We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Brant Bjork deserves some credit. He played in Kyuss and Fu Manchu—two of the most influential stoner-rock bands that don’t feature Matt Pike—and earned a reputation as the premier drummer in a guitar-centric genre. He’s a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing nearly everything on Keep Your Cool, his third solo release. Unfortunately, Bjork fails at two major things on this most recent outing: being funny and being funky. “Hey, Monkey Boy” and “I Miss My Chick” are sub-Zappa attempts at humor, and the other tracks—except the superlative, new-wavy “Gonna Make the Scene”—traffic in what his press release refers to as “cool jazz, break beats, and Rasta grooves.” Desert-rock enthusiasts don’t want novelty songs and self-indulgent dabbling. They desire the fuzz squall, the thudding riffs that last longer than Berlin Alexanderplatz, and the unadulterated cowbell abuse of which Bjork used to be the master. Bjork and the Bros. play with Bad Wizard at 9:30 p.m. at the Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. $8. (202) 462-7625. (David Dunlap Jr.)