Hope you enjoyed the wonderful weather this past weekend in the Valley. Here are our concert picks this weekend. Be sure to check out our comprehensive concert listings for more options.
When was the last time you thought about Cursive? Not the slowly dying form of writing, but the indie/emo outfit from Nebraska? Tim Kasher and company are still alive and kicking, and are spending the early part of 2015 touring in support of the recently re-released The Ugly Organ. This is good news for those of you who want to throw down the money to see the group but worry you're not going to hear the songs you want. If "Some Red-Handed Sleight of Hand" or "Staying Alive" were ever your jam, you'll get your shot at reliving the glory of 2003. And you should, because giving The Ugly Organ a spin 12 years later shows that the songs still hold up a lot better than what many of us were listening to at the time. Or today, for that matter. Beach Slang and Twinsmith will open Cursive's show on Monday, February 23, at Crescent Ballroom. CORY GARCIA
Napalm Death is one of the ultimate metal acts live. For the past 30 years and 14 albums, the grindcore metal act has been dominating stages with a brand of cookie monster vocals, political and cultural commentary, razor-sharp shredding, and balls-to-the-wall extreme style. Thrash avant-garde metallers Voivod, death metal act Exhumed, hardcore punkers Iron Reagan, Phobia and Black Crowne Initiate round out the bill. LAUREN WISE
The husband/wife team of Phoenix band the Love Me Nots, Michael Johnny Walker and Nicole Laurenne, has never been afraid to reinvent itself. The garage rockers in 2013 debuted their electro-fuzz outfit Zero Zero, merging 1960s psychedelia, gritty guitar licks, and new wave dance pop. Now there's Motobunny, a garage-meets-glam-meets-'80s new wave, with an epic power ballad for good measure, rounding out their debut album.
A collaboration with West Coast psych band Woolly Bandits bassist Rik Collins and his wife/vocalist Christa, Motobunny is alive with swirling organs, heavy guitars, stomping bass lines, and sultry-to-raw dual female vocals. GLENN BURNSILVER
On first listen, with the banjo fills and fiddle and rare, low-mixed gasps of drums, it would be easy to dismiss Gregory Alan Isakov's music as folk songs played through a Valencia Instagram filter. But Isakov's is the sort of mournful, pensive music suited for rainy days and worthy of repeated listening. Born in South Africa, Isakov moved to Pennsylvania and ended up in Colorado, where he established himself as a first-rate singer-songwriter. Part of his success comes from his tremendous stage presence. Quiet, often hunched slightly, Isakov approaches the microphone with his guitar and begins singing in his smoky baritone, somehow commanding the undivided attention of every person in the audience. Few singer-songwriters can own a crowd ike Isakov does, and it's part of his allure, alongside his strong songwriting, with its dense, tightly woven lyrics. His latest album, 2013's The Weatherman, is filled with striking imagery gleaned from the troubador's travels, including songs about finding a decaying statue of St. Valentine and a ballad to Amsterdam. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
It seems Cold War Kids are all grown up. Their 2006 debut, Robbers & Cowards, was released to modest acclaim, a record Jeff Weiss of Stylus Magazine described as "a good debut, maybe even a very good one. Whether or not this band will achieve greatness remains anybody's guess." But following CWK's fifth LP, Hold My Home, it's clear that prosperity was in the cards for the Long Beach quintet. The group's varied career has seen scattered experimentation, seemingly endless tours, and a tireless work ethic that helped the band scratch out its own niche. The blue-eyed soul jams about Golden Gate jumpers, abusive relationships, and crashing weddings fit snugly next to those of the Black Keys and We Were Promised Jetpacks. The extra indie oomph might have something to do with the band enlisting former Modest Mouse playmates guitarist Dann Gallucci and drummer Joe Plummer (who also worked with the Shins), or the way frontman Nathan Willett spits his lyrics out in moody murmurs. TROY FARAH
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