A quadruple bill of retro-flavored girl-group punk rock comes to the Khyber Wednesday night. The Lopez favor noisy garage-rock abandon with everything pushed into the red; fellow locals Dear Althea do, too, although the trio contrasts it with moments of stripped-down tension. Both San Antonio's Girl in a Coma and L.A.'s Miss Derringer come with the endorsements from their heroes. Girl in a Coma, while adapting its moniker from a Morrissey song, owes more in sound and career to Joan Jett, whose Blackheart Records released the trio's debut and the new
; she also sings on "Joanie in the City." Miss Derringer have described themselves as "the Shangri-Las duking it out with Duane Eddy and the Misfits"; in other words, they recall early Blondie, whose Clem Burke sits in on drums for a track on the zippy
, due in July. Should be a fun show.
- Steve Klinge
Guitarist Rick Bishop has memorably played Philly before. After the 2007 death of their drummer, Charles Gocher, he and bassist brother Alan toured one more time as the Sun City Girls in tribute, gracing Johnny Brenda's last June with a combined screening of Gocher's experimental videos and a generous farewell set of brilliant material from throughout the influential, decidedly underrated American underground rock trio's 27 years together. As "Sir Richard Bishop," his solo acoustic performance at the Khyber a few years ago included a stunning, exquisitely complementary splicing of the Beatles' "Nowhere Man" and "Over the Rainbow."
Sir Richard returns tonight on mesmerizing electric guitar, full band in tow, to showcase his new Drag City album, The Freak of Araby. It's a cohesive collection of inspired originals and Middle Eastern standards, some pointedly evoking Egypt's Omar Khorshid, the late "King of Arabic Guitar." Bishop has long dabbled judiciously in international esoterica, and here the focus yields rich results. (Runs in the family: his brother's outstanding world music label, Sublime Frequencies, has quietly become one of the best.) This eve, the idiosyncratic solo acoustic post-John Fahey folk 'n' blues 'n' more will presumably be left to Philadelphia's eminently capable Jack Rose.
- David R. Stampone
Black, white, old, young - that's Sterling "Mr. Satan" Magee and Adam Gussow. Discount the disparity in age and background, and factor in the influence of the brassy Jimmy Reed and the guttural Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - and you have one of the rawest, most original blues acts of the last 25 years. Born of Harlem's Seventh Avenue and 125th Street, it could have been a prank: A foot-stomping, guitar-burning old dude on a street corner with nothing but a stool and a hi-hat meets up with a kid blowing harmonica as if it had drowned and he were trying to resuscitate it. The Mississippi-born Magee, 73, whose electric specialty was his open tunings, and the young, Princeton-educated harmonicat, 51, recorded
in 1991 and several other CDs on the Flying Fish label, and toured endlessly until 1998, when the road caught up with Satan. Now, with a live CD,
Word on the Street
, and time away, the duo is reinvigorated. Get ready for primal blues the likes of which would scare the stripes off White Stripes and the black off the Black Keys.
- A.D. Amorosi