What happens when you combine the music of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass with 15 of the best newfangled surf bands? You get Surfin' Senorita, a seaside soundtrack for Laugh-In that will make you giggle and groove till margaritas spray forth from your nostrils. To celebrate the CD release, compilation contributors Herb and Pollo Del Mar perform amid South of the Border beach mayhem: Mexican hat dancing, Tijuana jail photo ops, adult-styled pinata beatings, a tiki boom boom room surprise, and 80-proof cantina specials can be had at the Hi-Ball Lounge on Friday, April 23, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8; call 397-9464.
Despite the fact that it took two years of obsessive fiddling for Elephant 6's Olivia Tremor Control to compile the 27 tracks found on its latest release, and despite the fact that much of the dadaist constructs interspersed between songs were culled from thousands of hours of old tapes and contributions from the "Black Swan Network" of associates on which listeners are encouraged to send in recorded descriptions of their dreams, and despite the fact that the album is so thickly layered you can hear everything that's passed through the Athens studio collective, including the kitchen sink, Black Foliage: Animation Music is a delightful, fanciful, '60s-styled psychedelic pop romp that can be enjoyed even without drugs or a Dreamachine. OTC performs at the Great American Music Hall on Friday, April 23, with Music Tapes opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10; call 885-0750.
For the unknowing or forgetful, the legacy of Gram Parsons can be heard running through the music of the Eagles, the Blasters, the Mekons, the Lemonheads, R.E.M., and every No Depression act to emerge from this continent. At rock's most fragile age of 26 -- when Parsons OD'd on morphine and tequila near Joshua Tree -- Gram could be credited with having cut the first four slabs of country-rock. His three-month stint with the Byrds resulted in the influential Sweetheart of the Rodeo, which would have also featured the then-22-year-old young buck on lead vocals had Lee Hazelwood not held him to a contract for his International Submarine Band. His next venture, the Flying Burrito Brothers (formed with Chris Hillman when the two refused to tour with the Byrds in South Africa during apartheid), became a cult favorite among musicians like the Rolling Stones, and Parsons sat in during the recording of the Stones' pivotal Exile on Main Street, where he shared his intuition and learned to indulge his proclivity with Keith Richards. With his solo works, G.P. and the follow-up Grievous Angel, Parsons firmly embedded his "Cosmic American Music" in the landscape. Groups like the Scud Mountain Boys and Palace have faintly sketched the melancholy crevices borne by the wealthy, drug-addled boy who lost his citrus-tycoon father to suicide at 12 and his mother to alcohol poisoning at 18, but as heard on Cosmic American Music, Parsons remains the King of Country Rock Sighs. Every year, around the time of his death, bands gather near Joshua Tree -- where Parsons was illegally cremated (his road manager was arrested for stealing and burning the coffin) -- to pay tribute. But for those unable to make the trip down south, Mover lead singer Eric Shea has put together a local Parsons tribute and benefit. The first annual "Sleepless Nights" includes Mover, L.A.'s Beachwood Sparks, Dixie Star, Blood Roses, Sacramento's Sex 66, Four Fathom Bank Robbers, the Tyde, and the Decans. "Sleepless Nights" will be held at Slim's on Saturday, April 24, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 and will benefit the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic; call 522-0333.
-- Silke Tudor