Fans of Kyuss' heavy desert sludge might be disappointed with Queens of the Stone Age, even though three former members comprise the trio. With guitarist Josh Homme taking over vocal duties from John Garcia, Queens has an airier, more melodic sound, kind of like Radiohead passing through Sabbath after a beer bender -- not bad, just not as substantial as one might hope. Queens of the Stone Age perform at the Bottom of the Hill on Friday, July 24, with Acid King and Fatso Jetson opening at 10 p.m. Tickets are $7; call 626-4455.
We all know that the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade lost its edge long ago. (How racy can it be when your mother wants to attend?) And now it seems even the Folsom Street Fair -- that sweaty, sunny knot of naked buttocks, studded jockstraps, and dog leashes -- has become homogenized by twee-faced gawkers. (Last year I spotted three pastel-rigged couples from the suburbs swigging import beer as they scrutinized two young leather boys in a spontaneous act of blood-streaked flagellation.) Well, for those who like their sexy fairs intimate and devoid of spectators, there is still the Dore Alley Fair, which has nearly everything the Folsom Street Fair has to offer -- vendors, muscle, music, and sun -- just on a much smaller scale. Of course, now everyone will go. Doh! The Dore Alley Fair will be held on Dore Alley (between Ninth and 10th streets and Harrison and Folsom) on Sunday, July 26, at 11 a.m. For those warming up for the festivities on Saturday night, keep the party going at "Aftershock," which will be held at 715 Harrison on Sunday morning starting at 4 a.m. Tickets are $15-20; call 552-5900. Fairgoers can wind down at "Tremor," a post-"Aftershock" post-fair tea dance held at V/SF on Sunday at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10; call 552-5900.
When the "Pavarotti of Pakistan," Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, passed away last year, it was said that his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan would be the successor to the qawwali throne. It was cousin Badar Ali Khan, however, who rose during last year's Good Karma Festival. His stunning performances easily captured the dynamic pace set by his last release. Although Badar purposefully restricted himself to traditional instruments on Lost in Qawwali, he all but deserted the soft, lilting vocalization that made Nusrat Fateh so popular with the older generation. Instead, Badar emphasized the intense percussive vocal style that has always set him apart and made him popular with the kids. His aggressive approach to spirituals shook Pakistan. The Mixes -- a six-song CD of four songs remixed into shake-your-booty-'til-you-see-God dance club tracks -- flattened them. Already Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Scott Harding of Wu-Tang/Gravediggaz fame, and Dan Nakamura (aka Automator) are lining up to add their touches to The Mixes Two, which will follow Lost in Qawwali Two later this year. Prepare to sweat it out when Badar Ali Khan performs at the Great American Music Hall on Saturday, July 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16.50; call 885-0750.
There existed between the first Presley gyration and the first flaming guitar a whole fraternity of squeaky-clean rock bands populated by nice boys who knew how to harmonize as well as accessorize (usually sweaters with ties). They weren't particularly rebellious, but they liked having a good time as much as the next guy. In an age when rebellion is prepackaged for Squirt, we're lucky to have bands like Michigan's Fortune & Maltese and the Phabulous Pallbearers, who treasure the spirit of "frat rock." On Konquer Kampus -- an album of peppy gymnasium harmonies with bikini-taunt guitar riffs and a very groovy Farfisa organ -- Fortune and Maltese use their Crest smiles to win at the things that matter most: school, girls, pizza, and the science fair. It's the perfect combination for the frug, the watusi, the pony, the hully gully, or the jerk. Fortune & Maltese and the Phabulous Pallbearers perform with local frat rockers Saturn V, who will host a twist contest, the winner of which will receive a transistor radio (batteries not included), at Purple Onion on Sunday, July 26, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 398-8415.
-- Silke Tudor