SUN OCT 18
Nobunny w/Patsy's Rats, Phantom Family; Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne
It's tempting to dismiss Nobunny—the persona for Bay Area musician Justin Champlin—as mere shtick. He's a hot guy who wears a bunny mask and often gets naked during performances. But underneath the weird, post-cultural sensationalism is a pretty adept songwriter. Debut album Love Visions was a pocket-sized power-pop tour de force, whizzing by in less than 23 minutes and boasting a bevy of should-be hits, ranging from retro rock 'n' roll ("Mess Me Up," "Chuck Berry Holiday"), to straight garage rock ("Boneyard"), to Ramones rewrites ("I Am a Girlfriend," "Not That Good," the album cover).
After an acoustic detour with the Burger-issued Raw Romance (sort of the Beach Boys' Party! of the Nobunny canon, consisting of acoustic takes of Love Visions songs and some other shit that's barely tolerable), Nobunny released First Blood in 2010, probably his best and most realized LP to date. Its higher production values and (slightly) wider instrumental palette make the Frank-N-Furter, '50s rock, banana-fingers-piano thing seem more credible than before. Songs like "Breathe" and "Motorhead with Me" indicate a smidgen of emotional probity at the gooey center of Nobunny's cool-guy comedy act.
MON OCT 19
Narcoleptics w/Spetsnaz, Violent Party, Decomp; Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway
Narcoleptics is temper-tantrum-hardcore from New York that balances d-beat with paralyzing noise—and what a balancing act it is. The group's second EP, aptly titled Second EP, is a 12-minute-long panic attack of terminal amplitude that makes me feel my age. It's only $420.69 on their Bandcamp—get it while it's hot.