Ha ha! I bet you thought I was gonna talk all about the Capitol Hill Block Party this week, didn't you (since it is sponsored by The Stranger and all)! Well, joke's on you, sucker! I'm not gonna!

Well, actually, yes... I am. But only a little bit. And only because there are a couple bands you really can't miss. (There are tons of bands you really shouldn't miss, but there are a few bands you really can't miss, dig?)

For those of you who don't know about it, the Block Party takes place on the corner of Pine Street and 11th Avenue this Saturday and Sunday (the 12th and 13th). It's an all-day thing, all-ages, only ten bucks advance... basically it's party central. On Sunday, Kane Hodder and Schoolyard Heroes are playing the Vera Stage (10th and Pike) at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. respectively. Both of these young bands are slowly making their way to hardcore rock-and-roll superstardom (if I have anything to say about it) and if you miss them, you're gonna blow it.

Now on to something everyone and their mother might not already know about. The Casket Lottery and Rocky Votolato are playing a show on Thursday the 10th at Studio Seven, and you should go.

I've been waiting and waiting for the Casket Lottery to come to town so I could finally give some praise to such an excellent band. Their latest record, Survival Is for Cowards, is full of spooky rock sounds, haunting vocals, blasts of heavy, energetic moments... everything I like in my rock and roll. And their live show lives up to any expectations you might have. You know how sometimes you go see a band and you're totally stoked to see 'em live but then they don't really pull it off? Either they wuss out on the screamy vocals, or play only half the guitar parts or something? Well the Casket Lottery don't play that game--they're 100 percent awesome.

Rocky Votolato is also playing the show, if you need a little more convincing. He just released a beautiful EP, Light and Sound, on Second Nature Recordings (which is also the Casket Lottery's label). So why would you miss a show with two big scoops of happiness? I'm telling you right now, you wouldn't. I own you. You better be there. MEGAN SELING

megan@thestranger.com

Need more? You can hear my personal picks for the week on 107.7 The End every Monday and Friday at 5:30 pm during DJ No Name's Afternoon Experiment.