Outside of San Diego, is there a better place to see Hot Snakes (above) and Night Marchers (below) than Alex’s Bar in Long Beach? Two world-class rippers in one world-class dive bar. We arrived at the unusual, awesome, and sold-out matinee on Sunday just in time to see Night Marchers (1/2 or 3/4 of Hot Snakes, depending on who’s drumming for the latter) finish setting up their gear and start their set at the ungodly hour of 4:37. Lots of simmering new stuff from the upcoming album and some fave older roots-garage rockers (“I wanna deadbeat you!“). Everyone’s obsessing over the RFTC reunion happening around Easter, but don’t sleep on the January release featuring the hard-rocking pipes of Swami John Reis.
Before Goldenvoice promoted mega shows at Coachella, Staples, and Nokia, I knew the promoter’s name from flyers that I’d pick up at Zed Records, which also sold tickets to their shows at like Fender’s, Bogart’s, and the Palladium. Goldenvoice was the first promoter to book punk shows at “real” venues, giving chances to California bands that were treated like threats by the mainstream (Black Flag, Dead Kennedys) as well as touring bands that only got played by Rodney on the Roq (Damned, 999). My dorm rooms were decorated with those flyers, as well as posters for shows like PiL, Siouxsie, and the Jesus & Mary Chain, which also had the logo. This weekend, Goldenvoice honcho Gary Tovar booked three nights at the Santa Monica Civic (scene of early shows by The Clash and The Jam, not to mention Urgh! A Music War) to celebrate 30 years of business but also the roots of L.A. punk.