There’s no doubt this is a week for rock ’n’ rollers to rejoice. Starting Monday, music fans can catch a killer show every night: from Jonathan Richman at the Merc to The Black Crowes at the Arlington and Passion Pit at the Granada. Even still, we’re betting big on Thursday night’s can’t-be-messed-with double bill, which pairs San Diego’s resident blues makers Delta Spirit with L.A. psych rockers Darker My Love.
After packing Velvet Jones twice, there’s no denying Delta Spirit’s live merits. Led by singer Matt Vasquez, these four can bring some serious soul to a piano ballad, shake the floors with their harmonies, and make pounding on a trashcan sound melodic. Better yet, their recent sophomore release, History from Below, offers just as many catchy and conviction-filled tunes as their debut, albeit a bit quieter.
“There’s no real chance to play new music together when you’re touring as an opener,” explained guitarist Jon Jameson. “So a lot of these songs came to us from isolated moments that one person had with an acoustic guitar.”
And as an opening act, L.A.’s Darker My Love is far from filler. Though these five grew out of some hardcore punk-rock roots (frontman Tim Presley used to play in the Nerve Agents; drummer Andy Granelli, the Distillers), their current sound is far from heavy. What first began as a pedal-and-effects-filled outfit has now developed into something new altogether. On the band’s recently released third album, Alive As You Are, we get a slew of nods to the harmony-filled psych pop of years gone past. (Think Yellow Submarine-era Beatles and the Byrds.)
“I think it was just prime time to try something new,” Presley said. “It just felt right. … I think this is secretly the music we always wanted to make. We wanted to make an album that you could listen to and not just rock out to. Something you can throw on on Sunday morning.” Or, in our case, Thursday night.
Delta Spirit and Darker My Love play SOhO (1221 State St.) Thursday, December 9, at 8 p.m. Call 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets.