The good thing about spring’s arrival and the slog to summer – besides, of course, the start of snapper season – is the fact that so much more interesting shit happens, so I don’t have to waste my space writing about some awful Finnish metal band or a Dutch gothic industrial act that nobody cares about.
That said, I will still write about gigs of perhaps limited interest, such as Los Angeles hardcore band TERROR (April 21, Tochka, 19:00). Formed in the early part of this century, Terror sounds a lot more like the thrash bands of your childhood than the metalcore of today. Local old-school kids RAY open.
Although Finland is relatively close to us geographically, I can’t say I know much about the music scene, which is why the popularity of POETS OF THE FALL (April 23, Ikra, 20:00) comes as somewhat of a surprise to me. Not only have the won best band awards in their homeland, but the alt-rockers also recorded some songs for the Max Payne video game, which I guess is big with the kids.
I’m only writing about Swedish melodic death metal band DARK TRANQUILITY (April 24, Tochka, 20:00) to point out that their original name was the rather hilarious SEPTIC BROILER.
I didn’t know that PAUL ANKA (April 25, B1 Maximum, 21:00) played outside of Vegas casinos anymore. Now that I know, I can’t say that I care though. Anka’s latest aural assault is covering alt-rock songs by bands like SOUNDGARDEN and NIRVANA. Yawn!
Although I am getting somewhat sick of bands taking inspiration from French house – or maybe I would rather just that DAFT PUNK came here instead of bands biting them – sometimes it’s not all bad. New Yorkers THIEVES LIKE US (April 25, 16 Tons, 22:00) rock a style somewhere between HOT CHIP and krautrock, which isn’t so bad, really.
I am amazed that rather generic melodic punk bands like NO USE FOR A NAME (April 26, Apelsin, 20:00) still exist, but I guess that there will always be teenagers who like a small dose of anger and a clean guitar sound. A dozen years ago that might have even been me.
How much cred do I lose for admitting I never got into the experimental performance art of LAURIE ANDERSON (April 26, Dom Muziky, 20:00)? I guess you have to have had a psychedelic phase to really get into her poetic musings set to spooky ambient and tripped-out sets. I know people who think she’s a genius, and maybe she is. I’ll leave it at that.
Probably the best band to be brought over for the London Calling festival, THE RAKES (April 26, B2, 22:00) have only been around for three years, but have caught enough buzz for a lifetime. While easily lumped in with indie "stars" like BLOC PARTY or MAXIMO PARK, these guys stand on their own two feet quite well. Anyone who enjoyed visits from ART BRUT, THE YOUNG KNIVES or THE FUTUREHEADS in the past would do well to check this out.
The first day of washed-up Germans trying to reclaim their former glory features the SCORPIONS (April 26, Kremlin Palace, 20:00), the hilariously-old guys who you probably best remember for singing about the "winds of change." Expect to see Medvedev in attendance.
Day two features 80s synth pop group ALPHAVILLE (April 27, Kremlin Palace, 18:00), who apparently had a couple of hits I am thankfully too young to remember.
I have to admit that when I saw GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT (April 27, B1 Maximum, 19:00) at last year’s Avant Fest, I wasn’t very moved (MUDHONEY – that was another story!). To me, they seem like just another in a long line of instrumental post-rock bands, but I guess that goes a long way here. Locals MOONCAKE open.