Phony War

Les Payne Product starts a joke, which starts the whole world crying

At a recent Tuesday-night gig at Balboa Cafe, the band swung with authority, and Scribner showed himself to be a boogie wonder, basically assuming lead-instrument chores. Randall and Scribner are passable singers, but their grittiness is such a marked departure from the Betty Boop inflections and high-spirited campiness of Spencer that it might take some old fans a bit of getting used to. Spencer could not be reached for comment.

SXSW Hangover: All apologies to D-Liar, Sledville, and Clan/Destine for my glaring omission of their names in my SXSW preview piece two weeks ago. The rootsy D-Liar, a Tempe outgrowth of the band Flathead, played a Friday-night SXSW showcase at Iron Cactus. Sledville earned a slot on the sparse Sunday schedule, while Clan/Destine participated in the Native American showcase at State Theatre, a show headlined by veteran singer-songwriter Keith Secola.

Who's in town: The biggest show of the week, at least in terms of scale, has to be the arrival of the Ska Against Racism Tour. The brain child of former Skankin' Pickle singer Mike Park, this tour brings together many of the best-known Third Wave ska acts in support of organizations like Anti-Racist Action, Artists for a Hate Free America, and The Museum of Tolerance. The marathon show, which will be held at the ASU Practice Field on Saturday, April 4, includes Less Than Jake, The Toasters, Blue Meanies, Mustard Plug, Five Iron Frenzy and others, including the Valley's own Bombshelter DJs.

Also, Stinkweeds Record Exchange continues its tradition of bringing us the finest in indie-rock fare, with shows on three consecutive nights, from April 6-8: Blonde Redhead, Trans Am, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

--Gilbert Garcia

Contact Gilbert Garcia at his online address:

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