "Zombie Graveyard Party" since that title so aptly describes their synth-phonic new CD,
This is Forever.
- A.D. Amorosi
The Waco Brothers may forever seem second-fiddle to the Mekons, Jon Langford's other band, but by now, that's unjust. True, the Mekons recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, but the Wacos, his Chicago-based alt-country band, have been at it for nearly half that time, through seven studio albums of rollicking blue-collar cowpunk that's sincerely affectionate if often humorously satiric or pointedly bitter. The band of British ex-pats, plus a token Yank (the great Deano Schlabowske), is equal parts Cash and Clash, and beery, loud and loose rock-and-roll doesn't come much better than a live Wacos show. Witness the new, first-rate
Waco Express: Live & Kicking at Schuba's Tavern.
Or, better yet, witness them Wednesday at North Star Bar.
- Steve Klinge
Painfully handsome and obscenely catchy, the young British quartet the Kooks get a lot of mileage from their scrubbed-clean version of the Libertines' ramshackle pop. A dozen other high-profile acts are doing the same as we speak, but Kooks leader Luke Pritchard is solid enough a songwriter to have secured the band a worldwide audience after just two albums, 2006's breakthrough
Inside In/Inside Out
and the recent
. The latter finds Pritchard's voice as bright and flexible as ever, whether yearning like a penniless busker on "Love It All," adopting Coldplay-style earnestness over ska-flecked licks on "Gap," or flirting harmlessly with country/folk on "Shine On." And wouldn't you know, each one sounds like a single.
- Doug Wallen