Through two decades and over 40 releases of gothic-tinged psychedelia, the haunting croon of Legendary Pink Dots frontman Edward Ka-Spel has kept the group's ranking (in terms of cult status) high. Hard-to-get vinyl, lyrics circulated by fans as prophetic poetry, and several rumors of Ka-Spel's self-fulfilled demise didn't hurt either. Still, the Dots' latest, Hallway of the Gods, is the culmination of years of fine honing. According to the Dot camp, it's like when "a three-headed bald eagle with bad breath squats on the seat in front of you screaming inaccurate quotes from the Koran in an obviously fake Irish accent, [and then] mutates into a balloon-faced sergeant-major who bellows, 'This is no time for a nervous breakdown, asshole -- we gotta go hunting ventriloquists!' " Uh, yeah. The Dots perform at the Trocadero on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. Twilight Circus (Dot Ryan Moore's own project) will open with the Silverman (first name Phil; another Dot). Tickets are $10; call 495-6620.
In England, comparisons are often drawn between the Chemical Brothers and Death in Vegas, but this is only fame by association. Sure, D in V, like the Chem Bros, are electronic, beat-driven, and good for dancing, but the vibe is jazzy, smoky, and thick -- luxuriant, if you will. Comparisons most likely arose because one part of the team, Richard Fearless (aka Richard McGuire), was a regular DJ at the Chemical Brothers' hot and heavy "Heavenly Sunday Social Club" for a number of years. (Steve Hellier, the other half of D in V, has retired to the studio full time and leaves all live excursions to Fearless.) Plus, D in V are signed to a label run by Chemical Brother Tom Rowland's significant other. Connections should stop there. D in V are admitted lovers of rock 'n' roll whose live shows feature a five-piece band. (Out of a certain wry deference, they originally called themselves Dead Elvis, but grew tired of blokes with pompadours turning up to gigs expecting a tribute act.) On Dead Elvis, also the title of the U.S. debut, nods are given to old faves (of Hellier's, like Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk, and of Fearless', like Dr. John, Derrick May, and Bob Marley), but despite the slick sampling, frenetic drum loops, and trance-inducing distortion, Dead Elvis is sensual and somewhat dusty, like blowing off an old 45 in a dimly lit room. On the One magazine presents Death in Vegas (Richard Fearless with band) at Bimbo's 365 Club on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 9 p.m. It's an 18-and-over show and Aloof opens. Tickets are $10; call 474-3606.
Calling all chic freaks! You know who you are: people who are always two months ahead of the latest E! exclusive; people who know the M*A*C girls by name; people who can tell proper chamois from deer leather at 100 paces; people who knew Kangol was out a year before most people thought it was in; people who could make cocaine look elegant again, if they wanted to. These are the type of people who will already be at "Release" -- the oh-so-fashionable dance night run by the oh-so-fashionable (and, might I add, lucrative) promotion team of Martel Holer and Nabiel Musleh -- but for the rest of us, this is a great opportunity to watch, learn, and rub elbows with the beautiful people. Unzipped is a fashion show sponsored by M&N Productions, featuring fashions from 18 prominent designers (Diesel, Moschino, Replay, X-tay), as well as a number of local boutiques (Dish, Shoebiz, Zeni). Models will be supplied by City and Industry Modeling Agency. Hair by Fritz and Hairplay. Makeup by M*A*C, of course. Unzipped will be held during "Release" at 1015 Folsom on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-13; call 281-0823.
Since we Northerners hate to share the spotlight with folks from SoCal, it only seems fitting that during the same week that the Roving Underground will hold its shindig, San Diego's Incommunicado Press has upped the ante. Incommunicado is a small cutting-edge group devoted to bringing new writers to a young marketplace informed by beat poetry, punk rock, and performance art. As with most things from Glitterland, IP's Weekend of Destruction tour includes celebrities. Dave Alvin (of X and the Blasters fame) will be reading from nicotine-stained road tales in his newly released Any Rough Times Are Now Behind You; Scottish-born Barry Graham (author of the critically acclaimed The Book of Man) reads from his ultraviolent novel Before; and punk rock hipster/substitute teacher Jimmy Jazz reads from The Sub. Graham and Jazz, joined by Hank Hyena and Tarin Towers, read at the Intersection for the Arts on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; call 646-2787. Graham, Jazz, and Alvin read at City Lights on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 4 p.m. Admission is free; call 362-8193.
-- Silke Tudor