(Showbox) In the Aztec language of Nahuatl, Ozomatli is the name for the God of Dance, a monkey. The band started out playing in their hometown of L.A., selling out the Opium Den and then graduating to the larger Dragonfly. Reminiscent of Santana and War, they incorporate lots of hiphop into their overall style of salsa-samba-funk. Ozomatli are known for their interactive performances, frequently entering and exiting the venue through the crowd in a samba line, inviting all to participate. They do not hesitate to include their rather radical political philosophies in the show, either. Being from the Latino ghettos in and around downtown L.A., building community strength in impoverished areas is a main theme of their music, but the focus is on dancing and having a party. JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ

(Graceland) Okay, so they apparently only know three chords. If you're doing it right, three are all you really need, anyway. Tacoma hardcore veterans Portrait of Poverty, around since 1992, have got song titles like "Stonerpunk" and "Road Rage." Together with Wretch Like Me and the Pavers, it promises to be a loud show. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS

(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests.

(Sit & Spin) A few months ago, as you may recall, I had my panties all bunched up over the great DJs going through Sit & Spin, accompanied by only the tiniest whimpers of promotion. "What a waste!" I cried. Most people go down there to play Battleship and Yahtzee, wash their dirties, or see some good local rock; nobody was expecting one of the supremely gifted Skratch Piklz to show up on a quiet Sunday night--but he did. Some little elf down there has been booking an occasional non-rock treat, and the latest is actually a consistent weekly featuring several excellent Seattle DJs: Hebegebe, Elija, Quest, and Nasir, and their talented guests--from bongo and horn players to master scratchers--playing off downtempo, house, and experimental grooves. I think it makes for a great low-pressure, pre-weekend workout. LEAH GREENBLATT

(Vogue) A friend of mine was telling me the other night about how one time, while eating at KFC, she looked out the window and noticed that the place was surrounded by crows, circling ominously and picking at the scraps on the ground. Crows are scavengers--morbid creatures that are as strong and ubiquitous as cockroaches and rats. A group of crows is called a murder. Somehow it fits. I mean, you couldn't really have a murder of cows, or a murder of bunnies. Maybe a murder of piranhas.... But anyway, the band Murder of Crows is appropriately dark and moody, and should please the crowd in black. JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ


(I-Spy) Be sure to arrive early because Melody Unit are simply not to be missed. Melody Unit are one of the few Seattle pop bands who understand that there are other elements to pop music besides catharsis--like atmospherics. The sounds and off-kilter harmonies MU produce tonight will massage your ears and eradicate that migraine, opening you up for Heather Duby, who will make you weep. KREG HASEGAWA

(Breakroom) It's fun. No, really--that's it. That's the whole point. You go out, you go to the Breakroom, you see some bands, you have a good time--and I don't mean the kind of good time that involves slouching on the half-wall, waiting to see if anyone notices how cool you are 'cause you're at this show. I can't quite figure out what's going on with Dorkweed, though. I've got the CD, and from track to track, it just doesn't sound like the same band. Can someone enlighten me? GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS

(Crocodile) "She gotta tattooed tit, say number 13." The Pixies were one of the best bands ever and people should cover their songs, dammit. And hey, No. 13 Baby do it well, so what's there to complain about? In a lake that's like an ocean. With a pet at my side. From a distant star to this here bar. Gigantic. Your Irish skin looks Mexican. The Dragons are a San Diego straight-up rock band. They cover "Bad Reputation" and "Adios to Mexico," and are also known, according to one fan, to be expert pickpockets and masters of sleights of hand. JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ

(Graceland) I'll let my pal Dave speak for himself about this show: "Okay, why I like the Kent 3: (1) They've booted their pill-poppin' bass player and brought back doorman extraordinaire and musician about town, Jason Freeman. (2) Even though they kicked out Mike Pitts, like, five years ago, they still scare me to death when I go see them play live. (3) Viv Halogen (a.k.a. Konny) is the greatest punk rock storyteller around. (4) Tyler Long is a way fucking better drummer than that chump from the Now. (5) They have a song about a well-dressed man." ERIN FRANZMAN

(Paramount) We have been instructed that "All references to the 'Temptations' must be as follows: 'The Temptations Revue featuring Dennis Edwards,'" because most of the original Temptations are, in fact, dead now. ERIN FRANZMAN


(Showbox, early) One of the U.K.'s best exports hits Seattle tonight, so you'd better have a darned good excuse for missing this show. Supergrass' first two albums were masterpieces of high-energy, singalong, just-bratty-enough-to-be-endearing pop-punk. The new album may veer into more diverse territory, but (a) that new video is amazing, and (b) you can bet your stock options that this trio will deliver one of the most energetic and just plain fun live experiences you'll be lucky enough to see all year. Just be sure to down your drink before they hit the stage. It's hard not to spill all over yourself and your neighbors when you're pogo-ing, and it's hard not to jump up and down when Supergrass are in the house. BARBARA MITCHELL

(Showbox, late) Angel belongs in the ranks of the New York Super-DJ; his soul brothers include the likes of Junior Vasquez, David Morales, Little Louis Vega, and the rest--guys who bounce between gigs like Ministry of Sound and Cream in London and Twilo and Carbon in Manhattan, supplemented by endless Euro tours and one-offs in front of enormous adoring crowds. Angel excels at deep, soulful hard house; whether that's your style or not, he's got about 10 million people around the globe who thrill to see him, and Dedicated's easy-to-please patrons will undoubtedly be quite susceptible to his charms, even if they don't know who he is. LEAH GREENBLATT

(The Gorge) Funny what difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, the Chili Peppers and Nirvana were altering the landscape of popular music by mixing punk (and in the Chili Peppers' case, funk) with listener-friendly melodies and killer pop hooks. It was revolutionary, and it was a long, long time ago. Now the Chili Peppers and Dave Grohl have completed their transition to mainstream status. And while their new material is both catchy and cool, it's safe enough that you wouldn't be embarrassed--or surprised--to hear your parents singing along. Who woulda thunk it? BARBARA MITCHELL

(Elysian) Coming back to Seattle for the last leg of their West Coast tour are RTC and the Living Daylights, two solid jazz trios who aren't afraid to kick the groove and then delve into gratuitous noise. RTC are propelled by the fascination of different genres of groove. They can do traditional jazz, psychedelic funk, and sonic triphop. KREG HASEGAWA


(Paramount) If the only exposure you've ever had to Ray Charles was through a Pepsi commercial; if you think soul is something you pray for every Sunday; then you need to treat yourself to this show. While it's true that Charles hasn't put any classics on record since the mid 1960s, you owe it to yourself to go hear the man most responsible for the creation of soul. Jazz, R&B, rock, pop, even country, the man does it all, and if his recordings for the last couple of decades haven't had the impact of his earlier work, there's something to be said for a guy who can turn a Pepsi jingle into something worth hearing. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS


(Rainbow Room) Anyone who owns and still regularly listens to Miles Davis' Bitch's Brew should not miss these guys' experimental jazz fusion every Monday for no cover! Pete Reilly on electric guitar will smack you hard with a tone and style reminiscent of earlier Bill Frisell back when he played with the Naked City outfit. The rhythm section is huge, featuring two drum sets (Guido Perla and Franklin Mazzeo) and Thom Bell funkin' it up on bass. Dave Carter's trumpet adds a definite Miles vibe, rounding off his notes with a wah-wah pedal. Les, the "sound manipulator," shakes it all up in a Hefty garbage bag and douses you with the concoction. KREG HASEGAWA

(Paramount) I love it when Billy Corgan berates his fans for turning their backs on the band, like Smashing Pumpkins are owed something for their trouble. I love it because it offers me a chance to refute him with his own words: The world is a vampire, sucker. ERIN FRANZMAN

(Showbox) Have you seen Lemmy Kilminster lately? The man's rivaling Keith Richards for the title of Ugliest Man in Rock 'n' Roll; then again, in his own special way, Lemmy's just as cool. After all, who didn't have a Motörhead moment or two, back in their heavy metal youth? And though Lemmy's voice ain't pretty either, he does that singing-through-a-gullet-full-of-gravel thing better than anyone else. With Nashville Pussy (whose High as Hell is due out on May 30), Fu Manchu, and Speedealer on board, bleeding eardrums are guaranteed. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS


(Paramount) If you're going to be a genre-blender, make sure to put enough aggression in the mix; 311's own hybrid of rock, ska, and the requisite DJ was just a little too noncommittal, and though they enjoyed a few hits, they were all too easily dismissed as lightweight dabblers. Yes, they're derivative and kind of silly, but they're cute and they rock out in their own earnest way. Though they may now seem just a little too Endfest '97, I wouldn't mind hearing their handful of singles, like "Down" and "All Mixed Up," and I believe they still have plenty of fans who will enjoy a good solid show. LEAH GREENBLATT

(Showbox) In a rich year for concerts, this is one of the finest. On the smaller stages of Seattle, singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt has composed odes to newly purchased equipment, brought up drunk frat boys to sing their requests, and always moved and blessed all present. Do your homework: Hear 1990's Little, 1997's About to Choke, and rent Peter Sillen's great documentary Speed Racer (about the making of the 1992 classic West of Rome), so that by the time the lights dim, you'll already be in love. Chesnutt is joined on this tour by new collaborator Kristin Hersh (ex-Throwing Muses), who is herself responsible for at least one of most rock list-makers' Top Five Shows. Chaos is Chesnutt's element onstage, and with a talent like Hersh's to play off of, this is one you'll be talking about until Christmas. GRANT COGSWELL


(Crocodile) Just think of him as the Neil Young of the alt-rock generation. Former Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis returns to Seattle with his own version of ragged glory, an unmistakable voice, and a guitar-playing style that turns dissonance into something oddly beautiful. Whether you're a guitar geek or you just like good songwriting, this is your show. BARBARA MITCHELL

(Showbox) Elliott Smith hardly needs an introduction: He's practically St. Elliott in most circles, particularly here in his Northwestern stomping grounds. The Minders, on the other hand, can benefit greatly from the exposure this tour will provide. More people should be made aware of this Denver band's particular pop prowess. If Mr. Smith's stamp of approval isn't enough of an endorsement for you, the Apples in Stereo's Robert Schneider produced their last album, the highly satisfying Hooray for Tuesday. BARBARA MITCHELL

(Owl 'n' Thistle) What happens when you take the rhythm section of Zony Mash (Keith Lowe on bass and Andy Roth on drums), and add Danny Barnes (of Bill Frisell's the Willies) on electric guitar and Dan Tyack (Toast) on pedal-steel? You get one badass bar band. Expect high-energy bluegrass, country, and good old rock and roll. Sound pretty good so far? Here's the clincher: It's free! That's right, so all the money you normally spend on the cover can go towards bourbon. KREG HASEGAWA

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