Usually I try to feature just one band in this column, but the lineup for the Wed., Aug. 22 show at the Neurolux is just too cool not to mention them all.
Opening the night is Anaheim, Calif.-based foursome The Willowz, who have had critics and fans talking since their inception in 2002. Rolling Stone gave the Willowz' latest release, Chautauqua, three and a half stars, calling their sound exuberant garage-rock. No strangers to work, the Willowz have pushed out a number of seven-inch, full-length EPs (the last three bursting at 14, 20 and 20 songs respectively) and have been featured on several compilations, including providing two tracks for the soundtrack of Michael Gondry's 2005 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Mixing rockabilly and a little mariachi, Birmingham, Ala.-based Dan Sartain plays top-down on the convertible, cruising the PCH, creepers pushing the pedal to the metal kind of music. Rolling Stone mentions Sartain as well, writing about his new release, Join Dan Sartain, that "modulates classically tuneful confessions with jerky post-punk weirdness, a dollop of rockabilly, and whimsical lyrics about strange dreams, coy little girls and boys with guns."
Headlining the night's entertainment are The Detroit Cobras. The Cobras are what the Pretenders would have sounded like if they'd been popular in the '60s and if Chrissie Hynde had sounded more like Spiro Agnew. Named after their hometown, the Detroit Cobras offer up dark, raw rock (think David Lynch's Blue Velvet on vinyl) with a sometimes strange but always perfect array of instrumentation. Guitarist Mary Ramirez chunks out the riffs while singer Rachel Nagy croons in her smoky voice, covering obscure classic songs of love and dance crazes. Their new release, Tied and True, is a classic even before you've heard it.
August 22, 9 p.m., $8 in advance through Ticketweb, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., 208-343-0886, www.neurolux.com.