Not to advocate that there’s nothing good going down in the Unclean Nine-Sixteen this weekend, but we’re focusing the bulk of our attention on the Dirty Five-Thirty, where UC Davis is good enough to play host to a group of chaps from South Carolina (by way of Seattle) that are probably about to become the biggest band on the planet – we’re talking My Morning Jacket status here, folks.
They’re going to be spending a chunk of their summer opening for Pearl Jam, and the crystal ball is telling us that once that’s over, they might just move directly into those same sized venues as headliners.
Yep, Band of Horses.
When “Cease to Begin” first reared its head in late 2007, it came as a glistening and appealing sophomore effort, in itself a real treat of a record, but somewhat reflective of a band that indeed had found its stride, but wasn’t quite sure what roads it was going to traverse.
They were like a bullfrog leaping from one lily pad (guitar-dense indie rock) to another (swooping electric-tinged Americana and folk) but afraid to touch the water.
They now seem to have found their inner amphibian.
“Infinite Arms,” released this week, has to be considered the band’s official breakout. While a few of the tunes lack a truly definitive character, it is clear that the group is now operating with a solidified lineup (something they have lacked in previous incarnations) and each member of that lineup has put their stamp on the record while finding a common ground between Gram Parsons, Neil Young and Built to Spill.
The formula remains the same (“Compliments” is this album’s rock anthem, a la “Is There a Ghost,” while “On My Way Back Home” is its “Detlef Schrempf”), but the flow is smoother, the mid-tempo pop gloss shinier and the cohesiveness air-tight behind de facto front man Ben Bridwell’s searing vocal eminence.
By the way, the whole album is currently streaming on the band’s website.
No word on any opener’s joining them at Freeborn, but you’d have to assume someone will be along for the ride; I’ll keep you posted. Tickets are still available at the Beat (17th and J St.) or online.
7 p.m. doors/ 8 p.m. show Thursday, May 27. Freeborn Hall at UC Davis. $30.50. All ages. www.tickets.com.
Horse Feathers – Had to keep mentioning the stampede of bands coming through Davis this week (zing!). This fellow Pacific Northwest outfit perfectly embodies wheat field folk rock, with lackadaisical but densely emotional guitar and fiddle lines that redefine the relaxing summer Sunday afternoon. Start drinking vodka Red Bulls on the patio and you’ll end up being “that guy;” stick to pale ale. With Dawn Landes and Telekinesis. 9 p.m. Saturday. Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 129 E St., Davis. $5. www.sophiasthaikitchen.com.
Check out eight tunes from Horse Feathers over on Daytrotter.
Drew Grow & the Pastors Wives – You’d have to argue that Drew Grow has entrenched himself at or near the top of Portland’s indie rock scene – and considering the density of sonic gladiators in that town, it’s no passing feat! Grow just dished up a couple of new singles, “Do You Feel It” and “Bon Voyage Hymn,” and along with his band are establishing a fuller, more for-the-gut sound that expands on their crackerjack indie garage pop leanings. They’ll be here in Sac on Monday, then rolling back into town on Thursday, so you’ve got a couple chances, and each time they’re alongside some famiiar local faces. With the Happy Medium and Kris Anaya (of An Angle and Doom Bird), 8:30 p.m. Monday. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St. $5. www.theoldironsides.com; With Silver Darling and Monarques, 9 p.m. Thursday. Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, 129 E St., Davis. $3. www.sophiasthaikitchen.com.
This Week at Concert in the Park – The kids will love this one when local hard rock mainstays Dance Gavin Dance test the limits of the harsh-o-meter over in the beer garden, where some people seem unaware at times that there’s music happening (that won’t keep). Phallacy (featuring members of Deftones) and hard rock sleepers Con of Man round it out. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Cesar Chavez Plaza, 10th and J St. Free. www.downtownsac.org.