Rock & Pop

KALX Presents The Vaselines

When: Wed., Oct. 20, 8 p.m. 2010

The Vaselines might have ended up in history's dustbin alongside fellow obscure Scottish alt-poppers Orange Juice, had late NirvanafrontmanKurt Cobain not plucked them from obscurity. Cobain covered two Vaselines songs, got their entire catalog reissued by Sub Pop, and even named daughter Frances Bean after the group's Frances McKee. So it makes sense that McKee and fellow Vaseline member Eugene Kelly would get the band back together to release Sex With an X, a long-awaited sophomore bow that only took two decades to make. And while this might invoke cynical notions of a nostalgia-fueled money-grab, the band's dozen new songs stand on their own merit. There's a proper balance of guitar jangle and twee-kissed harmonizing that reflect the Vaselines' influence on fellow Scots Belle & Sebastian. They toss a bit of grit into this sugary mix with the cranky anthem "I Hate the '80s," and the Mekons-flavored alt-country stomper "My God's Bigger Than Your God." Cobain's "favorite songwriters in the whole world" appear at the Great American Music Hall (859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco) on Wednesday, October 20. 8 p.m. $23.

Dave Gil de Rubio

Price: $23

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