It was everything Gina Gershon wished she could be in 2003's train wreck Prey for Rock & Roll, but is too talentless to pull off--the over-40 rock chick who can still bring it. The real deal, Joan Jett, came to town last week for a private bartender's ball at the Showbox, and the buffed and vinyled goddess of rock 'n' roll put on a timeless show of hits usually heard 'round here in the wreckage of a karaoke bar. Leaving the baldy bull-dyke look alone for a shock of more flattering black hair, Jett rolled smoothly through her repertoire (including a cover of Gary Glitter's killer track, "Do You Want to Touch Me [Oh Yeah]"). In an extra boost of estrogen, the show was opened by the 5,6,7,8s, a fun Japanese girl garage trio best known for their Kill Bill: Vol. 1 cameo.

And speaking of cameos, George W. Bush made one at the recent Beastie Boys KeyArena show last week. Or at least his likeness did. Spoof campaign ads starring Will Farrell as the bumbling president were interspersed with images of the Beasties as basketball-playing grandpas and as two old-school fans from Lacey, Washington--who interviewed real fans outside KeyArena before the show--all of which was broadcast behind the trio (or foursome, counting DJ Mix Master Mike) during their set. The Bush parodies can be found at www.whitehousewest.com, and are right up there with Farrell's Old School acting as goddamn funny to watch. Videos aside, Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA put on a party-rocking set of material that included album- and costume-spanning appearances from 1986's Licensed to Ill through their latest, To the 5 Boroughs. Performing a much more dynamic show than I expected, the ageless emcees came out dressed in tacky wedding-band garb and brandishing instruments for some Check Your Head songs, switching up the vibe a bit mid-set. In the end, the affable crew invited all of KeyArena back to the Edgewater Hotel (room 116) for some "room fishing" out the hotel window, although word had it that once they closed out with "Sabotage," the New Yorkers were back on the road for the following night's Vancouver show.

Show pick of the week: If you were going to pair the Spits with one touring band for their last show in town for a long time (Erin Wood will be spending more time in L.A. in the coming year and the band is about to go on tour), Destruction Unit are the perfect choice. Featuring Jay Reatard and Alicia Trout of Lost Sounds, DU smash the Misfits and Black Flag into dark-wave punk lit up by sci-fi synth noise explosions. Their desperation-bender aesthetic comes through loud and clear on their eponymous release for Empty Records (one of that label's finest releases this year). More important, the Spits are promising a blowout (temporary) farewell, which also marks the release of their newest Dirtnap CD. Come drink to their good journey at the Hideaway on Friday, September 24, with Tyco Party opening.

jennifer@thestranger.com

Support The Stranger