The Kids

There's no two ways about it--you have to give it up for musicians who've only been alive since the '90s. The Wild Hairs--drummer Miles Freeborn and guitarist/vocalist Tavish McDonald--are ages 12 and 10, respectively, and the duo have already played a couple shows around the city at 2nd Avenue Pizza, Fallout, and most recently out in Ballard opening for the Catheters. Their music is a mash of Minor Threat and metal with coarse, growling vocals and songs about Cheerios, pizza, and violent teachers. Check out their eponymous debut, and even better, check out these cute kids live the next time they play.

Although I missed their show over at Zak's recently, Portland band the Minds have been getting a little buzz of late, and for good reason. Their upcoming record is due out in the fall on Dirtnap, but label head Ken Cheppaikode recently burned me a copy of their demo and I haven't stopped listening to it since. Definitely an act that will rise to the top of that label's roster with rocket speed. The band (which includes ex-members of the Flip Tops) has all the catchy hooks of other Dirtnap acts like the Briefs and the Exploding Hearts, but with keyboards that make them sound like a more pop-influenced Spits. They have a seven-inch coming out this summer on Alien Snatch! Records (www.theminds.us).

Speaking of new bands, Tuesday, May 27, I helped judge Red Hook/Made in Washington's Emerging Music Awards contest. A small group of us shaved 15 semifinalist contestants down to a final five who will play the brewery in July and August (www.redhook.com has all the details) and compete for a couple thousand dollars' worth of music-related prizes. Although the finalists have yet to be decided from our bunch, personally I was really impressed with Plum St., a gorgeous pop act that incorporates guitar, upright bass, cello, keyboards, piano, and drums. Singer Reed Hutchinson's vocal style is almost Elliott Smith-like on the band's eponymous demo, and the music comes together like that talented songsmith mixed with a bit of Jellyfish. Really impressive stuff, but judge for yourself at www.plum-st.com.

Finally, check out Kicks every Saturday at the Twilight Exit, a DJ night with Dan from Right On! and guests, for those who love dancing to '60s garage, psych, and soul.

jennifer@thestranger.com