THURSDAY 3/27


Ladyfest: Bantam, Storm & Her Balls, The Jolenes, Kleveland, Captain Rock, Susie Blue
(VERA Project) See preview, page 37.

Ladyfest: rosie thomas, tara jane o'neil, heather duby, jen wood, andrea maXAND, amy blaschke, arkade
(Crocodile) See preview, page 37.

TIM EASTON, HAPPY CHICHESTER, MICHAEL HILL
(Tractor) In his formative years, Tim Easton fronted the Haynes Boys, the lone rootsy folk rock group in the otherwise trash punk milieu of early '90s Columbus, Ohio. Back then, Easton gained a rep as quite the ladies' man--or arrogant prick, depending on your vantage point. Deciding he'd best leave town for survival of the bodily and careerist kind, he did the troubadour-for-a-dime deal, busking around Europe for a while. Then there was a stint shmoozing the slimeballs in L.A., and more solo touring around the U.S. Along the way he's released three albums of storytelling singer/songwriter stuff that occasionally flashes power pop grins. The Truth About Us, from 2001, featured those ubiquitous Wilco guys. His latest, Break Your Mother's Heart (New West), is also aided by some other alt country notables, but mostly flows in a more acoustic vein. Eric Davidson

FITZ OF DEPRESSION, SUBHUMANS, THE ENEMIES, THE VOIDS, MARK BRUBACK
(Showbox) Punk rock takes over the Showbox tonight as Olympia's Fitz of Depression teams up with Oakland's Enemies, the UK's Subhumans, Mark Bruback, and the Voids. If you're planning on drinking bottom-shelf beer tonight, get there early, as reserves will probably be depleted pretty quickly. JENNIFER MAERZ

FRIDAY 3/28


PEANUT BUTTER WOLF, SHARPSHOOTERS, CHERRYWINE
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 41.

Ladyfest: aMber asylum, ludicra, free verse, to see you brokeN
(VERA Project) See preview, page 37.

Ladyfest: sara dougher, brandi carlile, Loni Rose, LaUra veirs, alicia dara
(Crocodile) See preview, page 37.

IDLEWILD, FRENCH KICKS, THE NATURAL HISTORY
(Graceland) I feel like a broken record here, but since audiences still think Idlewild is something more than an average band, then clearly I still have more repetitions to make. I'll be the first to concede that there is nothing wrong with a group of Scotsmen swinging into town; I'd be lying if I said there was a more welcome foreigner, whose country has had a better output in the past five years--Mogwai and Delgados to name but two great Scots. Idlewild gets the fullness right that makes the difference between bad and good alternative rock, but fails to stun listeners with that extra layer that separates the good from the gorgeous. French Kicks leave me with the same feeling, like there are plenty of bands doing the same thing that haven't caught the hipster stamp of approval. Theirs is the idea that calling yourself post-punk means your band can make blatant, aggressive power pop without having to cop to a term that might get it booed out of punk circles. Isn't that what was once freshly termed Alternative Rock? How embarrassing is that? KATHLEEN WILSON

Rotten Apples, the Ones, the Vexers, Bantam
(Sunset) With their perfectly balanced sound that conveys both sassy and sweet, Rotten Apples embody the soul of a gal anyone would be lucky to hang out with. Though she calls Los Angeles home for the time being, singer Dejha has a long musical history in Seattle, having played in a couple different bands, including 3-D S&M. KATHLEEN WILSON

THE BE GOOD TANYAS, THE OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW
(Tractor) All-girl Canadian trio the Be Good Tanyas employ an enthusiastic throng of mandolins, guitars, and other sundry stringed instruments in their country-bluesy, coffeehouse-primed neo-folk (which has gained them comparisons to such notables as Gillian Welch and Neko Case). If you're the sort who eschews Ladyfest in favor of Lilith Fair, you should probably check them out. While the lyrical content of the group's own originals occasionally veers toward the mawkish (as on "Dogsong 2," an ardent elegy for one member's deceased Labrador, Sherpa), the Tanyas' covers--of traditional laments like "I Wish My Baby Was Born," as well as modern tracks by luminaries including Townes Van Zandt--are thoughtfully arranged, with tremulous harmonies and fingerpicked strings conspiring in endearingly understated, rootsy grace. ANNE MATHEWS

THE TRIGGERS, THE DARK PLACES, DEADLY WEAPONS, THE HUSBANDS
(Zak's) It's a cheap journalistic crutch to focus on the "dynamic frontwoman" when reviewing a band, but it's hard not to do so when talking about bands like the Triggers and the Dark Places, where "dynamic" is something of an understatement. The two bands may take divergent paths stylistically (the DP's Kilynn gives off more of an aloof Debbie Harry vibe, while Candy of the Triggers seems more likely to kick your ass and steal your beer, laughing all the while), but both are guaranteed to serve as highly effective rockers of your collective audience ass. Bill Bullock

SATURDAY 3/29


Ladyfest: schoolyard heroes, pom pom meltdown, shoplifting, tart, the king cobra, the start
(VERA Project) See preview, page 37.

Ladyfest: carrie clark, spyglass, tagging satELlites, black angel, halou
(Crocodile) See preview, page 37.

VISQUEEN, THE SENATE ARCADE, THE AMAZOMBIES, DJ KI, SPACE DJ
(Stevens Pass) If you're tired of seeing every show in some kind of bar, club, or concert hall, today's event takes the music to completely different surroundings--the snow-covered mountains. Now in its third year, Mamafest is a nonprofit corporation that works to create awareness and support for breast cancer research in an "edutainment" environment. This time around, the daylong activities include a show from the above-listed bands/DJs, a snowboarding demo, halfpipe competitions (where prizes include season passes to Stevens Pass Resort), a beer garden, educational booths, and more. The whole thing starts at 9 am (with the bands starting at 11:45, leading up to Visqueen at 3 pm) and lasts until around 5 pm. The entertainment is free (though it costs to enter the competition), but since this is a benefit, don't go empty-handed--donations will gladly be accepted (and are kind of expected), and will go toward research programs at both the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington Medicine Cancer Genetics Clinic. For more information, log on to www.mamafest.org. JENNIFER MAERZ

BIF NAKED, POINT 1, DROP SIX
(Studio 7) Judging from the lingering presence of her career, Bif Naked still manages to find new audiences that think an odd/lurid name and tattoos equals something naughtily subversive. What's it been, 10 years now? Part rock chick, part sultry chanteuse, part S&M-bar poster girl--I wager she'll milk the tittering and curious at least another 10. KATHLEEN WILSON

HALOU, BLACK ANGEL
(Crocodile, late) That Halou transgress the airy, often boring limitations of electronica is entirely credited to singer Rebecca Coseboom and her spirited vocals. This is dress-up music where you can be just as comfortable decked out in vintage glad rags as in your quietly swank Prada. Whether billmates Black Angel make it up from their hometown of Portland is iffy at best. Former Drunk at Abi's singer J. R. Pella's at the ready with his impressive blue-eyed soul, but songstress Tahoe Jackson has been battling more than her share of health problems and could use a little heartfelt tenderness. KATHLEEN WILSON

NEKO CASE, KELLY HOGAN, CAROLYN MARK
(Sky Church) What makes this impressive lineup of golden-throated singers a vital, must-see event as Women's History Month winds to a close is their ability to keep that history going with dauntless storytelling through song. Case, who stands out front in Vancouver's New Pornographers, and Hogan, whose pipes can match up to Rock*A*Teens' Chris Lopez, follow up with a family show Sunday afternoon, so bring the little gals along--it just might change their lives. KATHLEEN WILSON

CARISSA'S WIERD, VERONA, SICK BEES
(Graceland) Going to a show with the three bands making up tonight's bill is like watching a kid phasing through his or her "first" adulthood. (What? You didn't know you get to grow up again and again 'til you're dead?) Start tart and scorching with the Sick Bees, then transition to the earnest hard rock yearning of Verona, then sit down with Carissa's Wierd and listen to what only your heart can tell you. KATHLEEN WILSON

FLOGGING MOLLY, THE SUPERSUCKERS, THROWRAG
(Showbox) With such a wonderfully hammy lineup as this, feel free to put your intellect on autopilot, raise the devil horns, and hoot to your heart's content. Though disgusting as all get-out, Throwrag conjure a hillbilly version of the Cows, except you won't find yourself strangely attracted to the frontmen in this band, unless of course a naked, gelatinous beer belly turns you on, or you prefer a stick figure stomping around in cowboy boots, à la Kermit the Frog. And if that doesn't get you, how about a guy who sticks his trumpet in the sweaty crack of his ass before raising it to his lips? At least the Supersuckers are funny in a way that isn't gross. The headliners are oddly more refined than their billmates, but don't expect them to be any more restrained. Flogging Molly are a Pogues-influenced blend of rock and Irish tradition similar to latter-day Dropkick Murphys. KATHLEEN WILSONSUNDAY 3/30


Ladyfest: cober, apocalypsticks, the peels, amazombies, the stuck-ups, the rotten apples
(VERA Project) See preview, page 37.

Ladyfest: wendy bailEy, enemy kite, carrie bIell, ripley
(Crocodile) See preview, page 37.

CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, ANNA OXYGEN, SWASTIKA GIRLS
(Center on Contemporary Art) Maybe there is something to be said for eclecticism, for diverging from the confines of a static musical formula, approaching every song as a rebirth. Sure. I'll buy that. But I think there's something equally as impressive in a rigid constriction that sieves in its design for a narrower, more laser-focused product with every effort. It's in this tapered avenue that Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's pop gleefully resides; a simple equation of towered, swap meet keyboards and beats, all set to the sentimental baritone of lone member Owen Ashworth. What sounds like a concept of somewhat limited potential, CFTPA is instead an experiment in the disparity of the consistent--the kind of flawless formula that composes all great pop bands. And in his own simple, slight way, Ashworth's music stumbles on just that: greatness. HELENA F. HANDBASKET

MONDAY 3/31


SUPERDRAG, OZMA, THE PAYBACKS
(Crocodile, early) Remember that song way back in the day (uhh, okay... more like 1996) when some guy screeched, "Who sucked out the feeeee-EEEE-ling?" Yeah! That's Superdrag! Remember them? To be fair, Superdrag are more than just a one-hit wonder, however. In fact, since their debut album, Regretfully Yours, they've release three--yes THREE--more albums. The most recent of the batch, 2002's Last Call for Vitriol, opens with one of my favorite 'Drag songs, "Baby Goes to 11," a rock and roll anthem if I ever heard one. Ozma are co-headlining with the Superdrag kids, and while they're not as rock and roll as their tourmates, they do bring some Nintendo-ized, Weezer-style pop songs to the mix. I don't know exactly what that means, but once you hear 'em, it'll all make sense. MEGAN SELING Also see preview, page 43.

TUESDAY 4/1


THE MOVIELIFE, ONELINEDRAWING, VENDETTA RED, STATIC LULLABY
(Graceland) See Underage, page 47.

WEDNESDAY 4/2


MENOVCIK & KRAMER
(Chop Suey) If I had a dollar for every time out-of-town friends reacted with shock when I told them that the Seattle music scene is not only not dead, but ferociously healthy, I sure as hell wouldn't be worried about how I was going to pay my bills this month. Up-and-comers like Hypatia Lake and Saeta are helping to push the boundaries and keep things interesting--which explains why a legend like Kramer (the genius behind Shimmy Disc Records, Bong Load, and too many great records to list) is working on a new project with Saeta's Matt Menovcik. Appropriately titled Menovcik and Kramer, the work in progress will make its public debut tonight. It's Kramer's first performance in quite some time--and his first Northwest appearance in even longer. Word has it that he may be performing some of his own material as well, which makes this a show you won't want to miss. Barbara Mitchell

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