Ex-Clash Guitarist Mick Jones Rocks Again with Carbon/Silicon

Your first mental image of a band with a name like Black Moth Super Rainbow might be a group of unicorns, wizards, and trolls pumping out long-winded prog rock for hopelessly outdated fans. And you'd be half correct. Yet this bizarre outfit from rural western Pennsylvania, which features member monikers like Tobacco, Power Pill Fist, and Father Hummingbird, has caused a stir over the last year with its trippy folktronica pop sound. The group uses predominantly old analog gear, like a warped Boards of Canada with vocal filters and an attitude that cheese can be tasteful in small doses. Black Moth Super Rainbow performs along with Lemonade, Maus Haus, and DJ Odd Nosdam on Wednesday, March 19, at Bottom of the Hill at 9 p.m. Admission is $12; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info. Tim Pratt

Carbon/Silicon is the new project of ex-Clash guitarist and Big Audio Dynamite frontman Mick Jones and Tony James, late of Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. The two have built a fan base that goes beyond name recognition, giving away three albums and two EPs on their Website, www.carbonsiliconinc.com. Last year, five years after forming, Carbon/Silicon released The Last Post, a killer debut on an actual physical CD. It showed that while Jones is still full of piss and vinegar, his songwriting has matured. Subject matter ranges from a song dedicated to the children of Jones and James to politically charged detonations that will still inspire rebels of all ages. British reviewers have praised the live shows and Jones' ability to toss off smoking solos with a nonchalant aplomb. Carbon/Silicon performs on Thursday, March 20, at the Independent at 8 pm. Admission is $20; call 771-1421 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. — J. Poet

While there's the temptation to slap a "novelty" tag on Petty Booka — two female Japanese singers who play ukuleles —- you should pause to reflect that in Japan, aspects of American popular culture seldom go out of style. And early in the 20th century, Hawaiian tunes were an American pop genre; the tiki ethos of the 1950s and early '60s was the groovy idealization of all things Polynesian, including the "Hawaiian-ization" of other styles. Petty Booka's Satomi Asano and Miyuki Matsubara take a surreal assortment of songs —- from "Cowboy Hula" to the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Your Boy/Girlfriend" and Burt Bacharach's "Baby, It's You" —- to that happy-hour Luau That Knows No End. Book 'em, Danno! Petty Booka joins Japan Night 2008 on Friday, March 21, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $13-$15; call 771-1421 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. — Mark Keresman

Chances are you're already familiar with Explosions in the Sky's brand of instrumental indie rock. The Austin-based act was commissioned to write the soundtrack to the football flick Friday Night Lights, and its songs are featured prominently on the television adaptation of the film. While this may seem a curious pairing, the cinematic nature of Explosions' music can make even most mundane things (i.e., huddles) seem awe-inspiring. Alongside peers like Mono and Pelican, the band is helping spearhead an orchestrally arranged postrock movement where live performances can only be described as transcendent — proving that when it comes to creating art, sometimes words just get in the way. Explosions in the Sky performs on Thursday, March 20, through Saturday, March 22, at Great American Music Hall at 8 p.m. Advance tickets have sold out; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. Jonah Bayer

 
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