SONIC REDUCER Spring has sprung, warmth has won, and winter has crept away, wondering how many more glacier-melting heat spells it must weirdly weather. And what better time for nuance to take a hike, for subtlety to go on holiday as daylight savings time ends, morning doves coo, fixies flood the now bone-dry streets, and sunlight beams down on the joints and jowls like an all-natural, wholly organic tanning salon lamp rather than just some ironic jab at Al Gore and the 2000 presidential election. Soaking up rays in Dolores Park or gazing upon the workers tearing up Valencia, I have to ponder: what is life but a big, fat in-and-out/hot-and-not list? That's all the cerebral cortex is good for as it gently simmers in its own gray broth in the soft, slightly gooey heat. Turn it around, make 'em outs and ins, and the fun never ends.
Out: out in April, the Boredoms' Super Roots 9 (Thrill Jockey), the first new Super Roots installment in eight years and the noise poobahs' first live recording to boot, a document of a Christmas Eve 2004 Japan show with a 20-strong choir. In: experiencing the raw power and glory of the long-haired, avant-psych-punk Nipponese elders live. After catching the combo pulverizing the sold-out mass at the Independent with their triple-drummer ferocity and Eye Yamantaka's crazed musical-orb twirling, I can guarantee it'll be ecstasy for all at the Fillmore this week, sans the chemical cuddly-wuddlies, when the Boredoms perform "in the round" for the first time stateside, while promising to brandish "Sevena," their seven-necked guitar.
Out: Dungeons and Dragons creator Gary Gygax, RIP. In: pretending every music show is a dungeon. The question is who's the dragon: the cranky bartender who has no patience for your Screaming Orgasm shit, the doorperson who can't find your name on the guest list, the dragon-size, 7-foot-plus dude blocking your view, or the organism with the dragon-breath yoo-hooing his buds? Minutes, if not seconds, of enjoyment.
Not: lame jokes about lame white guys singing lame sexed-up R&B ballads not to be confused with simply dorky jabs masquerading as actual humor concerning those same sexed-up R&B ballads. No wonder Semi-Pro sucked all the air compressed or no from the theaters. Even OutKast's André Benjamin couldn't save that play. Hot: working online mundanities into your next pop hit. Witness Teyana Taylor's "Google Me" on her MySpace (and then admire the way she smooshes her big hair beneath a single hoodie and marvel at the textlike clicks that sound like she's clipping her toenails). Not to be mistaken for the ringtones I was planning to pen myself: "Facebook Snowballin'," "Just Wanna Be Friendsters," and "Kicking You Outta MySpace."
Naughty: not using coasters, stage diving when the sign explicitly orders you not to, and stepping on the soft, sweet skulls of all the folkie kids sitting on the floor at the next Cat Power show. Haughty: the mendicant monkish hoodie, otherwise known as the new trucker cap. I know balls-out volume dealers like Holy Fuck look cool as Franciscans pulling the hoodie hood over ye olde pate, but you're going to risk getting stereotyped as a druid in my rock-show/D&D game.
Not: pleasantly perfumed men's restrooms in clubland. You know which way the wind blows when Mr. P's door flings ajar. Do non-urine-scented men's rooms exist? Does the unrefined sense of smell most men possess actually help rather than hinder in this case? Discuss. Snot: asking the audience not to clap till the end of the set and then thanking them sarcastically when they do applaud between songs.
Not: ... realistic.