THURSDAY FEBRUARY 25

MANAH
(ARO.space) I once lived in Santa Cruz, California, so you'll have to excuse me if the phrase "World Music" still gives me nightmares of creamy-skinned Trustafarians slobbering over tortoiseshell mukha veenas and pummeling dikki tarangs until every last non- insane person has left the building. Those visions of horror might end, however, now that I have seen Manah in action. The percussion-laden group, whose name means "love/peace" in many languages that Seattleites don't speak, manages to be genuine because they mix their world spice with jazz improvisation and American rhythms, and they bring an intense musicality to the entire set. Especially impressive is tenor saxophonist Steve Gauci, who twitches and reels as he unleashes gleaming riffs over the band's elaborate rhythms.--Nathan Thornburgh

NOMEANSNO, THE HELL WORMS, ROYAL GRAND PRIX
(Showbox) Formed in 1981, Nomeansno has enjoyed a long career as one of British Columbia's most famous underground punk bands, possibly because the power trio refuses to grow up no matter how old its members have become. A good philosophy, if you ask me.--Kathleen Wilson


FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26

BINGO, CAPITOL HILLBILLIES
(Tractor Tavern) Bingo--a.k.a Kevin Ritchie--was the other half of the creative team (along with Pete Krebs) that fronted the recently disbanded freeform bluegrass group Golden Delicious, a local favorite that will be sorely missed, as no one else manages to blend roots, gospel and protest songs quite so modernly. Given his knack for unearthing lost gems, Bingo should satisfy GD fans with variations on familiar themes.--KW

HUGE SPACE BIRD, VEER,THE BAND THAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS
(Sit & Spin) If you crave a little boogie rock--the un-ironic kind--then Huge Space Bird is the band that satisfies. Completely without pretense and about as down-homey as you can get, HSB never fails to make anyone over the age of 28 remember why they still want to go out and see bands live--because of the ROCK, dammit. Not much is known about The Band That Made Milwaukee Famous, except that it's rumored to count members of Muzzle among its numbers.--KW

SLEATER-KINNEY, ICU, THE CRABS
(RKCNDY) People used to ask me why I moved to the Northwest... strike three great reasons here. You think we get a chance to see a bill like this--The Crabs' Farfisa-driven starkly cool '60s style pop, ICU's genius theremin-tinted analog drum 'n' bass, Sleater-Kinney's awesome loud/soft provocative alluring rock--every month in the U.K.? You're fucking kidding me. And anyone who hasn't had the opportunity to check out Sleater-Kinney's new album The Hot Rock should get their ass in gear right now, and skadaddle along to their local indie store, 'cause you're missing out big time.--Everett True

WESTERN STATE HURRICANES, RED VELVET RELIEF, MARIGOLD
(Crocodile) For the past three years, Marigold has been the band to watch. And thank God they're finally in the studio, because three years is a long time to wait for anything, even if it was mostly for the band to get out of their teens. Though the four-piece dropped plenty of jaws while still in high school by managing to form sparkling, guitar-driven pop songs while hailing from Springfield, OR--capitol of clodhoppers and close-mindedness--Marigold has matured into a fine rock band that is seasoned way beyond its years. The Posies' Ken Stringfellow and longtime scenester Scott McCaughey are lending expert hands to the hotly-awaited, fancy-schmancy proper debut that should be out sometime this spring. And not a moment too soon.--KW


SATURDAY FEBRUARY 27

THE DUSTY 45'S, HAI-KARATE, SHINOLA
( Breakroom) Seattle certainly isn't lacking in bands that--because of their hipster appeal--nobody wants to step forward and declare to be shit. Allow me to jab a stick into the shitpile that is Hai-Karate and wave it around for all to see. Why Frank Kozik allowed the local quartet to record for his Man's Ruin label is a national conundrum, but in a city that shies away from speaking its mind for fear of being removed from guest lists, it's not too hard to figure out why the band gets on so many bills.--KW

FUN LOVIN' CRIMINALS, VOODOO CLEANUP CREW
(Showbox) Quite unlike their 1996 "hit," the stoopid, ultra-catchy, Quentin Tarantino collaboration "Scooby Snacks" ("Runnin' around robbing banks/All wacked on my scooby snacks"), the majority of the slower material on Fun Lovin' Criminals' latest disc, 100% Columbian, is pretty okay for honky R&B, so long as you expect nothing more than that. Find yourself unrepelled by Greg Dulli's whitey pimp act? Then you'll find plenty to like in songs like "All for Myself" and the homage to Barry White called "Love Unlimited." Hiphop lite figures nicely in the anti-junkie groover "We Are All Very Worried about You," and "Big Night Out," with its hilarious chorus, "I got supermodels on my D." But the up-tempo offerings that make up the remainder of the album are all pretty much crap. Benign and inoffensive, nothing to get up in arms about, but crap nonetheless.--KW

GREEN VELVET
(Delicious, 609-8851 for info) For those in the know, Chicago's Green Velvet conjures up a hedonistic past of countless weekends spent crouched in the corners of a dark, musty warehouse, nodding one's head to records like "Preacher Man" and "Flash." Although they come from the House capital of the world, these records were definitive rave music: hard, funky, distorted and, in their own strange way, extremely sexy. Green Velvet put a face (and a wig) on faceless dance culture, adding a fuzzy vocal drone to Chicago's jackhammer beats, turning background noise into catchy song poems.--Matthew Corwine

FUGAZI, THE EX, DUB NARCOTIC SOUND SYSTEM
(Capitol Theater) I recently sold my CDs of three Fugazi albums, realizing that, when it came down to it, the most important rock band of 1988 to 1990 would be adequately represented in my collection by its first two vinyl EPs, later collected for the digitally inclined under the title 13 Songs. A similar impulse underlied my missing their last show in town, the first opportunity I'd ever passed up to see them, after seeing shows in Bennington, VT, Northampton, MA, Minneapolis, MN, and Redmond, WA--anywhere I ever had that opportunity. But am I skipping the chance to seem them on this visit, which brings them to Oly today and Seattle tomorrow? Hell no. The DC four-piece, eloquently combining dub basslines and slash-and-burn guitar with incisive lyrics and rage as purely focused as anything outside the best speedmetal, might seem like an oldies act these days, but the '90s have amply proven that punks aren't immune to nostalgia.--Eric Fredericksen

THE MICROPHONES, MR. PHIL ELVRUM, D+
(Sub Pop Mega Mart) Pop music with humanity. D+ contain an ex-Beat Happening, a bare-foot bassist and a drummer who likes to sprint round his kit in between drum rolls. Chaotic, endearing, clattering, beautiful. Lyrics are filled with the joys of the outside life. D+ play lo-fi, like the word had never become a pejorative.--ET


SUNDAY FEBRUARY 28

Support The Stranger

BLUE NOTE NEW DIRECTIONS TOUR
(Last Supper Club) Blue Note alto saxophonist Greg Osby may have a gossamer moustache and a loudmouth reputation, but he brings three young and very talented musicians to town with him tonight. Stefon Harris (vibes), Mark Shim (tenor sax), and Jason Moran (piano) have each recorded solo albums with Blue Note, and they each have their own list of jazz superstars who will testify to their genius and potential. There's no doubt that these musicians can play their instruments; a much more interesting question is how they will come together as a quartet. They are long on individual successes (and in some cases, egos) and short on gigs together. But hell, this is jazz, not riffrock, and these players' compositional and improvisational voices are guaranteed butter. The future of jazz is here, Blue Note style--even if just for one night.--NT

FUGAZI, THE EX
(DV8) See Sat Feb 27.


MONDAY MARCH 1

ROCKIN' TEENAGE COMBO
(700 Club) It's not too often that a female keyboard player comes along and shows the boys how to get funky. The Rockin' Teenage Combo's Dara Quinn has done just that, and she now finds herself in demand as a player, starring occasionally with other beat- oriented outfits such as Balthazar, a P-funk-sized groove band. Tonight her young trio welcomes two killer musicians (San Francisco's Black Edgar Kenyatta, saxophonist for the Broun Fellinis, and Austin's Mike Dillon, percussionist for Critters Buggin) for an evening of funky connections and rhythmic explorations.--James Kirchmer


TUESDAY MARCH 2

VERSUS
(Crocodile) It's been a while since we've heard anything new from pop darlings Versus, but now that they've successfully extricated themselves from clunky Caroline Records we've got a new EP to hold near and dear, this time from Merge, a label much better suited to the band's galloping guitar sound. Afterglow suffers only in its brevity--Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups remain two of the most soothing voices in indie popdom, and five songs just isn't enough to tide fans over until the next disc comes out. But it will have to do, as will tonight's show which, in a week that has nothing but jack going on, is a glittering aural diamond.--KW


WEDNESDAY MARCH 3

HOLE, MARILYN MANSON
(KeyArena) See Live Preview, page 31.

THE ROOTS (Fenix) Are Philadelphia's Roots collective the finest live act in hiphop today? Possibly. Certainly, they don't bother with turntables, samples, DAT machine... any of that wussy crap. Of course, it helps to have Rahzel the Godfather of Noize, the human beatbox, stirring shit up stage front--and a new record to promote, Things Fall Apart, which combines righteous street level anger, jazz and a level of intelligent, sassy rapping which could put even A Tribe Called Quest to shame. Anyone who caught the Smokin' Grooves slightly disappointing mega-show last year should definitely get themselves down to the Roots, and get educated.--ET

HOVERCRAFT, PROJECT W, CLIMAX GOLDEN TWINS, AXOLOTL
(OK Hotel) These four intense "experiences" are sure to leave an impression--on your synapses. From Axolotl's altered power-trio romps to Climax Golden Twins' wacky sound and film manipulations to Project W's burning free jazz, sensory overload is the norm. By the time Hovercraft levitates the stage with their synchronized, noise-driven visual assault, resistance will be futile. Allow yourself to be hypnotized, and entertained.--JKT

RILON, MT. ANALOG, UNISPHERE
(Crocodile) Former Santana drummer Michael Shrieve (he jammed at Woodstock while still in his teens) has been living in Seattle for quite some time now--and he's collaborated with local musicians on occasion, with mixed results. His playing can be a bit self-indulgent at times--but who can blame him? He's a powerful drummer, and Trilon features him alongside members of Critters Buggin and Maktub. Expect plenty of surprises, and a nice lull before the storm with Tucker Martine's genre-defying Mt. Analog and Unisphere, two super-sly atmospheric-soul bands.--JK