"It's always been mutual therapy for me and the people listening to my stuff. I always figured if I stopped doing it I might go crazy."
LIBYA LIBERATION How can a stellar Oakland combo like Heavenly States top their last heroic act as the first US rock band to play in Libya after the lifting of a 30-year travel ban? To start, they spent about a year working on a film about the experience, relying on puppet reenactments and animation, before they woke up and asked themselves, why aren't we making music? After selling the rights to their Libya adventures (producer Jawal Nga is writing a script tentatively titled Rock the Casbah), the band has come up with their most eclectic and confident recordings to date, Delayer (Rebel Group). The group's next act? "We got asked to play in Iran at this music festival," vocalist-guitarist Ted Nesseth tells me. "But Genevieve [Gagon] couldn't sing in public. Then someone e-mailed to say her friend was a journalist living in a North Korean village filled with musicians, so we have to figure out a way to go there and record. There's absolutely no way any of that crap is going to happen. I think we have a lot of touring to do supporting this album, and then we want to make another one."
SPIRITED "You know," announces Triclops! guitarist Christian Beaulieu, apropos of neither the group's new CD, Out of Africa (Alternative Tentacles) nor what vocalist John Geek describes as their "bung load of shows," "Sonny [Kay] from GSL recently called me the ghost of Dimebag Darrell."
"It's really kind of impossible because you were born way before he died," I venture.
"Well, I told my friend I was the ghost of Steve Vai," Beaulieu continues, "and he said, 'Holy crap! That's the best news I've heard all day: Steve Vai's dead!' I'm just trying to figure out how to put a handle on my Telecaster." *
INDIAN JEWELRY Thurs/24, 9:30 p.m., $8. Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, SF. www.hemlocktavern.com
KIMYA DAWSON Fri/25, 8 p.m., $20. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, SF. www.ticketmaster.com
TRICLOPS! Fri/25, 6 p.m., free. Amoeba Music, 1855 Haight, SF. www.amoeba.com
HEAVENLY STATES Sat/26, 10 p.m., $10. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., SF. www.bottomofthehill.com
60 WATT KID Sat/26, 9 p.m., $25. Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. www.theindependentsf.com