Got five bucks in your pocket and nothing to do this Thursday, April 5? Then get thee to The Siren in Morro Bay for a three-band show starring The Creston Line, The Mutineers, and RJ Bloke (8 to 11 p.m.; 21-and-older; $5 at the door).
"We're playing our first local show in quite a while, as we've been focusing on playing around Northern California this year so far," Creston Line frontman Jon Bartel explained. "This is our first time back to The Siren since we opened for The White Buffalo there last fall. We're excited to play with The Mutineers, who are old friends and stellar musicians—think The White Stripes by way of the Pogues with a healthy dose of Vegas-era Elvis! They're a husband-and-wife duo currently based in Portland and are touring a lot this year. RJ Bloke's band is Patrolled By Radar but he'll be playing a solo set at this show."
- Photo By Jayson Mellom
- AMERICANA POETS The Creston Line (pictured) plays a three-act show at The Siren on April 5, with The Mutineers and RJ Bloke.
I've been wanting to see The Creston Line again ever since they played last year's New Times Music Awards. I still regularly listen to Vagabonds, their 2017 release, as well as their Great Depression EP (2016). Bartel is simply a great singer-songwriter, striving to "bend things a little, making them noisier, looser, hopefully more human."
A lot of his songs celebrate life's blue-collar underbelly. One of my favorites is the title track off Great Depression: "You're my Great Depression. I'm your unemployment line. I've been waiting hungry since the day I turned 29. You're my dust pneumonia, yeah you rattle in my lungs. Every time I speak I taste your dustbowl on my tongue. Thought you were a New Deal, but I'm living hand to mouth. I built me up this Hoovertown. You're never gonna burn me out."
That's some damn crafty wordsmithing. Check out "1992" about Bartel's friend who committed suicide after returning from war in Afghanistan: "Built too many coffins, and I've dug too many graves. Got too much ink in my arms and numbers and names. Heard too many preachers say, 'Well you know, man, Jesus saves.'"
This'll be the best five bucks you ever spent.
- Photo Courtesy Of The Dustbowl Revival
- SOUL SOUNDS The Dustbowl Revival brings their Stax Records-like sounds to The Siren on April 10.
Also at The Siren, Numbskull and Good Medicine Presents bring The Dustbowl Revival back for an encore performance this Tuesday, April 10 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $20 presale at Boo Boo Records or ticketfly.com or $25 at the door), with Shook Twins opening.
Dustbowl's sound has really evolved on their last self-titled album, moving from vintage Dixieland jazz and Depression-era folk to phat-horned, hooky R&B. The L.A.-based eight-piece is fronted by sultry-sassy Liz Beebe, who belts out great Stax-like soul celebrations. This is killer dance music!
Shook Twins, an indie folk-pop duo made up of identical twins Katelyn and Laurie Shook, deliver "beautiful harmonies, layered upon acoustic and electric instrumentation coupled with Laurie's inventive use of percussive and ambient vocal loops, and Katelyn's repurposed telephone microphone," according to their bio.
Their newest video for "Call Me Out" is a swirly, dreamy, lushly rendered ethereal opus. This will be good!
Numbskull and Good Medicine also hosts progressive bluegrass act Hot Buttered Rum at The Siren on Wednesday, April 11 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $17 presale at Boo Boo's or ticketfly.com or $20 at the door), with the Jon Stickley Trio opening with bluegrass, Gypsy jazz, and folk punk.
Four at the Fremont
Marc E. Bassy makes a stop at the Fremont Theater on his Gossip Columns Tour with Rexx Life Raj and Gianni Taylor, on Friday, April 6 (9 p.m.; $20 general or $60 VIP at eventbrite.com). Bassy says he's still "finding his voice as a musician," but that hasn't stopped the pop and R&B artist from amassing a huge fan base since the release of 2014's Only the Poets Vol. 1, his debut mixtape.
Arlo Guthrie plays the Fremont as part of his Re:Generation Tour on Saturday, April 7 (8 p.m.; $48 to $54 at eventbrite.com), with Abe and Sarah Lee opening. According to press materials, "Arlo Guthrie's father Woody hoped one day to have enough kids to form a family band, traveling the country and singing their songs together—generations. The Re:Generation tour is the spirit of an American family making music together. Arlo's children Abe and Sarah Lee will be joining their dad to present music of the Guthrie Generations."
- Photo Courtesy Of Ugly God
- HE BEATS HIS MEAT Sex-obsessed rapper Ugly God brings his booty shaking raps to the Fremont Theater on April 11.
Rapper Ugly God hits the Fremont on Wednesday, April 11 (9 p.m.; $27 general or $77 VIP), with $teve Cannon opening. Best known for his 2016 single "Water," other Ugly God tracks include "I Beat My Meat": "Bitch I beat my meat/ Give a fuck 'bout what you think/ I nut up all in my sheets/ Bitch my swag is so complete/ Get a yellow bone naked/ Ugly God gon' lick her feet/ And I'm always getting pussy/ But I'm still gon' beat my meat."
Hey, he's not for everybody.
You might want to get tickets now for Hayley Kiyoko, who plays next Thursday, April 12 (8 p.m.; $22). The pop singer-songwriter and actress (Insidious: Chapter 3, Jem and the Holograms, XOXO) sings about feeling betrayed by a lesbian lover in "Curious" when she sees her with another guy. Very hooky pop track!
I first heard Micki Dollins' voice in my backyard when my brother-in-law Casey Robertshaw brought her to a backyard party. Sitting around the fire pit, she casually belted out a hauntingly beautiful version of "Angel from Montgomery" as Casey played along. It gave me chills!
- Photo Courtesy Of David Vienna
- DYNAMIC DUO Micki and Casey bring their great mix of covers and originals to several shows this month: April 6 at Dead Oak Brewing; April 14 at Tin City Cider; April 15 at Kelsey Winery; and April 20 at the SLO Elks Lodge for members and their guests.
Later I found out that she and Casey had dated for two and a half years before she even sang in front of him!
"Casey's a better guitar player than I'm a singer," Micki said over beers on McCarthy's patio.
"No way," said Casey, who graduated from Cuesta College's music program with an AA degree. "She's an amazing singer, in fact the most talented untrained singer I've ever heard. I worked with a lot of great singers at Cuesta, but her raw talent is crazy!"
For the last three years or so, the pair have played regularly at local wineries, breweries, and more. They'll drop an original like Micki's "Free"— "Anyone who knows us knows that we're connected from head to toe"—or Casey's "Slow Down"—"When life gets you down you better stay upright. Keep the fire lit on a cold winter night"—and follow them up with a Rhianna song or Johnny Cash or Leon Bridges or Florence + The Machine.
See Micki and Casey this Friday, April 6, at Dead Oak Brewing (6:30 to 9 p.m.); Saturday, April 14, at Tin City Cider (6 to 8 p.m.); Sunday, April 15, at Kelsey Winery (1 to 4 p.m.); or the SLO Elks Lodge on Friday, April 20 (6:30 to 9 p.m. for members and their guests).
The return of Ball and Sultan
- Photo Courtesy Of Tom Ball And Kenny Sultan
- OLD-TIME FUN Guitar and harmonica blues duo Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan play The Red Barn Community Music Series in Los Osos on April 7.
Super cool old-time guitar and harmonica blues duo Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan used to play around here regularly, but I can't remember the last time they were through our neck of the woods. The Flying Fish and Rounder Records recording artists have been featured in Levi's 501 Blues commercials, as well as film scores and TV soundtracks. They're both music archeologists keeping the old ways alive. See them this Saturday, April 7, when they play The Red Barn Community Music Series in Los Osos (5 p.m. potluck, 6 p.m. show; all ages; $15 donation at the door; BYOB). This is a real down-home community event!
Rocking for independent radio!
Listener-supported community radio stations 97.3FM and 107.9FM The Rock will celebrate their fifth year on air with their annual fundraising concert at Morro Bay Vets Hall this Friday, April 7 (6 p.m.; all ages; free, but donations gratefully accepted!).
- Photo Courtesy Of The Mermen
- SEXY BEASTS Surf punk act The Mermen play the annual 107.9FM The Rock fundraising concert at Morro Bay Vet's Hall on April 7.
This year's show has a great lineup, including singer-songwriter Jill Knight with Rob Espinosa (of It's A Beautiful Day), acoustic juggernauts Wood, genre jumper Ricky Montijo, and Bay Area psychedelic rock, surf, and punk act The Mermen.
"We're truly blessed to have such an incredible lineup this year," The Rock founder Hal Abrams said. "The legendary 'Mermen' are coming to Morro Bay for a rare must-see show and musical experience. How cool is that?"
Beer, wine, and food will be available for purchase, as well as a silent auction. Bring your friends! Δ