More SXSW overflow, this time from young people convinced that guitars can do more right now than remind old people of their Mitch Ryder records. Like remind them of their Joy Division ones instead! The three Los Angelenos in Moving Units, at Trees on Friday, do more than that, actually: They juice their well-worn post-punk doom 'n' gloom with hot disco high-hat action and vocals more excitable than typical depressives can usually muster. Imagine a farm-league version of the Rapture and iron your really tight jeans. Nervy Bay Area spazzes Erase Errata play, too, behind a ton of recent bigging-up from Sonic Youth and in advance of a remix album New Jersey indie Troubleman Unlimited promises to release sometime this year. Headliners the Locust--a quartet of bemasked, becostumed, bewildering San Diego mischief-makers--just signed to Anti- Records, the "adult" wing of Epitaph that boasts Tom Waits and, well, the Promise Ring as players; Plague Soundscapes, the Locust's label debut, is due in June, and if it doesn't include a guest spot from Solomon Burke, I want my enthusiasm back.
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At Rubber Gloves on Monday the fun continues with an appearance by San Francisco's the Quails, whose recent Atmosphere Erase Errata issued through their Inconvenient label; the disc suggests that the band enjoyed One Beat as much as anyone, and when they invite their trumpet-playing friend to join in it's a good thing. That same trumpet-playing friend brightens the Aislers Set's new How I Learned to Write Backwards, a brief blast of doleful, reverb-soaked indie-pop that, like stuff by the Aislers' northern Californian forebears Tiger Trap, uses its relatively low fidelity as emotional color rather than as a badge of authenticity. It's retro, but with a point.