Winter still hangs around, but New York is in spring-gig bloom, and there is a lot of rebound in this hour from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' first of three nights at the Beacon Theater; the opening set by singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten; the first show in 44 years by Billy Gibbons' pre-ZZ Top garage band, the Moving Sidewalks; and the Madison Square Garden debut of Iceland's Sigur Rós. I own Swamp Dogg's "Total Destruction to Your Mind" in triplicate, including the original 1970 45 on Canyon – that should be explanation enough. I bought Royal Headache (What's Your Rupture), the debut album by Australia's Royal Headache upon strong recommendation – I'm glad I did – and the Rationals' Michigan-rock grenade, from 1969, can be found in a new knock-out box set, Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust (Easy Action), devoted to their singer, Scott Morgan.
Then there is my ongoing obsession with Steppenwolf's "Monster" suite: initiated when it first hit the radio in late 1969; renewed with the invasion of Iraq; now continually triggered by Afghanistan, drones, NRA paranoia, hysterical Congressional partisanship ... Well, you've got your own list. Here's a soundtrack.