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Flashback to the '80s with shows from the New York Dolls and Trashcan Sinatras

Wednesday, Sep 29 2004
Morrissey fans know that, aside from James Dean and Oscar Wilde, pioneering '70s glam rockers the New York Dolls remain one of the most vital influences on the moody crooner's life, and he has thrown more light in their direction than they managed to generate on their own. (Without his PR, the Dolls might have been permanently doomed to a fate of being known as "musicians' musicians.") So when Moz got a chance to indulge his every sonic whim through curating London's offbeat music week known as the Meltdown Festival last summer, he brought together the three surviving members (now unfortunately down to just two, guitarist Sylvain Sylvain and lead singer David Johansen) for a live performance. That show is being made available on CD and DVD as Morrissey Presents the Return of the New York Dolls: Live From Royal Festival Hall 2004, but you can catch the real deal this Sunday, Oct. 3, at the Fillmore, where Sylvain and Johansen will lay down what was once the prototype for metrosexuality; call 346-6000 or go to for more info.
-- Tamara Palmer

Heads are no doubt being scratched at the announcement that the Trashcan Sinatras are back with a new release (it's been 11 years since their last U.S. album, I've Seen Everything). The band blames its little disappearing act on the collapse of the label that put out its other records, and claims the new record, Weightlifting, got its title as a result of a lengthy plow through nasty music industry politics. Whatever real-world agitation the Sinatras were confronted with, however, can't be heard anywhere on their latest. Instead, Weightlifting's 12 songs pick up where the band last left us: loungy soft-rock ditties lying somewhere between the psychedelic dawdling of Pink Floyd and the melancholy sighing of the Smiths, similar reference points to which bands like Travis and Coldplay look. But don't expect any pyrotechnics, just very catchy Scottish songwriting and midtempo, straightforward rhythms. The Trashcan Sinatras return to San Francisco on Tuesday, Oct. 5, with Mellow Drunk and Roddy Hart opening at Slim's; call 255-0333 or go to
-- Abigail Clouseau

Even if your tastes lean toward those au courant imperatives "innovative" and "edgy," sometimes you need a lubricant -- a honey-voiced singer like, say, Jenna Mammina Inner Smile, next week with a performance at Yoshi's on Tuesday, Oct. 5 (call 510/238-9200 or go to The obvious delight Mammina brings to performing -- and, of course, her beautiful voice -- makes her shows enchanting indeed, assuming you're in the market for positive vibes. Her upcoming gig, and the new CD, get an extra jolt from Latin jazz guitar wizard Ray Obiedo, whose playing, charged or gentle as the moment requires, turns the heat up under Mammina just enough.
-- Jerry Karp


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