Perhaps the highlight of Blackout is the arrival of San Francisco's Chrome. "Helios Creed, the guitarist, singer, songwriter, and sound artist who's been the driving force behind all recent incarnations of legendary sci-fi/psych/punk/postpunk band Chrome, didn't even play on their 1976 debut, The Visitation. But it's pretty unanimously agreed that the band really took off after he joined, with the superweird 1978 and '79 masterpieces Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves," says Monica Kendrick. "For this show, he's joined by a five-piece band that includes keyboardist Tommy Grenas (formerly of Pressurehed) and drummer Aleph Kali, both of whom have been with Chrome for 17 years, meaning they were around for the solid late-90s reunion. For me what's more exciting, though, is that he's polishing up a double album of unreleased late-70s Chrome tracks—a snafu over bills kept the tapes in limbo for more than 30 years—and plans to release it later this year."
The Norwegian rock 'n' roll staples are back with a brand-new singer named Tony Sylvester, who according to Kevin Warwick is "a burly Englishman who cut his teeth singing for hardcore bands such as Dukes of Nothing and served as president of the London chapter of the Turbojugend—the band's rabid fan club, whose seemingly omnipresent denim-clad legions undoubtedly contributed to Turbonegro’s choice to soldier on. Last year's Sexual Harassment (Scandinavian Leather) proves that decision sound. Coated in Kiss-style glam and sometimes just as flat-out ridiculous as that band ("Shake Your Shit Machine"), the album benefits from Sylvester's gruff, throaty vocals—a departure from Von Helvete's relatively sassy singing—and the hard-ass rock 'n' roll licks that guitarist Euroboy can lay down at will."
Rafi Malkiel is playing at the Old Town School of Folk Music as part of the inaugural Israeli Jazz Festival. Peter Margasak says, "On his terrific 2010 album Water (Tzadik), Israeli trombonist Rafi Malkiel demonstrates the cosmopolitan spirit of his adopted home of New York without ditching his roots. From track to track his compositions—alternately elegant and boisterous, but always infectious—draw from Jamaican reggae ("Eden Rain"), Duke Ellington's jungle-band sound ("A Drink of Spring"), and, more than anything, Afro-Caribbean styles, but the Middle Eastern modes of his homeland ripple throughout, especially in the eruptions of klezmer that turn pretty melodies and graceful rhythms into wild throwdowns."