A punk band on Dirtnap with keyboards and a semi-snotty attitude... that isn't the Spits or the Epoxies? Yup, there's another one about to hatch called the Minds, and the demo for their upcoming release for the label, Plastic Girls, is pretty damn good. They're like Devo meets call-and-response garage punk, with songs about the art of courtship and the destruction of pop culture, as well as an awesome cover of the Adverts' "My Place." The band is like the best of the Dirtnap catalog--anthemic rock 'n' roll like the Gloryholes, the keyboard punch of the Cripples, and the attention to pop hooks that the Exploding Hearts possessed. The Portland band has a seven-inch out on Alien Snatch that'll probably be available at their Sunset show this Sunday, September 28, at 4:00 p.m., when they take the stage with the Cripples, Electric Kisses, and Tractor Sex Fatality. (Every time I've seen TSF they've put on an amazing show--two drummers, a singer who pants through a megaphone, and the kind of destructive noise you'd expect from a Pussy Galore-damaged crew.)

The Tractor Tavern is hosting a big rockabilly ball all weekend, and on the afternoon of Saturday the 27th, there's a special car show with a bunch of bands playing. From 11:30 a.m. until the last group goes on at 2:15 p.m., you'll get a variety of rockabilly, Motown soul, and some primitive garage/surf--that last combo from the Donner Party of Four, who dropped off a demo that sounded like an early version of the Cramps being played on AM radio. Good stuff. Donner Party goes on at 1:30 p.m., and for the full weekend lineup, check out the Tractor's website at tractortavern.citysearch.com.

With the independent media out there getting more and more interesting, it's always exciting to hear about a new publication covering the arts. Friday night, September 26, marks the unveiling of issue number two of Trampoline House (www.trampolinehouse.com), a beautifully designed local e-zine with content covering mixed media (music, literature, art) from international destinations. The premiere issue offered a photographer's series on pay phones, a short story about a group of young bullies fascinated with Nazis, and free music from Headphone: a screamy electronic meltdown overlaid with eerie keyboard melodies. I met Trampoline creator Eric Morse last week, and he explained that the theory behind his publication was to use the talent and recognition of his well-known friends to help garner exposure for the not-so-famous ones, and in the meantime shine a spotlight on interesting elements of the arts. The party for issue two showcases an eclectic lineup, including music from Imaginary Johnny (whose music is featured with some MP3s on the site) and Love Hotel (featuring members of Harvey Danger, Western State Hurricanes, Severna Park, and Typing Explosion), art from Nate Manny, Terra 3, Heather Gibbons, Julia Blackburn, and John Casetera, and a reading from Mike McConnell. It takes place at 8:00 p.m. at 3516 Fremont Pl. (in the alley next to Deluxe Junk), and there's a suggested donation of $5.

After touring through Europe forever, opening for Radio 4 in the UK, and starring in the new DJ Spooky video, Plan B returned to Seattle, if only to cool their heels for a couple shows. I saw the duo perform last week at SAM, where the marbled lobby was a perfect backdrop for their eclectic electronic hybrids. They mixed live instrumentation (standup bass, a small synthesizer that has a mouthpiece and sounds like a bagpipe) with samples and beats from a PowerBook. The music ranged from cinematic, ambient downtempo with breathy female vocals to jazzy, chopped-up hiphop, and James van Leuven showed off some of his signature breakdancing skills for the crowd. Their next gig is at Chop Suey on October 9 with DJ Vadim, and I recommend catching them again before they return to the road.

And finally, keep an eye out for Science Victim, the Seattle/Tacoma band that played Re-bar last week. I'd heard their demo, but the live version totally blew me away. Their overdriven, amped-up guitar sounds are reminiscent of Drive Like Jehu, but they're mixed with a primal, Black Eyes-style beat, a punked-out dance thing heavy on the extra noise, plus a lanky singer who delivers his lines like a wide-eyed Frankenstein. Definitely an exciting new element on the local scene.


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