WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Here are seven of the best for the week beginning September 30:
Buzzcocks – September 30 at The Theatre of Living Arts
Very few bands performing today truly deserve to be called “legendary,” but Buzzcocks are one of those who genuinely do. Their achievements are staggering, as one of the original holy trinity of British punk, along with the Sex Pistols and the Clash, innovators of the independent record scene and genuine punk rock superstars who have been cited as inspirational by bands like REM, Nirvana and Green Day. Eight studio albums, over twenty singles and EPs, a bunch of compilations, covers by other bands and songs on film soundtracks and advertisements have put Buzzcocks among the top echelons of UK recording acts…and they’re still going.
Death Valley Girls – September 30 at Kung Fu Necktie
Think of Death Valley Girls as an acid-tripping science experiment that’s been buried alive, and resurrected as a sexually liberated chain-gang. The cosmic project began in Los Angeles in 2013 on the hills of Echo Park, by proto-punk Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel when the two got lost in the desert, returned to their haunted garage and pieced together their vision with shopworn images of sexploitation babes, a blood-soaked Iggy Pop, and Bloomgarden’s series of phantasms, the result of spending a year in a mental institution, where she planned her neon-glowing odyssey by listening to Black Sabbath and UFO, reading about alien conspiracy theories, and deriving her band’s moral compass from a line she saw in a movie, “Everybody’s gotta be in a gang,” from campy 1975 romp Switchblade Sisters.
Marc Anthony – October 1 at Santander Arena
New York born and raised to a Puerto Rican family, Marc Anthony has become one of the leading Latino artists of his generation. Though he released his first, salsa-infused album as the 90s dawned, it wouldn’t be until 1999 when he put out a self-titled record that he blew up in the mainstream with the song “I Need to Know.” Since then it’s been a steady succession of platinum selling albums, Grammys and a decade long marriage to Jennifer Lopez which came to an end two years ago.
Bad Religion – October 5 at The Fillmore
SoCal punk rockers Bad Religion are known for being the “smart ones” of the genre, with many of their songs focused on the politics and religious ills that plague the world. This year’s presidential election has got to be providing tons of fodder for their upcoming 17th album, due out sometime next year. Until then, the group’s relentless touring schedule, which included a high-profile slot at this year’s Riot Fest events in both Denver and Chicago, continues this fall with a hits heavy setlist sure to appease fans new and old.
Ash – October 5 at The Foundry
Irish pop punk trio Ash were signed and released their first album, 1977, while still teenagers who had just graduated high school in 1996. Two decades later, they’re now celebrating the
record by playing it in full for its 20th anniversary. In the years since, 1977 has become considered a near-masterpiece of the genre, all the more impressive given how old the group were at the time of its conception. Still going strong, last year saw Ash release their well-received sixth album, Kablammo!
The O’Jays – October 6 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Ohio R&B legends the O’Jays had the bulk of their success in the 60s and 70s, but what a run it was, producing hits like “Back Stabbers,” “Love Train” and “Use ta Be My Girl” just a few of the charting singles and epitomizing the Sound of Philadelphia. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers still draw the masses in, led by original members Eddie Levert and Walter Williams.
The Yardbirds – October 6 at Musikfest Café at ArtsQuest Center
When the Yardbirds began in 1963, few would’ve foreseen the impressive level of talented guitar players – legends in fact – who would pass through their ranks. It turned out there would be arguably three of the greatest in history with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page all doing time in the band. Page ended up with the group’s name following a 1968 breakup and out of that came Led Zeppelin. These days, drummer Jim McCarty is the only original member, but the group is still playing all the hits from back in the 60s.