The Starvations are a rootsy punk band from Los Angeles that taps into a distinctive City of Angels tradition that you can trace back through anthemic mid-'90s alt-country band the Geraldine Fibbers to '80s icons X. With its galloping rhythms and raw vocals, the band's latest album, Get Well Soon, presents music that is certainly ragged but marked with a desperate energy that's invigorating. The band should make an interesting double-bill this week with locals Mouse Rocket, where scene stalwarts Alicja Trout (Lost Sounds) and Robby Grant (Vending Machine) unite bubblegum garage-rock with post-punk noise. See the bands at Young Avenue Deli Thursday, August 5th.
Thursday is an unusually busy music night this week: Over at Handy Park, one of the year's most compelling new acts, Nashville duo Big & Rich, will give a free show as part of radio station KIX 106's Country on Beale summer concert series. The duo's genre-mixing, downright confrontational debut, Horse of a Different Color, has scaled the upper rungs of both the pop and country album charts, while the over-the-top video for their second single, "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)," has been a ubiquitous highlight on Country Music Television for a couple of months now. Ostensibly a novelty act, the smarts and musicality of Horse of a Different Color run considerably deeper than the raucous Kid Rock wittiness of "Save a Horse" suggests. I've come to think of the album as a Nashville equivalent of Beck's Odelay, only better more intelligent, more soulful, more culturally momentous. Can they duplicate the effect live? I have no idea, but I sure plan on finding out.
And finally, if rock and country don't provide enough options, the Thursday-night lineup also boasts an intriguing hip-hop show at the Complex: Up-and-coming local acts such as the Iron Mic Coalition and True Head Camp will join artists from the New Orleans-based hip-hop collective Media Darling Records.