Show reviews: Redd Kross at Amoeba, The One AM Radio at the Satellite

Of course, Redd Kross were totally amazing at Amoeba last night. What you might not have expected is that they’d play for about an hour! The set was heavy on the supremely catchy and totally ripping new songs (“Downtown,” “Uglier”) which will grow on you like fungus, but dug back to the very oldest and rawest cuts (“Linda Blair,” “St. Lita Ford Blues”) for the old timers who saw the McDonald brothers when they were teenagers. Me? I’m in the middle somewhere, having discovered them on the Neurotica (“Frosted Flake”) tour when they played a free lunchtime show at UCLA.

Even under the bright lights of Amoeba at the ungodly hour of 6:00, they rocked like hell and how could they not? Jeff and Steve McDonald (not to mention returning monster drummer Roy McDonald from The Muffs with Celebrity Skin ripper Jason Shapiro sitting in for the mighty Robert Hecker) were obviously born to rock with smiles as big as their chops. Over the decades, the band has cranked out the most awesome punk, glam, garage, and pop, and their first LP in 15 years concentrates it all into 2- or 3-minute doses of perfection for your earholes. While the dark and loud record-release show at The Roxy was the group’s official homecoming, last night’s in-store at Amoeba was more like a reunion where old friends and conspirators could spot each other and catch up. Such a rad set! So many friends! You had to be there. But if you weren’t, here’s a little extra video from the front row. If you are moved by rock ‘n’ roll in any manner, don’t miss Redd Kross at FYF next weekend or various other festivals, shows, and special appearances.

You might recall that I was introduced to Hrishikesh Hirway at Comic-Con earlier this summer. Super nice guy, who happened to score Save The Date, the new movie co-written by our mutual friend and indie comics powerhouse Jeffrey Brown. It also turns out we’re practically neighbors. Our coffee still hasn’t happened but I was stoked to get to see his band The One AM Radio play a short set right down the street at The Satellite on Saturday night.

In preparation for their upcoming gig at The Fillmore, the trio decided to try out some new sounds at The Satellite. Whatever those tweaks were, they sounded great. Layered, dreamy pop mixing electric and acoustic guitars with laptop textures and electronic beats. Tying everything together is Hrishikesh’s sincere vocals–which happen to go well with Jeffrey’s comics. Yes, he sang one of the songs from the limited edition 7″ that they released to commemorate the movie. The band’s pairing with The Promise Ring at The Fillmore on September 1 is a good one, and the movie’s going to be great, too. Can’t wait.

Next shows: Goh Nakamura in La Jolla.

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