Native Monster madness - September 20, 2006 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Native Monster madness

Sharon Jones.

There's no shortage of modern outfits delivering approximations of the sweat-drenched grooves perfected by the Meters and James Brown's ferocious backing group the JBs. What elevates Brooklyn-based standouts Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings isn't just the band's vice-grip tightness or Jones' dead-on channeling of Godfather of Soul protégés Lyn Collins and Marva Whitney; it's their party-for-your-right-to-fight attitude that recognizes funk as a catalyst for political movement as well as moving booties. Between their smoldering remake of Woody Guthrie's “This Land Is Your Land,” the subversive dance anthem “(What if We) Stop Paying Taxes,” and the feisty Jones' regular onstage upbraiding of King George II and his war on terror, the Dap Kings bring a righteous message to audiences that's as urgent and hard-hitting as the music. Catch them on Thursday, Sept. 21, at Bimbo's at 8 p.m. Admission is $18; call 474-0365 or visit www.bimbos365club.com for more information. — Dave Pehling

Western civilization poisoned Mother Earth and self-destructed in the process. Humanity's only hope for survival lies in turning to Native Americans and their ancient knowledge. This is the neo-Hawkwind, sci-fi concept behind Sunset at the End of the Industrial Age, The USA Is a Monster's latest disc for Load Records. It's a collection of big-time anthem rock fusing nervous Minutemen funk, ‘70s prog à la Rush, hardcore invective, intricate tribal grooves, and a toy synth. It kicks total ass and also helps cultivate maize. The USA Is a Monster performs on Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Hemlock Tavern at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $7; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. — Justin F. Farrar

Sub Pop housed a spiffy little collection of post-Mudhoney sludge 'n' garage punks for a while, but the Catheters were one of my favorites. After three albums on two Northwest labels, though, the Seattle band called it quits. Now most of its members have reconvened as Tall Birds, losing much of their chunky, mud-laden riffage, but keeping a psychedelic garage dirge, with influences ranging from Love to the Velvet Underground to the Wipers. Check out the debut Sub Pop single from these lanky fliers — or, better yet, peep them live on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at the Hemlock Tavern at 9 p.m. Admission is $5; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. — Jennifer Maerz