Deftones, Battles, Greg Ashley — ASD's Live Music Picks, July 2

Deftones, 7:30 at the Warfield. $30.

“That Saturday Night Wrist confounds all expectations as early as the initial listen isn’t merely a surprise, it’s a revelatory sensation: this is the sound of a band, a band of relative veterans lest we forget, hitting their creative peak. Where the five men of Deftones go from here isn’t even worth guessing – just enjoy this offering and try to drive from your mind any thoughts of this proving to be their parting shot. Even if this is the final chapter of a lengthy career of commercial success and critical acclaim, it’s a wonder to behold and one that bears no sign of compromise.” —Drowned in Sound

Battles, 8 at Slim’s. $15.

“Here’s a fact: Battles rock, and rocking—true rocking, a virtuosity with something to say—can’t be faked. Most players work for years before they can play a simple note with any semblance of authority, to say nothing of actually making music. We tend to scoff at technical proficiency or, worse, to vilify it as narcissistic, but these are Whole Foods chops—safe-for-consumption because labeled Organic. Battles, as a release valve for the indieverse’s pent-up anxiety over proficiency, won’t be loved or even dug—they’ll be worshipped. Mirrored has the makings of total cult-of-genius shit.” —Stylus

Greg Ashley, 9 at Café Du Nord. Free.

“With each successive album, whether solo or with his band the Gris Gris, Oakland’s Greg Ashley continues to both refine and expand on his version of the New Weird American sound. While Ashley isn’t a visionary in the same sense as Roky Erickson and Skip Spence (or other turned-on musical drop-outs from the Love Generation), he’s certainly indebted to them and travels similar musical lost highways. In the case of the above – easily identified, though certainly not the only, precedents of Ashley’s – their genius and legacy is forever intertwined with psychosis and reclusion. I know very little about Greg Ashley as his past relates to the hard times Spence and Erickson fell upon, but it’s equally as irrelevant to understanding and appreciating his music, as knowing about Roky and Skip’s time in an asylum is to being moved by The Evil One or Oar.” —Dusted

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